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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

6-25-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--‘Spike’ in Suicide Attempts by NJ Preteens, Girls Especially As experts look for causes, some are considering social rather than biological determinants and possible link to rise in use of social media New data from the New Jersey Poison Control Center shows preteen suicide attempts have risen at an alarming rate. Since January 2018, 100 New Jersey preteens have attempted suicide by drug overdose. In 2007, that figure was just 30...'

Education Week--At ISTE, a State-Level Push for Smart and Secure Data-Sharing Philadelphia After urging ed-tech vendors and districts to sign pledges to support data “interoperability,” an advocacy group is taking it up a notch and asking entire states to make a similar commitment...'

The Hechinger Report--OPINION: How educators can raise awareness of ‘daily indignities’ that disenfranchised communities endure Helping students navigate relationships and overcome biases Educators have a responsibility to prepare the next generation, find common ground with a diverse group of people and successfully shape the future...'

Education Dive--Trump plan to re-calculate poverty level would affect school lunch, Head Start eligibility One estimate says over 10 years, 100,000 students would no longer qualify for free school meals, and 300,000 children would lose health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP...'

6-24-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--What Colleges and Business Think NJ High School Graduates Need In NJ Spotlight roundtable, college and business leaders detail what they see as the important skills for those preparing for further studies and careers...'

The Record—Student Suspensions Plummeted in this New Jersey District. Here’s How They Did It. A New Jersey school district transforms school discipline to help and not punish students, echoing a national movement. But racial divides still remain...'

NPR--The Brighter Side Of Screen Time The family that plays video games together stays together. When parents become digital mentors, children can learn empathy and resilience and prepare for careers. Here are four ways to harness the advantages of screen time...'

The Hechinger Report--Schools are rethinking classroom design to encourage collaboration, creativity But can the Instagram-ready spaces get the job done?...'

6-21-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--With Votes To Spare, Dems Pass $38.7B Budget, No Boost In Millionaires Tax Governor has indicated he might take line-item veto pen to a spending plan not to his liking...'

Star Ledger--Let’s let our kids be imperfect, especially on their college essays, writing coach says As I sat through yet another year-end school ceremony filled with beaming parents last week, I couldn’t help but think of Aunt Becky. Not my Aunt Becky. The one from Full House. Yes, her. Lori Loughlin and the other wealthy celebrity parents involved in the college admissions scandal certainly crossed the line to get their kids admitted to select schools. Actually, they flat-out broke the law...'

Education Week--Yes, Colleges Can Rescind Admission Offers. Here's What Educators Need to Know It’s happening again: A high-profile college accepts a student and then withdraws its offer of admission because it learns the student has done, well, bad stuff...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--DeVos Releases ESSA Title I School Spending Guidance When districts get an infusion of Title I funds, the Every Student Succeeds Act says that federal money should add to the state and local funds schools already receive without taking the place of any of those dollars...'

6-20-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger—OP-Ed: Despite what people think, teachers don’t make a ton of money, veteran educator says Too many times I have heard comments like “teachers make a ton of money, and they should have to pay for their healthcare” or “teachers have it made because they get paid a lot to only work 10 months out of the year.” These statements, coupled with a general lack of understanding about the time, energy and ongoing professional development that it takes to be an educator today, only lead to further destructive discourse...'

Asbury Park Press—Should New Jersey Schools Punish Students Over Social Media Posts? Are schools going too far with students for non-threatening social media posts made off campus on private devices?...'

Education Week--Suicide Rate Among Adolescents at Highest Point Since 2000 Adolescents and young adults have seen the highest rate of deaths due to suicide in nearly two decades, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today...'

Chalkbeat--New research shows how teachers are key to boosting student attendance Some districts have tried text messages to parents. Detroit has ramped up home visits. Newark has hired back a small army of dedicated staff. Many schools offer certificates of recognition. They’re all trying to improve attendance, understanding that the more school students miss, they more likely they are to fall off track. Increasingly, schools are being judged by those attendance numbers, too. New research finds that some of a school’s best allies in combatting absences might be some of its teachers...'

Education Dive--Survey: Despite long working hours, US teachers satisfied with jobs The latest Teaching and Learning International Survey also shows U.S. teachers are less likely than peers in 48 other educational systems to express a "high need" for professional development...'

6-19-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Governor Won’t Quit on Millionaires Tax, Says All Options Remain on Table Surrounded by union leaders, Murphy lambastes legislative Democrats for resistance to his tax on the wealthy...'

Star Ledger--SDA swamp saga rages on. This joke is getting old    Editorial
Just when you thought it was safe to consign Lizette Delgado-Polanco to our state’s sleazy bureaucratic history, we learn that her reign of terror at the Schools Development Authority was brought to the governor’s attention — long before her nepotism fever spiked — and then ignored...'

