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


1-2-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: We Must Learn to Teach the Entire Child

Emphasizing the academic aspects of education to the detriment of others will not help develop life-long learners

Public schools have been, and always will be, primarily academic institutions. Yet schools are doing a disservice to students if they exclusively emphasize the academic side of their students’ experiences. We need to be that and so much more.

As UCLA education scholar Mike Rose wrote, "Parents send their kids to school because, in addition to preparing them for the world of work, they want them to learn how to learn, to learn how to work with other people, and to find things that interest them. They want them to become good people."

Rose, who studied the types of schools children need in order to thrive, captures the essence of what school is for. He reminds us that while academics is central to why children attend school, it's incorrect to think academics is their sole reason for being there.

Brian P. Gatens and Matthew J. Murphy | January 2, 2017



Philadelphia Inquirer--He seeks more black men to teach in Philly and beyond

Sharif El-Mekki vividly recalls every black male teacher who ever taught him: two in elementary school, two in high school.

"They were transformative figures in my life," said El-Mekki, a veteran Philadelphia educator.

For 2017, El-Mekki has a goal to organize 1,000 black men to show up for the first day of school, encouraging city youth to be their best.

By 2025, his goal is much loftier - to double the number of black men teaching in the city. To that end, he has launched The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice.

Nationally, just 2 percent of the teaching force is made up of black men. In Philadelphia, the numbers are better, but still low - last year, fewer than 400, or about 5 percent, of Philadelphia School District teachers were black men.

The Fellowship has three aims: to hold periodic convenings of black male educators, to influence education policy, and to expand the pipeline of black male teachers.

Why does it matter?

"All students need a diverse group of high-performing educators," Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. wrote for a recent Fellowship report.

"We have strong evidence that students of color benefit from having t


Kristen A. Graham, STAFF WRITER |Updated: December 30, 2016 — 4:55 PM EST


NPR--Teachers Are Stressed, And That Should Stress Us All

We all experience stress at work, no matter the job. But for teachers, the work seems to be getting harder and the stress harder to shake.

A new report out this month pulls together some stark numbers on this:

Forty-six percent of teachers say they feel high daily stress. That's on par with nurses and physicians. And roughly half of teachers agree with this statement: "The stress and disappointments involved in teaching at this school aren't really worth it."

It's a problem for all of us — not just these unhappy teachers.

Here's why: "Between 30 and 40 percent of teachers leave the profession in their first five years," says Mark Greenberg, a professor of human development and psychology at Penn State.

And that turnover, he says, costs schools — and taxpayers — billions of dollars a year, while research (like this and this) suggests teacher burnout hurts student achievement, too.

Greenberg has studied America's schools for more than 40 years, and, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (also an NPR funder), he helped author the new brief exploring teacher stress.

He says teachers feel frazzled for many reasons, including high-stakes testing and the fact that many students are themselves coming to school stressed. As for the fixes, Greenberg recommends a few.

New teachers who receive steady mentoring are less likely to quit. Workplace wellness programs can also help. But both require schoolwide, even districtwide buy-in. If that's not realistic, Greenberg suggests a fix that is well within every teacher's control, one that just might surprise you ...


Cory Turner | December 30, 20164:59 AM ET


The Atlantic--5 Numbers That Explain Education in 2016

From record-high graduation rates to the percentage of students who attend charters, here are some figures that help tell the story of U.S. schools over the last year.

 As a writer, I generally favor words over numbers. But sometimes a good number is worth a thousand words. Or something like that. In that spirit, here are five numbers that help explain the state of education in 2016 (with a smattering of words thrown in for good measure).


This is the percentage of American high-schoolers who graduated on time during the 2014-15 school year (the most recent year for which there is data available). While 83 percent is a record-high overall graduation rate, the rates for some groups of students, such as blacks and Latinos, are much lower. Although persistent gaps remain, schools and nonprofits are finding creative ways to serve what is an increasingly diverse student body.


Emily DeRuy| Dec 31, 2016

Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608