|10-28-16 Education in the News|
Star Ledger--N.J. students slightly above average on national science test
TRENTON — New Jersey students who took a national science test in 2015 scored slightly above average, placing the state in the middle of pack among 46 states that participated, according to scores released Thursday.
The standardized exam, The National Assessment of Educational Progress, is billed as The Nation's Report Card because it allows states to see how their students fare on a common exam administered across the country.
The test, which focuses on physical science, life science and earth and space science, is administered to students in fourth grade and eighth grade as well as high school seniors.
New Jersey's fourth- and eighth-graders each scored two points higher than the nationwide average for public schools. State-by-state scores for seniors were not released.
Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| October 27, 2016 at 6:01 PM
Jersey Journal--Outside cash fueling Jersey City school board race
Two independent political committees supporting two opposing slates of candidates have spent $344,119 so far, according to campaign documents filed with the state.
Better Education for NJ Kids — the political arm of Better Education for Kids (B4K), a group started by billionaires David Tepper and Alan Fournier — spent $185,264 in support of the Jersey City United slate as of Oct. 26, the documents show. Garden State Forward, the statewide teachers union's super PAC, spent $158,855 as of Oct. 6 to support the Education Matters team, which is backed by local teachers union the Jersey City Education Association.
The most recent campaign finance reports for the JCEA's political arm are from May, when it said it had $30,893 on hand. Ron Greco, the union's president and the PAC's treasurer, told The Jersey Journal today that the PAC has spent $3,000 on this year's campaign.
The outside spending dwarfs the money the candidates have reported spending themselves. Campaign filings from all 10 candidates indicate they spent a combined $9,986.68 as of mid-October: Mark Rowan reported spending $2,065.48 and Jersey City United reported shelling out $7,921.20.
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal | October 27, 2016 at 5:23 PM, updated October 27, 2016 at 7:05 PM
Education Week--H.S. Classes Offer Bypass to Remedial Courses
Fed up with long rosters of college freshmen who can't handle college-level courses, states are increasingly turning to 12th grade transition classes to build academic muscle to help students skip the remedial courses that can diminish their chances of earning a degree.
From coast to coast, states are bringing together high school teachers and college faculty to design a breed of English and math courses that reflect college expectations. Students who perform well in them can enroll directly in entry-level, credit-bearing courses in their state's colleges, rather than wasting time and money on remedial classes.
Brandon Velazquez is a walking example of how the approach works. As a junior at Granger High School in Washington state in 2015, Brandon scored at level 2 on the English portion of his state's mandated test, Smarter Balanced. The exam has four levels, with levels 3 and 4 signifying college readiness. Brandon got the message: He took a Bridge to College English course in 12th grade, and it's paying off for him this year as a freshman at Eastern Washington University.
"I was a little worried when I first got here, but everything's coming pretty easy to me," said Brandon, 18, who's earning A's in a credit-bearing English course. "That class really helped me."
An Idea Gaining Ground
A few states have long offered 12th grade transition courses. But at least a half-dozen more have joined them in the past few years, haunted by college-remediation rates that show serious academic weakness among graduating high school students. Nationwide, 4 in 10 students at public four-year institutions, and two-thirds of those at community colleges, need remedial classes.
By Catherine Gewertz |October 25, 2016
Garden State Coalition of Schools