|1-5-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Critics, Advocates Pump Up Volume of Charter-School Debates
After protest moves indoors, meeting of state Board of Education turns into lively discussion of whether NJ needs charters at all
Just when things seemed to have quieted down a bit, New Jersey’s charter school debates are back — full-throated and full throttle.
And unlike earlier battles before the Legislature and the occasional local school board, charter-school critics and advocates are taking their arguments to the state Board of Education and even the state Department of Education itself.
The latest skirmish came yesterday, when the state board heard testimony on the Christie administration’s proposals to ease some technical regulations on the alternative schools, starting with waiving certification requirements for teachers and principals in the highest-performing charters.
The proposed rules have been controversial from the start, with even board members themselves — several appointed by Christie — balking at some of the changes.
John Mooney | January 5, 2017
Star Ledger--N.J. teachers will spend less time under evaluation with new rules
TRENTON -- New Jersey teachers will be evaluated by their supervisors in three 20-minute sessions a year under new rules approved Wednesday that significantly reduce the amount of time principals must spend observing classrooms.
The state Board of Education unanimously approved new educator effectiveness regulations at its meeting in Trenton. The changes were recommended by the state Department of Education, which found principals could get all the information they needed after observing teachers in their classrooms in 20-minute increments.
Under the current system, teachers with one or two years of experience are required to be evaluated by a supervisor for a total of 100 minutes. The observations must include at least two 40-minute sessions and one 20-minute session.
Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| January 04, 2017 at 4:11 PM, updated January 04, 2017 at 5:39 PM
Education Week--Tricky Balance in Shifting From ESSA Blueprint to K-12 Reality
As ESSA passes its first birthday, states take on the hard work of turning the new law into policy on the ground.
One year ago, President Barack Obama and longtime education leaders in Congress burst through years of deadlock to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act, the first update to the nation's main K-12 law in over a decade.
Now the law remains a work in progress, as states, districts, and a shifting cast of federal officials work furiously to prepare for its full rollout this fall.
ESSA's architects said the law struck a careful compromise. On the one side, it moved away from what they saw as the worst aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act—the previous version of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act—including what many deemed an overemphasis on standardized tests and a too-heavy federal footprint. At the same time, it kept key safeguards for historically overlooked groups of students.
But as the new law passes its first birthday, it's an open question whether ESSA will be able to maintain that balance once it hits state education agencies, district central offices, and classrooms in full force in the 2017-18 school year.
ESSA gives states and districts greater flexibility, but it also asks a lot of them.
Alyson Klein |December 30, 2016
Garden State Coalition of Schools