Sunday, January 31, 2010

Howard Zinn- A Radical Treasure

January 29, 2010 saw the passing of Howard Zinn. Zinn was an historian and shipyard worker, civil rights activist and World War II bombardier, and author of “A People’s History of the United States,” a best seller that inspired a generation of high school and college students to rethink American history. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass. He gained admiring mention in the movie “Good Will Hunting”; and Bruce Springsteen said the starkest of his many albums, “Nebraska,” drew inspiration in part from Mr. Zinn’s writings. A "young people's" version of "People's History" was used as source material for the recent curriculum writing project I oversaw in the Hoboken School District.
Somewhat overshadowed by the death of J. D. Salinger on the same day-- many columnists around the nation found time to write of Zinn's passing. Probably no column I read resonated as much as the one written by NY Times columnist Bob Herbert. Herbert is often cited as one of the Times "conservative" columnists. His column on Zinn resounds even more I believe because of his general political leanings. -Dr. Petrosino
"The rules of law does not do away with the unequal distribution of wealth and power, but reinforces that inequality with the authority of law. It allocates wealth and poverty in such complicated and indirect ways as to leave the victim bewildered"- Howard Zinn
January 30, 2010

A Radical Treasure

I had lunch with Howard Zinn just a few weeks ago, and I’ve seldom had more fun while talking about so many matters that were unreservedly unpleasant: the sorry state of government and politics in the U.S., the tragic futility of our escalation in Afghanistan, the plight of working people in an economy rigged to benefit the rich and powerful.

Mr. Zinn could talk about all of that and more without losing his sense of humor. He was a historian with a big, engaging smile that seemed ever-present. His death this week at the age of 87 was a loss that should have drawn much more attention from a press corps that spends an inordinate amount of its time obsessing idiotically over the likes of Tiger Woods and John Edwards.

Mr. Zinn was chagrined by the present state of affairs, but undaunted. “If there is going to be change, real change,” he said, “it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves. That’s how change happens.”

We were in a restaurant at the Warwick Hotel in Manhattan. Also there was Anthony Arnove, who had worked closely with Mr. Zinn in recent years and had collaborated on his last major project, “The People Speak.” It’s a film in which well-known performers bring to life the inspirational words of everyday citizens whose struggles led to some of the most profound changes in the nation’s history. Think of those who joined in — and in many cases became leaders of — the abolitionist movement, the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the feminist revolution, the gay rights movement, and so on.

Think of what this country would have been like if those ordinary people had never bothered to fight and sometimes die for what they believed in. Mr. Zinn refers to them as “the people who have given this country whatever liberty and democracy we have.”

Our tendency is to give these true American heroes short shrift, just as we gave Howard Zinn short shrift. In the nitwit era that we’re living through now, it’s fashionable, for example, to bad-mouth labor unions and feminists even as workers throughout the land are treated like so much trash and the culture is so riddled with sexism that most people don’t even notice it. (There’s a restaurant chain called “Hooters,” for crying out loud.)

I always wondered why Howard Zinn was considered a radical. (He called himself a radical.) He was an unbelievably decent man who felt obliged to challenge injustice and unfairness wherever he found it. What was so radical about believing that workers should get a fair shake on the job, that corporations have too much power over our lives and much too much influence with the government, that wars are so murderously destructive that alternatives to warfare should be found, that blacks and other racial and ethnic minorities should have the same rights as whites, that the interests of powerful political leaders and corporate elites are not the same as those of ordinary people who are struggling from week to week to make ends meet?

Mr. Zinn was often taken to task for peeling back the rosy veneer of much of American history to reveal sordid realities that had remained hidden for too long. When writing about Andrew Jackson in his most famous book, “A People’s History of the United States,” published in 1980, Mr. Zinn said:

“If you look through high school textbooks and elementary school textbooks in American history, you will find Jackson the frontiersman, soldier, democrat, man of the people — not Jackson the slaveholder, land speculator, executioner of dissident soldiers, exterminator of Indians.”

Radical? Hardly.

