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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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Trenton, New Jersey 08608

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The Buzz

1-29-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Murphy Moves on Juvenile Justice Reform, Ahead of His Own Task Force New law alters sentencing and fines, parole process and post-release supervision for youthful offenders...'

Education Week--People Keep on Saying They're Killing the Common Core. How Dead Is It? Late last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, announced that he had fulfilled a campaign promise from 2018: He declared that the state had found a replacement for the Common Core State Standards...'

Chalkbeat--Newark mayor defends Superintendent León after anonymous flyers attack his charter school stance Mayor Ras Baraka is defending the Newark schools chief after anonymous flyers and posters appeared across the city attacking the superintendent’s call to close four charter schools...'

Education Dive--Walton Family Foundation expected to invest $200M in charters by mid-2020 The Walton Family Foundation, through it's Building Equity Initiative, has spent $185 million over three years to renovate charter facilities, according to a report released Monday by the foundation, and that number is expected to reach $200 million by mid-2020...'

1-28-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--On the Menu: Raising the Quality of NJ’s School Food After expanding access to school meals, state lawmakers take steps to improve nutrition standards Improving school food in New Jersey has been a target for state lawmakers in recent years, from programs to expand the availability of school lunch and breakfast and, just this winter, additional funds to ease the cost for the neediest students...'

Star Ledger--Why don’t the best students want to be teachers?    Opinion
Why would so many people in the United States overwhelmingly prefer to work in a stodgy corporate environment, dispassionately analyzing the demographics of teachers, rather than be the educators themselves, passionately seeking to make the world a better place? And how do we change course?...'

Star Ledger--N.J. schools install detectors to stop kids from vaping in bathrooms In the latest effort to stop students from puffing on e-cigarettes between classes, some New Jersey high schools are turning to a new form of security to act as a deterrent: vaping detectors...'

NPR--High School Starts At 3 p.m. For These Michigan Students The final moments of Friday afternoon are slipping away at Eastern High School in Lansing, Mich., as announcements echo through the halls. As students stream through the doors, teacher Dee Halstead is rolling her supply cart to the library. Her workday is just ramping up...'

Chalkbeat--Everyone counts: Newark school district is helping more parents participate in the census The decennial census is coming up, and Newark is working to get parents to respond, to make sure everyone is counted...'

Education Dive--Report: Teacher prep programs boost emphasis on reading instruction While many criticize how the National Council on Teacher Quality rates schools of ed, the latest review comes in the midst of a national discussion over how children learn to read...'

1-27-20 Education in the News
Chalkbeat (via NJ Spotlight)--Newark Superintendent Plans to Expel Charter School Amid Push to Expand District Schools chief Roger León is also scrutinizing the sales of a dozen school buildings that were offloaded by his predecessor...'

Star Ledger--Between math and phys ed, he’s on the board of ed, making rules for his peers All kids have a lane in which they’ll flourish at some point. Sports wasn’t it for Jamie Serruto, a senior at Millburn High School, who comes from an athletic family known in the township...'

Education Week--Stopping Violence in Schools: Effort to Create National Guidelines Underway Every time there's a shooting in a school, many principals and district leaders feel the responsibility—and pressure—to take action to ensure that gun violence doesn't happen in their schools...'

Edutopia--Supporting Students Affected by Trauma Just as students with learning challenges need academic accommodations, students who have adverse childhood experiences may benefit from social and emotional accommodations...'

1-24-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Many Teachers in NJ Not Equipped to Educate English Language Learners Hispanic students represent the fastest growing minority population in NJ, but teachers are not well-prepared to work with them...'

Star Ledger--A place of 'perpetual doom,’ is rising from the ashes, councilwoman says “When I graduated high school in 2007, about 7% of Camden’s total population had a college degree,” Felisha Reyes Morton says. “Today, almost 70% of high school students are taking the SAT creating an excellent indicator for future college graduates in the city.”...'

