Friday, September 19, 2014

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES LWV Teaneck Calendar

League Lines   Online edition   September-October  2014



A Note about the New League Lines  - Member's .pdf Available Sept. 17
League Lines is being distributed  in two formats: the members-only League Lines, in .pdf and replete with addresses and phone numbers, and the blog version for the general public. The blog LWVTeaneck, features announcements and links to general information about the Teaneck League, ILO, and the State.   -
--Patricia O’Brien Libutti, Editor, League Lines & LWVTeaneck Blog 

LWV CALENDAR  SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2014

Sept.  18 Voter Registration at Back-to-School Nights.  

September  24 Citizen Swearing-In Historic Newbridge Landing 

October 2 Charter School Consensus Meeting 

October 11 LWV NJ Engaged and Empowered:
A New Generation of Leaders 


October 15  Charter School Consensus 
/Board Meeting 


Nov. 5: LWV sponsored film aduring  TIFF


September 2014 The Year Ahead

THE YEAR AHEAD

Your League had many accomplishments this past year, including a successful voter registration drive, a very well-attended public forum for the Town Council candidates, education, discussion and consensus on agriculture issues, including genetically modified foods, co-sponsorship of a public presentation and discussion on the integration of Little Rock, Arkansas schools in the movie Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock; and a celebration of Women's History Month.

Our fall activities are in already in full swing with our involvement in a very important update to the LWVNJ Charter School consensus  (with our consensus meetings planned for October 2 and 15).  We've already held several "back-to school" voter registrations drives and a few more are scheduled. Parents at the school are always so appreciative of our reminders to register to vote or to change registration addresses. 

Once again, we will be registering newly sworn-in voters - a particularly gratifying experience for both the new registrants and for League members. In early November, in support of the LWV mission and consistent with the Teaneck International Film Festival topic, Activism: Making Change, we are sponsoring the movie Wajda at the festival.We are also actively monitoring Town Council and Board of Education meetings and actions .

We encourage you to join in these and other efforts as described in greater detail elsewhere in League Lines. Of course, we welcome your suggestions for additional initiatives as well.---Arlene Gartenberg , 1st Vice President, Program

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES Voter Registration Events

LWV Teaneck Voter Registration Events 

LWV members volunteered to staff registration tables at the Teaneck Public Schools’ Back-To-School Nights this September.  Arlene Gartenberg went to Bryant School on Sept. 9th, Barbara Ostroth was at Teaneck High School on Sept. 16th, and Naomi Cramer, Margot Fisher and Doris Thurber covered the elementary school nights at Whittier, Lowell and Hawthorne Schools on Thursday Sept. 18th. 

 We are still looking for volunteers to man a registration table at the two middle school nights on Tuesday, Sept. 23rd 



Teaneck LWV volunteers will also  participate in National Voter Service Day by attending an event at the Von Steuben House at New Bridge Landing on Wednesday, Sept. 24th at 10AM, where we will celebrate a large number of new US citizens from many countries around the world, being sworn in by local elected officials.  All are welcome to attend this meaningful ceremony.

 There will be no Candidates Forum this fall for the upcoming Teaneck Board of Education candidates included on November 4th’s ballot, as only the three incumbents -- Ardie Walser, Clara Williams and David Gruber -- registered their candidacy by the deadline.  However, they still need to be elected, so don’t forget to look for their names on the ballot.

---Barbara Ostroth, Shirley Sosland, Co-VPs, Voter Services

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES Current Advocacy Agenda


ADVOCACY AGENDA  LWV-US CURRENTLY: 

===>League Supports Continuing Office of Congressional Ethics in 114th Session of Congress 

===>League Calls on U.S. Senate to Fully Staff the United States Election Assistance Commission.

===>LWV US has advocated with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to set the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants.


Carried out in hearings in a number of cities, League members presented their comments.  In the time remaining before October 16, 2014, we are invited to comment directly via LWV US site or the EPA site / via the Federal eRulemaking portal.

When you go to: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards you will have all the information you need to make informed comments.