Mr. Zinn would protest peacefully for important issues he believed in — against racial segregation, for example, or against the war in Vietnam — and at times he was beaten and arrested for doing so. He was a man of exceptionally strong character who worked hard as a boy growing up in Brooklyn during the Depression. He was a bomber pilot in World War II, and his experience of the unmitigated horror of warfare served as the foundation for his lifelong quest for peaceful solutions to conflict.

He had a wonderful family, and he cherished it. He and his wife, Roslyn, known to all as Roz, were married in 1944 and were inseparable for more than six decades until her death in 2008. She was an activist, too, and Howard’s editor. “I never showed my work to anyone except her,” he said.

They had two children and five grandchildren.

Mr. Zinn was in Santa Monica this week, resting up after a grueling year of work and travel, when he suffered a heart attack and died on Wednesday. He was a treasure and an inspiration. That he was considered radical says way more about this society than it does about him.

Picture: Associate Press

Meeting with Manor Teachers- Thursday Jan 28

This past week I met with teachers from Manor New Technology High School in Manor,Texas. Manor New Tech, built on the New Technology Foundation model of project-based learning, is strikingly different from what is found in traditional secondary education classroom settings. MNTHS student population is made up of applicants accepted through a blind lottery. As a result, the student population at MNTHS is diverse in all aspects, including the two largest subpopulations of young men and young women of color. Additionally, the project-based learning environment sets up an atmosphere where learning is student-driven, engaging, and meets the needs of a wide variety of academic abilities. 

This semester I will be working with the following teachers---Tara Craig (Geogebra), Chris Fancher (Geogebra), Kyle Kendrick (Env. Sys/Stats), Heather Crouch (Env. Sys/Stats), Paige Sartin (Chem/Bio), Stephanie Hart (Chem), Pedro Merced (Math working with TAKS prep), Bobby Garcia (Engineering), Janice Trinidad (Phys/Alg 2). Missing from today's meeting but part of the group will be Sara Hawkins (Bio) and Floyd Banks (phys/Alg 2). 

In addition to myself, we also had Denise Ekberg (Clinical Faculty), Cesar Delgado (Assistant Professor), and Teddy Chao (Teaching Assistant) in attendance from UT. Matt Chankin (Teaching Assistant) was unable to make it today but is part of the group at UT as well. 

We had a great meeting and discussed some ideas for the field component for this semester's Project Based Instruction class at UT. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hi Dr. Petrosino,


I noticed that you’ve covered issues relating to STEM education on your blog, and I thought that you might be interested in attending or writing about this weekend’s 2010 Science Symposium, where some of the country’s top educators, thought leaders and administrators will be discussing key issues in K-12 science education, including how to best utilize and incorporate technology in the classroom. McGraw-Hill is sponsoring the event, which is being held at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


The symposium will feature presentations from University of Michigan professors, National Science Board executives, and demonstrations from Smart Technologies, Vernier Software and the American Museum of Natural History, among other notable leaders in the industry.


If you’re unable to attend, I’d be happy to send key takeaways from the presentations, or put you in touch with McGraw-Hill Education’s Art Block, senior VP of STEM, or Michael Comer, longtime science educator, to discuss the symposium and larger trends in science education.



McGraw-Hill Education

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hoboken Superintendent Candidate's Forum Announced

EVENT: Candidates' Forum for Superintendent of Schools for the City of Hoboken
DATE: Tuesday January 26th
PLACE: Hoboken High School Auditorium

The event will be moderated by NJSBA consultant Susan McCusker.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Research Shows Personality Differences Between Cat and Dog People

While not quite strictly educational- more social science- I thought this would have some interest to people. It's based on research by a colleague of mine and plays into many different notions of "cat people", "dog people" and those who enjoy the company of both (myself) or neither. I will be back to more specific educational issues soon as matters at the local, state and national level are becoming very interesting. -Dr. Petrosino

AUSTIN, Texas — There really is a difference between "dog people" and "cat people," according to new research from a University of Texas at Austin psychologist.