Education Week--Social Media is 'Tearing Us Apart', Middle and High School Students Say The digital world isn't just exhausting for adults. More than half of the middle and high school students who participated in a recent survey say they sometimes turn off their phones just to get some relief from all the activity, even though they then feel disconnected. And more than half of U.S. students surveyed—56 percent—say technology and social media are "tearing us apart more than they are bringing people together."...'

1-23-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--In Paterson, Rethinking the Concept of What Makes a High School A federally funded program offers students a range of support services outside the ordinary They’re called barriers to education — things beyond the traditional purview of school officials that nevertheless are big obstacles to the learning process, especially in high-poverty communities like Paterson...'

Star Ledger--With music video, Toms River H.S. adds voices to its chorus opposing school cuts In the school district’s latest effort to fight millions of dollars in state aid cuts, Toms River has added dozens more voices to its chorus of opposition — literally — with a YouTube video featuring alumni, students and staff pleading in song for another year of level funding...'

NY Times--Making Yellow School Buses a Little More Green Just ask any parent — yellow school buses, with their classic look, signature smell and rumbling sound, remain largely unchanged from decades past. But with advances in technology, those old buses are beginning to reach the end of the line...'

NPR--Supreme Court Could Be Headed To A Major Unraveling Of Public School Funding In a case with potentially profound implications, the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority seemed ready to invalidate a provision of the Montana state constitution that bars aid to religious schools. A decision like that would work a sea change in constitutional law, significantly removing the longstanding high wall of separation between church and state...'

Education Week--Why Don't Parents Always Choose the Best Schools?...'

Education Dive--Teacher prep, equity top list of 'hot' literacy topics The International Literacy Association’s survey comes as state chiefs gather in Washington, D.C. to discuss what some call a reading crisis...'

Edutopia--Reflections on Becoming More Culturally Responsive Participants in a program on culturally responsive teaching practices share what they’ve learned about themselves—and how their teaching has changed as a result...'

1-22-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Does NJ Have Model in Place to Fix Schools Segregation? Under state choice program, roughly 5,000 students already go to schools in districts other than their own Could New Jersey have an answer to its school-segregation patterns already in place? Those behind an existing school-choice program are making that case, led by a prominent figure in state educational circles...'

Star Ledger--Murphy vetoes bill allowing depression screening in public schools An effort to screen middle and high school students in New Jersey for signs of depression will not move forward, as Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday declined to sign the bill into law...'

Star Ledger--Kids can do laundry, get health screenings at 1st N.J. school funded by federal gov’t Tutoring, anti-bullying prevention, family nights and even free laundry are among the wide-ranging services being offered at the state’s first-federally-funded, full service community high school in Paterson...'

Education Week--Long History Underlies Fight Over Religious-School Funding Twenty years ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued a call to arms of sorts, in a case in which the court upheld the use of federal education aid to private religious schools for the loan of library books, computers, and other materials...'

Politics K-12-Education Department Launches New Civil Rights Outreach Initiative The U.S. Department of Education plans a new initiative designed to help schools, educators, and students understand and apply education civil rights laws, the agency announced Tuesday...'

1-21-20 Education in the News
Star Ledger--Kids who apply themselves may lose out when applying to college    Opinion...'
Washington Post--Q&A: In ‘Slaying Goliath,’ Diane Ravitch argues public education advocates have beat back privatization efforts Education historian and activist Diane Ravitch is publishing a new book Tuesday, the latest in her years-long chronicling of how the modern school “reform” movement has harmed students, teachers and schools...'

Politics K-12 (via Education Week)--What You Should Know About the Supreme Court Case the Education World Is Watching An argument over a $150 tax credit in Montana could have broad effects for school choice nationally, potentially opening the door to expanded use of public funds to support students' enrollment at private schools...'

Chalkbeat--Money for college? Newark helps students tackle the complex federal aid form Filling out the federal student aid application is challenging even for savvy parents. For those who aren’t native English speakers, the complicated form can be mind-boggling. Thanks to volunteers and an organized campaign in Newark, more families can now tackle the form...'

