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2-17-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Fine Print: Assembly Moves to End PARCC as Graduation Requirement

Committee acts on little-used parliamentary tool, but effort still has a ways to travel

What it is: Assembly Concurrent Resolution 215 (ACR 215)

Prime sponsors: State Assemblywomen Mila Jasey and Marlene Caride

What it does: Employing a little-used parliamentary tool, the concurrent resolution demands that the State Board of Education reverse its move last August to require New Jersey high school students to pass certain sections of PARCC in order to graduate, starting with the Class of 2021. The measure overwhelmingly passed the Assembly education committee this week and moves next to the full Assembly. It has yet to be posted in the Senate.

What it means: The resolution is the latest tactic to roll back the Christie administration’s two-year-old launch of PARCC testing in New Jersey schools, ultimately including the state’s high school exit test. Previous legislative efforts have so far fallen short under the near-certainty that Gov. Chris Christie would veto them, and a legal challenge has yet to resolved. If approved by the full Assembly and then the Senate, the Legislature’s latest action would not require Christie’s signature.


John Mooney | February 17, 2017


Press of Atlantic City--Report says NJ teachers make less than other workers

Public school teachers in New Jersey make less money than other full-time employees, according to a report released this week by the Economic Policy Institute.

But the disparity is at least partly due to the fact teachers overall work fewer weeks per year than other professions.

Teachers also get more of their total compensation as benefits than private-sector workers, although the gap is closing.

According to the report, developed using U.S. Census data, the average annual wage of teachers in New Jersey from 2012-14 was $68,301, compared with $82,223 for other full-time employees, or a 17 percent difference.

But most full-time employees reported working an average of 51.2 weeks per year, while teachers reported working 47.5 weeks a year, or 7 percent less. Teachers also reported working about two hours per week less than other full-time workers.

The report’s author, Jeffrey Keefe, said the large number of weeks teachers reported working could include working summer school or other summer jobs.


DIANE D’AMICO Staff Writer| February 16, 2017


Education Week--State Solidarity Still Eroding on Common-Core Tests

After seven years of tumult and transition fueled by the common core, state testing is settling down, with most states rejecting the federally funded PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments, and nearly one-quarter embracing the SAT or the ACT as their official high school test.

Education Week's third annual survey of states' tests found a landscape far more stable in 2016-17 than it was in 2014-15, when dozens of states had tossed aside their old assessments to try the new arrivals designed by two big consortia of states, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, to align with the Common Core State Standards. There was a flurry of interest in those tests in the first few years, with 45 states planning to use them. But by now, 27 have opted for other tests.

The national survey also shows a steady increase—four more states than last year—in the number of states that require all students to take the ACT or SAT college-admissions exam in high school.


By Catherine Gewertz| February 15, 2017 | Corrected: February 16, 2017

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

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