|10-7-16 Education in the News|
Star Ledger--North Jersey city to stop suspending kids in kindergarten, report says
The policy comes after the Paterson Press reported that 238 students in Kindergarten through second grade received out-of-school suspensions last school year. The new rule will take effect November 1, according to the report.
In the weeks up until that time, superintendent Donnie Evans said the district would brainstorm "creative, yet impactful interventions" for students instead of out-of-school suspensions.
Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| October 06, 2016 at 11:44 AM, updated October 06, 2016 at 12:17 PM
Star Ledger--Should N.J. lower qualifications for charter school teachers?
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie may be ready to lower qualifications for charter school teachers and administrators, but the state Board of Education isn't quite ready to sign off on the proposal.
The Christie administration on Wednesday provided an overview of its promised charter school deregulation plan, which, among other changes, would create a pilot program for a special teaching certificate valid only at charter schools.
However, the state board said it needs to a hear a "deep dive" into the details of the proposal, President Mark Biedron said. The board may need several more meetings before it's ready to vote, he said.
"We need a lot of the details," Biedron said. "We get the general ideas, but, as you can tell, there's a lot of questions."
Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com | October 05, 2016 at 5:45 PM
Trenton Times--Kids who miss school fall behind in life | Editorial
Children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read at the proper grade level when they reach third grade.
By the end of third grade, the U.S. Department of Education warns, these youngsters are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.
The news is particularly tragic for Trenton, where a new study by the nonprofit group Advocates for Children of New Jersey reports nearly a third of public school students habitually miss more than 10 percent of their classes.
Sadly, in some instances the decision of whether or not to go to school on a particular day is too often out the student's hands – or even the family's.
"Students in high-poverty district such as ours often face very real obstacles involving family responsibilities, difficulties at home, health problems and transportation issues that affect their daily attendance," notes Lucy Feria, interim superintendent for the city's public schools.
All the more reason to salute the teachers, staff and administrators at Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School of the Arts, who are reaching out – student by student – to reverse the debilitating effects of too many days out of the classroom.
By Times of Trenton Editorial Board| October 05, 2016 at 11:45 AM, updated October 05, 2016 at 11:46 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Want your high school diploma? Pa. lawmakers propose civics test
Can you name the current speaker of the U.S. House? Do you know when the Declaration of Independence was adopted? Can you identify our nation's economic system?
If you can answer such elementary civics questions, education experts say, you have the makings of an engaged citizen - equipped to grasp the nuances of the current contentious race for the White House.
But if you draw a blank on these, and 97 more like them, you might be denied a high school diploma in Pennsylvania, starting in 2021.
Under a bill making its way through the state House, high school seniors would have to pass a test on the basics of American government before they could graduate - the same examination given to newly minted citizens by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
While the proposed mandate has elicited groans from test-weary educators, it has a wide range of powerful bipartisan allies, from the Veterans of Foreign Wars to former Gov. Ed Rendell and Judge Marjorie O. Rendell, who testified at a House Education Committee hearing last Monday.
"It's pretty pathetic - a lot of people coming out of high school don't even know who the president of the United States is," said Rep. Bill Kortz, (D., Allegheny), a cosponsor of the bill, introduced last month. "We have pushed the STEM" curriculum - science, technology, engineering, math - "so hard that when the No Child Left Behind came in 2002 under President Bush, civics kind of took a backseat."
The Pennsylvania bill is riding a cross-country citizenship-testing wave. Similar laws were recently adopted in 14 other states - the nearest, Virginia - and are under consideration in 25 more. Proponents with the national movement aim to have legislation in all 50 states by the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 2017.
Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer |Updated: October 4, 2016 — 1:07 AM EDT
Garden State Coalition of Schools