|12-8-16 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Governor Benches Biedron, No Reappointment for BOE President
Although outspoken, Biedron and governor didn’t clash on issues, making the news a surprise to many
A year to go in his tenure, Gov. Chris Christie this week shook up the State Board of Education with the appointment of five new members, the reappointment of eight, and the notable omission of one other.
The notable absence: Christie decided not to reappoint Mark Biedron, the 13-member board’s president and its highest-profile member, once his term expires in June.
Christie appointed Biedron six years ago as part of a sweeping remake of the board that brought on eight new members, and he quickly rose to the top seat by virtue of being especially active and outspoken in raising the board’s profile.
Although its influence ebbs and flows, the board is nonetheless a critical voice in setting education policy and regulations for the state, including graduation requirements, student testing, and interventions in schools.
John Mooney | December 8, 2016
Star Ledger--Troubled N.J. school district 'making progress,' but remains under state control
TRENTON -- Three years after the state stepped in to take over Camden's chronically-struggling school system, students are showing improvement, school officials said at a presentation in Trenton Wednesday.
But the members of the state Board of Education made no mention of beginning to return control of the school system back to the city, as they are doing in Newark, Jersey City and Paterson.
"We're seeing progress. We have a really, really long way to go," said Paymon Rouhanifard, the superintendent appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to help turn around Camden's schools.
Rouhanifard gave a presentation on the progress made in Camden during a packed state Board of Education meeting in Trenton.
New Jersey's largest high school plans to add another 1,200 students, making it one of the largest in the country.
More than 60 percent of Camden students are still in schools that are underperforming or in need of improvement, according to the district's tracking system. But, the graduation rate has gone up from 49 percent to 64 percent since the state takeover and the drop out rate has fallen by 15 percent.
Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| December 07, 2016 at 12:27 PM, updated December 08, 2016 at 6:28 AM
Philadelphia Inquirer--Final rules for K-12 standardized testing released
WASHINGTON (AP) - Aiming to reduce test-taking in America's classrooms, the Obama administration released final rules Wednesday to help states and school districts take a new approach to the standardized tests students must take each year.
It's part of the bipartisan education law, signed by President Barack Obama a year ago, that returned substantial control over education policy back to the states, including the role test scores play in evaluating schools, teachers and students.
"Our final regulations strike a balance by offering states flexibility to eliminate redundant testing and promote innovative assessments, while ensuring assessments continue to contribute to a well-rounded picture of how students and schools are doing," said Education Secretary John B. King Jr. "Smarter assessments can make us all smarter."
The idea is to focus more time on classroom learning and less on teaching-to-the test - something critics complained the administration had encouraged with grants and waivers that placed too much of an emphasis on standardized testing.
JENNIFER C. KERR, The Associated Press| Updated: December 7, 2016 — 4:34 PM EST
Garden State Coalition of Schools