State Eases Up On Tougher Standards For Teacher Training, Licensing

The following is an article fromn NJSpotlight.com, here is a link to the article:

administration heeds calls for slower implementation of some of its proposed changes

Three months after they were first proposed, the Christie administration’s voluminous revisions to the state’s teacher preparation and certification requirements are still being fine-tuned, with the state stepping back from a couple of the more aggressive changes.

The latest revisions were posted last week, in a lead-up to a special public hearing to be held May 20 before the State Board of Education.

Some of the changes to the original proposal presented in February pertain to requirements for prospective teachers in college or other teacher-preparation programs, as well as for those already in the profession.… Read the rest

Christie Warns Parents Opting Out Of Parcc Could Trigger Reduced Services, Higher Local Taxes

The following is an article from NJ.com, here is a link to the article:

CEDAR GROVE — Gov. on Thursday strongly cautioned parents against opting out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, warning that schools with high rates of refusal would face “ramifications out of my control.”

Addressing a question at a town hall in Cedar Grove from Colleen Martinez, a Montclair parent who said that her daughter had opted out of the test and would continue to do so “as long as it’s administered,” Christie noted that in schools that fell below a certain threshold, sanctions could flow from both the federal government and the state of New Jersey.… Read the rest

Chris Christie Says New Jersey Finances ‘Significantly Better’ Than 2010

The following is an article from Bloomberg.com, here is a link to the article:

The second-term Republican has presided over a record nine credit downgrades.

New Jersey Governor , who has presided over a record nine credit downgrades, said the state’s finances are “significantly better” than when he took office.

, a second-term Republican who may run for president, said during a town-hall meeting in Cedar Grove on Thursday that the state was three weeks away from running out of cash when he took the helm in January 2010.

“It has gotten significantly better,” he said during the event.… Read the rest

Chris Christie Gave Millions More Pension Dollars To Donor’s Firm Than Disclosed, Documents Show

The following is an article from the International Business Times, here is a link to the article:

New Jersey rules require Republican Gov. Chris ’s administration to cancel investment contracts with firms whose officials raise or donate money to the governor’s political campaigns. But his administration has paid more than $16 million in pension fees to the financial firm that was led by ’s chief fundraiser and top donor, Jon Hanson.

The money — far more than previously disclosed — flowed to Hanson’s company, Prudential Financial, and its related funds that the state pension system has invested in. The new information, obtained through an open records request by International Business Times, comes as the Christie administration is facing a government investigation into whether it has fully disclosed all fees paid to financial firms — some of whose executives have made donations to GOP groups backing Christie.… Read the rest

Asbury Park Schools Begin Partnership With Scholastic

The following is an article from the Asbury park Press, here is a link to the article:

To address what school officials say is the “root cause” of the district’s academic failures, Asbury Park Schools have entered a $3.4 million partnership with Scholastic for a literacy-focused program.

Scholastic — a global education and children’s publishing company— will spend the next four years implementing a variety of its reading programs in the classrooms and training teachers and administrators on how to use new tools.

Asbury Park faces drastically low literacy levels that have resulted in abysmal test scores and poor overall academic performance compared to its peer schools.… Read the rest

Education Spending Climbs Slightly In Christie’s Proposed Spending Plan

The following is an article from NJSpotlight.com, here is a link to the article:

But most districts would see no aid hike as state once again fails to ‘fully fund’ school-spending formula

Gov. ’s proposed $12.8 billion in funding for New Jersey’s public schools for next year, the single biggest slice of his state budget, gets its first close-up from the Legislature today.
State Education Commissioner David Hespe will testify before the state Assembly’s budget committee this morning in defense of the multifaceted budget proposal, which is as much a political document as a financial one.

Much like his boss, Hespe is sure to highlight the proposed funding increase – albeit slight – for the state’s school districts.… Read the rest

NJEA Shuts Down Pension Talks With Christie Administration

The following is an article from NJ.com, here is a link to the article:

TRENTON — The New Jersey Education Association announced Tuesday it’s cutting off talks with the administration over any reforms to the public worker retirement system.

The teachers unions had agreed to work with a commission appointed by Gov. to shore up the troubled retirement system, which is underfunded by $90 billion. But that detente proved brief.

has notified the New Jersey Pension and Benefits Study Commission that our sole focus is ensuring that our members’ current are fully funded by the state, and that no further discussion will be occurring between the and the commission,” President said in a statement.… Read the rest

Technology Earns High Marks In Opening Round Of Online Testing

The following is an article from NJSpotlight.com, here is a link to the article:

While itself remains controversial, state officials report new computer platforms had high rate of success

As controversial as the new PARCC tests continue to be, the technology behind the state’s new online exams passed its own test this spring.

A total of 98 percent of the students who took the tests – more than 800,000 in all – successfully completed the first round of tests using new computer platforms that essentially had never before been used for that purpose, state officials reported this week.

It was the highest success rate, in terms of using computer platforms, among the dozen states administering the PARCC exams, they said.… Read the rest

Court Can’t Force Christie To Recommend Larger N.J. Pension Payment, State Attorney Argues

The following is an article from NJ.com, here is a link to the article:

TRENTON — Lawyers for the state argued in a brief filed Thursday that the court can not dictate how large a pension contribution Gov. recommends in his state budget proposal.

Responding to a lawsuit filed by public employee unions over a $1.3 billion pension payment included in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the state said ’s $33.8 billion spending plan was merely a first draft for the Legislature to consider, amend and ultimately adopt.

Christie’s recommendation is less than half of what is required under a 2011 law, and the unions contend Christie has breached their contractual right to a $3.07 billion pension payment in the next fiscal year.… Read the rest