|10-13-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Nothing to Celebrate: No Hike in State-Employee Healthcare Premiums
Cost-cutting measures expected to deliver $1.6B in savings to state over next three years
A push to reduce the cost of health benefits to the state and its employees has actually worked, so much so that the state is expected to see $1.6 billion in savings over the next three years, and employees will not see a healthcare premium price hike in 2018.
The cost-trimming effort, which is also delivering slight savings on premiums for local-government employees next year, has been met with praise from the Communications Workers of America, the union that represents both state and local government workers.
But not all of the measures that are driving the savings for those workers have been embraced by the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, which has suggested some amount to cost-shifting and could reduce access to doctors.
John Reitmeyer | October 13, 2017
Associated Press--DeVos touts school choice, STEM for $4 billion in grants
WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has put forth a new set of priorities for states, schools and universities competing for federal grant money.
The priorities include school choice, science and technology, special education and school safety.
The Education Department awards approximately $4 billion per year in new and continuation competitive grants across some 80 programs, the agency said Thursday. Education secretaries have historically used these competitions to push their priorities.
“It’s a little nudge,” said Chad Aldeman, an associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners. “This allows the department to nudge the education field toward these priorities.”
Maria Danilova| October 13, 2017
Education Week--Kindergarten Assessments Begin to Shape Instruction
In the not-too-distant past, the kindergarten classrooms at Pleasant Grove Elementary in Heflin, Ala., looked much the same as classrooms for older children.
Desks were arranged in rows. Children worked on worksheets. "There wasn't a lot of differentiation in your instruction," said Kristi Moore, a kindergarten teacher at the school, located halfway between Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta. "Most of all your children were taught the same way."
But in recent years, the school has tried to shift instruction in a way that they say works better for young children. And they credit the use of a comprehensive method of evaluating kindergarten students, called kindergarten entry assessment, as one of the tools that allowed them to do that.
Christina A. Samuels| October 10, 2017
Garden State Coalition of Schools