A Newark gathering where ‘it’s teachers teaching teachers’

Welcome to Chalkbeat Newark's weekly newsletter! Read about a teacher-led conference, an inspiring Newark educator, and much more.

Programming note: We're trying out Wednesdays to send the newsletter instead of Mondays. Let me know what you think.

— Patrick Wall, senior reporter

The big story

Teachers get a lot of “professional development.”

Oftentimes, those training workshops are led by schools or districts and focus on complying with rules or carrying out the latest mandates.

But last weekend, teachers from across New Jersey and beyond gathered in Newark for a different kind of training — one developed for and by teachers.

At the third EdCamp Newark, hundreds of teachers signed up for workshops with titles such as, “How to organize for race, social justice, and equity in schools” and “Feeling burned out? I can help!”

The educators who showed up Saturday for the voluntary training — or just “learning,” as some put it — hailed from district and charter schools in Newark, along with other cities across New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut (plus one visitor from Dubai).

Read the full story here.

What to watch

What else is happening around Newark schools.

Newark moves to end costly pool of displaced teachers, but some staffers linger in it

  • What to know: Newark school officials have been trying in recent years to shrink a pool of displaced teachers who lack permanent placements yet remain on the district payroll.
  • Just last year, Superintendent Roger León said all of those “employees without placement sites” had been assigned to schools, saving the district $6 million by shifting them from the central-office budget to school budgets.
  • Despite those efforts, the unassigned-employee pool hasn’t gone away.
  • Last week, principals received a memo with a list of employees who still lack placements; they were given two days to choose any ones they want for next year.
  • Any of those employees who aren’t hired will be assigned to schools next month, the memo said.
  • The takeaway: Figuring out what to do with tenured employees who can’t find permanent placements is a riddle the district has yet to solve.

Newark news & events

Local education reporting and upcoming events.

“How I Teach”…

  • An award-winning Newark teacher who felt “cheated” by her own schooling decided to become the teacher she always wanted but never had. Chalkbeat

School board election…

  • Read highlights from recent forums featuring the 11 candidates vying for three open board seats in the April 16 election. TAPinto Newark

Charter school funding…

  • The KIPP New Jersey charter school network recently held a fundraiser that collected $850,000 for a new charter high school in Newark. TAPinto Newark

“Cory 2020”…

  • U.S. senator and presidential hopeful Cory Booker will hold a rally Saturday in Newark, where he made big changes to the schools as mayor. NJ.com

Pop-up clinic…

  • Barringer High School will host a free health clinic on Saturday. TAPinto Newark

News from Trenton & beyond

Reporting on statewide education issues that matter for Newark.

Schools Development Authority scandal…

  • The future of a state agency that oversees construction in N.J.’s poorest school districts is uncertain as its leader faces accusations of replacing dozens of staffers with well-connected individuals. NJ Spotlight
  • The questionable hiring was revealed by NorthJersey.com and the USA Today Network, which produced a helpful guide to the controversy. NorthJersey.com

State tests…

  • Students across the state are taking annual standardized tests that have a new name and are shorter, but otherwise resemble the former PARCC tests. Press of Atlantic City

School breakfast…

  • A new state law will require schools to serve free or reduced-price breakfast to students after the school day starts, not before. NJ 101.5

School desegregation…

  • Settlement negotiations have come to a halt in litigation seeking to end racial segregation in New Jersey’s public schools. New Jersey Law Journal


  • A N.J. principal died after going into monthlong coma following a procedure to donate bone marrow to a French teenager. NJ.com

National news…

  • Consultants who once did work for Newark Public Schools have come up with a sweeping plan to restructure the Los Angeles school system. Chalkbeat

Extra credit

Want to showcase your school or an upcoming education event? Send me photos and details.