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


2-28-18 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--NJ Teens Protest Gun Violence: Teachable Moment or Disciplinary Problem?

New Jersey high school students plan to show solidarity with national ‘March for Our Lives,” leaving parents and educators uncertain about best response

Teenagers across the country are organizing student protests to express their fear and anger about school security and national gun laws, while New Jersey’s parents, teachers and school administrators are unsure how best to respond. Many want to channel students’ passion in some way to create teachable moments and allow them to exercise their First Amendment rights. Other districts are concerned about permitting students to miss school, regardless of the reason.


Carly Sitrin | February 28, 2018


NJ Spotlight--The List: Top 10 School Districts Where English Is Not the Primary Language

Nearly a quarter of New Jersey’s public school students live in homes where the main language used is not English. Here are the top 10 districts

That New Jersey is among the most diverse states in the nation is a given, but anyone who has doubts can just look at the most recent District Performance Reports issued by the state Department of Education.

These report cards for districts include information about languages spoken in the homes of the state’s 1.4 million public school students; they provide information about the 48 most common languages — in addition to English — spoken around the state, but there are many more. Statewide, almost one quarter of students live in a home where a language other than English is spoken most of the time. Most often, that language is Spanish; it’s the primary language spoken in 15.2 percent of homes statewide. The DOE even produces Spanish-language versions of the performance reports.


Colleen O'Dea | February 28, 2018


NJ Spotlight--In Wake of Parkland Tragedy, Listen to What Our Students Are Telling Us

It has been both moving and troubling to see high school students, now survivors of another horrific school shooting, plead with their elected officials for relief

Once again, American students, teachers, and families have to learn about, process, and absorb yet again another attack on an American school. The consensus is unequivocal. This is a real-life nightmare that, from all accounts, our legislative bodies are unwilling to act on, never mind discuss in any significant way. A nightmare that haunts our students and teachers, takes away from their school and work experiences, and hangs like a dark cloud over all that is being accomplished in American schools.


Erik Gundersen and Brian P. Gatens | February 28, 2018


Star Ledger--These 25 schools rank surprisingly low in N.J.'s new ratings

If you live in a town like Livingston, Ridgewood or Chatham, you might think your local high school is among the state's best. New Jersey's new school rating system doesn't agree. 

Last month, the state for the first time published a rating of every public high school on a scale of 0-100. The ratings are designed to uncover statistics that often get masked by the overall performance of a school. And there were numerous surprises, especially among high schools often considered elite. 

For example, a school with a high overall graduation rate got dinged if its graduation rate for Hispanic students was lower than the state average for Hispanic students. The same goes for other key subgroups, like special education students or economically disadvantaged students. 


Adam Clark and Carla Astudillo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Posted February 28, 2018 at 07:00 AM | Updated February 28, 2018 at 07:05 AM


Star Ledger--Murphy says teachers union did not ask him to fire top education official

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday rejected the notion that New Jersey's largest teachers union was responsible for his decision to fire an assistant state education commissioner just hours after she was confirmed for the job. 

"Ridiculous," Murphy said when asked about whether the New Jersey Education Association asked him to dismiss Paula White -- a move that came to light in a column written by Star-Ledger editorial page editor Tom Moran and published on NJ.com last week. 

Brent Johnson| Updated Feb 27, 6:25 PM; Posted Feb 27, 4:21 PM


Star Ledger--N.J. to get tougher on teacher hires, unless Murphy vetoes bill

A proposed law to prevent teachers suspected of sexual misconduct from easily moving to new schools has the blessing of New Jersey lawmakers and is going to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk. 

The state Senate on Monday passed the bill (S414), two months after an NJ Advance Media investigation exposed how multiple teachers accused of inappropriate behavior with students easily found new jobs in schools where administrators were unaware of their pasts. The Assembly also passed the bill this month. 


Adam Clark| Updated Feb 27, 1:32 PM; Posted Feb 27, 1:31 PM


Hudson County View--Union City BOE receives more state funding than all of Sussex County, is it fair?

The Union City Board of Education receives more funding from the state than all of Sussex County, highlighting the feast or famine nature of school funding in New Jersey. Is it fair?

According to figures from the state Department of Education, the UC BOE will receive $181,132,094 in state aid for 13,761 students for the 2017-2018 scholastic year.

In comparison, all of Sussex County, which consists of 25 municipalities, will get $110,596,714 from the NJ DOE for 21,638 students for the current scholastic year.

Furthermore, there are currently 10 school districts in New Jersey, ranging from Bergen to Gloucester Counties, that have filed or are in the process of filing litigation against the state DOE in order to force more balanced school funding.


John Heinis| February 27, 2018


Education Week--Students Are Walking Out to Protest Gun Violence. What Should School Administrators Do?

In the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead, students are planning mass walkouts to protest gun violence and call for more gun-safety measures.

But across the country, the responses from school and district administrators have varied.

A 17-minute nationwide walkout is planned for March 14, and another protest is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine, Colo., school shooting, which left 13 dead.

In the Needville Independent School district in Texas, the superintendent has said that the district will not allow students to protest during school hours and warned students that they will face a three-day suspension if they chose to do so.


Denisa R. Superville on February 27, 2018 10:30 AM


Garden State Coalition of Schools
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