Thursday, September 29, 2016

Some Refutations to Statements Made at HBOE Board Meeting

Church of the Holy Innocents- Hoboken, NJ
There were some apparently well meaning statements made at the March, 2016 Hoboken Board of Education meeting concerning lawsuits, civil rights, and segregation. Here I present some arguments which attempt to address some of these statements with data and hopefully redirect some of the sincere and heartfelt concern for the children currently being educated in the traditional Hoboken Public Schools toward the idea of quality of education as a civil right. -Dr. Petrosino

I. "The school (a charter school involved in a lawsuit with the Hoboken school district) has the burden to show that this (expansion to 8th grade) would not exacerbate segregation in the district. Segregative effect is essentially a civil rights question. It’s a legal question and I believe we need the courts to help us figure this out -"

Response: These charts and graphs should help people see that there is not a segregation issue in the Hoboken Public Schools but rather an abandonment of the public schools by non- economically disadvantaged families after a few years of attendance in the public schools. 

Figure 1: No segregation effect in early grades. District does lose non
low income family majority by 4th grade but not to charter schools

Figure 2: Percent low income disaggregated by grade. Again, District
is majority non low income (K-3) but loses middle income families by 4th grade
Figure 3: Longitudinal segregation trend of Hoboken School District
points distinctly toward decreased segregation not increase segregation

II. "To be clear, no one is calling for schools to get closed or calling anyone a “whatzit,” rather we are asking for a neutral party to answer these hard questions for us." 

Response: (see Figure 4). 

Figure 4- Except from lawsuit where the Hoboken Board of Education demands
that Hola's renewal (a.k.a. "their existence") and their expansion to be set aside

III. Thank you to the majority of the board who have refrained from political gaming and who have acted at great personal cost to defend the civil rights of children in our district

Response: There is no argument that education is the civil rights issue of today. It is and major issue. So it is fair to ask are the civil rights of the public school children of Hoboken being denied somehow? Let's examine this issue as objectivity as possible. 

Since the famous 1954 case of Brown v. The Board of Education, it has been 1) illegal for public schools to discriminate on the basis of race. It is also 2) illegal for a public school district to be segregated as a result of intentional practices, such as the drawing of school district boundaries around exclusively single-race areas (a practice known as de jure segregation). These facts lend themselves to the argument that education is a civil right, or that education can be considered a de facto civil right.  

1) All public schools in the country, including Hoboken, have open enrollment and are officially "blind" in terms of race or economic condition. In New Jersey, when there is more demand than seats available for a particular school (often a magnet school or a charter school), a state approved lottery is utilized to assure fair and equitable access. 

2) There are no boundaries around exclusive single race areas concerning any charter school in Hoboken. All charter schools draw from the entire city of Hoboken. Interestingly, the most de facto segregated schools in Hoboken are both traditional public schools with Brandt having a disportioncate percentage of white students and Connors having an over-representation of minority students. Nonetheless, these skewed demographics are not part of de jure segregation

Are there other ways students civil rights may be threatened or violated? What about funding? Are proper funds not being allocated to the Hoboken Public Schools for educating their students? 

3) Per pupil spending in the Hoboken public schools is the highest per pupil spending in Hudson County, NJ according to Furthermore, contrary to what Kids First Board member Leon Gold insists, charter schools are not "bankrupting" the Hoboken Public Schools- especially when there is a $5.4 million dollar surplus from last year's budget. 

In an interview with titled "Hoboken's Charter School Nightmare," Gold, said this about charters:
We’re being hurt by increasing white flight from our school system [to charters], and we’re being strangled financially: Because of the [tax] cap that they put on in Jersey, we can’t even pay the amount of money that we will have to pay out from local tax levy, to support the charter school expansion. 
And they are actually starving us; we are going to have to engage in layoffs now because of this … Hoboken is this incredible nexus, where everything wrong about charter schools [and] about funding all comes together …
It’s stealing from our public school education. If Christie wanted to fund them completely through state aid, great … “School choice” … they’ve increased it for the charter schools, and reduced it for us …
Leon Gold must know nothing about public education in the rest of New Jersey if he thinks that Hoboken will be "bankrupted" by charters.

