It’s time to do something about it!
The Study Commission on the Use of Student Assessments in New Jersey just announced it will be holding three public testimony sessions next week. They’ve heard plenty from the usual group of education policy wonks.  Now it’s time for them to hear from the people who really know what’s happening in classrooms across New Jersey. This is your chance, but time is short! Read More

March 2015

7

NJEA Priority Schools Statewide Conference

20

NJEA Executive Committee Meeting/CPC

21

NJEA Delegate Assembly Meeting

INSIGHT & OPINION
NEWS
FOCUS NJEA

Tests don't teach...we do!

On The Table

For the second month in a row, the cover of the Review highlights the growing concern over the explosion of high-stakes standard­ized testing in our public schools. I won’t rehash all the reasons that parents, students and educators alike are frustrated by this development. This month’s and last month’s issues do that in great detail. But I want to highlight one problem with the testing-all-the-time approach that especially bothers me: the lack of respect it demonstrates for the women and men who work in our public schools.

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EDITORIAL

Pension funds RIGHT to sue governor
It may have come six months after NJEA and other public employee unions filed their lawsuit to compel the governor to fund the pension system according to a law he signed, but it is welcome news that the boards of trustees of three of the state’s employee pension funds have filed their own lawsuit asking for the same thing. Read more

SnappShots
Have you submitted a photo using the NJEA app? Check out the SNappSHOTS gallery to see if your photo made the cut!

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

Christina Cucci

NJ library media specialist selected as emerging leader
The New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL), the professional organization for school librarians in the state of New Jersey, has announced that Christina Cucci, Library Media Specialist at Reynolds School in Upper Saddle River, NJ, has been selected to participate in the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2015 class of Emerging Leaders. Read More

Tracey Espiritu
Photo credit: Steve Hockstein, NJ Advance Media
NJEA member wins Milken Educator Award
Tracy Espiritu, a teacher at the Dr. Albert Einstein Academy - School 29 in Elizabeth, and a member of the Elizabeth EA, recently received the Milken Educator Award, a $25,000 prize given to exemplary elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists.  Read More

PARTNERSHIPS

Michael & Olive Giles

SPOTLIGHT ESP
NJEA and BEN-FM have partnered to educate the public about the important role Educational Support Professionals play in our schools and in our communities. Each month, BEN-FM features an NJEA ESP member in a 60-second radio ad talking about the contributions they make in their students’ education. Read More

INNOVATION IN EDUCATION

Digital Learning Day
Imagine traveling the world and connecting with experts on a multitude of topics without leaving the classroom. Thanks to Google Hangout, students at Edith Ort Thomas Elementary School in Frenchtown participate in Digital Learning Day. Read More

Other Blogs/Sites

Headline News

On the Web

ClassWish.org is a nonprofit organization that lets anybody make tax-deductible contributions to fund any resources for any school or any teacher in the country. Teachers, administrators and officers of teacher-parent organizations can create a Wish List of the resources their students need to succeed, and supporters can contribute toward school-wide needs at any K-12 school or towards specific teacher needs. More On-the-Web resources

Pension funds have their day in court

Mercer County Courthouse
On Jan. 15, Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson heard oral arguments regarding the state’s obligation to make pension payments demanded by Chapter 78, the pension funding law Gov. Christie fought for and signed in 2011.  Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

Minority Leadership Conference set for April 24-25

Minority Leadership & Recruitment Conference

The presentation of the 2015 Ethnic Minority Affairs & Leadership Image Award and the 2015 Equality Champion Award will kick off this year’s NJEA Minority Leadership and Recruitment Conference on April 24-25.

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MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Steinhauer: NJEA far from alone on PARCC concerns

Melissa Katz
Earlier today, nearly 100 people testified at an open hearing of the NJ State Board of Education.  Nearly all addressed issues related to high-stakes standardized testing, and nearly all expressed concerns about the rapid expansion and misuse of those tests. Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

Register for the NJEA Legislative Conference

American Flag
What happens in the schoolhouse is affected by what happens in the Statehouse. That’s why when it comes to legislation and politics,  it’s vital that NJEA members get educated, get organized and get involved.  The 2015 NJEA Walter J. O’Brien Legislative and Political Action Conference provides you with an opportunity for all three. Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

NEA National Leadership Summit

NEA Leadership Development Summit
Education leaders from across the country are invited to register for the second annual NEA National Leadership Summit. Join more than 1,500 educators who will discuss common themes of professional empowerment, teacher engagement, and impactful student-centered techniques for academic improvement. Read More

MORE TEACHING & LEARNING

Are you a special education advocate?

