Opinion: What's good for our teachers is good for our students

by Mark Weber
Why is teaching the only profession in New Jersey (and the nation) where employees are criticized for standing up for themselves? Read more

April 2014

29

NJEA PAC Operating Endorsement Meeting

INSIGHT & OPINION
NEWS
FOCUS NJEA

Christie breaks the law - again

On The Table

When it comes to breaking promises – and the law – our governor takes a back seat to no one. While we will leave it up to federal prosecutors and others investigating the mounting scandals surrounding Chris Christie, on one particular matter there can be no further conjecture. He has deliberately and repeatedly violated the state’s school funding law, and our students are now more than $5 billion short of what the law says they need.

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EDITORIAL

The chorus is growing. Is anyone listening?
This month’s Review cover story is about the State Board of Education’s open topic public testimony in March. Many of the teachers who spoke or wrote letters that were delivered to State Board members cautioned against the growing number of tests that their students must take as a result of the AchieveNJ evaluation system. And they fear the PARCC assessments, set to begin next year, will continue to narrow the academic experiences of our students. Read More

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

Marie Blistan & Danielle Kovach
Hopatcong teacher receives special ed award
Danielle Kovach, a 3rd-grade special education teacher at Tulsa Trail Elementary School, has been selected to receive the 2014 Clarissa Hug Teacher of the Year Award from The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the world’s largest special education membership organization. Read more

Bridgewater-Raritan Teacher for a Day
Photo: nj.com
Bridgewater-Raritan schools host Teacher for a Day - On Friday, March 28, seven community members from the Bridgewater Raritan Regional School district volunteered to be part of the NJEA Teacher for a Day program, an event sponsored by the Bridgewater Raritan Education Association. Read More

PARTNERSHIPS

Roberta Rissling
Making a difference
Roberta Rissling has been a paraprofessional in the Township of Franklin Public Schools for the past ten years. She finds it extremely rewarding to work in the community where she lives. She works one-on-one with students who need extra help. She loves her job because she is making a big difference in the lives of her students. Read More

NJEA, Phillies sponsor student essay contest
The New Jersey Education Association has teamed up with the Philadelphia Phillies to sponsor a student essay contest open to all New Jersey public school students. The topic of the contest is “The people who build our great public schools.” Students are encouraged to write a short, but thoughtful essay about a school employee who builds morale and makes a difference in their school. Read More

INNOVATION IN EDUCATION

EdCamp
Edcamp STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) is an “unconference,” an opportunity for educators to work together to provide free, participant-driven professional development in a conversational format. Read More

Hurricane Sandy Back to School Effort

Other Blogs/Sites

Headline News

On the Web

PhD in Special Education features 101 Noteworthy Sites on Asperger's and the Autism Spectrum and aims to educate people on the needs of children and adults enrolled in special needs education classes. Read More

Media Gallery

Visit the Media Gallery to view photos, videos, and audio files from NJEA's television show, Classroom Close-up, NJ, special events, NJEA's television and radio commercials, and more.

NJEA Lobby Day - May 7

Share your experience with SGOs, PARCC, Evaluation

SBOE Lobby Day
Frustrated with SGOs, SGPs, PARCC, and evaluation? How did the PARCC field test go? Join us for a State Board of Education lobby day on Wednesday, May 7, where open topic testimony will be heard. Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

Celebrate teachers on May 6

2014 National Teacher Day
May 6, 2014 is National Teacher Day, a time for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives. That week, May 4-10, is designated Teacher Appreciation Week by the National PTA. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Taking Back Our Schools
Save Our Schools is partnering with advocacy groups to organize the Take Back Our Schools Rally on Saturday, May 17 at City Hall Park in Manhattan. Diane Ravitch will kick off the event, which aims to protest, demonstrate and celebrate the commitment to save public education.

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Wear jeans to support our troops

2014 Jeans for Troops
NJEA is proud to once again sponsor the GI Go Fund's Jeans for Troops program, which is raising funds to support the GI Go Transition Center for veterans who need assistance with employment, housing, education, and access to health care. Read More

MORE PARENTS & COMMUNITY

PARCC trial in your school?