Hoboken cannot blame charters for all its budgetary "starvation." Hoboken is New Jersey's second highest spending K-12 district (after Asbury Park), so the notion that Hoboken is being "strangled" is insane unless you ignore conditions in the rest of Hudson County, New Jersey, and nation, which is precisely what Gold does. See this article for a more detailed analysis: CLICK HERE

So, with a per pupil spending north or $25,000 per student (K-12 per pupil spending is closer to $30,000 actually), a $5.4 million dollar surplus, and the fact that Hoboken still receives some funds and is under the protection of the Abbott decision, we can agree that proper money is being allocated for the children of the Hoboken Schools. And if any Board member feels the schools are NOT adequately funded, they have the power to raise taxes in the municipality to assure that the schools are properly funded. 

We have shown that there is no restriction to enrollment in Hoboken. We have also shown there is no institutional segregation based on where someone lives. Both of these are assurances of civil rights being protected. Furthermore, we showed that there is proper funding for the pubic schools of Hoboken-- and that claims of being "under funded" or of going "bankrupt" are not credible under even the most generous understanding of the terms. 

4) But one might argue that a civil right of a student might be to have access to a proper education. For that, it might be useful to look at how the public schools have been performing under the leadership of a political group known as "Kids First/Reach Higher Hoboken!" over the past 7 years. After reading and examining this list, it would be interesting to entertain the notion of whether the children of the Hoboken pubic schools are receiving the quality education that they need and deserve and that the taxpayers of the City are receiving the quality education and outcomes they are generously supplying: 

1) lower SAT scores than expected from economic status of student families
2) designation of the Hoboken School District as a District in Need of Improvement
3) low rating of the Hoboken School District by independent news organizations
4) violence, vandalism and bullying in the Hoboken Public Schools; and 
5) four consecutive years of failing INSTRUCTION AND PROGRAM as evaluated by the New Jersey Department of Education
6) recent teacher effectiveness ratings
7) High School graduation rates

A quick summary: 
The Hoboken Public School students obtain SAT scores lower than expected by their socio-economic status, they are in a district that was designated by the New Jersey Department of Education as a "District in Need of Improvement" and this district has failed the New Jersey QSAC DPR for Instruction and Program for the past 4 years. The Newark Star Ledger gave the district high school a "D". In addition, the district was rated the 9th most violent school district in New Jersey by and the rate of violence and vandalism incidents in the schools remain very high compared to schools in Hudson County and around the state. Add to this 6 superintendents in 7 years and 4 different district configurations in the same period and we can see reason why the quality of education the poor and disadvantaged students of Hoboken are receiving under the leadership of the "Kids First/Reach Higher Hoboken!" political group might be considered a threat to their civil rights. Especially if one considers the quality of an education to be a civil right. 

Conclusion: Perhaps the civil rights of students in Hoboken are being threatened. But it is clear these rights are not being violated by an expansion of two grades by a single charter school, or enrollment restrictions, or boundary restrictions, and it is evident that proper funding is being allocated. It may be the case that the children of Hoboken are being denied the quality education they truly deserve and require and that may be a violation to the spirit of civil rights and to the 1954 decision of Brown vs. Board of Education. Whether this is a legal issue or a moral issue is an interesting question. But for those who wish to applaud the upholding of the civil rights of students by the current "Kids First/Move Forward Hoboken!" majority of the Hoboken Board of may be time to closely examine the education being received by the district's high needs population and whether their civil right of access to a quality education is what is actually being violated. 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Petrosino and Colleagues Awarded NSF Grant: Group-Based Cloud Computing for STEM Education Project ($1,045,500)

Dr. Anthony Petrosino and Dr. Walter Stroup (University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth) were recently awarded a $457,755 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant is part of a $1,045,500 total collaboration with Northwestern University and Vanderbilt University and is entitled Group-Based Cloud Computing for STEM Education Project.

