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8-23-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger--Newark schools chief calls Christie's new aid proposal 'catastrophic'

NEWARK — The superintendent appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to run Newark's state-controlled school district said a 60-percent cut in aid projected under a new funding formula proposed by the governor would be "catastrophic" for the district. 

"I don't mind saying explicitly that a reduction in our budget of 60 percent would be catastrophic," said Superintendent Christopher Cerf, a former state education commissioner under Christie, who appointed Cerf to run the state's largest district last year.

Cerf's comment was in response to a reporter's question about the impact on the district of a projected 60 percent cut in aid under the new Fairness Formula proposed by Christie.


Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| on August 22, 2016 at 6:15 PM, updated August 22, 2016 at 7:22 PM

Star Ledger--After 21 years, local control poised to return to Newark schools next fall

NEWARK — Complete local control of the Newark schools should be fully restored by the 2017-18 school year, according to a report released Monday afternoon by the Newark Education Success Board -- the 9-member panel co-created by Gov. Chris Christie and Mayor Ras Baraka last year to help guide the transition back to local control.

The group's 45-page report, "Pathway to Local Control," includes an assessment of the district's current operations, and hundreds of recommendations for continued reform efforts it should implement in the lead up to, and immediately after, the state hands over the reigns to the locally-elected school advisory board and its to-be-determined choice for a superintendent.

In the lead up to the 20th anniversary of the state's takeover of the Newark public school system, the atmosphere in the city was tense. Students, parents, and civic leaders regularly protested school leadership. Baraka often called for then-Superintendent Cami Anderson's resignation, and when asked why he was reappointing her to the top position in the state-controlled district, Christie said, "I don't care about the community criticism. We run the school district in Newark, not them."

Just about a year later, all of that has changed. Now, an end is in sight, and everyone is agreeing on it.


Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| August22, 2016 at 1:30 PM, updated August 22, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Star Ledger--These 4 N.J. teachers just won $10K, White House honor

Four New Jersey teachers are being honored by the White House for keeping the country "on the cutting-edge" of science, mathematics and technology. 

The Obama administration on Monday announced the winners of the annual Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Two teachers from grades K-6 and two teachers from grades 7-12 were honored in each state. 

Julia Ogden, a science teacher at Woodcliff Middle School, and Coshetty Vargas, a math teacher at Washington Park School in Totowa, won the grades K-6 honor for New Jersey. 

Victoria Gorman, a science teacher at Medford Memorial Middle School, and Amy Mosser, a math teacher at Seneca High School in Tabernacle, won award for grades 7-12. 

The teachers will receive $10,000 to be used at their discretion from the National Science Foundation and be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| on August 22, 2016 at 11:42 AM, updated August 22, 2016 at 2:34 PM

The Record--Judge blocks Obama's order on transgender bathroom access

A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration’s order that requires public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.

In a temporary injunction signed Sunday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the federal education law known as Title IX “is not ambiguous” about sex being defined as “the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”

The judge said the order would apply nationwide. However, legal experts say schools that allow transgender students to choose their facilities, as several in North Jersey have, can continue doing so.

The ruling, the judge said, was not about the policy issues of transgender rights but about his conclusion that federal officials simply did not follow rules that required an opportunity for comment before such directives are issued.

“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy … while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” he wrote.


By PAUL J. WEBER|Associated Press\ August 23, 2016

Education Week-- Help Wanted: Teacher-Shortage Hot Spots

Teacher shortages became a major story in some states last school year, and they have continued to make headlines across the country this summer, with districts struggling to fill hundreds of openings as classes begin.

While the overall U.S. student-teacher ratio has remained relatively steady, shortages of teachers are common in certain subject areas, including special education, science, and mathematics, and in particular regions, like rural districts.

In some hard-hit states, the shortages have prompted legislative and administrative action.


Madeline Will| August 22, 2016

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