1-20-20 Education in the News
Star Ledger--These are N.J.’s least educated towns. See how yours stacks up. Many of New Jersey’s least educated towns share several other key markers: low incomes, lack of access to higher education and widespread language hurdles, experts say...'

Jersey Journal--With less than 100 days to solve Jersey City school budget’s massive deficit, board is mum on plan...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--LGBTQ education is now mandatory in N.J. schools. Here’s how teachers are preparing...'

Politics K-12 (via Education Week)--Trump Team Plans to Relax School Lunch Rules. Opponents Warn of 'Junk Food Loophole' The U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday announced plans to further relax heightened school meal nutrition standards created by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which was championed by former first lady Michelle Obama...'

Education Dive--Ed Dept proposes easier access to federal funds for religious schools, emphasizes school prayer In an announcement Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education emphasized that public schools must allow prayer and other forms of religious expression or risk losing federal funds...'

Edutopia--Reflections on Becoming More Culturally Responsive Participants in a program on culturally responsive teaching practices share what they’ve learned about themselves—and how their teaching has changed as a result...'

1-17-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Time for NJ Schools to Teach Leadership Skills to Females of Color ‘It is crucial that New Jersey schools provide females of color access to programs that promote their self-worth, self-esteem’...'

Politics K-12 (via Education Week)--What Trump's Action on School Prayer Means (and Doesn't Mean) for Students and Educators President Donald Trump will promote new guidance on prayer in schools in an Oval Office event Thursday afternoon, part of several steps the administration will take to mark National Religious Freedom Day, administration officials said...'

Chalkbeat--States and cities are banning hair discrimination. Here’s how that’s affecting schools...'

1-16-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Explainer: What Happens to a Bill When a Legislative Session Ends How process usually works and what changes once new lawmakers are sworn into office...'

Star Ledger--Murphy says he supports removing religion as a reason to skip child vaccinations in N.J. Hundreds of parents protest a controversial child vaccination bill at the Statehouse in Trenton on Monday...'

Education Week--What Does Big Tech Want From Schools? (Spoiler Alert: It's Not Money) Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are increasingly ubiquitous in K-12 education It’s hard to miss the impact of Big Tech on classrooms today...'

Chalkbeat--Study: Newark’s large charter school networks give students a big boost. Other charters, not so much...'

Education Dive--FETC 2020: District shares tips, benefits for launching student-run IT help desk A student technology internship program made a 1:1 tech transformation in New York's Webster Central School District possible while giving students valuable skills and practical experience...'

Edutopia--7 Ways to Make Teaching a More Sustainable Profession Tips for school leaders seeking to foster an environment that supports, engages, and motivates teachers...'

1-15-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Halfway Through Term, Murphy Touts Record in State of the State Address Political observers often view the start of a governor’s third year as the unofficial beginning of a reelection campaign...'

Star Ledger--Ready to spend $4.5M to make school lunches free? N.J. lawmakers are. Families who qualify for reduced price school lunch but struggle to pay for it will no longer have to worry as long as New Jersey lawmakers get their way...'

Star Ledger--N.J. is 1 step away from universal depression screening for teens Young people who are clinically depressed typically go years before their first symptoms and treatment. A proposed law would require depression screening in schools to identify students in New Jersey who need support...'

Education Week--Face It, School Governance Is a Mess Why you should be paying more attention to the tangled web of K-12 governance...'

Chalkbeat--A ‘seal of civic readiness’ should be option for high school diploma, New York task force says New York high schoolers should have the option to earn a “seal of civic readiness” as one way to complete their diploma requirements, members of a state education task force are suggesting to the Board of Regents...'

Edutopia--A De-escalation Exercise for Upset Students A simple technique that takes just a few minutes can help an agitated student regain the state of mind needed for learning...'

