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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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Trenton, New Jersey 08608


4-18-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger--How to graduate high school without passing PARCC

What you need to know about the PARCC test scores NJ Advance Media's Adam Clark breaks down the PARCC test results.

With PARCC testing in full swing this month in New Jersey schools, students have likely heard a lot about how the exams can help them meet the state's graduation requirements.

The tests, called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams, are one way high school students can fulfill the graduation requirement for standardized testing. But current high school students don't have to pass PARCC exams, or even take them, in order to graduate.

Younger students might be required to take PARCC tests when they get to high school. But they will also have fallback options, such as a retest, if they don't pass the tests the first time they take them.

Here is what New Jersey parents and students need to know about PARCC and graduation:


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|April 18, 2016 at 8:10 AM


The Record--Struggling Atlantic City makes half payment to schools

 (AP) — Cash-strapped Atlantic City has made a partial payment to its schools system as it tries to prevent a judge from freezing the little amount of money it has on hand.

But the state Department of Education, which is suing to force the city to pay its entire debt, isn't satisfied. The city still owes the schools about $30 million in taxes it will have collected for them by July 15.

Last week, a judge refused the state's request to prevent Atlantic City from spending any more money until it pays the school system what it owes.

The city is on the verge of running out of money, due in part to the shrinking of its casino industry, which is by far its largest taxpayer. In 2014, four of the city's 12 casinos shut down.

Mayor Don Guardian said the city paid the school system $4.25 million of the $8.4 million it owed the schools.


Wayne Parry|Associated Press| April 15, 2016

Washington Post-- Teachers talk back: The effect of being evaluated by student test scores

Just about every time you turn around, you can find, somewhere, a new survey or report or brief or poll that includes “teacher voices.” They are usually funded by a foundation that has some small or, often, huge investment in corporate school reform, and the reports somehow find a way to validate some reform tenets. Here is a new survey that includes the voices of teachers from an entirely different source — with different results.

Anthony Cody, a veteran educator who co-founded the nonprofit Network for Public Education with education historian and activist Diane Ravitch, assembled a team of teachers and administrators from across the country to write a report on the effect of teacher evaluation systems that require student standardized test scores to be a factor.

The team created a survey and received nearly 3,000 responses from teachers and administrators in 48 states. Based of the responses, the team wrote a report, titled “Teachers Talk Back: Educators on the Impact of Teacher Evaluation.” The report, released this weekend at the national conference of the Network for Public Education in Raleigh, N.C., finds widespread dismay at how test-based evaluation systems have affected students, teachers and schools.

A majority of teachers who responded said, among other things, that test-based evaluation systems hurt teachers who educate the most vulnerable students and that the relationships that teachers have with their students — and other educators — have been harmed.


Valerie Strauss |April 17 at 12:41 PM


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