Author Archive: Marie Corfield

Franklin Twp update: No, Ms. Stanley, it’s not your opinion. You’re just wrong

If you’ve been following the controversy over Franklin Township (Somerset) Board of Education President Ed Potosnak’s graduation speech last month, (Franklin Reporter here; Blue Jersey here, here, here; NJ.com here), you know that last night was the first board meeting after board member Patricia Stanley sent a letter to Ed, an openly gay man, and the rest of the board calling for his resignation because he dared to spend approximately 1:30 out of a seven and a half minute speech talking about how the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage-handed down that same day-affected his life.  

Update on One Parent vs. #OneNewark

Cross-posted from Marie Corfield. Promoted by Rosi.

Yesterday I wrote about Frankie Adao of Newark’s Parent Power Movement infiltrating a One Newark enrollment center to gain information for parents who are not being provided with it.

Frankie just posted this on Facebook (emphasis mine):

This is some of the crap charters in Newark are pulling. I also spoke to another parent at the Enrollment Center today. First her daughter, without parental guidance, picked where she wanted to go to high school. [This girl was on the] honor roll from 5th – 8th grade, but didn’t score too well on testing. One choice she picked was a charter. The charter told her she didn’t have the stamina to keep up with the pace of the school and would be best served in a traditional public school.

The struggle continues…

One Parent Investigates #OneNewark

Want to know what’s up? Follow the Newark Parent Power Movement on Facebook and Twitter @ParentPowerMov. Follow the Newark Students Union on Facebook and Twitter @NewarkStudents. Please also join the convo at @BlueJersey and @mariecorfield. Cross-posted with Marie Corfield and promoted by Rosi.

#PARENTPOWER

This is what parents in the state controlled Newark Public School District must resort to now that their children’s democratic right to a “thorough and efficient education” has been denied.

Since its inception, embattled former Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s ill-conceived One Newark plan that was supposed to provide more school choice and ‘fix’ ‘failing schools’, has been an unmitigated disaster.

From increased segregation, to siblings being bussed to different schools all over the city, to punishing schools that serve a higher population of special needs students, to actually denying parents the right to send their children to the school of their choice, this bureaucratic nightmare has been roundly rejected by parents and students. And despite an Empirical Critique of One Newark by Rutgers University’s Dr. Bruce Baker and doctoral candidate Mark Weber (aka. Jersey Jazzman) highlighting the deep flaws and inequities of the program, it has been ‘damn the torpedos and full speed ahead’ at 2 Cedar Street.  

But Newark’s families never let up. Their vociferous protests were the driving force behind Anderson’s departure. And with her, they assumed would go One Newark. But such is not the case. As a new school year looms and a new superintendent (former NJ Education Commissioner Chris Cerf) takes the helm, school registrations began yesterday.  

Data does not a great teacher make

Cross-posted from Marie Corfield. Promoted by Rosi.

And so the data reporting begins.

The Star Ledger reported this weekend:

For the first time, New Jersey’s Department of Education will publish a centralized database with the aggregate teacher evaluation results for each school across the state.

The 2013-14 data, to be released next week, will not include performance ratings for specific teachers. But parents will be able to see how many teachers in a school received each of the four possible ratings, according to the state….Before 2013-14, teachers were essentially graded on a thumbs up or thumbs down system, based on a century-old law that required evaluations. Nearly 100 percent of teachers were deemed acceptable….More than 97 percent of New Jersey teachers received positive evaluation scores for 2013-14, the state announced in June (Hmmm… 97% isn’t that ‘nearly 100%’? Just sayin’.) But unlike previous years, the new system creates more distinction between perforance levels and allows the state to further analyze the data for useful trends.

For example, teachers in their first or second year were twice as likely to receive a “partially effective” review as more expereinced teachers.

Meanwhile, experienced teachers were twice as likely to get the highest rating. (emphasis mine)

Ah, ya gotta love the irony. Nothing screams, “We need excellent educators in every classroom!” like underfunding public education, piling enormous amounts of data collection and test prep on top of all the mountains of work classroom teachers already have, blaming, shaming, disrespecting, devaluing, under-paying, slashing and burning, VAM-ing and scaming us into thinking all of this is good ‘for the children’. No wonder 40-50% of educators leave the profession within the first 5 years.