1-14-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Senate Pulls Vaccine Bill After Backroom Wrangling Fails to Garner Enough Votes Religious exemptions to New Jersey’s vaccine mandates will remain in place — for now — as lawmakers in the state Senate failed on Monday to muster the votes needed for final passage of a controversial bill meant to increase the number of children who are inoculated against specific communicable diseases...'

NJ Spotlight--School Funding Discord Pits Murphy Against Sweeney — Again Governor vetoes Senate president’s bill, which would allow districts to raise property taxes to make up for money lost under new school-funding law...'

Washington Post--Liberal arts education: Waste of money or practical investment? Study’s conclusions might surprise you...'

1-13-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--‘Far-Reaching’ School Segregation Lawsuit Kicks Off in Trenton Superior Court judge signals that a swift resolution is unlikely, encourages negotiations with state It may soon go down in the lexicon of New Jersey’s most famous equity court cases: Latino Action Network v. State of New Jersey...'

NJ Spotlight--Interactive Map: Enrollment Data Shows Segregation Persists in NJ School System While New Jersey’s public school population is highly diverse overall, that is not reflected in most districts or schools...'

Star Ledger--Bill to eliminate religion as a reason not to vaccinate N.J. kids is in trouble again Thousands of protesters gather outside the Statehouse in Trenton on Thursday to protest a bill that would remove vaccination exemptions based on a family's religious beliefs in New Jersey...'

NY Times--Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories. We analyzed some of the most popular social studies textbooks used in California and Texas. Here’s how political divides shape what students learn about the nation’s history...'

NPR--What To Say To Kids When The News Is Scary If you find the news out of Iran or Australia unsettling, imagine how a child might be feeling right now. NPR's Life Kit spoke with a handful of child development experts about what parents, teachers and other caregivers can do to help prepare and protect kids from all the scary news out there, whether it's fighting overseas, a school shooting or a devastating wildfire. Here's what those experts had to say:...'

Philadelphia Inquirer (via Education Week)--A Quarter of Kids With Autism May Go Undiagnosed, Study Finds A new Rutgers study has found that one-fourth of children with autism spectrum disorder may go undiagnosed...'

Education Dive--RAND Corp project to survey districts, charter groups Building on its American Educator Panels, which have provided a glimpse into teachers’ and school leaders’ thoughts on issues such as school discipline and instructional methods, the RAND Corporation is launching a new set of surveys for school districts and charter management organizations...'

1-10-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Lawmakers to Vote on Permanent ‘Path to Progress’ Panel Senate President Steve Sweeney, who created the original reform group, says state’s deep fiscal woes require constant attention...'

NJ Spotlight--E-Cigarette Regulations Advance, but Not Menthol Ban Senate President Steve Sweeney worries about potential loss of $230M in tax revenue from sale of menthol-flavored traditional cigarettes...'

Star Ledger—Thousands protest N.J. bill thatwould remove religious exemption from vaccinations Thousands of anti-vaccination protesters massed outside the Statehouse in Trenton on Thursday to protest the proposed bill that would remove religious exemptions for vaccinating children. The freezing temperatures did not deter them...'

Jersey Journal--Jersey City mayor says appointed school board would be temporary The morning after dozens of people spoke out against converting Jersey City’s elected school board into an appointed body, Mayor Steve Fulop said the potential change would only be temporary...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--Preventing the next mass shooting: Secret Service is training hundreds of teachers, cops at Bucks high school More than 200 representatives from schools and police departments across Pennsylvania met with the U.S. Secret Service at a Bucks County school Thursday to learn how to identify signs of a situation all hope they never confront — the next school shooting or other violence...'

Education Week-This Flu Season May Be Among the Worst of Past Decade and It's Not Peaked Yet With this flu season on track to be among the worst in the past decade, schools need to be vigilant in messaging that students wash their hands and get vaccinated...'

The Hechinger Report--OPINION: The need for more black school counselors, and four ways to get better information about HBCUs...'

