N.J. DOE Amistad Commission’s inaugural Summer Curriculum Institute begins July 17

All Garden State educators are welcome to apply for the New Jersey Department of Education Amistad Commission’s inaugural Summer Curriculum Institute for Teachers, which will take place July 17-20 at William Paterson University.

The event’s theme is “Moments in African American History,” and participants will experience lectures by esteemed scholars, breakout sessions with colleagues and networking opportunities while earning 33 hours of PD credit.…

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AFTNJ 2023 Legislative Conference in pictures

Gov. Phil Murphy noted the need for teacher recruitment and retention in New Jersey. Sen. Andrew Zwicker, who sits on the Senate Higher Education Committee, said the state has an obligation to fund higher education. And Sen. Vin Gopal, the chair of the Senate Education Committee, expressed his appreciation for educators and pledged his support.

They were among the many elected officials who spoke May 20 at the AFTNJ 2023 Legislative Conference in East Brunswick.…

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WEC webinar has tips for better workplace ventilation

The New Jersey Work Environment Council is set to present the webinar “Building Ventilation and Minimizing Exposure to COVID-19 and Airborne Diseases” on May 31.

Dave Newman, who for 18 years served as the staff industrial hygienist for the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, will be the guest speaker. Topics of discussion will include the fundamentals of building ventilation and the steps that can be taken in your workplace to cut down on transmission of airborne viruses.…

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Energize students by collaborating on course creation

There’s power in co-creating courses with students, according to international educator Aimée Skidmore.

“Inviting students to co-create the curriculum shifts ownership and accountability to learners and fosters democratic teaching practices, without sacrificing the objectives and goals that align learning experiences,” she writes for Edutopia.

Read Skidmore’s full post here.…

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OSEP initiative addresses transition services for children with disabilities

An initiative designed to improve postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities is set to launch virtually May 10 at 1 p.m. ET.

“Expect, Engage, and Empower: Successful Transitions for All!” supports Education Secretary Dr. Miguel A. Cardona’s mission to improve school equity nationwide. As described by The Office of Special Education Programs, this effort “will challenge the field to join OSEP to raise expectations, engage families earlier, and empower all who support transition services to measurably and significantly improve postsecondary outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and their families.”…

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Chiera talks public education’s past, present and future at ELC event

On May 4, the Education Law Center marked its 50th anniversary with the panel “Promise and Perils in Public Education: Past, Present, and Future” at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.

Among the panelists was AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera. When asked by panel moderator and ELC Executive Director Robert Kim how the teaching profession has changed, she said that in the years since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools transitioned from “teaching all subjects [and] looking at the whole child” to “if it’s not tested, it’s not important.” …

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Chiera closes N.J. Legislature’s meeting on state of higher ed with call for funds, oversight

For many months, whenever she’s talked about higher education in New Jersey, AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera has emphasized what’s lacking on the fiscal side: transparency, accountability and oversight (TAO).

On May 1, Chiera spent several minutes on TAO and other topics during the N.J. State Legislature’s Special Meeting on Higher Education at the State House Annex in Trenton.…

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Biden taps Ingram for educational equity commission

President Joe Biden on April 21 revealed his intent to appoint AFT Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick C. Ingram to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans.

The commission’s objectives include promoting career pathways for Black students via internships and other work-based learning initiatives, along with increasing public awareness of the educational disparities Black Americans face and providing solutions to these problems.…

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Murphy signs bill expanding access to UI for workers during labor disputes

Gov. Phil Murphy on April 24 signed A4772/S3215, which addresses some loopholes that have affected striking workers and others in labor disputes from receiving access to unemployment insurance benefits.

Taking effect immediately and applying to all UI benefit claims filed on or after Jan. 1, 2022, A4772/S3215 will:

• Permit UI benefits to be distributed to workers during an employer lockout even if a strike did not immediately precede the lockout

• Decrease the timeframe from 30 days to 14 days following a strike that UI benefits are disqualified, while allowing for benefits to be paid immediately regardless of the timeframe if replacement workers are hired on either a permanent or temporary basis

• Clarify that there is no disqualification if an issue in the labor dispute is the failure of the employer to comply with an agreement between the parties

“Workers and their families often struggle financially when they go on strike to protest injustice in the workplace,” said Charlie Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.…

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Survey: Student misbehavior has climbed while morale has dropped

According to a recent EdWeek Research Center survey, 70 percent of educators said there is more student misbehavior in their classes, schools and districts now than there was in fall 2019.

In December 2021, when the research center previously asked educators about it, “66 percent of them said their students were misbehaving a little more or a lot more compared with fall of 2019,” writes Education Week’s Arianna Prothero.…

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