This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by designing, developing, implementing, and studying a socio-technological system for group-centered STEM teaching and learning consistent with UTeach Natural Sciences a nationally recognized pre-service program which Drs. Petrosino and Stroup are co-Founders. The project will use results from more than 30 years of research to demonstrate how network supported, group-based learning grounded in principles of Generative Design can improve learning for all learners, across racial/ethnic backgrounds. The project will also offer detailed analyses of activity designs and implementation strategies that will help pre-service teachers to develop more fully participatory and socially-supported approaches to classroom learning, using authentic STEM practices in group-centered learning environments. 

This work will be particularly important to advancing knowledge in the field for pre-service teacher preparation, since few pre-service programs use this approach in preparing teachers for today's classrooms. Through a focus on the initial implementation of twelve model activities taught by pre-service teachers in K-12 classrooms nationwide, this study will also provide concrete and quantitative evidence that group-based learning is both appealing to early-career and induction-years teachers, and that it is feasible to implement in real classrooms.

The project takes a design-based research approach to creating and studying technologies and materials that support generative teaching and learning in STEM. Sites associated with a nationally recognized and expanding approach to STEM teacher preparation and certification will serve as incubators and testbeds for the project's innovation and development efforts. Computational thinking, including agent-based modeling, and simulation across STEM domains as well as geo-spatial reasoning about personally meaningful learner-collected data will provides an important scientific foundation for the project. This will be achieved by developing a highly-interactive and group-optimized, browser- and cloud-based, device-independent and open-source architecture and by integrating and extending leading computational tools including the NSF-funded NetLogo Web agent-based modeling language and environment. The project will also achieve this outcome by publishing its technology-mediated activities and materials in the public domain and by capturing extensive qualitative and quantitative data on the intensity and nature of use of these technologies and materials. Collectively, the project will foster the growth of educational infrastructures to enable the dissemination and effective adoption of generative teaching and learning in STEM.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Full Detailed Agenda- Hoboken Board of Education Meeting September 13, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
7:00 P.M.

Hoboken Board Agenda Sept 2016 by links on Scribd

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Petrosino and Others Invited to NSF Funded 2016 Youth Data Science Summit- University of California, Berkeley

Youth Data Science Summit 2016 Participants
On August 11-12 2016 the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education and School of Information co-hosted the Youth Data Science Summit 2016. Funded by the NSF Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program (award abstract #1541676), the Summit brought together researchers from different communities already active in this emerging field, to promote cross dialogue between those working in computer science/information visualization and in education. I was glad to have been part of this incredible meeting.

This meeting brought together researchers from different communities. Spaces were limited and acceptance was decided in consultation with the advisory board, with the goals of building a diverse group that represents many related fields relevant to youth, learning, and data science.