As New Jersey prepares for the first statewide administration of PARCC, do you have concerns about special needs students taking this assessment? The NJEA Exceptional Children Committee focuses on issues that affect children with special needs. The committee is asking educators, parents and community members to submit their concerns regarding the upcoming PARCC administration. Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

Pension boards sue state over funding failure

Seek to hold Christie accountable for “sins of political expediency”

TPAF Letters
The Boards of Trustees that oversee the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and other New Jersey public employee pension systems have filed suit against the state over Gov. Christie’s refusal to make legally required payments into the funds. In a statement sent to the International Business Times, the chairmen of the boards harshly criticized the Governor’s actions. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Senate confirms Hespe

David Hespe
Today, the New Jersey Senate unanimously approved the nomination of David Hespe as Commissioner of Education.  Mr. Hespe has been serving as Acting Commissioner since March.  During his tenure he has demonstrated a willingness to engage in conversation with NJEA and to listen to educators on critical issues affecting our public schools. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Parents and Educators react to taking the PARCC Test

Parents and educators react to their experience taking the PARCC test at Delran Education Association's "Take the PARCC" event on Dec. 3.

Evaluation Resources

DON'T MISS

Latino Action Network Legislative Conference
The Latino Action Network will host its annual Legislative Conference on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Crystal Room, Robert Treat Hotel Conference Center in Newark. The event will include a full program, with keynote presentations and dynamic workshops with panels discussing a full array of issues of great importance to New Jersey's Latino community.

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NOMINATIONS FOR IMAGE AWARD OPEN
NJEA is accepting nominations for the 2015 Ethnic Minority Affairs & Leadership Image Award, which honors members who have been champions of ethnic minority rights/issues and have significantly affected education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their ethnicity.

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NOMINATIONS FOR EQUALITY CHAMPION AWARD OPEN
NJEA is accepting nominations for the 2015 Equality Champion Award, which honors members who have been champions in defense of human and civil rights that have significantly affected education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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SPOTLIGHT

NJ teachers are Youth Art Month Award winners
Two NJ art educators have been selected by the Council for Art Education as recipients of the Claire Flanagan Memorial (Grand) Award, one of the 2014 Youth Art Month Awards. Based on submissions from participating states, The Council for Art Education Board of Directors voted to recognize Patricia Branche, South River Education Association member and Teri Trumpbour, a member of the Manasquan Education Association, among the Youth Art Month Chairpersons for outstanding participation in their states’ 2013/2014 Youth Art Month Program.

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CLASSROOM CLOSE-UP, NJ

Classroom Close-Up, NJ

NJEA’s television show is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Visit the website to learn more about the Emmy-winning, 30-minute weekly series that focuses on the great things happening in New Jersey's public school. Visit the video library to see thousands of stories that have aired over the past two decades.

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MEMBER BENEFITS

NEA Complimentary Life Insurance
Did you know that all NJEA members have free life insurance through NEA? All you have to do is identify your beneficiary! You may also purchase additional life insurance through NEA.

NEA Savings Program

Member Benefits

MEMBER DISCOUNTS

Your NJEA membership card is your ticket to discounts on merchandise, insurance, entertainment, travel, and personal legal services.

ENTER WEB GIVEAWAY

NJREA

Peggi Haynes
Mt. Laurel BOE honors retired member

NJREA member Peggi Haynes, former Pennsauken teacher and NJEA Priority Schools consultant, was recently honored by the Mt. Laurel Board of Education for her years of dedication to the families of Mt. Laurel. As part of her recognition, a building was dedicated in her name! Congratulations, Peggi!

SCHOOL BUZZ

Report says New Jersey has the top school system in the country
New Jersey has the best school system in the country, according to a recent report. Wallet Hub released its rankings of the best and worst school systems in the country. To compile its list, the finance website looked at a number of factors, including test scores, dropout rates and pupil to teacher ratios. The Garden State earned the top honors, followed by Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, respectively.

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