Associated Press (via Press of Atlantic City)--High school athletes file complaint over transgender policy HARTFORD, Conn. — Three Connecticut girls who have run high school track have filed a federal discrimination complaint saying a statewide policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes in races and possibly college scholarships...'

Asbury Park Press—Lakewood Schools $30 Million Promised by Murphy Dropped in Sweeney Budget Under the budget expected to be approved by the Legislature Thursday, Lakewood schools will not get an extra $30 million promised by Governor Murphy...'

Education Week--Schools' Racial Makeup Can Sway Disability Diagnoses Schools' racial makeup plays role in identification of students of color Are black and Hispanic students identified for special education too often, or not often enough? For several years, that question has been the focus of a simmering policy debate...'

Education Dive--The need to protect student data continues even after graduation Dive Brief: School districts must continue to protect high school graduates’ student data just as securely as before graduation, retaining or purging it in accordance with federal and state regulations as well as district policies, EdTech: Focus on K-12 reports...'

6-18-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Lawmakers Go Own Way on Budget, No Millionaires Tax or Other Murphy Priorities Democratic lawmakers advanced their own appropriations bill, setting stage for a difficult budget negotiation with Gov. Phil Murphy, a fellow Democrat...'

NJ Spotlight--Sweeping Changes to NJ’s Rules on Affordable Housing Proposed Housing advocates cheer controversial bill as builders decry proposed new requirements for high-density developments and question constitutionality...'

Chalkbeat--Newark Superintendent’s Plan for ‘Stronger, Wiser’ School System After one year in charge, Roger León gives broad outline of his vision; sets stage for return of full local control of district...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Does NJ High School Diploma Signal Readiness for a Successful Future? New Jersey has remained committed to the promise that all students can succeed at high levels, but we still have far to go and troubling equity gaps remain...'

The Record—Does Your High School Still Rank Seniors? Some Don’t. High schools are increasingly bucking the tradition of naming a valedictorian or ranking graduating students...'

Education Dive--Kids Count: No growth in pre-K enrollment, 8th-grade math proficiency Dive Brief: The U.S. child population continues to increase and grow more diverse — especially in California, Florida and Texas. But the overall rate of 3- and 4-year-olds not attending preschool — 52% — hasn’t changed since 2010, according to the 2019 Kids Count Data Book, which has been tracking child well-being at the state level since 1990...'

6-17-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Charge that Taxpayer Funds to Defunct Charter Schools Can’t Be Traced Report claims shortcomings in federal accountability processes mean millions of dollars in New Jersey and billions nationwide cannot be tallied...'

NJ Spotlight--NJ Kids Rank Well in Health and Education, Less Well in Economic Security New report rates state fifth in nation for how its children are faring overall, but New Jersey does not do well in key area; racial gap remains a concern...'

The Record—Bill Would Allow Some Districts to Run Child Care Under pressure from businesses, a bill that would allow some school districts to operate child care centers has been scaled back...'

Education Week--Why Unpaid School Meal Bills Cause Heartburn for Administrators When adults don't pay their electric bills, the power company responds by turning out the lights. But when students show up to school with unpaid lunch bills, cafeteria workers struggle to respond in a way that doesn't hurt or stigmatize a child. Some serve "alternative meals," like cheese sandwiches, to students with negative balances beyond a certain threshold...'

Education Dive--Improvements in school culture can increase student attendance Maurice J. Elias, a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University and director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, shared on Edutopia a two-step process for reducing chronic absenteeism...'

6-14-19 Education in the News
New Jersey Spotlight--Opinion: Murphy’s Budget — Caught Between Sweeney and Hard Place No matter what governor does — from signing budget to vetoing it wholesale — Senate President Sweeney is the real winner...'

Former inspector general calls for a review of N.J.'s school construction fund. Are we throwing millions of dollars away? As Yogi Berra might have said, it’s deja vu all over again at the Schools Development Authority (SDA)...'

Star Ledger: Whistleblower: Murphy Was Warned About SDA The official in charge of ethics at the Schools Development Authority says she warned Phil Murphy of illegal hires. The response? File a complaint...'

6-13-19 Education in the News
The Record—Bill Would Allow Some Districts to Run Child Care Under pressure from businesses, a bill that would allow public school districts to operate child care centers has been scaled back...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--Camden schools chief announces school slated to close will remain open thanks to $6 million in state aid Camden schools Superintendent Katrina McCombs announced Wednesday that Veterans Memorial Family School, which had been set to close this month, will remain open for the 2019-2020 school year, thanks to a $6 million state bailout for the struggling school district...'

NY Times--Bastion of Anti-Vaccine Fervor: Progressive Waldorf Schools CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y. — The mother of an unvaccinated child here in the New York suburbs says eating papaya helps to combat measles. The father of another child who has not been immunized believes that big pharmaceutical companies are paying millions of dollars to doctors, government officials and even judges to bury the truth about vaccine complications...'

