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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


6-14-17 Education in the News

Star Ledger--Too hot to learn? Districts feel the heat to close schools

It didn't take long for Nelson Ribon to decide to give thousands of Trenton public school students a half day off Monday and Tuesday.

The scorcher of a weather forecast -- which calls for high humidity and temperatures in the 90s -- convinced the acting superintendent of Trenton's public schools that it would be too steamy to learn in most of his district's schools.

Less than half of the 20 public schools in the state's capital city are air conditioned, Ribon said. That means at least 7,000 students and staff members are struggling to make it to the end of the school year as the temperature soars.


Sophie Nieto-Munoz| Updated on June 13, 2017 at 1:45 PM Posted on June 13, 2017 at 12:45 PM


The Record—Op-Ed--Assembly fails to resolve school funding crisis

As Governor Christie’s June 8th deadline came and went, the Assembly once again failed the children of our state by ignoring the most important issue before us — resolving the school funding crisis that is plaguing our taxpayers statewide.

The School Funding Reform Act of 2008 is lauded as the best school funding design in the nation, but the Legislature failed to remove the adjustment aid and growth caps as originally intended. I am dismayed that Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto failed to consider testimony after testimony heard at each education committee held throughout New Jersey.

While everyone has gathered around the table in an attempt to collectively formulate a consensus that best serves us all, Speaker Prieto has turned a deaf ear to the growing chorus of New Jersey taxpayers pleading for change. Instead of engaging in conversation, he has silenced those voices that call for an equitable solution. All of this to benefit wealthy real estate developers in overfunded municipalities, such as Jersey City, who take advantage of state programs in order to line their pockets with taxpayer money.

The speaker has proposed that we disburse a one-time unfunded $125 million aid package for one year to our state’s most underfunded school districts. Unfortunately, his plan lacks the thoroughness of a fair formula, and therefore fails to address the ongoing crisis.

Patricia Egan Jones, a Democrat, represents the 5th Legislative District in the Assembly.


 Patricia Egan Jones| 2:38 p.m. ET June 13, 2017


NY Times--Preparing ‘Emerging Adults’ for College and Beyond

Some academic and “adulting” skills may seem oddly fundamental, but students who lack them can develop strategies for coping with possible challenges. Credit Nathan Weber for The New York Times

Rachel Ginsberg is a clinical psychologist at the NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center, a research and clinical program that brings together experts from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine. She is part of its Launching Emerging Adults Program aimed at teenagers and young adults.

Dr. Ginsberg works with clients on lack of emotional readiness and academic and “adulting” skills, as well as on social anxiety — issues that can become more apparent in college and can lead to students’ lives’ unraveling.

So how can a person develop these skills? Below is a list of “exposure tasks” to help students develop strategies for coping with possible challenges and “assertively get their needs met, or manage circumstances that do not go the way that they wished,” Dr. Ginsberg said.




The Atlantic--Are Virtual Schools the Future?

Despite evidence of negative student-learning outcomes, Betsy DeVos appears to think so.


When Betsy DeVos returned to the advocacy group she used to lead last month, she told attendees to push for systems where students could attend any kind of school.


Traditional, charter, religious, and virtual schools should be options for students, the education secretary argued, as should “an educational setting yet to be developed.”

Virtual Education: Genuine Benefits or Real-Time Demerits?

“Our current framework is a closed system that relies on one-size-fits-all solutions,” DeVos said. “We need an open system that envelops choices and embraces the future.”

This vision was clear throughout the American Federation for Children summit: that schools need to be reinvented with an emphasis on technology. And throughout the gathering, exclusively online schools were a key part of that vision—even though some supporters acknowledge existing virtual schools have not produced strong academic outcomes to date.


Matt Barnum| Jun 12, 2017

Education Week--Data Dive: Devices and Software Flooding Into Classrooms

More access hasn’t meant better use

Public schools have more classroom technology and faster internet connections than ever before, and teachers and students alike report using the digital tools at their disposal more frequently than in years past.


But a new analysis of the National Assessment of Educational Progress survey data by the Education Week Research Center highlights two troubling trends:

Despite the promise of building "21st century skills," such as creativity and problem-solving, students report using computers in school most often for activities that involve rote practice.

And even as their classrooms have been inundated with new devices and software, the percent of teachers who say they’ve received training on how to effectively use such technology has remained flat, with a persistent divide between high- and low-poverty schools.


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