|2-22-19 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Advocates Perturbed as Lawmakers Press on with School Testing Legislation
The saga over graduation requirements for New Jersey’s high school students was thought to have been settled last week. Proposed new legislation is raising more concerns
When the state Department of Education agreed to allow students to graduate using their PARCC test scores last week, many assumed the skirmishing over graduation requirements had ended, for now. Legislators, however, are pushing ahead with a measure that education activists say could cause ripples for years to come.
Carly Sitrin | February 22, 2019
NJTV News Online (via NJ Spotlight)--New Plan to Limit Contact During Practice by High School Footballers
Sports regulating body moves to address growing concern about serious injuries that occur on gridiron
Amid increased concern among parents about injuries, the group that oversees interscholastic sports in New Jersey has approved a plan to reduce the amount of full contact that high school football players encounter during a season. Under new regulations approved last week by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, full-contact sessions during the season will be reduced from a maximum of 90 minutes per week to 15.
NJTV News Online | February 22, 2019
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Schools Need More Reading and Less Testing
Our education system is overly focused on tests and standards, and pays far too little attention to improving children’s reading skills
Most of my report cards from first grade through high school nearly bled red “F’s onto my parents’ laps. “Pay attention in school,” my father suggested. “Work harder,” my mother sighed. My parents, both highly educated European immigrants, spent their little money and all their energies raising six children (one of my brothers was severely disabled). They knew nothing about American schools, and trusted that teachers and administrators knew what they were doing.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), funded by the U.S. Department of Education conducts the largest national assessment of what America’s students know in various subject areas. It has shown, consistently, that at age 17, the average reading ability is not significantly different than it was in 1971.
So, like my parents, the national education community has been exhorting us to pay attention and to work harder. And, like my parents, scholars, governors, businessmen and women and superintendents have completely missed what ought to be at the center of our children’s education in this country.
Christopher de Vinck | February 22, 2019
Star Ledger--‘Trenton politics’ may cost 160 teachers’ aides their jobs at N.J. district
Stefanie Babits’ son Luke is 8 years old, on the autism spectrum and nonverbal, so he can’t tell her what his school day is like when he gets home. For years, she has depended on Luke’s one-on-one paraprofessional, Denise, to keep her updated on Luke’s progress in school and let her know if Luke ever gets hurt.
But that relationship could be in jeopardy, as Old Bridge Township’s public school district investigates the possibility of privatizing its paraprofessionals, or “paras” — teacher’s aides who specialize in working with kids who have special needs and creating individualized education plans (IEPs).
Updated Feb 21, 8:34 AM; Posted Feb 21, 7:02 AM| Gianluca D’Elia | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com