Share your experience here

Speak out!
This spring, the New Jersey Department of Education is field testing the new PARCC exam in schools across New Jersey.  Some educators and parents have reported problems with the tests, which are currently slated for official use statewide next year. NJEA is collecting information from educators and parents in schools that have administered the trial PARCC exams. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Leadership conference provides training

Summer Leadership Conference
The 2014 NJEA Jack Bertolino Summer Leadership Conference will offer a broad menu of 35 training seminars that equip members to become stronger association advocates. Read More

MORE TEACHING & LEARNING

You can help James Monroe Elementary School

Gift cards provide flexibility

James Monroe H.S.
On March 22, James Monroe Elementary School in Edison was destroyed by fire. The school housed approximately 500 students in 40 classrooms. In the immediate aftermath of the fire donations poured in from NJEA members and the general public. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

NJEA will appeal charter ruling

Will also seek legislation barring all-virtual charters

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer issued the following statement in response to the ruling by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey on so-called “blended” charter schools: “Even though this ruling is limited to so-called ‘blended’ charters, NJEA intends to appeal it to the state Supreme Court." Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Steinhauer fires up Trenton rally crowd

Wendell Steinhauer - NAACP Rally
NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer energized a large crowd of pro-public education demonstrators gathered at the Statehouse today to protest the One Newark plan and other attacks on public education. Telling the crowd that there’s a lot that “doesn’t add up” these days, he called out Gov. Christie for his failure to fund education, his disregard for the concerns of parents and his frequent attacks on teachers and public schools. Read More

Belleville EA condemns board intimidation

Belleville EA President Mike Mignone
Belleville Education Association members, parents, and area residents appear to have touched a nerve when they questioned the board’s purchase of state-of-the-art surveillance technology. Parents and staff said instructional technology would have been a wiser investment to meet the demands of the Common Core State Standards. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Helping Drew

Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Teaneck's Bryant Elementary School get an early anti-bullying lesson from a teacher-produced puppet show called "Helping Drew". Elementary school educator Alex Ishkanian combines his passion for the performing arts and his education background to create engaging, dramatic program for elementary-school-aged students. Watch a clip of "Helping Drew" at www.upinarms.biz.

Evaluation Resources

DON'T MISS

NJEA seeks apprentices
Are you looking for a new challenge? Would you like to develop skills to prepare for an association leadership role? Have you thought about what it would be like to join the NJEA staff? Consider applying to be part of the 2014-15 NJEA Bolivar L. Graham Practicing Apprentice Program. Sign in for more information and application. Deadline is May 23.

Thank a Million Teachers
Farmers Insurance is giving away $2,500 grants to America’s teachers and you can help! Take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to an educator that’s made a difference in your life and your community. Every teacher who receives a thank you message is eligible to apply for a $2,500 grant to help pay for school supplies or professional certifications. Learn more

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Techstock attendees will create the agenda at NJEA's first unconference on July 16

On Wednesday, July 16, NJEA will hold its first unconference - Techstock 2014 - at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey will host the event. The registration fee is $35, but the fee for early-bird registration, which runs from Jan. 6 through April 30, is $25. Read More

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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CCU Video Contest

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 Cash Rewards Card

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

SPOTLIGHT

ESP Senate resolution
Senate honors NJEA ESP
The New Jersey Education Association and the New Jersey State Senate are proud of the state’s educational support professionals (ESP). On March 27, the Senate presented a resolution to the ESP throughout the state. It was received by New Jersey ESP of the Year Matt Brigandi, NJEA ESP Committee Chair Pat Lieberman, other members of the committee, and NJEA leadership. Read More

Warding off privatization, paraeducators gain strength and influence through organizing
The school team includes more than teachers. NEA Today has put the Old Bridge Education Association (OBEA) paraprofessionals in the spotlight with this article featuring paraeducators Nancy Cogland and Barbara Newman. They have taken grassroots organizing ideas from NJEA's Summer Leadership Conference and given them the opportunity to flourish back home. The results since August are astonishing.

SCHOOL BUZZ

Review exposes serious problems with oft-cited research on value-added teacher evaluation
It’s a study that got a great deal of attention in the press. Former New Jersey Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf even invited one of the study’s authors to speak at a State Board of Education meeting. But now it’s a study that has been exposed as having serious flaws according to Moshe Adler of the department of Urban Planning at Columbia University and the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Center for Labor Studies at Empire State College, SUNY. Adler reviewed the report put forth by economists Raj Chetty, John Friedman and Jonah Rockoff last year.

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