1-9-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Parents Raise Voices as BOE Tackles Teaching LGBTQ History in School Public arguments part of longstanding tradition protesting changes to the curriculum stretching back to 1970s When dozens of people descended on Trenton yesterday to speak out on — and mostly against — a new law requiring public schools teach about gay and transgender rights and history, they became the latest in a long line of New Jerseyans clashing over their school standards...'

Chalkbeat (via NJ Spotlight)--Advocates Blast Superintendent’s Call to Close Four Newark Charter Schools as ‘Unfair’ and ’Alarming’ Superintendent Roger León argued that charter schools drain money from district and fail to serve fair share of students with special needs...'

Jersey Journal--Jersey City residents speak out against converting elected school board into mayoral appointed Jersey City residents spoke out Wednesday night against a City Council resolution that would leave it to voters to decide on whether to convert the city’s elected Board of Education into one appointed by the mayor...'

Asbury Park Press--Toms River demonstrators protest school funding cuts, vaccination bill TOMS RIVER - Waving signs and chanting "save our schools," and "kill the bill," dozens of protesters picketed outside the Grove Restaurant & Tavern at the Howard Johnson Hotel on Tuesday morning, aiming their ire at state Sen. President Stephen M. Sweeney, who was in town to meet with members of the Ocean County Mayors Association...'

NY Times--After a Measles Scare, Seattle Cracks Down on Vaccine Compliance At a time when states and school districts are trying to increase vaccination rates, an aggressive strategy in Seattle appears to be paying off...'

Education Week--Good Sleep Habits Are Better Than a Good Night's Sleep for Test Performance, Study Finds Getting consistent and adequate amounts of sleep in the weeks leading up to an exam can have a significant impact on how well students perform on tests. That's according to a new study by a group of researchers out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard...'

Edutopia--How to Introduce Meditation to the High School Classroom Setting aside time for reflection and introspection helps students focus...'

1-8-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Sweeney Looks to Help Districts with Special Education Costs Tuition for out-of-district placement of some students often runs well into six figures The high cost of special education in New Jersey is getting renewed attention, as Senate President Steve Sweeney presses the state to do more to help districts pay for students with severe disabilities...'

Star Ledger--A new campaign against vaping is launching in N.J. schools Praetorship for a Drug Free New Jersey's latest campaign warns about the dangers of vaping...'

Star Ledger--LGBTQ curriculum is coming to N.J. schools. Here’s a glimpse. Late on a Saturday after a night out with her friends, Sakia Gunn was waiting for a bus in Newark when two men pulled up and asked if her group wanted to party...'

NY Times--An Overlooked Danger: School Shootings After Hours MOBILE, Ala. — Jarvis Murphy tried to get away...'

Education Week—Op-Ed: Who's to Blame for the Black-White Achievement Gap?...'

1-7-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Big Week for NJ’s Debt: State to Issue $800M+ in Bonds for Transit, Libraries, Schools, More Voters have signed off on some of the bond issues, but not on $500 million in new debt for NJ Transit upgrades New Jersey’s already hefty credit card bill is about to get bigger, with Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration planning to issue more than $800 million in new debt this week...'

NJTV News (via NJ Spotlight)--As Lame Duck Winds Down, a Hodgepodge of Bill Approvals As clock ticks off last days of legislative session, bills range from screening schoolkids for depression to giving disabled vets a break on dune-buggy permits...'

Jersey Journal—Op-Ed: Murphy says he won’t sign, but bill would allow tax hikes to fund some schools    Quigley
Gov. Phil Murphy said he wouldn’t sign it, but Senate President Steve Sweeney says towns need it, and Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo says he knows of 40 municipalities who will welcome the legislation...'

Star Ledger--Should N.J. schools screen every teenager for depression? The debate is starting. While every New Jersey school district has a school psychologist, those specialists almost exclusively work with special education students, evaluating children and teens for special services and writing reports with their recommendations...'

