4-26-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Should N.J. schools start later? What a state study found

TRENTON -- New Jersey teenagers would likely benefit from later school start times, but the state shouldn't force middle and high schools to shift their schedules because of the logistical nightmare that could ensue, a state report recommends.

The state Department of Education on Tuesday released the final report from its Study Group on Later School Start Times, a study ordered by state lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie in 2015. 

The panel agreed that sleep deprivation is harmful to students' health and academic performance but concluded that "delaying school start times is fraught with obstacles and challenges," including potential problems with transportation, athletic schedules and childcare. 


By Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| April 25, 2017 at 4:11 PM, updated April 25, 2017 at 4:25 PM


The Record--Spring school elections are rare

There are 14 towns in New Jersey that have April school elections; half of them are in North Jersey

Five years after Gov. Chris Christie gave school districts the option of moving their elections from April to November, voters in the few remaining holdouts are mixed on the decision to stick with the traditional spring election. 

 “There are two competing ways to look at it,” said Menachem Bazian, a Passaic zoning board official and school district employee. “One way to look at it is, yeah we would save money. The other way to look at it is … the Board of Education would probably get subsumed by anything else that showed up on the agenda.”


Svetlana Shkolnikova and Marsha A. Stoltz , NorthJersey 5:00 a.m. ET April 26, 2017


Washington Post--Trump expected to order study of federal role in education

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday that would require Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to study how the federal government “has unlawfully overstepped state and local control,” according to a White House official.

Trump has repeatedly pledged to downsize the Education Department and its role in U.S. schools and colleges. The order he plans to sign is “intended to return authority to where Congress intended — state and local entities,” the White House official wrote in an e-mail.

The GOP has long been home to lawmakers who felt that the federal government should not be involved in public education. But complaints of federal overreach intensified during Barack Obama’s administration as the Education Department wielded billions of dollars in stimulus funds — and promises of relief from the much-reviled No Child Left Behind law — to push states toward adopting new teacher evaluations and Common Core academic standards.


Emma Brown April 26 at 12:05 AM


Education Week--Do Private Donations Reinforce School Disparities?

Donations vary widely in three neighboring Wisconsin districts

When it comes to how much private money flows in to help their students, the Kohler, Sheboygan Area, and Sheboygan Falls school districts may seem a world apart. In reality, they're neighbors.

Private donations can come through parent-teacher organizations, school district foundations, booster clubs, and private companies. Though they account for a fraction of districts' budgets, the extra dollars can reinforce existing inequities between districts just one street over from one another, suggests a nationwide Education Week Research Center analysis of the latest federal financial data available.


By Francisco Vara-Orta | April 18, 2017