Archive for May, 2010

Human Rights World Report

Now in its twentieth year,  HRW reviews human right abuses throughout the world. Highlights of the report, in all their chilling detail, can be read as well; previous volumes are also available. Compare this to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices published by the State Department. A previous blog entry on this topic contains many more relevant links.

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2010 Memorial Day Observances

The Bergen Record lists several parades, parades in New York cities/towns can be found as well as those in  Mercer County and in various parts of New Jersey. More New Jersey parades can be found here.

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Kean University Eliminating Colleges/Departments

Kean University, among the largest higher education instituions in the state, is no stranger to controversy. The newest plan is to replace all chairpersons with non-tenured administrators and return the chairs to teaching duties. In addition, the different colleges will be converted into various “schools.” More information is found at: nj.com, insidehigher ed (May 5, and the May 7 issue contains a link to the draft proposal), northjersey.com, and mindingthecampus.com.

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Reading Scores for Urban School Districts

It is a mixed bag, according to Reading 2009: Trial Urban District Assessment. Eighteen urban school districts participated in this latest go-round, and the results were compared against both national and large city results(large city being defined as having a population of more than 250,000). Some urban districts made progress, but most did not. Urban districts closest to NJCU include New York City and Philadelphia. These figures come as part of  the larger The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009 survey. Results for New Jersey (and all other states, along with comparison tables) in the various report cards (mathematics, reading, science, and writing) are available online as well. All of these surveys are  subsumed under the NAEP. What is the NAEP? “The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.”(overview) News reports are to be found at: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Atlanta Constitution, and The San Diego Union Tribune.

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Coverage of May 22 Trenton Rally

Here are some of the more informative articles: from nj.com (with photos and videos), World Socialist Web Site, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jersey Journal, NorthJersey.com, and PolitickerNJYouTube videos are available as well as photos on Flickr. Here is an article, with photos, detailing past protests in Trenton. NJN coverage is also available.

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Additional Biographies/Writings of Elena Kagan

Ms. Kagan is no stranger to the Washington corridors of power. She served during the Clinton years as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy as well as Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council. As such, she was actively involved in a wide variety of policy decisions. Some of her writings can be found here and here courtesy of the William J Clinton Presidential Library. More biographies can be found at both Decision Makers and whorunsgov.

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Teacher Salaries in New Jersey

With all the talk in New Jersey about teacher salaries, this is as good a time as any to put some real figures out to the public. The median salary in New Jersey is $57,467; in Jersey City, it is $52,623. This interactive map gives the salary figures for all the school districts in Bergen and Passaic counties along with selected districts in Morris and Hudson Counties, while this link allows you to look at every school district in the state, including charter schools. These figures should be used in conjunction with the administrator salaries which have also been published. How do salaries here compare with other states? There is no one source which will give the absolute best answer because of the varying criteria used to factor out what a “salary” actually is. (For more on this topic, please read An Exploratory Analysis of the Content and Availability of State Administrative Data on Teacher Compensation. NCES, 2008) But there are some reports which should be consulted: The 2009 Compensation Survey (American Federation of Teachers); Occupational Employment Statistics (Bureau of Labor Statistics); 2009 Rankings of the States (National Education Association) ; and 2009 Digest of Education Statistics (table #79 (p.118) – Estimated Average Annual Salary…).

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