Confirmed Participants
Meryl Alper – Northeastern University
Toi Sin Arvidsson* – Columbia University
Dani Ben-Zvi – The University of Haifa, Israel
Cynthia Carter Ching – University of California, Davis
Catherine Cramer – New York Hall of Science
David Custer – Math Teacher/Department Chair at Decatur High School
Sayamindu Dasgupta* – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Noel Enyedy – University of California, Los Angeles
Tim Erickson – eeps media
Kristin Fontichiaro – University of Michigan
Rogers Hall – Vanderbilt University
Jim Hammerman – STEM Education Evaluation Center (SEEC) at TERC
Katie Headrick Taylor – University of Washington
Jennifer Kahn* – Vanderbilt University
Ruth Kermish-Allen – Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
Janet Kolodner – The Concord Consortium
Leilah Lyons – UIC/ New York Hall of Science
Fred Martin –  University of Massachusetts Lowell
Amelia McNamara – Smith College
Dawn Nafus – Intel
Deborah Nolan – University of California, Berkeley
Anthony Petrosino – University of Texas, Austin
Thomas Philip – University of California, Los Angeles
Laurie Rubel – City University of New York
Mayumi Shinohara* – Vanderbilt University
Lissa Soep – Youth Radio
David Weintrop* – Northwestern University
Advisory Board
Marti Hearst – University of California, Berkeley
Ruth Krumhansl – EDC, Inc / Oceans of Data Institute
Richard Lehrer – Vanderbilt University
Andee Rubin – TERC
Kathryn Lanouette* – University of California, Berkeley
Victor Lee – Utah State University
Tapan Parikh – University of California, Berkeley
Joseph Polman – University of Colorado, Boulder
Michelle Wilkerson – University of California, Berkeley
John Park* – University of Texas, Austin
Anthony Petrosino – University of Texas, Austin
*Graduate Students/ Candidates


The Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies Program funds efforts that will help envision the next generation of learning technologies and advance what we know about how people learn in technology-rich environments. Cyberlearning Capacity (CAP) Projects focus on expanding and strengthening the cyberlearning community and often include conferences, workshops, or short courses. This project focuses on a workshop exploring the application of data science to K-12 education. It is motivated by the importance that reasoning with data has in today's world.

The workshop is entitled Data Science, Learning and Youth: Connecting Research and Creating Frameworks. Its objective is to move the educational implications of Data Science to the forefront of conversations among the cyberlearning research community. A large number of undergraduate and post-graduate programs are presently focusing on imparting data skills and computational reasoning. This workshop will extend this focus to K-12 education. It will bring together established and emerging scholars interested in Data Science Education from fields including Learning Sciences, Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics Education, Science Education, and Community Engagement and Citizen Science, and practitioners from K-12 settings. This workshop will foster new interdisciplinary collaborations and expose researchers interested in Data Science Education to relevant communities, literatures, and projects. The short term goal is to enable these communities to synthesize emerging findings, frameworks, and theories and better understand what tools, activities, and environments can support Data Science literacy. Our long term goal is to foster the development of a unified research community interested in Data Science Education. Direct outcomes of the workshop will include concrete plans to produce articles and synthesis documents focused on Data Science Education during the year immediately following the workshop. These documents will speak to three broad and complementary audiences: researchers, through the proposal of a special issue of a scholarly journal; practitioners, through two practitioner-oriented articles focusing on mathematics and science education; and the broader Cyberlearning community, through an online Synthesis Statement to be hosted by the Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL) resource website. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

HOBOKEN BOARD OF EDUCATION August 16, 2016 Meeting

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
7:00 P.M.

Notable: Board member steps down, Asst. Superintendent named, new Connors principal named.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Chapter 78. Just how bad is it?

The following post was originally posted on Facebook by a thoughtful and reflective member of the NJEA. Name withheld for fear of any reprisal. - Dr. Petrosino 
Chapter 78. Just how bad is it? Here is a breakdown to share with family, friends and the NJEA Leadership. I will breakdown down Chapter 78 and other money coming out of your paycheck. 
1. Our pension payment went from 5.5% to 7.5%
So if you earn $75,000 dollars a year your pension is now costing $1500 more a year or $150 dollars a month.
2. Health Insurance went from 1.5% of salary to a percentage of the premium with an unjust sliding scale.
So if you made $75,000 you are now paying 23% of the premium at tier 4. So you went from paying $1,125 dollars for health insurance to $8,970. I am basing this number on my district.That is a difference of $7,845 dollars or $784.50 a month. 
That is $9,340.50 or $934.50 a month. That's a disgrace. 
Add in the fees members paid before Chapter 78 and it is disastrous. 
A member pays disability insurance: Let's use the number $1200 a year, that is what I pay. 
Union dues another $1400 a year. That is $11,940 dollars a year or $1,190.40 a month in deductions from our paychecks. 
Additionally, raises went from 4.5% to 2.61%.
My friends, this is a bloodbath. And the NJEA Leadership, well, they do not seem to get it. It is business as usual. Keep the dues flowing! Who pays dues to lose money yearly? I talk to my friends in NY and PA, our neighboring states, and it isn't happening there. 
NJEA has failed the membership. And no one has been held accountable.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reconceptualizing STEM Education- A Review