In a paper to be published later this year in the journal Anthrozoƶs, Sam Gosling finds that those who define themselves as "dog people" are more extraverted, more agreeable and more conscientious than self-described "cat people."

Fans of felines, on the other hand, are more neurotic but also more open than their canine-loving counterparts.

"There is a widely held cultural belief that the pet species—dog or cat—with which a person has the strongest affinity says something about the individual's personality," says Gosling, who conducted the study with graduate student Carson Sandy.

Yet numerous studies that have tried to tackle this question in the past have failed to find convincing evidence for consistent differences between the two kinds of pet lovers. Gosling's paper is the first to provide a clear portrait of what cat and dog people tend to be like.

"This research suggests there are significant differences on major personality traits between dog people and cat people," he says. "Given the tight psychological connections between people and their pets, it is likely that the differences between dogs and cats may be suited to different human personalities."

As part of the research, 4,565 volunteers were asked whether they were dog people, cat people, neither or both. The same group was given a 44-item assessment that measured them on the so-called Big Five personality dimensions psychologists often use to study personalities.

According to the findings:

  • Forty-six percent of respondents described themselves as dog people, while 12 percent said they were cat people. Almost 28 percent said they were both and 15 percent said they were neither.
  • Dog people were generally about 15 percent more extraverted, 13 percent more agreeable and 11 percent more conscientious than cat people.
  • Cat people were generally about 12 percent more neurotic and 11 percent more open than dog people.

Gosling, a professor in the Psychology Department, is a leading authority on human personality. He is the author of "Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You" and recently made international headlines with his findings that people's Facebook pages reveal their true personalities, not their idealized personalities.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Texas Shouldn’t Sit Out Education Race

To view this full article, please click HERE

On Tuesday, 40 states and the District of Columbia entered a competition for $4.35 billion in federal taxpayer money aimed at improving education from kindergarten through 12th grade.

In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry didn’t want to join the tussle (Texas could get as much as $750 million) for fear that the process could lead to too much federal government influence over public schools. This state, he said, "would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children’s future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington."

Perry’s primary objection to the federal "Race to the Top" education grants is that the process gives an edge (40 points on a 500-point scale) to states that agree to use "common core" education standards. Only Texas and Alaska have not signed on.

Politicians and educators have been arguing about the pros and cons of nationwide education standards since the Soviets launched Sputnik. President Barack Obama likes the idea, and his administration is using a $4.35 billion carrot to urge it along.

Perry doesn’t like Obama’s policies — or seemingly anything about him. So if Obama says "yes," Perry says "no," or vice versa, on just about anything.

Fair enough, as far as politics go. But this is about education, and Texans take their kids’ education pretty darn seriously.

So who’s right about the standards? The answer is that it doesn’t matter who writes the standards. What matters is how good the standards are and whether they will help students compete in the global race for jobs.

The "common core" standards come from a cooperative effort led by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.

Grade-level K-12 standards themselves haven’t been finished (a draft is expected before spring). But the effort’s advisory group of education experts, stealing openly from concepts used by other nations that are doing a better job of educating their young, has completed "college and career readiness" standards for math and English/language arts. It’s a description of what students should know when they leave high school. (Find it at

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day 2010

"There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think." -MLK Jr.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some Thoughts on the Resignation of Dr. Lorraine Cella

As Dr. Cella indicated in her resignation letter, "We worked hard to accomplish our goals and to establish solid programs building on the strengths of the past as we moved to the future."

During her two and a half years at Hoboken High School, Dr. Cella built on past strengths and expanded on that foundation to be awarded two consecutive Bronze Awards by US News and World Report for recognized excellence in New Jersey High Schools. Additionally, Hoboken High School was designated the second most improved high school in the state by New Jersey Monthly. These were unsolicited awards based on objective and mandatory data reported to the State. She initiated the Columbia Writing Project (a collaboration with Columbia University), a brand new Apple Computer Lab and expanded it's PC lab, oversaw a major expansion of the media arts, supported the State recognized Theater Arts program and actively participated in the curriculum revision process of the district. Moreover, with Dr. Cella's leadership a 9th grade induction support system for incoming freshmen was established as well as faculty "study groups" where she oversaw internal professional development of her fine staff. This year, Hoboken High School made "AYP"- an official designation indicating "adequate yearly progress"- a rigorous standard set by the State.