The Record--NJ schools get early start on LGBTQ history lessons, soon to be required by law Twelve New Jersey schools will begin piloting a new LGBTQ-focused curriculum this month, the first wave of a new requirement that will soon be mandated across the state, bringing another front in the culture wars straight into Garden State classrooms...'

1-6-20 Education in the News
Education Week--Chief Justice Warns That 'Civic Education Has Fallen By the Wayside' U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. focused on civics education in his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, saying "we have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside."...'

NY Times--What if Children Ran the School Lunchroom? A new program lets students customize their meals, participate in taste tests and brainstorm ways to redesign their school cafeterias...'

Chalkbeat--10 stories that defined K-12 education in the 2010s Teacher evaluations. The Common Core. Betsy DeVos. It’s been a tumultuous decade in education policy...'

Edutopia--Creating Effective Professional Learning Communities If managed well, these teams can help teachers innovate in the classroom and improve student outcomes...'

1-3-20 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Classrooms and Courtrooms: 2020’s Flashpoints for New Jersey Education? Governor and Senate president about to kick off new year with a battle over school funding? What other testing issues are in the offing? Are Gov. Phil Murphy, right, and Senate President Steve Sweeney on a collision course over issues in education?...'

NJ Spotlight--Vaping and Vaccines to Forefront in 2019 Healthcare Debates Enduring opioid epidemic, rising cost of prescription drugs and of health care overall are set to remain big issues for patients, providers and state officials...'

Associated Press (via Education Week)--Trump Plan to Curb Teen Vaping Exempts Some Flavors Washington U.S. health officials will ban most flavored e-cigarettes popular with underage teenagers, but with major exceptions that benefit vaping manufacturers, retailers, and adults who use the nicotine-emitting devices...'

EDTech--Tapping Tech-Savvy Students for IT Support and Digital Learning Districts can foster students’ interest in technology by offering professional certification and experiences...'

Edutopia--The Benefits of Teaching for Administrators Teaching a class gives administrators an opportunity to develop deeper empathy and better understanding of classroom challenges...'

1-2-20 Education in the News
What schools do after a suicide could potentially save lives. But too many schools aren't responding properly. From the day the first teenager killed himself, Mandi Dorrell worried her school’s response wasn’t good enough. The 19-year-old Oakcrest High School graduate had died by suicide in the spring of 2014, devastating former teachers and classmates...'

Asbury Park Press--NJ teacher pay: People who educate your kids make wildly different amounts town to town While you're preparing for your children to head back to school, so, too, are their teachers. And how much do these brave souls who educate our children earn? The colloquial answer is, generally, either not enough or way too much. But the actual salaries of our teachers can vary as wildly as the public perception of what they make...'

NY Times--Cheating Scandals, Charters and Falling Test Scores: 5 Takeaways From the Year in Education Five big trends, from stagnant student performance to declining faith in colleges...'

The Atlantic--What School Could Be If It Were Designed for Kids With Autism Tracy Murray’s kindergarten classroom in New York City has a unique approach to supporting students on the spectrum...'

NPR--Virginia School District To Give Students One Day Off Per Year For 'Civic Engagement' One of the largest school districts in the country is trying something new: Starting next month, students in Fairfax County, Va., can take one day off per school year to engage in political activism...'

Education Week--Facial Recognition Tech Discriminates. Ten Questions to Ask About K-12 Use Facial recognition technology is on the rise in schools across the country, but a new report from the federal government suggests its accuracy can vary widely depending on race and gender...'

Chalkbeat--Seeking to rein in charter sector, Newark superintendent urges state to close four schools The head of the Newark school system is calling for the closure of four local charter schools and a ban on most new charter schools, a clear signal that the district hopes to rein in the city’s fast-growing charter sector...'

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The Special Education Task Force Report was released  in November 2015. GSCS, a Task Force member,  looks forward to discussion on this important topic under the Murphy administration.  See below for a link to the report.

Final Report of NJ Task Force on Improving Special Education for Public School Students


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608