|12-5-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Opinion: The Four Factors Behind Newark’s Education Turnaround
Academic improvement, higher standards for students and educators, parent empowerment through school choice signal hard-won cohesion for a fractured district in a fragmented state
New Jersey is a fragmented and complicated state, splintered into 565 municipalities and even more school districts. Newark is its microcosm, a byzantine culture of powerful ward bosses who control every aspect of governance, including its school system. Although I’ve been writing about education in New Jersey for a decade, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to understand Newark.
Laura Waters | December 5, 2017
NY Times--Why Applying to College Is So Confusing
The annual college applications frenzy is upon us — a season when high school students agonize over G.P.A.s and personal essays, hoping and praying that they will stand out among throngs of applicants.
The anxiety among applicants about how to present themselves to universities is very visible online. Websites have sprung up to advise students on, say, whether teacher recommendations make a difference or whether to write about money in a college essay. One website, College Confidential, has offered a seminar in which you “learn what admission officials discuss behind closed doors” but “may not tell you in the information session.” Desperate applicants ask other site visitors — complete strangers — to “chance” them, or estimate the likelihood they will be admitted to their dream college.
This degree of bewilderment is troubling, but not surprising.
Rebecca Zwick|DEC. 5, 2017
Washington Post-- Teacher: We didn’t sign up for this
Teachers in Anchorage recently rejected a tentative agreement on a new contract that failed to include a sought-after 3 percent salary increase — but, according to news reports, money was not the only issue. Sagging morale was another factor.
KTUU in Anchorage quoted Corey Aist, a teacher in the Anchorage School District, as saying:
“Personally, I was at every board meeting, listened to all the stories being shared by the teachers. And they just want to be valued, they want to be heard, they want to be respected. That may have had a bigger consequence to the contract than the actual items within.”
If low morale was a factor, Anchorage would hardly be the only place where teachers are feeling a lack of respect. Surveys of teachers and growing teacher shortages have revealed a real cost to the teaching profession of low pay, unfair evaluation methods, assaults on due-process rights, high-stakes testing and insufficient resources.
Valerie Strauss December 4 at 2:45 PM
Education Week--Schools Struggle to Keep Pace With Hackings, Other Cyber Threats
New survey data show IT leaders underestimate cybersecurity challenges
A wide range of cybersecurity threats are sweeping through the education sector, sowing discord and costing public schools significant time, money, and trust.
Criminal hacking groups have terrorized and extorted school communities. Email scams have led to identify theft, fraudulent tax returns, and stolen public funds. Mistakes by district staff, third-party vendors, and other outside groups have left teacher and student information vulnerable.
Benjamin Herold| November 28, 2017
Garden State Coalition of Schools