Movement to Delay New School Standards, Testing Gains Support

By John Mooney

Legislators, education groups find common ground in talk of delaying at least some parts of Common Core

As New Jersey gets ready to implement new school standards and testing, some state legislators and education advocates are saying “Not so fast!”

The state Assembly’s education committee yesterday held a hearing on the new Common Core State Standards and the related testing – and heard repeated concerns expressed by representatives of school organizations, education advocates and others about the pace of the changes being pressed on schools by the state.…

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IRS Suggests ‘Reasonable’ Ways of Calculating Adjuncts’ Hours

By Audrey Williams June

The Internal Revenue Service has issued final rules on how colleges should calculate adjuncts’ workloads to determine whether such faculty members are eligible for health benefits under the new law designed to expand health insurance to more Americans.

The agency said last year that colleges must “use a reasonable method” for crediting adjuncts’ hours of service.…

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Spotlight Q&A: Influential Democrat Offers Take on Key Education Issues

By John Mooney
State Senate President discusses school funding, state takeovers, and vouchers

Arguably the state’s second-most powerful politician, Senate President Steve Sweeney has considerable influence over every piece of legislation that goes — or doesn’t go — before the state Senate.

And in a year when education policy and funding are sure to be hot topics once again, the Gloucester County Democrat’s opinions and positions will count mightily in determining which proposals will pass and which ones stall or get tossed outright.…

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N.J. law lengthens tenure eligibility to six years

By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer

New faculty hires at New Jersey’s state colleges will have more time to build their research portfolios before being reviewed for tenure, and the schools will have more flexibility when hiring faculty from other institutions under a law that takes effect this summer.

The measure, signed by Gov. Christie last month, makes new faculty eligible for tenure after six years, instead of the current five.…

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Guarantee of paid sick days stirs debate

By Hugh R. Morley, Staff Writer. The Record.

Pending state legislation is backed by religious, labor, civil rights and other groups and decried by businesses

New Jersey has joined the growing number of cities and states nationwide where worker advocates have sought, with some success, to require employers to provide workers with paid sick days — and the state’s business community is not happy.…

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Veteran NJ college president George Pruitt elected head of powerful accreditation group

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — George Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College, will serve as the chairman of the powerful accreditation commission that oversees the region’s colleges and universities.

Pruitt, the state’s longest-serving college president, was elected chairman of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the group said. He will lead the accreditation commission for two years.…

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The Teacher Commitment That Cannot Be Evaluated With Tests

By John Nichols

Teachers, parents and students are pushing back against high-stakes testing, over-testing and the fantasy that education is made better by preparing for, conducting and evaluating tests.

As American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten says: “The current accountability system has led districts to fixate on testing and sanctions, has squeezed out vital parts of the curriculum that are not subjected to testing, and has sacrificed much-needed learning time.…

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Free Community College? Tennessee Proposal Draws Praise and Concerns

By Eric Kelderman

In recent years, nearly every state in the nation has been scrambling to find cost-effective ways to help more students complete a college degree.

As policy makers and colleges grapple with how to attract and retain the growing population of low-income and first-generation college students to programs that prepare them for the 21st-century work force, a bachelor’s degree, or both, the biggest conundrum has been how to do that without increasing the financial burden for either students or the states.…

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Skepticism Abounds at Education Dept.’s College-Ratings Symposium

By Kelly Field

Pity the poor data geeks at the National Center for Education Statistics. The Education Department has less than four months to roll out its controversial college-rating system, and it isn’t going to be easy, as the data experts at Thursday’s technical symposium made clear.

Pretty much everyone presenting at the daylong event agreed that existing federal data on student outcomes are flawed, that a unit-record student-tracking system would solve almost every problem (if only Congress would allow it), and that it would be almost impossible to design a ratings system that would please everyone.…

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Revised ‘One Newark’ Plan – One Less Closure, Changes for Charters

By John Mooney

Historic Weequahic High stays, students at schools turned over to charters have the option of staying put

In the face of fierce debate, the reorganization of Newark public schools will undergo some revisions that seek to address mounting questions and criticism while finalizing the plans for next fall.

State-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson plans to move ahead with the bulk of her controversial “One Newark” reorganization for the state-run district, but with some changes and updates, according to the revised plan obtained by NJ Spotlight and expected to be released today.…

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Ready to Run? AFTNJ Officer Elections

AFTNJ is a democratic organization where all 29 officers are elected at the biennial convention.

AFTNJ Executive Officer positions (President, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Vice President Higher Education and Executive Vice President Prekindergarten to 12) and 24 Vice Presidents (12 from the Higher Education division, 12 from the Prekindergarten to 12 division) are up for election. The successful candidates’ terms of office run from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016.…

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2014 Solidarity Convention Awards

Nominate an outstanding member, community ally or legislator for his work on behalf of labor or education.

Ray Peterson Pride of the Union Award: Union activists who promote the ideals and values of AFTNJ within their local and their community.

Friend of Labor Award: A person or organization that supports the ideals and values of the labor movement and of AFT New Jersey.…

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