‘Chronicle of Higher Education’ Allows For-Profit College With High Student Loan Defaults to Sponsor and Pick the Speakers for Loan Default Event

By David Halperin

The Chronicle of Higher Education, a venerable publication read by college faculty and administrators nationwide, has been sending invitations all over Washington, inviting policy experts, Capitol Hill staffers, media, and others to an October 19 panel discussion entitled “Student Loan Default Aversion: Forum on Research and Best Practices.” According to the invitation, the “lively discussion” will address the question, “How can students reap the benefits of higher education without the fear of financial devastation in the event of a default?”…

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Hey, Corporate Reformers: Guess What? We Won’t Back Down, Either

By Jessie B. Ramey

This new film, set to open Friday, is not merely anti-teacher and anti-union, it’s also anti-democratic, according to one education expert.

Have you heard the buzz around “Won’t Back Down,” a major new Hollywood movie opening nationwide on Friday? It’s time for that buzz to start sounding like a swarm of angry bees coming from anyone who cares about our public schools.…

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The Strike Is Over, Segregation Is Not

By Christie Thompson

Chicago Public School students were back in school last Wednesday, after the Chicago Teacher Union and the Chicago School Board ended a seven-day standoff over classroom conditions and labor disputes. The CTU has released its tentative agreement with CPS, which will be ratified by union members in the coming weeks.

The deal has been largely heralded as a victory for union teachers, who won a 17.6 percent pay increase over four years and some level of protection from district lay-offs and firings.…

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Kean University on Track to Come Off Accreditation Probation, OCC President Says

Follow-up inspection receives positive response from Middle States committee, Larson says

By Karen Wall

Kean University has passed “a significant hurdle” in its bid to be reaccredited, Ocean County College President Jon H. Larson told the OCC Board of Trustees on Monday.

“It isn’t done until it’s done,” he told the trustees, “but they are on a positive track.”…

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Legislative: AFTNJ members testify for Senate Higher Ed hearing

Testifying about a range of governance, finance and personnel issues, AFTNJ higher education members and leaders met with the New Jersey Senate Higher Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Sandra Cunningham.

Student Success

AFTNJ Executive Vice President for Higher Education Susanna Tardi and United Adjuncts of New Jersey President Elaine Bobrove testified on conditions for student success.…

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Soaring Tuitions: Are Public Funding Cuts to Blame?

Rajashri Chakrabarti, Maricar Mabutas, and Basit Zafar

Public colleges and universities play a vital role in training a state’s workforce, yet state support for higher education has been declining for years. As a share of total revenues for America’s public institutions of higher education, state and local appropriations have fallen every year over the past decade, dropping from 70.7 percent in 2000 to 57.1 percent in 2011.…

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Teen charged in Newark slaying threatened teacher’s life in 2009, records show

By James Queally/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — The incident took place 3½ years ago in a Newark classroom.
Jose Cotto, a first-year Spanish teacher at the Newton Street School, said he asked James Olbert, then 13, to switch seats.
“Shut the (expletive) up before I pop you!” the eighth-grader allegedly screamed at his teacher.
Next, Cotto said, the boy pulled out a cell phone and promised to “call the home boys to come and kick (his) ass.”…

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Rutgers University boards to make final vote on school merger in November

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University’s two governing boards will vote in mid-November on whether to give their long-awaited final approval for the school’s merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, school officials said today.

Gov. Chris Christie signed the merger legislation, called the New Jersey Medical and Health Science Education Restructuring Act, last month.…

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Cerf & Co. Deliver ‘State of the Schools’ Address

At the yearly convocation, commissioner and staff review goals and chart progress of state’s education initiatives — one slide at a time

By John Mooney

It’s becoming an annual “State of the Schools” address, with the New Jersey’s education commissioner and top lieutenants exhaustively outline the administration’s plans and priorities for the coming year.

Yesterday, state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf’s so-called convocation before 400 school administrators gathered at Jackson Liberty High School lasted more than two hours and nearly 80 PowerPoint slides.…

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Kean president’s contract extension gives school a chance to put problems behind it

By Mark Di Ionno/Star-Ledger Columnist

Kean University president Dawood Farahi got a five-year extension from the school’s board of trustees, surviving several controversies including a near-miss with the group that does college accrediting.

He’s been at war with some faculty, demanding professors put in more hours on campus, and even teach weekend classes to give working adults who want to return to school more options.…

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Newark teachers would earn merit pay under possible program

By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — The Newark Teachers Union and state education officials are hammering out specifics of a merit pay program that would grant bonuses to effective teachers.

Newark Teachers Union president Joe Del Grosso said merit pay is one of several concepts being negotiated this week by union and state officials. In the system under consideration, teachers would be involved in an evaluation process that would financially reward those who are highly rated, Del Grosso said.…

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Kean University president’s contract extended by 5 years

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

UNION — Kean University’s board of trustees voted unanimously tonight to extend President Dawood Farahi’s employment contract by five years, ignoring faculty calls for new leadership on the troubled campus.
Farahi, 63, will remain in office through 2018 at his current $293,550-a-year salary, according to a deal approved by the trustees.…

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Newark Eyes Merit Pay for Teachers

By Lisa Fleisher

New Jersey and the Newark Teachers Union are negotiating a form of merit pay in the state-run district that would block poorly rated teachers from receiving automatic annual salary bumps that are now based solely on years of experience, union officials said.

Only teachers evaluated as “effective” or “highly effective” on a new four-tier scale would be eligible for pay increases that are now tied to how many years they have worked, union President Joe Del Grosso said.…

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Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law Struck Down By County Judge

By Scott Bauer

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

Walker’s administration immediately vowed to appeal, while unions, which have vigorously fought the law, declared victory. But what the ruling meant for existing public contracts was murky: Unions claimed the ruling meant they could negotiate again, but Walker could seek to keep the law in effect while the legal drama plays out.…

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Kean in compliance with Middle States standards, sources say

By Cheryl Hehl, Staff Writer

Friday morning, Sept. 14, a visiting team from Middle States Commission on Higher Education said Kean University complied with the four standards they violated. However, there still are problems to be worked out and the university is still on probation.

At a meeting held Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the new multi-million dollar New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics building, known as STEM, the visiting team went through each of the five standards Kean was found to be in violation, reporting that the university was now “in compliance.”…

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