|At last November’s NJEA Convention, Delsea EA member Christine Onorato told members of the State Board of Education that districts are struggling to implement the unfunded mandates of Common Core, AchieveNJ and PARCC.|
For many NJEA members, the 2013-14 school year was one like no other. Confusion over the new evaluation system and anger over misuse of the new tenure law created an atmosphere of frustration and uncertainty. At the same time, more and more districts found themselves led by self-proclaimed education reformers who have little or no experience in the classroom.
Fortunately, this September offers reasons for hope. Thanks to a massive lobbying effort by NJEA members, the state finally agreed to important changes to the AchieveNJ educator evaluation system in July.
One month later, an arbitrator cleared Belleville EA President Mike Mignone of 11 of 12 tenure charges and Mignone was reinstated with back pay. Belleville’s superintendent had filed the charges, and its board of education had certified them, when Mignone questioned the district’s decision to install a $2 million surveillance system despite being unable to provide students and staff with basic supplies.
Later in August, the Highland Park Board of Education negotiated a separation agreement with Superintendent Timothy Capone. The agreement came only one year after Capone had been hired. But his tenure included charges of union-busting and a deliberate failure to communicate causing the formation of the grassroots community group, Highland Park Cares about Schools (HPCAS). How HPCAS and the Highland Park Education Association fought back against Capone’s corporate education reform agenda provides lessons for local associations across New Jersey.
Read all about it in your September Review or the tablet Review
For more information on changes to AchieveNJ, read “In the end, they heard us” in your September issue (Page 23). For the Belleville story, turn to Page 17. The feature article, “Highland Park rising,” starts on Page 40.
And don’t forget that the Review is now available in a tablet version. The easy-to-navigate tablet version features additional content and photos, as well as video and live links. It also makes it easy to share your favorite stories on social media. You will receive a push notification each month when the new issue of the magazine is available.
Go to your app store and download the Review today.