More than all this, Dr. Cella brought a humanist centered pedagogy to Hoboken High School. She showed she cared and demonstrated her excellence as an educational leader not by intimidation but by being professionally approachable; not by being pompous, but by being humble at the challenges of urban education, and not by creating a building where not a sound could be heard, but rather by creating a community of learners where discourse and discussion was valued and recognized. Dr. Cella loved the City of Hoboken and she adored the students of Hoboken High School.

Commentary: It is my opinion that concerned citizens and parents who are sincerely invested in the general educational direction of the Hoboken School District and specifically Hoboken High School should inquire very critically about the specifics surrounding the "various circumstances" Dr. Cella cited in her resignation letter. One must wonder aloud and to our district leaders why an Ivy-League trained professional and state certified administrator like Dr. Cella- who demonstrated clear, objective and independent positive results, saw no alternative other than to leave the school she loved and the students she treasured? It doesn't make sense---and that is my point. -Dr. Petrosino

picture: Under the leadership of Dr. Cella and her staff, Hoboken High School won consecutive Bronze Medal Awards from US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT for top quality high schools in the State of New Jersey. She inherited a good school and took it to the next level.

Letter to the Hoboken Reporter

On Saturday, January 16, 2010 The Hoboken Reporter published a letter to the editor by me commenting on the recent unanimous passing by the Hoboken Board of Education on a new curriculum. There were some needed edits in the original draft and the version below is the actual final version submitted. Again, thanks to the entire Hoboken Curriculum Committee for an incredible job. Cheers, -Dr. Petrosino

On Tuesday, December 15, 2009 the Hoboken Board of Education unanimously approved a new curriculum. As the Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools from 2007-2009, I am honored to have led the district in this effort and in bringing the first fully articulated curriculum to the children and teachers of Hoboken in recent memory.

I would like to thank the Hoboken Curriculum Committee and the district’s support staff. The time and effort they spent on this effort took them away from their children, spouses, loved ones and took up more weekends and leisure time than any hourly contractual compensation could approach.

Working with about 80 district teachers, supervisors and administrators as well as outside experts, we completed this project in a little over 18 months. The cost was less than 3/10 of 1% of the combined budgets for Fiscal Years 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-2010. Moreover, a non-trivial portion of those funds came from federal and state programs thus lessening the cost to Hoboken taxpayers. For that, the children of Hoboken received a complete PK-12 curriculum including grade level curriculum maps, unit planners, and district wide assessments. The teachers involved received over 8500 professional development hours in curriculum theory, formative and summative assessment, design and implementation of standards based curriculum, learning theory, developmental psychology, and content specific instructional practices.

As part of the overall Instruction and Programs process, we instituted a series of initiatives and expansions of previous efforts. For instance, we expanded the John Hopkins Gifted and Talented Program, nearly tripling the participation of students. We initiated the nationally recognized and research based PK-K curriculum known as "Tools of the Mind." We began long term institutional professional development in literacy with LitLife (Grades 1-5) and in how to teach for problem solving and critical thinking with the widely recognized program, "Understanding by Design". We instituted the Read 180 program leveraging both technology and phonemic awareness with whole language skills for our students in need of reading improvement. We also instituted quarterly computer generated reading progress reports for all of our middle grade students using the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI).

None of this would have been possible without the support of former Superintendent Raslowsky. Using the most objective and independent State mandated assessment of district oversight- the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC)- during his tenure he increased NJQSAC district scores 58.8% in Instruction and Programs, 70.5% in Fiscal Management, 100% in Governance and maintained 80% passing scores in Operations and Personnel.

Finally, it should be noted that the initiatives above took place “BC” (Before Interim Superintendent Carter’s administration which began in September of 2009). Implementation integrity and fine-tuning of the curriculum as well as support for existing programs and for new initiatives rest fully in the current and succeeding superintendent’s hands. I wish them all the best.

