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Member claims ,”One Village One Vote” is willing to have a reasonable discussion of the issues


Matt Lindenberg says ,”I don’t know anyone on the BOE, and I’m not familiar with an RPDP. I’m just a private concerned citizen who respectfully believes that we’re better served when we hold our local elections in November when there is a demonstrated history of significantly higher turnout. My opinions are my own, and not pushed by the BOE or REA.

I know there are those who disagree, and I respect that. I’m willing to have a reasonable discussion of the issues if folks are willing to identify themselves (as I continue to do here) and chat like neighbors.”

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How Much Does The NJEA Really Spend On Politics?

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Over the last two weeks, since our launch, the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey (SPCNJ) has shined a strong light on two important issues related to the powerful NJEA.

We showed, with each step clearly sourced, how the NJEA leadership funds its powerful political machine through a unique system based on billions of taxpayer dollars.  We have also highlighted the political professionals who have specifically benefitted from all that money, whether it be the millions in political contributions to elected officials or the millions more to NJEA headquarters staff, including six one-percenters who make ten times more than their union membership.

Continue reading How Much Does The NJEA Really Spend On Politics?
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Ridgewood High Schools Academic Decline

Ridgewood High School class of 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to the NJ Department of Education since 2008 Ridgewood High School’s ranking has declined from number 7 over all to number 36 . In the same 10 year period the Ridgewood school budget has nearly doubled to a whopping $110,000,000.

Continue reading Ridgewood High Schools Academic Decline

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Ridgewood Teachers 8th Highest Paid in Bergen County and 31st Highest Paid in the Garden State

photo courtesy of the NEA

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The state Department of Education recently released its annual Taxpayer’s Guide to Education Spending for 2018, which shows the median salary in every New Jersey school district and charter school.

Continue reading Ridgewood Teachers 8th Highest Paid in Bergen County and 31st Highest Paid in the Garden State

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Senate President Sweeney and Senator Ruiz Call reducing the PARCC assessment to only five percent of teacher evaluation a victory for special interests and a huge step backward towards a better public education

REA, ridgewoood teachers

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senate President Sweeney and Senator Ruiz Joint Statement on NJ Department of Education Announcement to Reduce PARCC Evaluation Weights

“As we approach the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, we are deeply disappointed that the administration is walking away from New Jersey’s students by reducing the PARCC assessment to count for only five percent of a teacher’s evaluation. These tests are about education, not politics.

Continue reading Senate President Sweeney and Senator Ruiz Call reducing the PARCC assessment to only five percent of teacher evaluation a victory for special interests and a huge step backward towards a better public education

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Ridgewood Board of Education Details New NEA Teachers Contract


October 10, 2016

Dear members of the Ridgewood community:

Tonight the Board of Education (Board) formally approved the three- year contract with the Ridgewood Education Association (REA) that was ratified by the REA on September 28th.

Highlights of the contract include the following:

•Term:3 Years: July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018.
•Salaries: A 1% increase for the first year of the contract (2015-16). For 2016-17 and 2017-18, salary increases of 2.7% per year, inclusive of the cost of the incremental movement (vertical step movement) on the salary guides. That is equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 2.13% over the life of the contract. Importantly, the approved contract assures that our salaries will continue to be competitive, allowing our district to attract and retain highly qualified teachers.
•Health Benefits: Current REA members may continue to enroll in NJ Direct 10 or in any of the 20 plans offered by the state under the School Employee Health Benefit Plans (SEHBP). Employees hired on or after September 12, 2016 may not enroll in NJ Direct 10 before reaching tenure, but instead shall enroll in the NJ Direct 15 or any other state-offered school employee medical plan.
•Chapter 78 Health Benefit Employee Contributions : The rates by which Ridgewood teachers contribute to their individual healthcare premiums is determined by a graduated structure, with employees at higher end of salary grades paying a greater percentage of their individual premiums than those at the lower end.
Effective January 1, 2017, full-time teachers will pay between 14% and 26% of the premium cost for their medical, prescription and dental benefits; full-time secretaries will pay between 10% and 14% of the total premium cost.As an
example, using an 8.6% increase for the 2017 NJ Direct 10 premiums, teachers enrolling in single coverage would contribute between $1,635(14%) and $3,036 (26%) for the year. Teachers choosing family coverage would contribute between $4,676 (14%) and $8,684 (26%). According to the latest Kaiser Family 2016 survey, the average U.S. worker pays $1,129 peryear for single (employee-only) medical coverage and $5,277 for dependent/family medical coverage.

