ARCHIVE FOR DECEMBER 2006
NEA RELEASES ANNUAL RANKINGS AND ESTIMATES REPORT (12/7/2006)
The National Education Association has released its annual report on state public education rankings and estimates. Part 1, Rankings 2005, includes demographic and fiscal data, and Part 2, Estimates 2006, includes projections on public school enrollment, employment, compensation and other expenditures. The report draws from data obtained from state departments of education and other government agencies.
New Jersey highlights include:
- New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, with 1,165 people per square mile, as compared to the national average, 82 people per square mile.
- New Jersey has the highest per-pupil expenditure in the country, $13,370, as compared to the national average, $8,661 (in 2004-05).
- Salaries for New Jersey teachers declined by 7.1 percent from 1994-95 to 2004-05, while the nationwide average increase was 0.2 percent.
NEA Research: Rankings and Estimates (11/2006)
NJDOE ANNOUNCES DISTRICTS IN NEED OF IMPROVEMENT (12/11/2006)
The New Jersey Department of Education announced this week that 54 school districts and six charter schools have been designated “Districts In Need of Improvement” under the No Child Left Behind Act.
For the second year, districts were designated based on a single criterion--the aggregated scores of all students in language arts literacy and math (as opposed to the disaggregated scores used to assess schools under NCLB). Districts and charter schools—treated as districts for this purpose—that fail to meet state proficiency levels to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years in both subjects receive the “DINI” designation.
The list of districts in need of improvement shows mixed trends. On the positive side, the number of designated districts decreased from 63 in 2005 to 60 in 2006. Nineteen districts on the list last year made AYP in 2006, and have been placed in “hold status.” They remain on the list, but will be removed if they make AYP again next year. Eight of the districts placed in “hold status” last year made AYP again this year, and have been removed from the list completely. They are: Lenape Regional, East Orange, Buena Regional, Jersey City, the Morris School District, Academy Charter High School in Monmouth County, Liberty Academy Charter School in Hudson County and Lady Liberty Academy Charter School in Essex County.
On the negative side, 13 of the 60 districts did not make AYP for four consecutive years and now face corrective action. This could include loss of federal funds, implementation of a new district curriculum or replacement of administrators and teachers. According to the NJDOE press release, these districts will be evaluated this Spring using the new NJ QSAC assessment process, and appropriate corrective action for each district will be determined based on that evaluation. The 13 districts in this category are: Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Camden, Camden County Vo-Tec, Elizabeth, Essex County Vo-Tec, Irvington, Lakewood, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Plainfield, and Trenton.
Press Release: DOE Identifies 60 NCLB “Districts In Need of Improvement” (12/5/2006)
SETON HALL CENTER FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE FILES CHARTER SCHOOL SUIT (12/22/2006)
Attorneys at the Seton Hall School of Law Center for Social Justice have filed an action on behalf of students attending charter schools in Newark, claiming the disparity in funding between charter schools and traditional public schools violates the students’ constitutional rights.
The plaintiffs allege that, pursuant to provisions of the state’s charter school law that exclude charter schools from Abbott funding and bar them from receiving facilities funding, charter school expenditures amount to $5,969 per pupil, compared to $15,658 per pupil in traditional public schools. They allege that these provisions, and the resultant funding disparity, violate the charter school students’ rights to equal protection under the New Jersey Constitution. They seek a declaration that the provisions are unconstitutional, and an order enjoining the state “to design public school funding provisions that do not violate the equal-protection guarantee of the New Jersey Constitution.”
The action was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Essex County.
Complaint: J.D. v. Davy