Dr. Anthony Petrosino Jr.

Former Assistant to the Superintendent

Hoboken School District

Saturday, January 16, 2010

To Lead Schools, Christie Picks Voucher Advocate

Governor elect Chris Christie recently nominated former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler as Commissioner of Education for the State of New Jersey replacing Lucille Davy. Here is a segment of a report by NY Times reporter David M. Halbfinger that was published on January 13, 2010. You can view the entire article by clicking HERE. 


TRENTON — The man once described by teachers’ union leaders as “the antithesis of everything we hold sacred about public education” was chosen to serve as state education commissioner by Governor-elect Christopher J. Christie on Wednesday.

Mel Evans/Associated Press

Governor-elect Christopher J. Christie, left, announcing the nomination of Bret D. Schundler to serve as New Jersey’s education commissioner. Mr. Schundler ran for governor twice.


Times Topics: Christopher J. Christie | Bret D. Schundler

The nomination of Bret D. Schundlerto the post underscored the governor’s determination to press ahead with his push for school vouchers, morecharter schools and merit pay for teachers.

It was the first selection by Mr. Christie to suggest even the possibility of a confirmation battle with Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature. Thus far, the governor-elect has chosen nominees heavy on managerial experience, if lacking in drama or outsized personalities, and drawn bipartisan praise for his selections.

Mr. Schundler, 50, was a favorite of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and a leading voice for school-choice advocates during his nine years as mayor of Jersey City, but he failed in two runs for governor, in 2001 and 2005.

“We agree on the type of significant reform that needs to happen in our educational system here in New Jersey,” Mr. Christie said in making the announcement at the State House. “I want a strong, reasonable, bold leader who’s going to help me implement those policies.”

HHS Student Council Donates to Haitian Earthquake Victims

The following story was first reported by Mark Maurer of The Jersey Journal and can be found online by clicking HERE.  


The Hoboken High School student council agreed to pass a resolution today to donate $5,000 from the Student Activity Fund to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Interim Superintendent Peter Carter, the council’s faculty advisor, held a meeting in a high school classroom announcing his suggestion to the student council to allocate these funds for the relief effort, either to the American Red Cross or AmeriCorps. The only way the Student Activity Fund is with the consent of the student council. Therefore, Ashley Barron, the 12th-grade student council president, signed a letter acknowledging the council’s consent.

“I think it’s a great thing we’re doing,” Barron said. “We’re just a public school in a small town, but we can put this toward a good cause.”

The Hoboken Board of Education will meet Tuesday to vote. According to the Interim, he assures the Board will pass the resolution. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

UTeach Expansion Recognized as President Obama Spotlights Importance of Teachers in Improving U.S. Innovation

The following is a short write-up of a teacher training program in mathematics and science education that I am part of at The University of Texas at Austin. I've been involved for about 11 of the 12 years UTeach has been in existence and have created some of it's courses, lectured about it around the country and have studied it as part of my research. MANY of the components of what I learned with the UTeach Program were incorporated into the work with the Hoboken Curriculum Committee and Curriculum Project while I was Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools in Hoboken. In this excerpt, please read how President Obama finds the UTeach Program to be a great example of research and practice coming together in STEM Education. Over 50 Universities in the United States are using this model. -Dr. Petrosino

AUSTIN, Texas — At a special event at the White House today (Jan 6.), President Barack Obama recognized the national replication of The University of Texas at Austin's UTeach program and the supporters of that replication.
"Our future depends on reaffirming America's role as the world's engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation, and that leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today, especially in math, science, technology and engineering," said President Obama.

In announcing the expansion of his "Educate to Innovate" campaign, the president applauded several new public-private partnerships that will help meet the goal of moving American students from the middle to the top in science and math achievement over the next decade.

One of those exemplary partnerships is leading to the replication of the UTeach math and science teacher-preparation program, which began at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997, to 19 universities nationally.

