Murphy signs bill with subcontracting protections for N.J.’s higher education workers

S2932/A4680, which provides subcontracting protections for workers at New Jersey’s public four-year institutions of higher education, was signed June 11 by Gov. Phil Murphy, his office said.

“Working collaboratively leads to results,” said AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera. “I appreciate the efforts of Senate President Steve Sweeney, a primary sponsor of this legislation, which gives workers at four-year colleges and universities the same protections as their colleagues in PreK to 12 and community colleges.…

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Castiglione is pleased with choice of Birdsell as new Kean provost, SVP

Kean University has named Dr. David S. Birdsell as its new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, effective Aug. 1.

“Throughout our thorough and inclusive search process, Dr. Birdsell established himself as an accomplished scholar and visionary leader with a deep respect for and understanding of traditional shared governance and its role in achieving academic excellence,” said Kean Federation of Teachers (Local 2187) President Dr.…

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Latest issue of American Educator now available

“Cultivating Opportunities to Thrive” is the theme that runs throughout the summer 2021 edition of AFT’s American Educator.

Among the issue’s feature stories are Jennifer Dubin’s “Building Community With Community Schools” and the Julie A. Washington-Mark S. Seidenberg collaboration “Teaching Reading to African American Children.”

The summer 2021 edition can be downloaded here.

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Senate Labor Committee passes ‘Janus 2’ bill

New Jersey’s Senate Labor Committee on June 10 passed S3810, officially described as the Responsible Collective Negotiations Act and nicknamed the “Janus 2” bill.

Sponsored by State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (above center) and state Sens. Dawn Addiego (above left) and Linda Greenstein (above right), S3810 helps to protect the rights of labor unions in their work on behalf of their members.…

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Wolfson, Wallace react to MSU naming Koppell as its new president

Dr. Jonathan Koppell has been chosen as the next president of Montclair State University, its board of trustees said June 8.

“Jonathan Koppell was the clear choice for all the trustees, who were impressed with his energy, his passion and his dedication to the ideals of public higher education,” said Dr. Francis M. Cuss, the board of trustees’ chair.…

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Battles have intensified over ‘social studies wars’

With America “splintered along political and geographic lines,” social studies has found itself caught in the crossfire — and at the same time, there’s an overall feeling that this set of subjects “has been given short shrift in American schooling,” writes Kelly Field for The Hechinger Report.

“As the field has become more politicized, schools have scaled back the time they spend on social studies, leaving their graduates unprepared to navigate political differences,” writes Field.…

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Making the case for paying teachers accordingly

Competitive salaries for teachers “would lower attrition rates and attract fresh talent that would push everyone to do better,” writes Colette Coleman, a former educator in Los Angeles and Indonesia, in a guest essay for The New York Times.

“For many teachers, the extra money would allow them to quit second jobs and give their primary work the attention it needs,” adds Coleman.…

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Virtual event delves into higher education’s value

Insider Higher Ed’s free virtual event “The Value of Higher Education” will be presented June 9 and 16.

Participants will learn how higher education needs to better define the value of postsecondary education, which data needs to be made transparent in order for students to make better college choices, and much more.

To register for the two Zoom sessions, which begin at 2 p.m.…

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Column: Teaching history must include ‘controversial’ topics

Even though the classroom “has become a minefield of political dos and don’ts,” longtime North Carolina history teacher Valencia Ann Abbott continues to “teach historical truths, to help my students become critical readers and thinkers and skillful and persuasive writers,” she writes in an essay published by Chalkbeat. 

“Revealing long-ignored history gives students a more comprehensive understanding of the past, which in turn gives us a deeper understanding of ourselves,” she adds.…

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Updated Share My Lesson resources available for Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and the AFT has updated a handful of its LGBTQ-related Share My Lesson resources for 2021 to accompany its existing catalog.

Among the revised offerings are two lesson plans for middle school and high school students: “AIDS Memorial Quilt: Raising Awareness a Stitch at a Time,” the story of a community art project that changed the world’s perception of HIV and AIDS; and “Stonewall Uprising: The Fight Against Oppression,” a look at the gay rights demonstrations in June 1969 at New York City’s Stonewall Inn.…

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Webinar covers building bonds between educators, community

Join Rethinking Schools and the Bargain for the Common Good Network for an online discussion June 8 on building relationships between educators and community and fighting for social justice in education.

To register for “Teacher Unions and Social Justice: Building Power Through Labor and Community Partnerships,” which begins at 7 p.m. ET on June 8, click here.…

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