Comments on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule must be received by October 16, 2014http://www.lwv.org/blog/join-us-people%E2%80%99s-climate-march

League to Participate in the People’s Climate March:  The League joins with myriad organizations for this event of this coming Sunday! 
http://www.lwv.org/blog/join-us-people%E2%80%99s-climate-march

Voting Rights Act Turns 49: LWV US and Leagues in the various states affected by attempts to undermine the franchise of numerous citizens, have tirelessly attempted to counteract these assaults on people's rights to vote.

---Doris Thurber, Advocacy Chair 

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES Women's Equality Day Report

Women’s Equality Day

Did you know there was a Women's Equality Day?  I didn't.   But then I got an invitation to an event sponsored by the Northern Valley League commemorating that day.   Since the event was also to commemorate Bella Abzug who  as a  pioneering Congresswoman  (1971-1977)  had Aug 26 designated Women's Equality Day by the U.S. Congress, I contacted my Women Strike for Peace "sisters" and 4 of us went to the event.  August 26 was the day that the 19th amendment was passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote. Bella Abzug was a leader and founder of Women Strike for Peace (1961) - an organization in the 60's - 70's that educated  about  and protested against the Vietnam War.  

Many women's organizations had representatives  at the event  giving out  literature.   
The program included many women who had important elected positions in Bergen County, including Kathy Donovan and Joan Voss and our own Mayor Lizette Parker.  It was too bad that most of the people there were only the  representatives from the organizations giving out literature.  A local girl scout troop was there to meet with the women in government and to learn about the issues surrounding the day.  

The highlight of the event was a talk by Liz Abzug, Bella Abzug's daughter. The best way for women's equality to have meaning is if we elect more women to positions of power in government.  Ms Abzug has for years been the director of Bella Abzug Leadership Institute at Hunter College  mentoring and training H.S. and College women to become future leaders in their community.  

I questioned Liz about Bella's run for Senate in 1976 since I thought she should have stayed in the House (forever) - especially since she lost the Senate election and had to give up her House seat.   Liz explained that Bella only lost by 1% of the vote and should have had the Times endorsement.   At the NY Times the entire editorial board voted to give Bella the endorsement but the then owner,  Sulzbeger,  refused to allow it,  so they endorsed Daniel Moynahan instead.   

The Director from  the Alice Paul Institute (www.alicepaul.orgwww.alicepaul.org)  spoke and showed a film about Alice Paul  and her sacrifices for the cause as a leading suffragette from New Jersey.


--Naomi Cramer, Observer Corps Chair  

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES TIFF NEWS

TIFF NEWS: LWV Teaneck Sponsors Wadja Viewing 

The Teaneck International Film Festival is happy to welcome a new sponsor – the League of Women Voters of  Teaneck. This Saudi Arabian / German comedy drama was actually filmed in Saudi Arabia and was written and directed by that country’s first female filmmaker, Haifaa Al-Mansour, who, according to the Doha Film Institute in significant cinematic figures in the kingdom.” It is the third production and first full-length feature for the director, who is dedicated to providing a platform for Saudi women

It was nominated for an Academy Award  for Best Foreign Language Film in 2013, and has received 19 awards, among them, one from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry in 2013.

Friday night – Sunday night, November 7 - 9
Activism:  Making Change is the theme of the 9th annual Teaneck International Film Festival that will include independent features, documentaries, and shorts; talkbacks with filmmakers and actors; Kid Flix Mix with host Bob McGrath and the Oscar nominated film Ernest and Celestine for young audiences; Bollywood features; and more.  

Ticket sales start mid-October, online and at Teaneck Cinemas and Teaneck General Store:  weekend passes, $35; individual tickets, $6 in advance and $8 at the door; online, $6 + service charge.  Saturday night Gala - a concert starring Tony winner Lillias White with Grammy winner Billy Stritch; $50 or more for two invitations, or $35 per person at the door.  