I was fortunate to be asked to contribute a chapter to this new volume by Richard Duschl and Amber Bismark on Reconceptualizing STEM Education. My chapter was about data modelling and pre-service teacher preparation. What follows is a review that was recently published on the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) website.

Petrosino, A. J. (2016). Teachers Use of Data, Measurement, and Data Modeling in Quantitative Reasoning. In R. Duschl & A. Bismarck (Eds), Reconceptualizing STEM Education: The Central Role of Practices (pp.167-180). New York: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.


Reconceptualizing STEM Education explores and maps out research and development ideas and issues around five central practice themes: Systems Thinking; Model-Based Reasoning; Quantitative Reasoning; Equity, Epistemic, and Ethical Outcomes; and STEM Communication and Outreach. These themes are aligned with the comprehensive agenda for the reform of science and engineering education set out by the 2015 PISA Framework, the US Next Generation Science Standards and the US National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The new practice-focused agenda has implications for the redesign of preK-12 education for alignment of curriculum-instruction-assessment; STEM teacher education and professional development; postsecondary, further, and graduate studies; and out-of-school informal education. In each section, experts set out powerful ideas followed by two eminent discussant responses that both respond to and provoke additional ideas from the lead papers. In the associated website <> highly distinguished, nationally recognized STEM education scholars and policymakers engage in deep conversations and considerations addressing core practices that guide STEM education. 

Reconceptualizing STEM Education

by Richard A. Duschl and Amber S. Bismack

Price at time of review: $56.95
350 pp.
Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
New York, NY
ISBN: 9781138901049

Grade Level: K-16

Reviewed by Jean Worsley
Retired Biology Teacher

This book in the Teaching and Learning in Science series is a compendium of the Waterbury Summit held at Pennsylvania State University in 2013. The participants explored present practices associated with the teaching and learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines and proposed profound changes. The reformed practices proposed are based on current research and will be aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Research Council’s A Framework for K–12 Science Education. The agenda of the Framework and NGSS is coordinated around Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. This suggested reformed agenda will have far–reaching implications for redesigning the curriculum, instruction, assessment, technology integration, teacher education, postsecondary education, graduate education, and other facets of our society.

The participants focused on five themes to reconceptualize STEM education. Nationally renowned scholars presented papers on these themes: Systems Thinking, Model–Based Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Equity, Epistemic Outcomes, and Stem Communication and Outreach. For each theme, readers will find detailed narratives with charts and graphs vividly elucidating practices and how they could be implemented. Also, Poster Presentations are found in the first four themes. Following each presentation, a thorough analysis was given by two respondents and panelists answered questions posed by the audience. With current research data, the participants explored numerous facets/theories of the educational system in the teaching/learning process and references are listed for each theme. Further, the role of ethics in scientific decisions was brought to the forefront.

It is noted that emphasis was placed on the importance of helping educators learn how to engage all students in STEM disciplines. In addition, readers will find an interesting narrative on integrating the ARTS in STEM changing it to STEAM. As a result of this Summit, a clarion call resonates across the educational system to reform teaching pedagogies in STEM disciplines. Current data indicate that this is due to the fact that STEM based industries will be growing in the United States and that the number of students pursuing careers in STEM areas is decreasing. In order to close this gap, the participants proposed a paradigm shift by focusing on practices outlined in this book, Reconceptualizing STEM Education. This is indeed paramount because scientific literacy is needed in order to make wise decisions—educationally, economically, ethically, socially, politically, and environmentally. Consequently, this holistic approach to STEM education will foster an understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry.

