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10-19-11 More Education News
Department of Education submits its latest Race to the Top application today

Njspotlight.com - Latest Round of Charter Applications Filed with Education Department…In a field 42 charter applicants, some have been considered -- and rejected -- before

Department of Education submits Race to the Top application today

Njspotlight.com - Latest Round of Charter Applications Filed with Education Department…In a field 42 charter applicants, some have been considered -- and rejected -- before

 

Department of Education submits Race to the Top application today

Trenton, NJ - The Department of Education today submitted the state's

application for the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge to the US

Department of Education.  This application would help to improve the

quality of programs for over 75,000 low-income children from birth to

age five in non-Abbott school districts across New Jersey.  To advance

this initiative,  Governor Christie signed Executive Order 77

establishing the Early Learning Commission, which is charged with

recommending improvements to the quality of, and access to, early

learning and development programs in the state by coordinating early

childhood education, health, and development programs across Departments

and expanding New Jersey's Quality Rating Improvement System. This

Commission will be chaired by the Commissioner of Education and include

the Chairperson of the New Jersey Council for Young Children and

representatives from the Department of Children and Families, the

Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Department of Human

Services.

 

"We are committed to ensuring that we prepare all students, regardless

of zip code, for success in college and career.  In order to do that,

children must first be ready for kindergarten," said Acting Commissioner

Christopher D. Cerf.  "Through close collaboration with the Departments

of Children and Families, Health and Senior Services, and Human

Services, and stakeholders from across the state, we have developed a

proposal that we believe will truly transform early learning and

development programs in New Jersey and will strengthen early literacy

skills.  While the application now is out of our hands and we can't

control whether we win this competition, we can control the steps we

take to begin to move this from a plan to reality.  We are already hard

at work with partners from across the state to lay the groundwork for

this new system."

 

The Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge application builds on the

success of the existing State Preschool Program to provide support and

oversight to ensure that over 75,000 low-income children from birth to

age five in early childhood centers throughout New Jersey all benefit

from a high-quality program. The plan does not create new early

childhood programs, but does expand the support and oversight of

existing programs serving low-income students across the state.

 

The application is based around four major priorities:

 

1.Improve the quality of existing early learning programs by expanding

NJ's Quality Rating Improvement System. NJ's Quality Rating Improvement

System sets standards for high-quality early childhood programs,

assesses program quality, and provides training and technical assistance

to operators to improve. First piloted by the Build New Jersey Partners

for Early Learning (Build NJ) consortium in 2007, NJ's Quality Rating

Improvement System sets high standards for programs in six key areas:

program and learning environment, family engagement, health and safety,

professional development, personnel, and business practices. Through

NJ's Quality Rating Improvement System, participating early childhood

programs will receive a state quality rating, which will serve as a

"Consumer Reports" for parents in evaluating early childhood centers for

their children.

 

2.Improve educator effectiveness in existing early childhood programs.

In order to ensure that all children are served by high-quality staff,

the plan will offer participating educators training in comprehensive

early childhood curricula and assessment systems through regional

trainings. In addition, the state will focus on increasing the number of

early childhood educators with core knowledge and greater credentials by

providing tuition assistance and support to existing educators to obtain

early childhood credentials.

 

3.Increase family access to information. In addition to providing

families with program quality information through NJ's Quality Rating

Improvement System, which will help parents make informed decisions when

selecting early childhood programs, the plan will create county-level

councils that will engage parents and community members about the extent

to which NJ's Quality Rating Improvement System works for families.

 

4.Improve use of data to strengthen programs and child performance. The

plan will connect data systems across state departments through the

creation of NJ-EASEL (New Jersey Enterprise Analysis for Early

Learning), which will improve tracking of individual children and

programs. In addition, it will enable a study to ensure that NJ's

Quality Rating Improvement System effectively differentiates quality of

program and the development of children. Lastly, the plan will capture

children's competencies and skills upon entry to kindergarten to better

understand how well current programs are preparing children for

kindergarten.

 

The development of the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge

application was a collaborative effort across state agencies, led by the

Department of Education. The DOE coordinated over the last several

months with leaders from the Department of Children and Families, the

Department of Human Services, and the Department of Health and Senior

Services. In addition, the application has received letters of support

from stakeholders across the state including school districts, higher

education institutions, early learning and development organizations,

community-based organizations, legislators, foundations, professional

associations, and families.

 

The Executive Order can be found HERE

http://www.state.nj.us/education/news/2011/1019rttt.htm

 

Njspotlight.com - Latest Round of Charter Applications Filed with Education Department…In a field 42 charter applicants, some have been considered -- and rejected -- before

By John Mooney, October 19 in Education|Post a Comment

Here we go again.

With the previous round just finished, another 42 applications for new charter schools were filed by this week's deadline. Some are sure to spark off the by-now recognizable debate about charters in some familiar -- and not so familiar -- places.

Related Links

Three of the most contentious applications from the last round -- all rejected -- have filed again. They are a Hebrew language school in Middlesex County, a Mandarin language school in Essex County, and a charter high school for Montclair that is now making its fifth try.

In all, 12 of the 42 applications are making at least their second bids for the state's approval, according to the education department.

With much of the tensions over charters coming out of the suburbs, there are new proposals for suburban communities in Bergen County, in Clifton of Passaic County, and in Voorhees in Camden County, which is already contesting a new school approved in nearby Cherry Hill.

There is also another virtual charter being proposed, seeking to be the third approved by the state. The Garden State Virtual Academy has bid to be an online school out of Teaneck for 1,000 students, kindergarten through 12th grade. Virtual schools have already been approved in Newark and in Monmouth County, although neither has opened yet.

Still, the vast majority of the bids remain in urban areas, with four applications each in the cities of Camden, Newark, Jersey City, and Trenton. Essex County is seeing the most applications of any of the counties, with eight.

New Jersey now has 80 charter schools in operation, serving close to 30,000 students. Another 25 are slated to open next fall. Four of those were approved by the state in the last round of applications, out of 50 applicants.

 


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828