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Join the Union

AFTNJ’s objective is to promote state wide organization and unionization of public and private school teachers, paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; other workers organized in conformity with More »

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Prekindergarten – 12

From the state’s largest school district to small privates, AFTNJ stands up for New Jersey’s students. Our members teach early childhood education to prepare kids for school, special education and every topic More »

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Higher Education

The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey is the largest higher education union in the state, representing full and part-time faculty, all levels of administrative, professional and supervisory staff, graduate workers, and More »

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AFTNJ Activism

AFTNJ members advocate for education and stand up for social justice. More »

Agency Warns About Decline in Access to Education

By Patrick Blum

LONDON — Social mobility through education is waning around the world, despite increased access to education, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned in a report this month.

The 560-page annual publication, Education at a Glance, urged governments to do more to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity for a good education early in life. It warned that many young people are attaining lower qualifications than their parents, even in the richest countries of the industrial world.

Among people from 25 to 35 years old, 16 percent now have lower qualifications than their parents, compared with 9 percent among those 55 to 64 years old, it said, based on data from the 34 member countries of the O.E.C.D., which advises governments on economic and social policy, as well as Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

More access to education has not translated into a more inclusive society, Ángel Gurría, the secretary general of the agency, based in Paris, said in a foreword to the report.

“The benefits of the expansion in education were shared by the middle class, but did not trickle down to less-advantaged families. In relative terms, the children of low-educated families became increasingly excluded from the potential benefits that the expansion in education provided to most of the population,” he said.

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Climate March Report Back TESC Peggy Allan

Peggy Allan, Health and Safety chair of Local 4277, Thomas Edison College Federation of Professional Staff, walked with a ”No Frack” contingent from Trenton, NJ and Bucks County, PA area to the People’s Climate March, Sept. 21 in New York. “Pennsylvania and NJ are threatened with the oil and gas industry drilling in the Delaware watershed, so this is critical issue for water and air quality and overall health of the millions of people who would be affected if the water quality was diminished,” she said. “The march was an amazing showing of solidarity on this issue from what seemed to be millions of people.” March estimates ranged from 310,000 to 400,000 participants, but Allan is certain that showing represented millions more who see environmental justice as a critical issue.

Here are few of Allan’s photos from the march.

Charter Schools Don’t Need an Ad Campaign. They Need Regulation

By Jeff Bryant

This time of year, while classroom teachers and administrators in public schools are busy welcoming students back to a new school year and figuring out how they’re going to cope with devastating financial constraints, advocates in the charter schools industry are propping up their image with an extensive new public relations campaign called “Truth About Charters.”

[...]

In Newark, N.J., the money-making opportunity for the charter school chains opened when the federal government made available millions of dollars in school construction bonds for charter schools. Noticing the potential windfall, the administration of governor Chris Christie promptly withheld funds designated for repairing and renovating existing public schools. This created a bonanza for new charter school construction, while local public schools went deeper into disrepair.

As Owen Davis reported for Truthout, “By systematically underfunding the public sector while extending market incentives to private actors, the Christie administration has essentially placed its thumb on the scale for charters. The result: Some charters enjoy gleaming new facilities (bankrolled by the same financial milieu that spends its down time plugging them), while the public sector continues its decline.”

[...]

As Rutgers University professor Bruce Baker recently wrote on his personal blog, School Finance 101, “In theory, the accountability and efficiency advantage of charter schooling is driven by the market for choice of one school over another. Increasingly, state education agencies have moved from being impartial technical assistance agencies and accountability reporting agencies to strongly promoting the charter sector. This advocacy behavior corrupts the state agency role and creates what economists refer to as an ‘asymmetry of information’ – in the extreme case a ‘market for lemons.’”

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NJ Students Will Be Spending More Time Taking New Online Tests

Latest PARCC update indicates that tests could take as much as 10 hours spread over a half-dozen days

Details continue to come in about the online testing that will be used in New Jersey schools this spring, with the latest updates indicating that there will clearly be more hours spent on the assessments than in the past.

The consortium running the new multistate testing — the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) — yesterday released its latest administration update for the exams. It shows that testing could take as much as 10 hours over the course of a half-dozen days in the spring.

Depending on the test and the grade, that could be an increase of up to four hours from current testing, albeit spread over more days. The times were reduced from last spring’s field-tests, with PARCC officials clearly cognizant of ongoing debates about testing.

The PARCC outline also laid out the actual estimated time required for most students to complete the testing, reducing the time somewhat from the full administration duration.

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Newark school board’s effort to freeze superintendent’s pay faces uphill battle

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEWARK — It was the kind of vote that should have sent ripples through the Newark Public Schools District.

Newark Public Schools Advisory board passed a motion Tuesday evening to freeze payments of Superintendent Cami Anderson’s salary until she attends one of the board’s monthly meetings.

But even though Newark Public Schools Advisory board regained fiscal control earlier this year, the proposed motion faces an uphill battle because it requires state support, experts said.

“No way,” said city historian Clement Price on the prospects on the school district freezing Anderson’s salary.

“I see it as more of a symbolic gesture which in many ways speaks to acrimony that has long marked the relationship between the superintendent and the advisory board.”

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New Rutgers report reveals subsidies for athletics are not declining as originally forecasted

By Keith Sargeant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

PISCATAWAY — Last Thursday, Rutgers athletics director Julie Hermann presented the university Board of Trustees with a power-point plan that, she said, “was an unvarnished assessment of where Rutgers Athletics stands.”

”There are still areas where we need to do better, and we will,” Hermann said through a spokesperson Wednesday evening, hours after NJ Advance Media obtained a 22-page Rutgers Athletics report that had yet to be unveiled to the public. “As it stands right now by virtually every measure, Rutgers athletics is on the upswing.”

A deeper look at the figures presented by Hermann indicates that while contributions and football season-ticket sales are on the rise, the athletics program won’t meet the initial forecast documented in the 10-year Rutgers Intercollegiate Athletics Fiscal Years plan presented by athletics officials earlier this year.

The February report initially projected athletic department subsidies from the university’s general allocations fund to total $16.4 million in 2014. According to the report presented by Hermann last week, the university’s general fund is projected to subsidize the athletics program with $19 million in 2014.

That would be an increase from the $18.4 million in subsidies in 2012. In 2013, costs associated with the Mike Rice bullying scandal caused the subsidy to spike to $37.1 million, the highest total ever recorded by a NCAA Division I program.

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Reclaim Rutgers Stephen J. Moorman

Professor in Neuroscience and Cell Biology department calls for respect from Rutgers President Barchi and Rutgers Governors. Medical school faculty has not had a raise in six years.

Video: @ReclaimRutgers Fatima Meadows Calls for Respect in Bargaining and Discipline #1u

Wants a fair contract and respect for workers being disciplined at Rutgers.

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Video: @ReclaimRutgers Mazhar Q Syed Students Support Faculty and Staff

Student support for fair contracts for faculty and staff from Mazhar Q. Syed, Poli Sci grad student

Video: @ReclaimRutgers Janice DiLella ‘Fair Contract Now’

URA-AFT’s Janice DiLella talks about what we want in bargaining and how staff should be treated.

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