Better Higher Education Leads to a Better Regional Economy, Report Says

By Ann Schnoebelen

Findings released on Wednesday by the Milken Institute corroborate a view many in higher education have found themselves defending in recent years: A college education pays.

In a report titled “A Matter of Degrees: The Effect of Educational Attainment on Regional Economic Prosperity,” the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank says its research proves “the strong relationship between educational attainment and a region’s economic performance.”…

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School vouchers, aid increase, included in Christie budget

By Jeanette Rundquist/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — Inside the nearly $9 billion that Gov. Chris Christie’s budget allocates for schools is funding to revive a controversial pilot program that would, for the first time, offer scholarships for students to attend private and parochial schools with public money.

The budget includes $2 million to create a pilot “opportunity scholarship” program, that would allow about 200 children to transfer from failing public schools to private schools.…

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AFTNJ Legislative Conference 2013

Sign up here to attend conference.

April 19-20 2013
Friday, 3:00-9:00 PM
Saturday, 7:45 AM-2:30 PM
The Heldrich
10 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Join your AFTNJ colleagues for a full agenda of workshops designed to build professional voice in the legislative arena.

See program.

Elections Matter 2013
elections matter On Friday, join Gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono and other key leaders standing up for education and labor.
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Perth Amboy school board rescinds superintendent’s suspension

By Suzanne Russell

[…]

Although some board members were surprised to see the suspension issue rescinded, Donna Chiera, president of Perth Amboy Federation/American Federation of Teachers, was not.

“I thought she would be here for the remainder of her contract,’’ said Chiera, adding if the board’s action gets the district moving in a positive direction, she is not opposed.…

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Dems’ Christie endorsement largely symbolic

By John Schoonejongen

[…]

Meanwhile, Buono has been lining up endorsements herself from some of the usual suspects. The Middlesex and Somerset Counties AFL-CIO Central Labor Council backed her gubernatorial bid last week, as did the Council of New Jersey State College Locals union. Both argued that a re-elected Christie could hurt the middle class.

Neither of those endorsements, however, got the exposure that Long’s backing did, even though the higher education union alone has more members than Sea Bright has residents.…

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Kean Fed leader wins Academy Award for Best Doc Short

Congratulations to Susan MacLaury for her film Inocente which has won the Academy Award in the category for best short documentary. She shares her Academy Award as co-producer with her husband Albie Hecht.  This is the second documentary from her production company to be nominated for an Academy Award. Susan is dually degreed in social work and health education and teaches at Kean University.…

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Majority of NJ Schools Opt for Widely Used Teacher-Evaluation Method

Princeton-based consultant’s model is choice of 60 percent of districts as they prepare for tenure law’s new mandate

By John Mooney

Charlotte Danielson, creator of the teacher evaluation scripts used by more than half of New Jersey’s school districts.
As New Jersey public schools get ready for next school year’s newly mandated teacher-evaluation system, a majority of them are opting to use a system created by a Princeton-based firm.…

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The Rutgers University-Rowan University (Non-) Merger: An Avoidable Legal Debacle

By Brian Block

A. Trying to Walk Before You Crawl

It will undoubtedly go down as one of the worst policy rollouts in recent Garden State history, likely eclipsing former Gov. Jon Corzine’s announcement that he wanted to privatize the Turnpike.[2] Rutgers, The State University – Camden (“Rutgers”), particularly its School of Law, has suffered considerable damage as a result—a class size over 50% smaller than the year prior, as well as untold reputational damage which may linger for years.[3]…

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State Higher Education Union Announces Buono Endorsement

Faculty, adjunct faculty, librarians and professional staff vote for change; launch education campaign

“Under the Christie administration New Jersey has the worst job creation numbers of any state in the country and has suffered big cuts to funding in education,” said Tim Haresign, a Stockton biology professor and President of the Council of New Jersey State College Locals, an American Federation of Teachers affiliate representing more than 9,000 faculty, adjunct faculty, librarians and professional staff at New Jersey’s nine state colleges and universities.…

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In the footsteps of Lincoln? Obama and public higher education

By Linda Stamato/NJ Voices

Before the State of the Union message, there was speculation about what President Obama would emphasize, indeed, what priorities would take precedence in his second administration. It’s clear, now, that he is thinking big on climate change, immigration reform, energy independence and investing in a “rising, thriving middle class.” What surprises me, though, is the lack of emphasis on how, for the most part, these priorities are to be met.…

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School Funding Formula Dispute May End In Budget Battle

The Christie administration has proposed changes to the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 that would adjust the state aid formulas and could reduce funding for low-income students, children learning English and those with special needs, according to advocacy group Save Our Schools New Jersey.

The New Jersey Legislature would have to approve the changes for the new funding formulas to become law, but both Democratic-controlled chambers passed resolutions rejecting the Christie administration’s proposal.…

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Teacher Evaluation Regs Coming

Education Commissioner Chris Cerf said his department will begin to issue regulations on the implementation of the new TEACH NJ law in March, including the eagerly-awaited criteria for evaluating teachers. Under the new law a teacher who receives an ineffective rating will receive a corrective action plan and intensive peer support to remedy any weaknesses. A teacher who fails to improve to an effective rating in the next year will lose tenure.…

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