A City Borrows So Its Schools Open on Time

The unusual situation in Philadelphia stems from a combination of politics and long-term structural problems.

By Rick Lyman and Mary Williams Walsch

PHILADELPHIA — Just a month after Detroit became the largest American city to file for bankruptcy, and with major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles struggling, this former manufacturing behemoth is also edging toward a financial precipice.…

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Seeking Better Teachers, City Evaluates Local Colleges That Train Them

By Jabin Botsford/The New York Times

In an effort to shake up institutions that have been criticized as too insular and inert, his administration released scorecards on Wednesday for a dozen teacher-preparation programs in the city.

Public and private education schools are being evaluated in various ways, including how many graduates are certified in high-needs areas like special education and whether their teachers have been able to increase student test scores.…

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Radical thinking on college tuition: Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Tuition at New Jersey’s state universities is among the country’s most expensive. Only Vermont and New Hampshire charge their homegrown students more. A four-year stay could easily saddle a student with more than $100,000 in debt. The Great Recession proved the value of a bachelor’s degree. College-educated workers lost millions of jobs, but they’ve recovered better while less-educated workers are still hurting.…

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One year after state tenure overhaul, participants optimistic about new process

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City public-school teachers have not fared well under the state’s tenure overhaul, which Gov. Chris Christie signed into law one year ago this week.

Under the new rules, which allow an arbitrator instead of a judge to make an essentially final decision on whether a tenured teacher can be fired, four Jersey City teachers have been fired based on arbitrators’ rulings.…

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8 Things You Should Know About Corporations Like Pearson that Make Huge Profits from Standardized Tests

Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act and Obama’s Race to the Top grant program means testing giants are raking in the dough.
By Alyssa Figueroa

A few months ago, fourth-grader Joey Furlong was lying in a hospital bed, undergoing a pre-brain surgery screening, when a teacher walked in the room with a standardized test. Shocked, Joey’s father, who was in the room, told the teacher to leave.…

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Who’s Afraid of Radical History?

Mitch Daniels’s covert war on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

A recent Associated Press expose—drawing on e-mails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act—revealed that in 2010, Mitch Daniels, then Indiana’s Republican governor, covertly set out to ban Howard Zinn’s best-selling A People’s History of the United States from Indiana’s classrooms. Daniels had privately responded to Zinn’s death that year with unseemly glee; “This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away,” he crowed.…

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Are Street Protests Next in the Fight Over Education Reform?

Showdowns in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and beyond have turned out parents and teachers in droves—and revealed how out of touch education reformers really are.

By Amy B. Dean

“As it stands now, if nothing changes, the schools are going to have to open without any adults in the large spaces where kids gather,” predicted Philadelphia public schools parent Michael Mullins in late June.…

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Jeff Bezos’s Other Endeavor: Charter Schools, Neoliberal Education Reforms

By Lee Fang

[…] There’s one area where Bezos has been hyper-active, but it is largely unknown to the general public: education reform. A look at the Bezos Family Foundation, which was founded by Jackie and Mike Bezos but is financed primarily by Jeff Bezos, reveals a fairly aggressive effort in recent years to press forward with a neoliberal education agenda:

• The Bezos Foundation has donated to Education Reform Now, a nonprofit organization that funds attack advertisements against teachers’ unions and other advocacy efforts to promote test-based evaluations of teachers.…

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Opinion: Base N.J. aid to colleges on student performance, not enrollment

By Troy Singleton

When Rutgers University’s Board of Governors voted last month to raise tuition 3.3 percent amid student outcry, the university’s vice president for budgeting, Nancy Winterbauer, said, “I know lots of them are struggling. But we’re a public institution where state funding is flat — it’s at the level it was in the ’90s — and we simply can’t provide the quality of an education that our students need without raising tuition.”…

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Sweeney proposes bill to study radically different tuition model

By Matt Friedman and Kelly Heyboer/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — What if New Jersey college students didn’t have to pay tuition? What if they just went to public colleges for free in exchange for agreeing to give the state a percentage of their future salaries for a few decades after graduation?

Those are some of the questions leading Democrats in Trenton plan to explore this fall in legislation that could radically rethink how New Jersey runs its colleges.…

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Does Rutgers need 2 governing boards? Task force appointed to consider overhaul

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University today named six alumni and board members to a task force that will study whether to overhaul the state university’s governance.

Rutgers officials said last month they would form a group to study ways to improve the university’s governing board system. The seven-member group will be headed by the Rev.…

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Student Loan Bill Breezes On

By Jeremy W. Peters and Ashley Parker

WASHINGTON — Something pretty rare happened in Congress on Wednesday: it approved and sent to President Obama a major piece of public policy by an overwhelming bipartisan margin.

The feat was even more notable because the legislation, which created a new set of rates for federal student loans, is entwined with many of the issues that often divide Republicans and Democrats: the economy, the financial markets and the government’s role in lending.…

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Buono sketches education policy in meeting with school advocates

By Matthew McGrath, Staff Writer. The Record.

NEWARK — Barbara Buono, the Democratic nominee for governor, pledged during a campaign event Wednesday to better fund public schools, blaze a path for state-managed districts to return to local control and develop plans for universal pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten.

Buono, a state senator from Edison, was invited to the Education Law Center in Newark for a round-table discussion about her education policies with Our Children/Our Schools, a public advocacy group.…

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