PARCC legislation has been flying through the NJ Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support, but it’s hitting a roadblock in the Senate. It’s time to ask Senators to stand up and be counted on an issue that matters to parents, educators and voters in New Jersey. The info you need is inside. Please act now!

April 2015

15

NJEA Executive Committee Meeting

18

NJEA Priority Schools Information Conference

18

NJSEA Educational Leadership Matters Conference

23

NJREA Spring Luncheon & Meeting

27

School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

28

NJEA PAC Operating Committee Meeting

29

NEA Board of Directors Meeting (ends 5/2)

May 2015

2

NJEA Member Family Involvement Conference

3

National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week (Ends 5/9)

5

National Teacher Day

6

National School Nurses Day

15

NJEA Executive Committee Meeting/CPC

16

NJEA Delegate Assembly Meeting

INSIGHT & OPINION
NEWS
FOCUS NJEA

NJEA President: PARCC can't be fixed

On The TableAs expected, the PARCC exams are off to a rocky start in many places across New Jersey. Unavoidable weather delays aside, plenty of reports have cropped up of computers that won't log on, tests that suddenly close before students have finished and unreliable Internet access. It's enough to call into question the validity of any results and makes a strong argument for the state Senate to pass legislation already approved by the Assembly to delay the use of PARCC results for at least three years. Read More

EDITORIAL

Spying eyes
Do Pearson’s business interests trump the rights of students?
When Facebook revamped its privacy policies in 2009, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that users were growing less reticent about sharing personal information with more people. “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people.” Zuckerberg said. “That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.” It appears that those social norms have not evolved quickly enough for Pearson, which found itself at the center of a firestorm when parents discovered that the company was reading their children’s social media posts. Read More

Evaluation Resources

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

Colleen Leslie
ESP member wins school lounge makeover
California Casualty, provider of the NEA® Auto and Home Insurance Program, recently presented a $7,500 School Lounge Makeover® to Apshawa Elementary School in West Milford, New Jersey. The makeover was won by school secretary Colleen Leslie. Read More

Win a school lounge makeover

Christina Cucci

NJ library media specialist selected as emerging leader
The New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL), the professional organization for school librarians in the state of New Jersey, has announced that Christina Cucci, Library Media Specialist at Reynolds School in Upper Saddle River, NJ, has been selected to participate in the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2015 class of Emerging Leaders. Read More

PARTNERSHIPS

Teachers and ESP Who Rock
Got a colleague who ROCKS?

NJEA and WMGK-FM (Philadelphia) present South Jersey’s Teachers and ESPs who ROCK Contest. Winners receive tickets to WMGK’s Let Freedom Rock Fest, a restaurant gift card or a tablet. Nomination deadline is April 30. Read More

Mary Jo Nagy

SPOTLIGHT ESP
NJEA and BEN-FM have partnered to educate the public about the important role Educational Support Professionals play in our schools and in our communities. Each month, BEN-FM features an NJEA ESP member in a 60-second radio ad talking about the contributions they make in their students’ education. Read More

SnappShots
Have you submitted a photo using the NJEA app? Check out the SNappSHOTS gallery to see if your photo made the cut!

INNOVATION IN EDUCATION

Digital Learning Day
Imagine traveling the world and connecting with experts on a multitude of topics without leaving the classroom. Thanks to Google Hangout, students at Edith Ort Thomas Elementary School in Frenchtown participate in Digital Learning Day. Read More

Other Blogs/Sites

Headline News

On the Web

ClassWish.org is a nonprofit organization that lets anybody make tax-deductible contributions to fund any resources for any school or any teacher in the country. Teachers, administrators and officers of teacher-parent organizations can create a Wish List of the resources their students need to succeed, and supporters can contribute toward school-wide needs at any K-12 school or towards specific teacher needs. More On-the-Web resources

NJEA assails Christie budget

Governor’s choices hurt economy, middle class

Sean Spiller

NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller delivered the following testimony at the March 10th hearing of the Senate Budget Committee in Paramus. “NJEA and its members understand that budgets require difficult choices. After all, our members have to make the same kinds of tough choices when it comes to their own budgets, particularly in light of Chapter 78’s impact on their wallets. They have had to face the serious economic repercussions of increased pension contributions and mandatory premium sharing on health benefits while salary settlements with school districts have failed to keep pace with inflation"

Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

NJEA, other unions back in court over pension funding

Wendell Steinhauer

Following Gov. Christie’s budget address last week, where he announced his intention to violate the state’s pension funding law again next year, NJEA joined with other public employee unions to go back to court to enforce the law. 

Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

Members connect on evaluation at NJEA’s second Google Hangout

Google Hangout on Evaluation
Over 100 members and other educational advocates tuned in for NJEA’s second Google Hangout OnAir Live on Monday, March 9.  A panel of local association leaders detailed their efforts in empowering members to take control of the evaluation system. Read More

MORE TEACHING & LEARNING

Workers’ Memorial Day Rally

Join workers from unions, community organizations, and faith-based groups to observe Workers’ Memorial Day on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Workers Memorial Day is an international event to commemorate the thousands who are killed each year, and the millions who have suffered work-related injuries and illnesses. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

The Other PARCC

Parents Advocating Refusal on High-Stakes Testing

NJEA response to budget address

“We are deeply disappointed”

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer released the following statement in response to Gov. Christie’s budget address earlier today: "Throughout our discussions with the commission, we have focused on policy approaches that will benefit the state and our members. Unfortunately, today politics trumped policy. NJEA is deeply disappointed that Gov. Christie overstated the nature of the understanding we reached with the commission after many months of conversation." Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

PARCC bill passes Assembly

Senate must act next

Assembly vote
On Monday, Feb. 23 the Assembly voted 63-7 to pass A-4190, a bill to stop most high-stakes uses of PARCC for three years.  The overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill reflects the broad concern among parents, educators and voters about the harmful consequences of PARCC. Now it is up to the Senate to pass its version of the bill, S-2768. CONTACT YOUR SENATOR TODAY! Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

Assembly Ed Committee hears test reform bills

NJEA supports parent rights, high-stakes moratorium

Marie Blistan
NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan joined educators, parents and other child advocates today to testify in favor of three bills designed to slow down New Jersey’s headlong rush into high-stakes testing. Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

NJEA supports innovative healthcare proposal

Spiller: “I’m pleased we are moving forward”

Sean Spiller
Earlier today, NJEA participated in a press conference called by Senate President Steve Sweeney to announce a proposal for a new approach to providing high-quality, affordable health care to public employees in New Jersey. NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller spoke on behalf of NJEA in support of Sen. Sweeney’s approach to health care reform. Read More

MORE ISSUES & ACTION

Minority Leadership Conference set for April 24-25

Minority Leadership & Recruitment Conference

The presentation of the 2015 Ethnic Minority Affairs & Leadership Image Award and the 2015 Equality Champion Award will kick off this year’s NJEA Minority Leadership and Recruitment Conference on April 24-25.

Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

"Classroom Close-Up, NJ" nominated for Emmy Awards

Classroom Close-Up, NJ
NJEA’s Classroom Close-up, NJ has been nominated for three New York Emmy Awards. The awards will be announced at the 58th Annual New York Emmy® Awards Gala on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Read More

MORE NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

The Real Cost of PARCC

NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller addresses the educational and economic costs of PARCC testing.

High-stakes testing

DON'T MISS

Parent Leadership and Advocacy Conference
Speak up! Take action! Create change! Mark your calendar for the Parent Leadership and Advocacy conference on Saturday, April 18 at Montclair University.  This conference will focus on enhancing meaningful Parent Leadership across New Jersey's early childhood, education, health, mental health, family support, human services and child welfare systems. Learn more and register

Don’t miss April’s Higher Ed Conference
The NJEA Higher Education Conference will be held on April 17-18, at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal Village. The conference begins with registration and workshops at 1 p.m. on Friday followed by additional workshops, dinner and the keynote address.

Read More

Prize honors outstanding teaching of black American history
The New Jersey Historical Commission is accepting nominations for the Mildred Barry Garvin Prize. The prize carries an award of $1,500 to a New Jersey teacher, guidance counselor or school librarian for outstanding teaching of black American history at any grade level between kindergarten and high school.  The nomination deadline is May 1.

Read More

Garden State Equality and partners unveil statewide project to change school climates and end bullying Garden State Equality (GSE), along with several partners, recently unveiled a plan to have a measurable, positive, statewide impact on schools’ openness to diversity, including LGBT inclusivity. GSE and community partners plan to empower schools to be safe and affirming learning spaces for all students, including LGBT students, students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities. Learn more

SPOTLIGHT

ACEA FAST hosts its first Family Involvement Conference
The Atlantic City Education Association teamed up with the NJEA Families and Schools Together Work for Children (FAST) program to present its first Family Involvement Conference to about 65 families on Nov. 15. The event’s theme “Strengthening the Family Unit” held true with organizers providing a busy day filled with nonstop activity for families, top-notch speakers for parents, and lasting memories for all.

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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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MEMBER BENEFITS

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 Savings Program

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

NJREA

NEAToday cover story features NJREA
The New Jersey Retirees’ Education Association was recently featured in NEAToday Retired Magazine. The cover story, “In New Jersey, No Age limit for Activism,” details how NJREA is proof that a membership representing lifetimes of experience and a collective dedication to New Jersey public schools—along with support from NJEA—has breathed new life into campaigns that aim to significantly improve the lives of today’s teachers, education support professionals, and students. Read More

SCHOOL BUZZ

Data shows arts education in NJ schools continues to grow
New Jersey continues to lead the nation through the release of detailed arts education information to the public and the research findings look promising—a 4% increase in high school arts participation from the previous year with significant increases in dance and theater participation. These findings are based on the arts educator assignment data for all schools and the high school arts participation data from the New Jersey School Performance Reports just released by the New Jersey State Department of Education.

Read More