Education Week--Money, Data, Security: The Biggest Challenges Facing K-12 Tech Leaders The biggest challenges facing today’s K-12 technology leaders are no real mystery...'

The Hechinger Report--The silence of school leaders on climate change Some educators say school boards and education groups have a responsibility to speak out on climate inaction, but those calls aren’t always being well-received...'

Education Dive--Teacher attrition demands new approaches to leadership, preparation Experts say demanding rigorous preparation, building a career ladder, and facilitating teacher collaboration are some ways to address ongoing shortages and high turnover rates...'

6-12-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--If you value kids’ safety, expel these hazardous buses    Editorial
The governor noticed the story featured in Sunday’s Star-Ledger about the juddering tinderbox known as Jay’s Bus Service in Lakewood, which, when it comes to a safe environment for children, is a rung below a summer camp run by Charlie Sheen...'

Star Ledger--School that was forced to alter gay pride mural will be the first in N.J. to pilot LGBTQ curriculum A Bergen County charter school — where an LGBTQ mural touched off controversy last month — has been selected as the first school in the state to pilot LGBTQ curriculum...'

The Observer--Public vs. Private Schools: How the Nation Feels About US Education There’s a whole series of debates in education about public schools versus private schools. Are charter schools better? Should you homeschool your child? Would a student be better off in a parochial school, or would the independent private school be a better option. And should there be vouchers? Here’s what the public thinks about public and private education in America...'

Education Week--Is the Nation's Rising Graduation Rate Real? Millions of high school seniors are claiming their diplomas, but that spring ritual is clouded by a persistent debate: Are the nation’s record-setting graduation rates inflated by quick-fix practices like credit recovery? Or are they real?...'

Education Week--How Does Summer Learning Really Affect Students' Academic Achievement? Differences in summer enrichment between poor and wealthy students may not contribute much to long-term achievement gaps, according to a new analysis...'

Chalkbeat--Critics of charter schools say they’re hurting school districts. Are they right? Are charter schools “draining,” “siphoning,” or “funnelling” resources away from school districts? It’s a contention at the heart of the increasingly contentious national debate over charter schools...'

6-11-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Strong Support for Expanding Mental Health Education in NJ Schools Members of Assembly committee vote for age-appropriate mental health curriculum in public schools, beginning in kindergarten...'

NJ Spotlight--Do HS Coaches in NJ Need Bill Guaranteeing Longer Contracts? Some winning high school coaches, including Hall-of-Famers, argue disgruntled parents have cost them their jobs — and gotten them blackballed...'

Star Ledger--N.J. school superintendents could soon be paid more than the $191,584 limit The Assembly Education Committee voted to eliminate the cap on superintendent salaries...'

Education Dive--NYC teacher leadership program touted as international model In a survey, 70% of the principals who responded agreed a joint district-union program helped them attract teachers, and 81% said it helped with retention of the most effective educators...'

6-10-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--This story, sad but true, is one N.J. family’s cautionary tale about college and mental health As high school grads head off to college, we want to bring attention to an issue that is vital for parents to research about the schools your children are heading to in a few short weeks: mental health access, awareness, and openness...'

Asbury Park Press—Can New Jersey Teachers Afford to Live Here On Their Salaries? A USA Today study finds that most teachers can’t afford housing where they live, but in New Jersey the answer is not so clear...'

New York Times--Taking the Future of Manufacturing Into High Schools ANNA, Ohio — In early May, in a classroom at Anna High School, five seniors focused on controlling a canary yellow robotic arm. They took turns tapping code into a pendant connected to the arm...'

The Atlantic--Better Schools Won’t Fix America Like many rich Americans, I used to think educational investment could heal the country’s ills—but I was wrong. Fighting inequality must come first...'

Education Week--Want Teachers to Motivate Their Students? Teach Them How to Do It Most teachers intrinsically understand the need to motivate their students, experts say, but teaching on intuition alone can lead to missteps in student engagement...'

Hechinger Report--Research shows lower test scores for fourth graders who use tablets in schools Reboot Foundation questions the use of technology in education..'

6-7-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--N.J. finally has graduation rules for freshmen and sophomores, and students probably love them New Jersey’s long debate over graduation requirements for current freshmen and sophomores finally appears to be over, and students won’t have to pass the standardized test formerly known as PARCC in order to graduate from high school...'

Star Ledger--A school bus company with a troubling safety record is transporting thousands of kids each day On a cloudy November morning in 2015, a school bus packed with children darted out of a side street in Lakewood and plowed into the front of Jose Osorio’s 2001 Honda Civic, exploding into flames, according to a police report...'

Education Week--What Researchers Wish They Knew About School Finance The field may be swimming in data, but there remain some notable blank spots in assembling a complete picture...'

