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

23

Administrative Professionals Day

24

NJREA Spring Luncheon & Meeting

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.

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

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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

NJEA VP urges better budget choices at press conference

Better Choices Press Conference - Marie Blistan
NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan today spoke at a press conference about the proposed state budget. Joining representatives from NJ Working Families, NJ Policy Perspective, NJ Sierra Club, NJ Citizen Action, SEIU, and a student from Rutgers University, Blistan urged legislators and the governor to make better decisions about scarce budget dollars. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Steinhauer statement on state pension contribution

NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer issued the following statement in regard to the state’s proposed FY2015 pension contribution: "Since the new pension law went into effect in 2011, NJEA has carefully watched the state’s contributions to ensure that New Jersey lives up to its obligations under the law, just as pension fund members always have.  Like many others, we were surprised to see that the state had made changes to its actuarial assumptions that led to a decrease in the state’s projected contribution in the upcoming year from $2.4 billion to $2.25 billion."

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MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Paterson EA rallies for fair contract

Paterson EA Rally
Paterson Education Association members and supporters flanked Paterson’s John F. Kennedy High School on Saturday while the district held a job fair.  Despite inclement weather, PEA members were not deterred.  They stood at each end of the campus driveway, and on a busy corner in between, holding signs saying “Fair Contract Now” and “Enough Is Enough” as job-fair attendees arrived for interviews. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

NTA endorses Baraka for mayor

Joyce McCree & Ras Baraka
The Newark Teachers Association, NJEA’s local affiliate in New Jersey’s largest city, today endorsed Ras Baraka for mayor. NTA president Joyce McCree issued the following statement regarding the endorsement: “NTA is proud to endorse Ras Baraka for Mayor. Ras believes in Newark and as mayor he will advocate for our community and our children." Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Day School

2011-12 Middlesex County Teacher of the Year Terri Thompson shares an unforgettable day with her students at the Piscataway Regional Day School, a facility for students with autism and severe multiple disabilities. None of her students are verbal or ambulatory, but with help of aids, nurses, therapists and parental support, Terri changes the lives of her special students.

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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