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2-5-16 Education in the News

The Record - New worry on N.J. school test scores; graduation may be a struggle for some who didn't pass  ‘…PARCC refusals were highest in some of the more affluent and high-achieving districts in Bergen County. But officials there don’t expect a negative impact on graduation rates because their students have strong performances on other tests.

“You have kids who are able to take these alternative assessments, like the PSAT and the SAT and all those other assessments,” said Ridgewood Schools Superintendent Daniel Fishbein. The students, he said, tend to “do well.”

But some students struggle with standardized tests. Cindy Dittfield of Hawthorne said her daughter barely made the cut for graduation even though she is an honor-roll student…“What I am concerned about is that kids have the information they need to do as well as they can on the exam,” said Board of Education President Christopher Irving. “My concern is kids doing well on the exam and kids knowing the information. There are many, many outs for kids to graduate. There will be ample opportunities for kids to exit school. My question is, are we preparing them to be successful?” ’

http://www.northjersey.com/news/new-worry-on-n-j-school-test-scores-graduation-may-be-a-struggle-for-some-who-didn-t-pass-1.1505586

FEBRUARY 4, 2016    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2016, 1:25 PM

BY HANNAN ADELY

 

Star Ledger - Will N.J. finally fix its bullying law? | Editorial

 ‘…Too many school officials still have no idea what bullying means, and are more concerned with liability than filtering out the frivolous stuff. They're applying the law's reporting requirements to incidents large or small, singular or patterned, serious or just plain stupid. 

Which brings us to another significant recommendation of the task force: Principals should take the lead in deciding which incidents merit a bullying investigation and which do not. 

Wright, who heads the state's Principals and Supervisors Association, says principals will get a new checklist to help them determine which cases fall under the legal definition of bullying. They must be trained to be discerning. 

While the number of cases have dropped since an initial surge, there are still too many. And that number could climb again if we don't fix the law's problems. Let's make sure we do.’

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/02/will_nj_finally_fix_its_bullying_law_editorial_the.html#incart_river_index

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board  February 04, 2016 at 4:00 PM, updated Feb 04, 2016 at 4:11 PM

 

NJ Spotlight – INTERACTIVE MAP: HIGH SCHOOLS AND WEALTHIER DISTRICTS HAD MOST UNTESTED

However, state data does not show exactly how many students skipped PARCC specifically because of parental concerns   ‘An analysis of PARCC exams data released earlier this week by New Jersey education officials shows that high schools and wealthy school districts had the largest percentages of students who opted out of last year's controversial assessments or did not take the tests for some other reason not related to absence…’

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/02/04/interactive-map-high-schools-and-more-affluent-districts-had-highest-opt-out-rates/

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