Finger-Pointing Precedes Teacher Contract Talks in Newark

With negotiations resuming, union, superintendent at odds over plans for troubled schools

By John Mooney

The last time negotiators for the state-run Newark Public Schools met with the district’s teachers union, the $100 million Facebook gift was not yet national headlines and Superintendent Cami Anderson was still an administrator in New York City schools.

And it didn’t go well, either, ending with contract talks at an impasse ever since.…

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NJEA support for private management of public schools displays weakness, cynicism

“It was an NJEA deal,’’ said Joseph Del Grosso, president of the Newark Teachers Union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO (AFT). “They blatantly sold Newark out.’’

The NJEA does not represent Newark teachers, although it does represent Camden and Trenton instructors. Of the three districts in the bill, only Newark, a state-run system, does not have local control.…

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Newark’s First Foray into Teacher Evaluation Pilot, with Teachers Front and Center

[…] Newark is one of 11 districts in the state piloting a controversial plan led by Gov. Chris Christie that would more closely tie teacher evaluation — and potentially tenure — to student achievement.

And while plenty of controversy remains, several in the group last night said they appreciated at least being included in the process, no small thing in a state-operated district that has not always held such trust between teachers and administration.…

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Pilot Teacher Evaluation System Slow to Gain Traction in Newark

Superintendent Anderson “disappointed” in teachers union, moving ahead in half-dozen schools

By John Mooney

In New Jersey’s highest-profile school district, plans to test one of Gov. Chris Christie’s highest-profile reform initiatives have gotten off to a bumpy start with the teachers union.

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Pietro Petino, who led Newark teachers union through 4 strikes, dies after battle with cancer

SPRINGFIELD — Pietro Petino, remembered as one of the loudest voices for teachers’ labor rights in Newark, died at his home Friday night after a nearly 15-month battle with cancer.

The 68-year-old Springfield resident spent more than 40 years working with the Newark Teachers Union, Local 481, serving most recently as the union’s executive director.

“He was a huge part of the union, from the day that I started teaching back in 1970.…

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$100M grant from Mark Zuckerberg begins to have effect on Newark schools

Newark Teachers Union President Joe Del Grosso said he is troubled by the ongoing secrecy surrounding the Facebook donation.

“We don’t know what the foundation is doing or how they intend to spend the other money,” Del Grosso said. “With that money comes a responsibility to the public to be clear about its use.”

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Wilson Avenue School Closure Sign of Neglect Pre-Hurricane Irene

Newark Teachers Union calls for restoration of vital Ironbound community school

NEWARK…One child brought a sign that read, “We deserve a healthy, safe environment” before she was bused away from Newark’s Wilson Avenue School. Another little girl cried. As parents brought their elementary and middle-school age children to the first day of school, they found buses shipping off students to the Central Ward or to Belleville. …

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Wilson Avenue School Closure Sign of Neglect Pre‐Hurricane Irene

Newark Teachers Union calls for restoration of vital Ironbound community school

NEWARK…One child brought a sign that read, “We deserve a healthy, safe environment” before she was bused away from Newark’s Wilson Avenue School. Another little girl cried. As parents brought their elementary and middle‐school age children to the first day of school, they found buses shipping off students to the Central Ward or to Belleville.…

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A Snapshot of Newark’s New School Year: Pivotal and Promising

[…] Joseph DelGrosso, head of the Newark Teachers Union, has commended Anderson for her inclusion of the union in the development of the teacher evaluation pilot, he said other places still need work, with agreements not yet in place on extended days and other extraordinary measures for the lowest-performing schools.

“I’m hoping for a smooth opening, but there are some still unresolved issues,” said DelGrosso.…

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Newark School Board Votes to Fight State Control of Schools

Acting commissioner Chris Cerf extends olive branch, willing to discuss “orderly transition”
By John Mooney

It took an extra week, but Newark’s school board last night finally met and voted unanimously to formally contest the state’s ongoing control of its schools.

Yet almost at the same time, New Jersey’s acting education commissioner, Chris Cerf, extended an olive branch and said in an interview that he would be willing to sit with the board to discuss the ongoing tensions and the ultimate possibility of what he called an “orderly transition.”…

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Joe Del Grosso critiques ‘Wall Street approach to education’

Newark Teachers Union President Joseph Del Grosso said he opposes cheating emphatically and that teachers who cheat risk their careers at students’ expense. “As we become more ingrained in a Wall Street approach to education — where we give merit pay to teachers that increase test scores — we are inviting teachers to flirt with the temptation to cheat,” Del Grosso said.…

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New Newark Superintendent Takes Quiet First Steps into Restive City

So, in the wake of Christie’s announcement a month ago, one of Anderson’s early meetings was at the downtown New Jersey Performing Arts Center restaurant with Joseph Del Grosso, the president of the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) who was reelected to his ninth term yesterday.

Anderson wouldn’t be interviewed for this article, but DelGrosso yesterday called the hour-long introduction a “cordial meeting, a good meeting.…

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