Venues are Teaneck Cinemas, Puffin Cultural Forum, and Temple Emeth.  Complete details about films-tickets-directions, at The Teaneck International Film Festival is happy to welcome a new sponsor – the League of Women Voters of  Teaneck. This Saudi Arabian / German comedy drama was actually filmed in Saudi Arabia and was written and directed by that country’s first female filmmaker, Haifaa Al-Mansour, who, according to the Doha Film Institute in significant cinematic figures in the kingdom.” It is the third production and first full-length feature for the director, who is dedicated to providing a platform for Saudi women

It was nominated for an Academy Award  for Best Foreign Language Film in 2013, and has received 19 awards, among them, one from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry in 2013.

 Call 201/203-1723.---Judy Distler 




Back to the Future: September 2010



LWV Teaneck Board members with Sen. Weinberg during Town Council proclamation of 60th Anniversary/90th anniversary of 20th Amendment adoption.

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES : LWV NJ Charter School Update Study


LWV NJ Charter School Update Study ISSUES OVERVIEW 

Issues being examined for current Charter School legislation and practice:
Accountability
           Authorizers
Virtual Schools
Education Management Organizations

Innovation

ACCOUNTABILITY In 1996, New Jersey opened seven charter schools; in 2010, eight new charters opened, nineteen closed, and seventy two were in operation. In the spring of 2014, eighty-seven charter schools are in operation. Currently, the basis of charter school accountability is the Charter School Performance Framework, in effect as of July 2012. It is administered by the DOE for all charter schools to evaluate the organizational, fiscal, and academic program of each school. 

ACHIEVEMENT (Sub-set of Accounability) Studies of New Jersey charter students indicate they perform at least as well as students in district public schools. The 2010 New Jersey Interim Report examined the scores of economically disadvantaged students in language arts and math and found charters outscored local districts statewide. The reports, and others, such as the CRE study, have had mixed reception.

INNOVATION in curriculum and teaching practice has been a defining mark of charter schools, In New Jersey, the majority of district public schools do not, at this time, receive information on charter school innovation.  

Local District Role in Charter School. As of April 2014 there are only 26 school districts which put their budget to a vote by citizens Examining other state charter laws found many that require a community public hearing as part of the charter school application process. In many states, local school districts are authorized to grant charters.

AUTHORIZERS Charter school authorizers are “the regulators of the charter industry.” Authorizers evaluate charter school applications, oversee charter schools once they are up and running, and decide based on various performance measures, whether to renew or revoke the schools’ charters. Strong authorizing can create and support high-quality charter schools, and weak authorizing can enable poor charter schools to open or stay open. New Jersey law has only one authorizer of charter schools for the entire state--the State Commissioner of Education.

 VIRTUAL SCHOOLS . New Jersey has no full-time virtual K-12 public schools. Two applicants were approved for a planning year (NJ Virtual Charter School and NJ Virtual Academy Charter School), but the Commission of Education rejected those applications in June 2013.States have yet to develop a systematic basis for funding virtual schools. 

Those who believe that full-time virtual schools are not a positive option for educating K-12 note the importance of a building with a teacher in a classroom. Students can feel isolated in their home based studies; meeting friends and developing relationships are an important part of going to school.( The ability to customize instruction and monitor student progress with on-line assessments integrated with the curricula throughout the year are positive results of full-time virtual education. Proponents often cite the savings in per pupil cost, but research does not support that claim at this time.

EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS (EMOs) are for-profit and nonprofit organizations that manage schools with their responsibilities spelled out in a contract with the board of trustees (board of education) of the school. They predate charter schools, originally operated under a contract from a Board of Education of a district school. They expanded into charter schools and into virtual schools. EMOs are responsible for teaching, curriculum, issues related to hiring and paying teachers. ---Pat Libutti, Editor, member LWVNJ Committee

RESOURCES 

LWV NJ Charter School Update Study Guide
www.lwvnj.org/members_leagues.html

BIBLIOGRAPHY FROM STUDY LIVE-LINKED ON LWVTEANECK.BLOGSPOT.COM

EDLink  is a collection of links relevant to information and research on charter schools in New Jersey. http://edlink.blogspot.com