It is noteworthy to understand that the participants emphasized that many challenges remain and that more critical research is vital. Some of these unanswered questions are listed in the summary. Readers will find a brief biography about the authors and participants. An index, numerous references, and a website are also included. This is an excellent resource for educators who are interested in preparing students to make decisions to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Reform in STEM education is needed in order to maintain a workforce in this global economy.

Petrosino, A. J. (2016). Teachers Use of Data, Measurement, and Data Modeling in Quantitative Reasoning. In R. Duschl & A. Bismarck (Eds), Reconceptualizing STEM Education: The Central Role of Practices (pp.167-180). New York: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2016’s States with the Best & Worst School Systems

Hoboken, NJ Summer 2016
With school resuming session, many parents might be wondering whether they’ve selected the best school districts to secure their children’s academic success. For many, quality is a question of available public funding. And while that may be true in certain cases, more resources do not always correlate with better academic performance, as our findings demonstrate.

That isn’t to say that money doesn’t help. According to an Economic Policy Institute report, income is higher in states where the workforce is well educated and thus more productive. In turn, workers with better earnings contribute greater taxes to beef up state budgets over the long run.

In light of back-to-school season, WalletHub’s analysts compared the quality of education in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to shine the spotlight on top-performing school systems. In making such a comparison, we examined each state and the District across 17 key metrics, ranging from “student-teacher ratio” to “average SAT and ACT scores” to “dropout rate.” Continue reading below for our findings, additional expert commentary and the full description of our methodology.

Source: WalletHub

Source: WalletHub

Overall Rank State Total Score‘School-System Quality’ Rank ‘School-System Safety’ Rank
1 Massachusetts 73.65 1 1
2 New Jersey 69.13 3 3
3 Connecticut 65.47 2 20
4 Vermont 64.75 5 9
5 Wisconsin 64.24 7 2
6 New Hampshire 63.12 4 25
7 Virginia 62.95 6 13
8 Maine 60.45 8 16
9 Delaware 59.76 16 5
10 Minnesota 59.60 10 19
11 Iowa 57.50 12 38
12 Indiana 57.38 9 41
13 Illinois 57.31 14 22
14 Florida 56.00 21 8
15 Nebraska 55.88 11 40
16 Maryland 55.68 13 36
17 Kentucky 55.50 15 30
18 Utah 55.01 27 4
19 North Carolina 54.57 24 11
20 Kansas 54.13 20 14
21 Texas 53.83 26 10
22 North Dakota 53.34 17 42
23 Colorado 53.06 18 49
24 Montana 52.99 19 32
25 New York 51.61 32 15
26 Washington 51.11 30 12
27 Oklahoma 51.09 36 7
28 Rhode Island 51.08 31 21
29 Wyoming 51.00 22 34
30 Pennsylvania 50.74 28 28
31 Ohio 50.65 25 44
32 Missouri 49.38 29 39
33 Idaho 47.16 34 31
34 Michigan 46.67 35 29
35 Georgia 46.17 39 23
36 Tennessee 45.84 33 43
37 South Carolina 45.72 40 18
38 Arkansas 45.65 23 50
39 Hawaii 45.44 42 6
40 California 45.34 38 35
41 South Dakota 43.55 37 48
42 Alabama 39.85 41 47
43 Oregon 39.65 43 46
44 Nevada 38.02 48 17
45 West Virginia 37.73 44 37
46 Mississippi 36.63 46 26
47 District of Columbia 35.10 50 24
48 Arizona 35.03 47 33
49 Alaska 34.36 45 45
50 New Mexico 33.30 51 27
51 Louisiana 30.33 49 51

