December's Message from the President and CEO
There have been times in 2012 that creating the conditions for all of Newark's children to be successful in a rapidly changing, complex world has felt like an insurmountable challenge. Yet there is not a day that goes by when we don't see some glimmer of hope that we are on a good path.
New data from Newark's Central High shows students are attending school at a higher rate than many of the other high schools. We know that students reference the climate and culture of the school as the main reason why they do their best to show up. While there are many factors that contribute to such a climate and culture, we also know that leadership matters. Kudos to Principal Ras Baraka.
Newark Trust for Education Names New Board Members
The Newark Trust for Education, Newark’s local education fund, named Essex County College President Dr. Edythe M. Abdullah, Newark Public Schools Advisory Board Chair Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, and NJPAC President John Schreiber, to its board of directors Tuesday, December 12.
“These three talented individuals compliment an already strong board, and will further assist the Trust’s efforts to ensure a quality public education for every Newark child. We are looking forward to their voices joining the chorus of civic stewards committed to strategic reform that raises student achievement for all,” said Ross Danis, Trust president and CEO.
Committee of Advocates Breakfast Hones in on Newark Teachers’ Contract
The Newark Trust for Education hosted its monthly Committee of Advocates panel discussion on November 29, taking a closer look at the groundbreaking teachers contract endorsed last month by the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) and Newark Public Schools (NPS).
The contract, noted for implementing a teachers’ bonus system based on an annual evaluation, received overwhelming support in last month’s union vote and is lauded for its forward thinking, standards-based approach. It has been met also with skepticism from some who worry about how the teacher evaluation process is designed.
“Is the new evaluation process designed to rid the district of ineffective teachers? Is it to improve the performance of teachers through feedback and coaching? Is it to make teachers more effective? These are the questions we’re going to have to answer,” said Ross Danis, Trust president & CEO.
Newark Contract Emphasizes Quality Teaching
In reaching an agreement on a teachers’ contract, Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson and Newark Teachers Union President Joe DelGrosso have demonstrated a remarkable degree of courage and discipline tempered by a shared desire to build a foundation for a vibrant future.
The agreement, which was approved last week by an overwhelming majority, has been described as groundbreaking because, for the first time, it awards teachers bonuses based on an annual evaluation.
Merit pay has long been an anathema to teacher’s unions that fear it creates a competitive environment at odds with the collegial nature of teaching.
But in an era of accountability, where work is defined by “deliverables,” there is no denying the growing pressure on teachers unions to adapt to a standards-based world. The intensity of this pressure is compounded by the scrutiny and attractiveness of the benefits and job security of teachers in a down economy. To a growing number of Americans – many of whom are pro-teacher and pro-union – being held accountable for outcomes, and connecting job performance to compensation and job security makes sense.