Thirteen universities in nine states implemented UTeach programs during the 2008-2009 school year. A newly announced second cohort of six universities includes the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Tyler and Cleveland State University.

View a full list of UTeach replication sites.

Support and funding for these replications come from the UTeach Institute, the National Math and Science Initiative, the Texas High School Project, the Texas Education Agency, the Greater Texas Foundation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Texas Instruments Foundation, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the Tennessee Department of Education and other private philanthropy.

UTeach allows students to graduate in four years with both deep content knowledge in their major and a teaching certification. Ninety-two percent of UTeach graduates have become teachers, and 82 percent are still in the classroom after five years.

Enrollment in UTeach has nearly doubled nationally in just two years, attracting more than 2,100 math and science majors into the program.

Projections indicate that, by 2018, UTeach-like programs around the country will have produced an estimated 7,000 new math and science teachers, and those teachers will have affected more than one million students by 2017 and more than 20 million during the course of the new teachers' careers.

At The University of Texas at Austin, UTeach has graduated more than 500 students, and has more than doubled the number of math majors and increased by six times the number of science majors being certified as teachers at the university.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Austin’s schools superintendent says she’s willing to reshape the district’s entire budget over a new bilingual education model. KUT’s (part of the NPR network) Nathan Bernier reports on the Austin Independent School District’s decision to move ahead with a dual language pilot project. Listen to University of Texas professor Dr. Deb Palmer discuss research findings about dual language programs.

For full broadcast, please click HERE

For access to the KUT website about this story, please click HERE

In Hoboken- a charter was awarded in late 2009 for a dual language school (recall, the Hoboken Board of Education rejected the opportunity to have a dual language program in the district). 

The new charter school will be called Hola and in a press release by Jennifer Hindman SargentCamille Korschun Bustillo and Barbara Martinez they explain:

HoLa will offer a comprehensive curriculum delivered in both Spanish and English by teachers trained in innovative strategies specific to dual language education, with the goals of academic excellence and bilingualism for all students. The school will also feature an emphasis on the arts; a nurturing school community; and a multicultural perspective. “We are thrilled that the Office of Charter Schools recognized both the value of dual language education for children of all language backgrounds, and the ideal fit of such a program for our dynamic and diverse community,” said Sargent. “We look forward to bringing a truly unique educational option to Hoboken.”… Program goals include academic excellence, bilingualism/biliteracy for all children, and an appreciation of other cultures.”

Picture: Corner of 6th and Washington Sts- January, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Recognition

The White House announced the winners of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Recognition ceremonies for the 2008 Presidential Awardees will be held January 4 - 7, 2010 in Washington, DC. I was fortunate to serve on the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program in August of 2009 (see note below). -Dr. Petrosino

For a full list of teachers and profiles, click HERE

President Obama recently named more than 100 science, math, and engineering teachers and mentors as recipients of two prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence.  The educators will receive their awards in the Fall at a White House ceremony.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, awarded each year to individuals or organizations, recognizes the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science or engineering and who belong to minorities that are underrepresented in those fields. By offering their time, encouragement and expertise to these students, mentors help ensure that the next generation of scientists and engineers will better reflect the diversity of the United States.
Candidates for the Presidential Mentoring Award are nominated by colleagues, administrators, and students from their home institutions.  The mentoring can involve students at any grade level from elementary through graduate school. In addition to being honored at the White House, recipients receive awards of $10,000 to advance their mentoring efforts.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to the best pre-college-level science and math teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates, going either to science and math teachers in grades K through 6 (as it is this year) or to those teaching in grades 7 through 12.
Winners of the Presidential Teaching Award receive $10,000 awards from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for a White House awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.
"There is no higher calling than furthering the educational advancement of our nation’s young people and encouraging and inspiring our next generation of leaders," President Obama said. "These awards represent a heartfelt salute of appreciation to a remarkable group of individuals who have devoted their lives and careers to helping others and in doing so have helped us all."