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Exploring the Relationship between Secondary Science Teachers’ Subject Matter Knowledge and Knowledge of Student Conceptions While Teaching Evolution by Natural Selection (Lucero, Petrosino, and Delgado 2016)

Saint Ann Church- Feast Day- July 26, 2016

Dear Drs. Lucero, Petrosino, and Delgado,

It is a pleasure to accept your revised manuscript, JRST-2016-03-0110.R1, titled "Exploring the Relationship between Secondary Science Teachers’ Subject Matter Knowledge and Knowledge of Student Conceptions While Teaching Evolution by Natural Selection" in its current form for publication in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

Future communication concerning your manuscript will follow later by separate email messages. The first will come from our publisher as your manuscript is finalized for publication (galley proofs). The second message will come from the JRST Editorial Office when the manuscript is scheduled for publication (volume and issue information). Please make sure to add our email to your safe-list as previous authors have missed crucial communications from the Journal and/or Wiley because of spam and/or junk filters.

PLEASE NOTE: Galley proofs will arrive to you within about 10 days. It will be very important that you adhere to the requested 3-day turnaround time when you receive them. So, please watch your in-box for these in a few weeks' time. Failure to return proofs in a timely fashion will result in rescinding our acceptance of this manuscript.

Thank you for your fine contribution to JRST. We look forward to publishing it.


Co-Editor, Journal of Research in Science Teaching

Editorial Office 

Journal of Research in Science Teaching
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1310 South Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA

Monday, July 18, 2016

Thank you, Ms. Nelys Moyeno

The following is excerpted from a link to the Hoboken Early Childhood Advisory Council---- the wonderful work that Ms. Moyeno has done over the years is considerable and noteworthy. All the best to her as she approached retirement. -Dr. Petrosino

Ms. Nelys Moyeno is an amazing public servant who has been meeting the needs of children and their families in the Hoboken Public School (HPS) district since 2007 as the Community and Parent Involvement Specialist. Nelys, affectionately known as Nellie, is often the first point of contact for family members inquiring about the Early Childhood Education Program. Nellie welcomes all community members with warmth and sincerity, never hesitating to field questions and offer reassurances regarding our youngest learners. What ultimately motivates her is ensuring that Hoboken’s children are receiving the best possible placement and educational experiences possible. You can see this firsthand as Nellie greets the children at the Joseph F. Brandt School with a big smile on her face and generous hugs.
Nellie was born at Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City and is a lifelong resident of Hoboken. Nellie grew up in a family with three siblings. Her mother, Rose, worked in a coat factory and her father, Angelo, was a longshoreman. Nellie’s parents had a profound impact on her by instilling a deep sense of service to the community. Nellie learned the importance of faith from them and has passed along this tradition to her own children and grandchildren.

She worked for the Hoboken Board of Education, first in the Bilingual Department and later as the Parent and Community Involvement Specialist. In this capacity, Nellie helped to place children in the Early Childhood Education Program. She also engaged the community by organizing various family workshops, an effort deeply appreciated by the Hoboken Public School guardians and parents. She further encouraged parental and community involvement as a Co-Chair for the Hoboken Early Childhood Advisory Council (HECAC), an advisory group that supports the Early Childhood Education Program.

Nellie was a trailblazer in city government, opening up doors for women to take on leadership positions in Hoboken. Nellie served on City Council for eight years as an At-Large member and was elected as Council President in her last two years of service. Nellie was the first Hispanic woman to serve in this position. This was a true milestone for our mile square city and a great honor for Nellie’s family and the Hispanic community. Nellie is proud to have been part of a legislative body that improved the quality of life for Hoboken residents and for forging a path for more women to get involved in local government.

