User fees for drivers a family-friendly approach

By Dan Aronson

This is part of an ongoing series demonstrating the potential for common ground between progressives and conservatives on labor and environmental issues.

High school students strive to get into the best colleges, and college students strive to get good grades to further their career. But with all this frenetic activity, we don’t pause to consider the meaning of the term “college.”…

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Letter from Randi Weingarten to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the school crisis in Newark

The Honorable Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Governor Christie:

There is a crisis in Newark. And that crisis was made worse by your schools Superintendent Cami Anderson opting not to attend last night’s School Advisory Board meeting to hear the concerns and desires of parents, educators, students and the people of Newark.…

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Chris Christie faces new uproar in state’s largest city

By STEPHANIE SIMON

Just as he’s fighting to regain his political footing, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing a new uproar on the home front, as public protests mount against state control of the public schools in Newark, the state’s largest city.

Parents and teachers are demanding the ouster of Christie’s appointee as superintendent of the Newark schools, Cami Anderson, who is fending off accusations that she orchestrated political payback against opponents of a district reform plan.…

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Rutgers University’s athletics subsidy grows

By Patricia Alex And Leslie Brody, Staff Writers, The Record

Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi promised to put university athletics on the path to solvency, but during his first year in office the school boosted its support to the money-losing department by two-thirds to nearly $47 million — reportedly making Rutgers the most highly subsidized public sports program in the nation, documents show.…

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Newark teachers, students protest district’s layoff plan

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — About 400 Newark teachers and their supporters voiced pronounced opposition last night to the school district’s proposal to base planned layoffs of more than 1,000 teachers on classroom effectiveness rather than seniority.

Rallying just ahead of a meeting of the district’s advisory board, some said that process, if approved by state officials, would undermine long cultivated relationships among both teachers and students.…

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Perth Amboy to host open house for innovative math program

PERTH AMBOY — A community open house showcasing an new approach to middle school math education will be held 6 p.m. Thursday at William C. McGinnis Middle School, 271 State St.

Myrna Garcia, McGinnis School principal, sought solutions to improve students’ results in her school. She brought back information about the Teach to One Math program for teachers to review.…

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Waivers: Newark’s Unusual Route to Performance-Based Layoffs

By John Mooney

With potentially hundreds of positions on the line, Anderson’s request faces challenge from unions and prominent state senator

It’s a process invoked by school districts across New Jersey only a few times each year, a request for a waiver from state regulations that gets into the minutia of school operations.

A district might want to hire a registered nurse instead of a certified school nurse as required by the rules, for example.…

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Newark Schools Chief Wants Teacher Performance Included in Layoff Criteria

By John Mooney

Union leaders leap to defense of long-established contractual practice of basing job cuts on years of experience

In an unprecedented move, Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson has asked Christie administration to waive seniority rules that dictate how planned teacher layoffs in the state-run district are to be conducted.

The request essentially seeks the state’s permission for Anderson to consider teacher performance in determining the future layoffs of potentially hundreds of the state-run district’s teachers to fend off a looming budget crisis.…

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Take Action: Great Governors Support Quality Education

This weekend, governors from across the nation will gather in Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association’s annual winter meeting. Now is the perfect time to encourage your governor to reclaim the promise of public education on behalf of America’s youth. Tell your governor that America’s children deserve the same access to high-quality public education as students in other industrialized countries.…

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Federal Lawsuit Accuses For-Profit Schools of Fraud

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

LINWOOD, N.J. — It was the electronic monitor around a student’s ankle that first gave Kelli J. Amaya serious doubts about the Harris School of Business.

The young man with the monitor was studying to be a pharmacy technician, and Ms. Amaya, who worked at Harris, a for-profit chain of trade schools, knew that the most widely recognized certification for pharmacy technicians excludes anyone convicted of a felony or even a low-level drug offense.…

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Christie’s ed reform scandal: Principals suspended after questioning charter scheme

“Narcissism,” “dictatorial” and “totalitarian” tactics by Christie appointee, Newark councilman charges to Salon
By Josh Eidelson

Five days before the now-notorious lane closures in Fort Lee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered a characteristically acerbic answer to reporters wondering if he’d reappoint Newark’s lightning rod superintendent, Cami Anderson: “Yes we do, and we’re going to renew [her contract] because she’s done a great job, and I don’t care about the community criticism.…

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Opinion: Looking Closely at the Dangerous Legacy of Commissioner Chris Cerf

By Mark Weber

The state education chief’s so-called reforms may have stirred up something more powerful than frustration and resignation

Chris Cerf says he’s not leaving his post as New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education because of Bridgegate, and I believe him. When Cerf departs at the end of March, he’ll be continuing a pattern of sliding back and forth between the private and public sector that he’s engaged in over his entire career.…

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Aronson: GOP can find enlightenment in its past

This is part of an ongoing series demonstrating the potential for common ground between progressives and conservatives on labor and environmental issues.

Bob Dole, while running for president, was derided for suggesting that we build a bridge to the past. But a brief look at history indicates that building such a bridge could point the way to progress on labor issues.…

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Statement: AFTNJ’s Donna M. Chiera on Chris Cerf reported resignation

Contact: Nat T. Bender, 908-377-0393, nbender@aftnj.org

EDISON…State education Commissioner Chris Cerf will be leaving office, reportedly on March 1.

“We initially had high hopes for a collaborative relationship with state Superintendent Chris Cerf and were encouraged when he made sure of our union’s inclusion on the effective teacher task force. While we wish him well, his reported resignation is also an opportunity to call for two key changes in state education policy.…

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