Bill Michaelson's blog

Awakening?

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At this moment, the New Jersey School Boards Association Delegate Assembly is convening. Representatives from school boards around the state have gathered to express the position of the Association. A vote was cast on a resolution offered by the delegation for the Highland Park Board of Education. It is written:

SLAPPing Educators to Protect PARCC Revenue

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Notice to PARCC

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Do You Want the Truth?

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May 4 was public comment day for the New Jersey State Board of Education (SBOE) in Trenton. This is a time when citizens are extended the privilege of speaking to members of the SBOE in person in a public forum. People travelled from all around the state to gather in a handful of rooms at the Department of Education (DOE) headquarters and deliver their five minute statements to one or a handful of SBOE members in the room, hoping to persuade leadership about what they believe.

The Achievement Gap

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There is a beautiful school in Gladstone, New Jersey that gives children an educational experience of discovery and learning that epitomizes what most parents would probably give their own children if they could afford the price. Someone has publicly posted a YouTube video that proudly showcases the school and some children. It's wonderful! I don't object to parents paying $30,000 per year to send their children to private school.

PARCC Computers Crashing as a Metaphor

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Early in my career as a computer programmer, I worked with teams to design and deploy systems to support the day-to-day operations of financial institutions. Critical to the operation of our systems were particular attributes: Reliability and Availability. Stuff happens. Things break. We plan for it. Organizations should not stop operating when failures occur because failures are predictable.

Hold Schools Accountable for Bullying

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In September 2002, the State of New Jersey enacted legislation that required schools to adopt policies to prevent and deal with incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying. In 2008, a Commission on Bullying in Schools was formed and submitted recommendations to update the law to the Governor the next year. In January 2011, the Governor signed into law the current Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) law. Acts of bullying were formally defined by the legislature and school districts are required to identify it and work to eliminate it.

Friends and Neighbors: Is it OK if Half of Our High School Students Cannot Graduate?

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I like to think my hometown of Lawrence Township has good schools. Of course, that's a subjective matter. There are many ways to judge schools and students, and we each have our own yardsticks. I know that our community is diverse, culturally and economically and we have many challenges. Yet we've historically managed to see the vast majority of our children graduate from our high school with diplomas that I assume are valuable and meaningful.

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