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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


5-30-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: In NJ, as in Nearby States, Competitiveness Drives Affordability

The only way to stem our tide of outmigration is to bring our economic policies in line with our direct regional competitors — Pennsylvania and New York

New Jersey has many positive attributes. We added almost 60,000 jobs in 2016, the state’s largest gain since 2000, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. We have among the best K-12 public education systems in the nation and a highly skilled workforce including the highest concentration of scientists and engineers in the world — more than 225,000 statewide.


Michele Siekerka | May 30, 2017


Star Ledger--Wanted: A governor who's smart about charter schools | Editorial

In Newark and Camden, where parents have fled failing district schools by the thousands, charter schools have been one of the great social successes of the past decade.
They solidly outperform the district schools, in some cases by a huge margin. And their success is measured not just by tests and graduation rates; but also by the fact that poor, minority families have shown consistent preference for charter schools. Leading charters North Star Academy and KIPP (formerly known as TEAM) remain the top choices of Newark parents, out of all the schools in the city.
We've also seen progress in the conventional schools in Newark and Camden, where both superintendents believe this mixed portfolio is good for the district as a whole.

You can't just approve new charters, leave the house and expect them to thrive.

 Yet the Democratic candidates in our governor's race are all curiously skeptical about charter schools. Each is departing from former President Barack Obama's courageous support for charters that defied the teacher's union, which is a real threat to this progress in our cities.

Star-Ledger Editorial Board| Updated on May 28, 2017 at 4:01 PM Posted on May 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Slate--The New Diploma Mills

Rushing to boost graduation rates, more school districts are relying on “online credit recovery”—a form of instruction that may be selling students short.

This is the first part of the Big Shortcut, an eight-part series exploring the exponential rise in online learning for high school students who have failed traditional classes.

Florida’s superintendents had a graduation problem.

Nearly a decade ago, state officials decreed that starting in 2009 graduation data would factor into the letter grades assigned to individual schools.  The stakes were high: Consecutive failing marks meant that the state could mandate major changes, like replacing the school’s principal; significant improvement, or an A grade, translated into extra cash for perks like teacher bonuses and athletic equipment.

The policy change worried Reginald James, then the superintendent of the Gadsden County School District on the Florida Panhandle. By 2010, Gadsden’s graduation rate had fallen to a bleak 43 percent, the second worst performance of any district in the state.

So at the start of the 2010–11 school year, James initiated a host of new efforts:


Zoë Kirsch| May 23 2017 5:55 AM


Education Week--Teaching Students to De-Stress Over Testing

Some districts are taking steps to help students better cope with test anxiety and other stresses of school

Assessments may change in many ways, but for most students, the stress of having to prove what they know and can do doesn't go away.

That's why an increasing number of districts nationwide are looking for ways to help change not so much the tests but the way students respond to them, and to do so in a way that helps improve students' achievement and well-being.

"People who are anxious in general often get test anxiety, yes, but a lot of people who are not particularly anxious can still develop stress around tests in different subjects" like mathematics, said Mark Greenberg, the chairman of prevention research at Pennsylvania State University and a developer of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, or PATHS, curriculum, a social and emotional development and anti-anxiety program for elementary students.


Sarah D. Sparks| May 24, 2017


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