NJ college affordability package falls short: Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

For millennials in a cruel economy, a bachelor’s degree is hardly optional. College grads earn better salaries, and are less vulnerable to unemployment and poverty. Higher education is grotesquely expensive — particularly in New Jersey — but the cost of not going to college is worse.

Pity, then, the double-barreled misery of students who start college but don’t finish — leaving school with crushing debt but no degree.…

Read more

The Obama Administration’s Next Big Move in the Battle Over Public Education

By Gary Cohn

The nomination of Ted Mitchell to the Department of Ed. is a clear indication of just how cozy this administration plans to get with the corporate reform crowd.

The nomination of Californian Ted Mitchell to the number two position at the U.S. Department of Education is the latest indication that proponents of school privatization are continuing to gain influence over the Obama administration’s education policy.…

Read more

In a Buyer’s Market, Colleges Become Fluent in the Language of Business

By Richard PÉREZ-PEÑA

The ruling this week that Northwestern University must treat scholarship football players as employees defies the way colleges view themselves, and has administrators nationwide wondering if this is the first step toward turning college sports into something unrecognizable.

But in one key sense, the decision by an official of the National Labor Relations Board, which will allow the players to form a union and bargain collectively, fits into a long and familiar trend: Higher education is today less a rite of passage in which institutions serve in loco parentis, and more a commercial transaction between school and student.…

Read more

Newark parents, teachers, students take protest to Trenton

By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — Their focus may have broadened, but their anger remains laser sharp.

Hundreds of Newark parents, teachers, students and community activists rallied in Trenton on Thursday to demand the return of local control of the city’s schools and full funding for the state’s largest school district.

Many of the same people have marched in Newark several times in the past few months to protest Superintendent Cami Anderson’s “One Newark” school reorganization plan.…

Read more

NJ schools use technology to revolutionize classroom lessons

By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger

[…]

That same sense of engagement can be found in the spacious math centers at William C. McGinnis Middle School in Perth Amboy, which is half-way through its first year of Teach to One Math. Last summer, the school renovated its classrooms for six, seventh and eighth grades, creating open spaces where eight general and special education math teachers work with 120 students at the same time.…

Read more

Fine Print: Bill Seeks To Clear Path To Ending State Control Of Urban Schools

By John Mooney

Legislation would return certain functions to local board in Newark, then to Paterson, Jersey City and Camden districts, if benchmarks are met

What it is: A bill filed this week by state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), chair of the Senate’s education committee, would require the state to return control of certain functions to a school district once it hits 80 percent of required benchmarks.…

Read more

Invitation for Coverage: Unions innovate in efforts to fight workplace bullying

Nat T. Bender, (908) 377-0393, nbender@aftnj.org

Convention highlight best practices to promote healthy workplaces

EDISON, NJ – Nearly half of American workers are witness to or victims of workplace bullying, according to a recent study, resulting in lost productivity, high absentee rates and increased medical costs. While legal experts and legislators debate the necessity for legislation, union members and representatives are presenting multiple approaches to protect members and promote fairness in the workplace.…

Read more

Donna Chiera testimony: QSAC fails to move districts forward

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera delivered the following testimony to the State Senate Education Committee today in Trenton.

QSAC asks districts to evaluate their compliance in five categories. Though streamlined from a survey with more than 300 indicators that were required when the system launched in 2007, the evaluation process is often time-consuming, labor-intensive, and in many cases, repetitive.…

Read more

NJ lawmakers unveil 20-bill package to overhaul college costs, accountability

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — Alarmed by rising college costs and student debt, New Jersey lawmakers proposed a package of 20 bills today designed to cut tuition, increase graduation rates and make schools more accountable.

State Assembly Higher Education Committee Chairwoman Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland) and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union) said they spent three months studying the problems in higher education and meeting with college officials, student groups and other organizations.…

Read more