NPR--High Schoolers Who Work At Walmart Will See A New Perk — SAT And ACT Study Help High school students who stock shelves and bag groceries at Walmart now have more than just a paycheck to look forward to. The giant retailer is adding several new education benefits with an eye toward high school student employees. The company will pay for ACT and SAT prep courses, allow students to schedule hours around the school day and offer up to seven hours of free college credit...'

6-6-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Booker Brother Takes on Senior Role in New Jersey Education Six positions in state Department of Education are filled; Cary Booker takes on responsibility in Division of Early Childhood Education...'

The Atlantic--Parents Gone Wild: High Drama Inside D.C.’s Most Elite Private School At Sidwell Friends, the high school of Chelsea Clinton and the Obama children, college counselors find themselves besieged by Ivy-obsessed families...'

Education Week--Map: How Much Money Each State Spends Per Student As part of each state’s overall school finance grade, Quality Counts 2019 looks at per-pupil spending adjusted for regional cost differences across states. It captures factors such as teacher and staff salaries, classroom spending, and administration, but not construction or other capital spending...'

Chalkbeat--‘It’s OK to not be OK:’ How one high school saved lives with a 34-question survey It was 10:30 a.m. on a Monday in April. Nine counselors, psychologists, and therapists sat around a table in a conference room at Cañon City High School in southern Colorado...'

6-5-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--Op-Ed: What charter school students really need are teachers who look like them, education advocate says Ask anyone about their favorite teacher and you will likely get a passionate answer. Whether it was a teacher who connected with them personally, who found interesting and innovative ways to teach, or who showed them a future for themselves that they had never dreamed of before, these connections matter...'

Education Week--Black Students in Charter Schools Are More Likely to Have Black Teachers Black students in charter schools are more likely to have black teachers than their peers in traditional public schools, which can lead to academic gains in math, a new study shows...'

NPR--Desperation And Broken Trust When Schools Restrain Students Or Lock Them In Rooms Every time Jennifer Tidd's son was secluded or restrained at school, she received a letter from his teachers. Her son has autism and behavioral issues, and over three years — from 2013 to 2016 — Tidd got 437 of those letters...'

6-4-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Frustration Aired over Slow Delivery of Library and School Bonds Voters approved big bond funding for libraries and school-related issues; Murphy administration is blamed by some for delay in issuing regulations Lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated that $625 million in voter-approved funding for libraries and school infrastructure, security, and county college vocational programs has yet to reach localities and districts...'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed: Parents don’t pick favorites. Schools shouldn’t have to either, legislators say. Here’s a question for all of the parents out there: Pick your favorite child...'

Star Ledger--School discipline must stop being a pipeline to prison    Opinion
Recently, I read a Star-Ledger guest column that discussed the disparities between the way schools discipline students of color and the way they discipline white students...'

Education Week--Districts Struggle to Hire Black Teachers. Is the Solution Hiring More Black Principals? School districts across the country struggle to hire staff that reflect changing student demographics. But could the answer to that ongoing problem lie in developing a strategy to hire more principals of color?...'

The Atlantic--The Youths Have Outsmarted the Scripps National Spelling Bee Moazagotl and choumoellier are just too easy for today’s spelling-bee champs...'

6-3-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Affordable Housing in New Jersey: No Turning Back from Court Control? At NJ Spotlight roundtable, assemblywoman makes case for resurrecting Council on Affordable Housing, but advocates say current court-controlled process must continue...'

NJ Spotlight--Shutdown Looks More Likely as Top Democrats Continue Feuding Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney seem on a collision course, ostensibly over millionaires tax...'

Star Ledger--See the SAT scores for every N.J. public high school If you had to pick a word to describe the latest New Jersey SAT scores, you can’t go wrong with “predictable."...'

Education Week--Schools Are Deploying Massive Digital Surveillance Systems. The Results Are Alarming...'

Education Week—Opinion: How Schools Can Foster a Better Racial Climate Five tenets to disrupt racist thinking and practices...'

Chalkbeat--The College Board tried a simple, cheap, research-backed way to push low-income kids into better colleges. It didn’t work. It was supposed to be “a simple way to send poor kids to top colleges.” Sending personalized college-application information and application fee waivers to high-achieving, low-income students pushed those students to attend more selective colleges, a 2013 study found...'

The Hechinger Report--A scholar revives the argument for racial integration in schools A conversation with Berkeley's Rucker Johnson about unintended consequences, charter schools and the data debate...'

NPR--This Teen Planned A School Shooting. But Did He Break The Law? It was sunny and cold on Feb. 13, 2018, when 18-year-old Jack Sawyer walked out of Dick's Sporting Goods in Rutland, Vt., with a brand-new pump-action shotgun and four boxes of ammunition. The next day, Valentine's Day, Sawyer took his new gun out for target practice…...'

2018 - 2019 Announcement Archives
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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