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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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10-23-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Governor’s Race 2017: Property Taxes, Pension System, Economic Growth

Sound bites and TV spots aren’t enough to get an accurate understanding of the leading candidates’ policies and platforms

On one side of the divide is Democrat Phil Murphy — the contest’s current frontrunner — who’s been arguing that policies enacted by Republican Gov. Chris Christie during his two terms have largely been favoring the state’s well-to-do residents and large corporations.

But Republican Kim Guadagno, Christie’s longtime lieutenant governor, has attempted to counter Murphy’s message by making the case that the key issue for New Jersey voters is really taxes, and specifically property-tax relief.


John Reitmeyer | October 23, 2017


Philadelphia Inquirer--Racial incidents rock area schools. Now what?

Racist texts. A fight before homeroom. Cheerleaders called the N-word. A black doll hanging by a tie. Pumpkins carved with a swastika and a reference to the Ku Klux Klan. Student protests. Police in the hallways.

That was just this month. In three area school districts.

Across the region, schools are grappling with a wave of disturbing racial incidents and attempting to chart a peaceful path forward.

But experts say teachers and administrators should brace for more clashes – and prepare students to survive and counteract them – as the nation’s racially charged politics continues to turn Americans and their children against one another.


William Bender, Valerie Russ & Tricia L. Nadolny - Staff Writers| Updated: October 21, 2017 — 5:23 AM EDT


Asbury Park Press—Op-Ed--GERSON: Education must mean more than avoidance of offense

WASHINGTON — The desire to protect young people from offensive ideas and words is an understandable instinct. In the context of bullying, it is a requirement. In the context of great literature, it is nearly always mistaken.

The distinction between the language of the schoolyard and the language of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” has somehow been lost on the Biloxi, Mississippi, school board, which recently decided to remove the book from the eighth-grade curriculum. “There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable,” explained Kenny Holloway, the vice president of the board.

The purpose of Lee’s classic, of course, is to make people uncomfortable with racial prejudice. To do so, it reflects the language employed by bigots in the segregated South, including the N-word. Given a desire to present the repulsive reality of racism, it could hardly do otherwise.


Michael Gerson| Published 8:00 p.m. ET Oct. 19, 2017


Education Week--ESSA Brings User-Friendly Makeover of State Report Cards

Consumers have long slapped state-issued school report cards with a failing grade. Parents and statisticians alike have lodged complaints about their dizzying, colorless rows of data punctuated with jargon, clauses, and meaningless explainers.

Now, those much agonized-over and politically fraught web portals for conveying how schools stack up are set for a head-to-toe makeover, both in how they look and the information they provide.

The Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to visualize in an "easily accessible and user-friendly" way plenty more data points than was required under No Child Left Behind, including school-by-school spending, stats on teacher and principal quality, school discipline rates, and preschool, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate offerings—all broken out by more than 10 student subgroups.


Daarel Burnette II| October 20, 2017

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