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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


5-26-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Some Unexpected Drama for Staid, State Board of Education

Naming two new members to the panel kicks up some legislative dust as Senators want to interview replacements

Usually an uneventful process, the appointment of members to the state Board of Education has taken on some political drama under Gov. Chris Christie, who has named a majority of the panel in his seven years.

Now, a new twist — and some mystery — has arisen in the governor’s last year, as his latest round of appointments has drawn renewed attention to the board and has set in motion a political dance with the Senate’s Democratic leadership.

Christie nominated five members in December, three of them replacements and two renewals. That’s not unusual for the 13-member board, where turnover is often high. But this time the appointments caused a stir, most notably for replacing the board’s two ranking and highest-profile officers, president Mark Biedron and vice president Joseph Fisicaro.


John Mooney | May 26, 2017


Jersey Journal--Taxpayer-funded teachers union gigs at center of legal dispute

JERSEY CITY -- A conservative watchdog and the Jersey City teachers union are set to face off in court tomorrow over the school district's policy allowing two employees to work full-time for their union on the taxpayers' dime.

Two New Jersey residents, working with the Goldwater Institute, sued the district in January alleging the district's "release time" policy violates the gift clause of the New Jersey Constitution. Oral arguments are scheduled for tomorrow morning in Hudson County Superior Court.


Terrence T. McDonald| Updated on May 25, 2017 at 2:04 PM Posted on May 25, 2017 at 1:38 PM


Associated Press/Washington Post (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--Analysis: Five startling things Betsy DeVos told Congress

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (left), accompanied by Education Department Budget Service Director Erica Navarro, looks over her notes Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Does this sound familiar? Betsy DeVos went to Capitol Hill to testify before U.S. lawmakers. She didn't answer a lot of direct questions and engaged in some contentious debates with some members.

That happened in January when she went before the Senate Education Committee for her confirmation hearing, during which she said schools needed guns to protect against grizzly bears. This time, though, she didn't talk about guns, but she did say that states should have the right to decide whether private schools that accept publicly funded voucher students should be allowed to discriminate against students for whatever reason they want.

DeVos testified before the House subcommittee on labor, health and human services, education and related agencies about the Trump administration's 2018 budget proposal, which cuts $10.6 billion — or more than 13 percent — from education programs and re-invests $1.4 billion of the savings into promoting school choice.


Valerie Strauss, Washington Post|Updated: May 25, 2017 — 9:53 AM EDT


Education Week--Can a Career Tech Ed. School Be Too Popular?

Elite Career-Tech-Ed. Programs Worry About Limiting Access

Highlands, N.J.

On a chilly spring morning, 18 teenagers clamber aboard a 65-foot research vessel and become marine scientists. In big blue nets, they haul in an array of sparkling, spiny, wiggly sea creatures. They identify each one, carefully measure it, and toss it back into the water. The data they collect will help state officials monitor ocean life and oversee commercial fishing licenses.

It's the chance of a lifetime, but it's also a regular part of students' experience at their elite public high school, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology. It's a full-time career-and-technical-education program offered by a countywide vocational district. Acceptance rates at MAST rival those at some of the most selective universities. Seats are coveted for good reason: They funnel students into impressive colleges, and jobs in marine science, engineering, and other fields.

With few exceptions, however, the only students who get to benefit from this powerhouse program are white. Only 8 percent are Hispanic or Asian. None are black. Only 6 percent of MAST's 290 students are from low-income families, even though 37 percent of New Jersey's students live in poverty.


Catherine Gewertz|May 16, 2017

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