Last May, the state -appointed fact finder recommended a settlement that would have cost the District $4.4 million over the 2% cap during the life of the three- year contract. The Board rejected this recommendation, believing that the fact finder ignored the district’s ability to fund his suggested settlement.
The contract approved today reduced this excess by almost half to $2.5 million over the 2% cap.The Board and administration are now tasked with the challenge of funding the contract, which will require budgetary reductions next year that will result in changes to staffing and programming. While it would be unrealistic to expect that a spending reduction of this magnitude will be without consequences to the district, when preparing the 2017- 18 budget the Board will work closely with Dr.Fishbein to identify reductions that will have the least impact on the instructional programs and extra-curricular offerings. Notwithstanding the upcoming challenges, we are pleased to be moving forward and are confident that the 2016- 17 school year will be successful as we all focus on what unites us as a community, the education of our children and our excellent schools.
Ridgewood Board of Education
Sheila Brogan, President
Vince Loncto, Vice President
Christina Krauss
Jim Morgan
Jennie Smith Wilson
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NEA Teachers unions turn on Obama


NEA Teachers unions turn on Obama
By Peter Sullivan – 07/12/14 01:49 PM EDT

Teachers unions have turned on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Obama administration, creating a major divide in the Democratic Party coalition.

The largest teachers union in the country, the National Education Association (NEA), called for Duncan to resign at its convention on July 4, arguing his policies on testing have failed the nation’s schools.

Tensions between Duncan and the unions had been building for some time.

The administration’s Race to the Top program, which has provided $4.35 billion to states, incentivized changes that unions strongly oppose. One of the most controversial policies backed by Duncan is using students’ improvement on standardized tests to help evaluate teachers and make pay and tenure decisions.

“Our members are frustrated and angry,” said NEA president Dennis Van Roekel. “Number one is the toxic testing. There is too much.”

An added spark came on June 10, when a California judge ruled the state’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they keep ineffective teachers in the classroom and deprive poor and minority students of their right to an equal education.

Teachers unions, which are strong defenders of tenure, expressed outrage when Duncan said the plaintiffs in the case were just some of millions of students disadvantaged by tenure laws. He called the decision “a mandate to fix these problems.”

With the teachers unions at loggerheads with the administration, Democrats are suddenly at risk of losing one of their most reliable allies and fundraising sources.

Read more:

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Common Core’s Surprise Critic: Nation’s Largest Teachers Union (NEA) Calls Implementation ‘Completely Botched’


Common Core’s Surprise Critic: Nation’s Largest Teachers Union (NEA) Calls Implementation ‘Completely Botched’

Rob Bluey

February 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm

The country’s largest teachers union is no longer a cheerleader for Common Core national education standards.

In a letter to the National Education Association’s 3 million members, President Dennis Van Roekel issued a sharp critique of Common Core. It marks the first time NEA has voiced concerns about the standards, a key initiative of the Obama Administration.

I am sure it won’t come as a surprise to hear that in far too many states, implementation has been completely botched. Seven of ten teachers believe that implementation of the standards is going poorly in their schools. Worse yet, teachers report that there has been little to no attempt to allow educators to share what’s needed to get [Common Core State Standards] implementation right.  In fact, two thirds of all teachers report that they have not even been asked how to implement these new standards in their classrooms.

>>> Check Out: Is Common Core Leaving Students Unprepared in Math and Science?

The NEA once enthusiastically supported Common Core, making Van Roekel’s criticism noteworthy. POLITICO said it meant a “rocky road ahead for the Common Core standards” and would “give opponents of Common Core a boost.”

In his letter, Van Roekel stops short of completely abandoning Common Core, calling instead for a “course correction” to fix implementation.

“NEA members have a right to feel frustrated, upset, and angry about the poor commitment to implementing the standards correctly,” Van Roekel writes.

The National Education Association’s concerns come nearly a year after the American Federation of Teachers raised problems with implementation of the standards. AFT President Randi Weingarten said, “they simply don’t get it in Washington.” She also called the implementation of Common Core worse than