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12-23-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Fix NJ’s Social Studies Standards, Let History Take a Backseat

How can students learn civics, economics, and geography when they’re expected to cover so much history?

If you heard someone complaining about “standards,” I wouldn’t blame you for assuming the topic of conversation was the Common Core.

The Common Core State Standards have found themselves at the middle of a national firestorm. Republican candidates for president spent the winter tripping over each other to try and distance themselves from the standards. Education and union activists on the left tirelessly rail against them at state board meetings and before study commissions.

But there’s another set of standards in New Jersey -- the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS). Less is said about them, but they are even more problematic. In the social studies, they are the prime impediment to high-quality civics education.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/03/23/op-ed-fix-nj-s-social-studies-standards-let-history-take-a-backseat/

Brian Rock | December 23, 2016

 

The Atlantic--Where Do Schools Close Most Often for Weather?

The forecast has to be more frightful to cancel classes in some states than in others.

The superstitions for conjuring the snow-day cosmos on a blustery winter day are not to be taken lightly. Wearing your pajamas inside out is mandatory. Sleeping with a spoon under your pillow is non-negotiable. And flushing ice cubes down the toilet is absolutely required. On the meteorologic battlefield, no flake—or flannel onesie—can be left unturned.

Weather-related school closures are common across the country’s largest public districts, though some have canceled class vastly more often than others in the past decade. Where I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, teeth-chattering temperatures and back-breaking amounts of snow are practically inevitable, and the salt stains on my boots are proof enough that my hometown’s snow-related infrastructure is nothing if not thorough. Despite winter’s wrath, my high school has closed only a dozen or so times in the last 10 school years because of snow—a far cry from the 50 weather-related closures Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, had during the same timeframe. At an average of five weather-related closures each year, students in Louisville are typically left with a week of canceled courses annually.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/12/the-fury-of-flurries/510986/

Hayley Glatter| Dec 19, 2016

 

Education Week--Teachers Say They Know More About the Common Core, But Challenges Linger

More than six years after states began adopting the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and math, most teachers say they are now familiar with the standards, and a growing number feel prepared to teach them to their students.

“But fewer than 1 in 5 “strongly agree” that classroom resources are well-aligned to the standards and professional development is high-quality, and many are turning to online sites like Teachers Pay Teachers to find materials for their classrooms.

That’s according to a new survey conducted in October by the Education Week Research Center. The center asked 532 teachers who are registered users of the Education Week website from elementary, middle, and high schools in the District of Columbia and 40 states that have adopted the common-core standards about their experiences with professional development, resources, and other aspects of the standards. This is the third survey about the common core that the center has conducted since 2012.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/12/22/teachers-say-they-know-more-about-the.html

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki |December 22, 2016

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Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828