Division of Research on Learning in

Formal and Informal Settings

Presidential Awards for Excellence in

Mathematics and Science Teaching


September 23, 2009



Dear Anthony  Petrosino,


On behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF), we want to express sincere appreciation for the expertise that you provided as a panel reviewer for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program. Expert panelists are integral to the NSF’s merit review process.  Your advice and recommendations are critical components in the selection of teachers who are worthy of a Presidential Award. 


We recognize that the review of the PAEMST applications is particularly time consuming and sensitive.  While we hope that you enjoyed the process, we do know and appreciate how much time and effort it took. The quality of the discussions and the written reviews were excellent.


Again, thank you so much for your invaluable service to the PAEMST program.






Celeste Pea

Program Director, DRL


Elizabeth VanderPutten

Program Director, DRL


Sent on behalf of Celeste Pea and Elizabeth VanderPutten

by Nancy Spillane, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Public Notice- Hoboken Board of Eduction/January 2010

Public Notice
Hoboken Board of Education
January 2010
Special Closed Session • Board Meetings
Date: Monday January 4, 2010
Closed Executive Session Agenda:
a) 5:30 PM: Board Training with NJSBA Representative

b) 6:00 PM: The Board as a while will interview candidates for the position of Hoboken Superintendent of Schools.

The Public is excluded from this Meeting. No action will be taken at this meeting. 

Date: Tuesday January 5, 2010
Time: 6 PM

Closed Executive Session Agenda:
The Board as a while will interview candidates for the position of Hoboken Superintendent of Schools. 

The pubic is excluded from this Meeting. No action will be taken at this meeting. 

LOCATION: The above meetings will take place at the Board of Education meeting room, 1115 Clinton Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Note: The regular monthly meeting at the Hoboken Board of Education is currently scheduled for Tuesday January 19, 2010 at 7 PM, a separate Public Notice will be published for that Meeting and its Agenda. 

Publish by Order of the Board of Education of the School District of the City of Hoboken

David Anthony
Board Secretary

100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2009-10

Recently, Kiplinger FInancial Magazine updated and ranked their list of the top 100 colleges for 2009-10. Using the link below-- you can sort the overall rankings for both in-state students and out-of-state students, costquality measures or financial aid measures. Just select All States or any number of individual states (hold down the control key as you click to choose more than one), or select All Schools or any number of individual colleges. Clicking on the college names in the table will take you to their Web sites. Most of our data come from Petersons, a Nelnet company.

Led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for overall value and by Binghamton University (SUNY) for out-of-state value -- continue to deliver strong academics at reasonable prices, in many cases by offering the same or more financial aid as in previous years

Hawaii Teachers OK Deal to Reduce Furlough Days

This story from Hawaii shows some of the extraordinary steps some states have taken to reduce budgets in education specifically and in the public sector in general. The original proposal called for a reduction of 17 school days---essentially, "no school Friday's". The present compromise with the teachers association still represents one of the most aggressive programs in the 50 states. -Dr. Petrosino

HONOLULU (AP) - The union that represents Hawaii's public school teachers has approved an agreement to reduce the number of furlough days in the current school year.

Hundreds of parents protested a plan this fall to cut 17 instructional days, giving the state the shortest school year in the nation.

Hawaii State Teachers Association President Wil Okabe said Monday the number of teacher furlough days remaining through June has been reduced from 10 to three, and those days will be take at the end of the school year.

He says $35 million from the state's rainy-day fund will be used to restore five furlough days, and teachers will give up two planning days.

Gov. Linda Lingle, who must agree to the plan, rejected it, saying it would still shorten the school year. Her remarks were based on details she read about in the media. She said she hadn't yet heard about the plan directly from the teacher's union, the Department of Education and the Board of Education.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

Reader Response

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "2009 Best Education Schools in the Country- US New...": 

4) >I like the way you cleverly corrected your math mistake without admitting that you were wrong. In your earlier post you >typed .03, but you’ve now changed it to .003

.03% = .003 They are equal....they are the same. (correction .3%=.003)

Dear Dr. Petrosino,
Please note that .03% does not equal to .003 as you stated. It is .03% = .0003
Thank you,
Frances Jennings