Nellie Moyeno is a thoughtful and caring staff member from the Hoboken Public School District who deserves recognition for her tireless efforts. She has truly lived up to these inspirational words: “You have two hands. One to help yourself, the second to help others.” Please help us in wishing Nellie a wonderful retirement by thanking her for her service to the community.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Marie Pepe-- Legendary Hoboken Little League Player Who Helped Change Sports in America

HOBOKEN — If you don't know Maria Pepe, you probably haven't had a girl in your life who wanted to play Little League. As a tween, Pepe tried out for — and made — a Hoboken Little League baseball team in the 1970s, before learning that it was against Little League rules for a girl to play, and Hoboken could lose its Little League charter. The adults initiated a legal battle on her behalf, and in 1974, when Pepe was too old to play Little League, girls were allowed to play on Little League teams.
Pepe was honored Saturday in Hoboken for being a trailblazer, and the Little League batting cages at 5th Street and Hudson Avenue were named in her honor.
There was a ceremony, in which Pepe, her former coach James Farina, the former president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer gave speeches. Then, a sign was unveiled with Pepe's likeness and the tagline "Trailblazer For Girls in Little League Baseball."
Already, Pepe's baseball cap is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, officials said, and it was high time for a local commendation.
While Pepe, the city's assistant comptroller, became teary eyed considering the honor and the accomplishment, she insisted that she "just wanted to play" baseball.
"My parents taught me in life what matters is how you play the game, not how many homeruns you hit," she said in her speech, as she sniffled. "What you do is measured in how it impacts others."

Hoboken Honors Maria PepeHoboken unveiled a sign in Pepe's honor April 16, 2016. After the unveiling, Pepe and others reflected on the importance of what she did, opening the door for girls in Little League. (Laura Herzog / NJ Advance Media for
Today, several girls play on the Hoboken Little League teams. Millions have played Little League around the world since 1974, according to the Little League Organization.
Among Hoboken's former Little League players is Tori Bravo, a 14-year-old Hoboken student who now plays baseball.
"I wouldn't be playing baseball without (Pepe)... so I'm really grateful," Bravo said.
NOW's former president Judith Weis, who worked in the 1970s to get the Little League organization to change its rules, said experts were brought in during hearings to block the change. One of whom insisted that little girls' bones were "more likely to break," she said incredulously.
After having coached several Hoboken Little League female players, one of Hoboken's Little League coaches said that in his experience, the girls have been some of the best members of the team.
"Girls of that age take instruction better, and almost as importantly, they're quite a bit of a calming influence in the dugout," said coach Scott Jandora.
Laura Herzog may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @LauraHerzogL. Find on Facebook
Maria Pepe (born 1960) is best known for being one of the first girls to play Little League baseball. In 1972, at age 12, she pitched three Little League games for a Young Democrats team in Hoboken, New Jersey.
This was the same team which her friends from the neighborhood had joined, so she joined as well, after having been invited to play by Little League coach Jim Farina. Pepe was asked to leave the team after the Little League "threatened to revoke Hoboken's charter." The refusal to allow Pepe to play attracted the attention of the National Organization for Women (NOW). 
A court case began on Pepe's behalf, which was supported by NOW. Ultimately the New Jersey Superior Court decided that Little League must allow girls to try out. As a result, the Little League organization began a program specifically for girls starting in 1974.
Pepe became a minor celebrity and drew media attention to various women's causes at the time. The New York Yankees made her an honorary "Yankee for a day". 
In 2004 she lent her glove and hat to the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.[3] On August 20, 2004 she was also honored by Little League Baseball by being asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the 2004 Little League World Series in South Williamsport. 
In 2005 she attended a ceremony for Little League perfect game pitcher Kathleen Brownell who was being honored at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York

NY Times (1976) permission needed 
NY Times (1974) permission needed "Girls applaud ruling"

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Petrosino, Anthony Curriculum Vitae

  In the United StatesCanadaAustralia and India, a curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive document used in academic circles and medical careers that elaborates on education, publications, and other achievements. A CV contains greater detail than a résumé, a shorter summary which is more often used in applications for jobs, but it is often expected that professionals use a short CV that highlights the current focus of their academic lives and not necessarily their full history.