|11-3-16 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Wide Achievement Gap Persists Despite New PARCC Exams
Still release of school-by-school scores reveals many gains virtually statewide
For all the changes that the state’s new PARCC testing has wrought for New Jersey’s public schools, one constant has prevailed: a wide and deep achievement gap.
The Christie administration yesterday released the school-by-school test scores from the second year of the new online testing last spring, and like the statewide scores released this summer, they should be mostly good news for schools.
Follow this Link to see your school’s scores.
Statewide, there were gains in passing rates in virtually every grade and most of the subgroups. Yesterday, state officials said nearly half of the students in many grades moved up a full tier in performance.
Nonetheless, the gaps in performance between students from families with different incomes or of different races have clearly persisted and even may have even widened in some cases under PARCC.
John Mooney | November 3, 2016
NJ Spotlight--Newark School Chief Urges End to LIFO
Lawsuit argues layoffs should be based on merit, not seniority, while union says that would leave schools vulnerable to politics
The chief of New Jersey's largest school district yesterday firmly offered support for the arguments behind a new lawsuit against the state, which challenges the law protecting senior teachers from layoffs.
Chris Cerf, who was Gov. Chris Christie’s state education commissioner before taking the job of Newark schools superintendent, said the state’s "last in, first out" or LIFO seniority rules are a "serious, serious problem for us" as the cash-strapped district struggles to cover the cost of ineffective teachers who have been rejected from teaching positions but remain on the payroll.
Calling the LIFO law “morally unjustified,” Cerf listed it as one of the continuing challenges the Newark school district faces, along with an expired teacher contract, insufficient funding, and attracting and retaining talented teachers. He made the remarks while updating the state Board of Education on progress in the state-controlled district.
Meir Rinde | November 3, 2016
Star Ledger--N.J. public worker pension fund now the weakest in U.S., report says
The Garden State's public pension fund has languished near the bottom, but has now dropped below Kentucky and Illinois for last place, according to the report.
Their analysis compared the states' funding ratios, or their assets in relation to their pension debt.
As of July 1, 2015, New Jersey's state and local pension funds have just 37.5 percent of the funding it needs to pay for future benefits. That is based on new reporting standards that require the state to project lower investment returns and had bleak consequences for the state's estimates.
Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| November 02, 2016 at 6:55 PM, updated November 03, 2016 at 7:07 AM
Press of Atlantic City--Groups challenging N.J. high school graduation test requirement
Garden State Coalition of Schools