5-31-18 Education in the News

Star Ledger--How N.J. made a mess of graduation requirements for an entire grade

When East Brunswick High School gave standardized tests this spring, hundreds of sophomores skipped their English exam with confidence.  

The teens had previously passed the PARCC English test for ninth-graders and were told that meant they fulfilled a key graduation requirement, Superintendent Victor Valeski said. 

But in New Jersey's complicated and controversial world of standardized testing, checking off a graduation requirement isn't as simple as it may seem.  


Adam Clark| Updated May 30, 11:27 AM; Posted 11:26 AM


Star Ledger--Will my child be forced to switch schools? What parents need to know about N.J. desegregation suit

The statistics are undeniable. Across New Jersey, hundreds of thousands of black and Hispanic students attend schools that are almost entirely non-white

The question is whether the state should step in to do something about it. 

A lawsuit filed earlier this month accuses the state of being complicit in allowing one of the most segregated school systems in America and calls for a comprehensive desegregation plan


Adam Clark| Updated May 29, 11:42 AM; Posted May 29, 11:16 AM


NJ Spotlight--Murphy Offers Loan Aid, Intern Funding to Keep STEM Students and Jobs in NJ

Students in high-tech fields would be eligible for up to $8,000 in debt forgiveness, in program governor promotes as ‘small down payment’ for significant economic return

To help keep STEM scholars in New Jersey after graduation, Gov. Phil Murphy is proposing two state-funded programs to address the affordability issue head-on for those pursuing careers in the coveted sector.


John Reitmeyer | May 30, 2018


NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: The Myth of Sisyphus and the Achievement Gap

The tension between Americans’ belief in equality of educational opportunity and personal liberty means there will always be an achievement gap

I was a New Jersey school district superintendent for 17 years. I dealt with the achievement gap on a frequent basis. The New Jersey Department of Education monitors districts on their success in reducing the achievement gap and penalizes districts on the Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) instrument for failure to reduce this gap.

John Kellmayer | May 30, 2018


NJ Spotlight-- The 25 N.J. school districts with the richest residents

The greatest predictor of student success is not teacher quality, music classes, lab equipment or anything in the school at all. It's in the parent's wallet.

Starting in kindergarten, children from high-income families consistently perform better than those from low-income families on standardized tests. They are also more likely to attend selective colleges and to graduate.

And that gap has only gotten wider over the past three decades, according to research from Stanford University professor Sean Reardon.


Erin Petenko | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Posted May 31, 2018 at 07:02 AM | Updated May 31, 2018 at 07:06 AM


The Record--Should schools be used as voting sites while students are present?

The most recent school shooting has re-ignited the debate on whether or not schools should be used as voting sites, especially when students are present. 

At least twice each year, hundreds of New Jersey schools are open to staff, students, teachers and any local adult with a voter ID.


David M Zimmer, Staff Writer, @dzimmernews Published 7:22 a.m. ET May 29, 2018


Education Week--Santa Fe Shooting: How the Texas Governor Proposes to Keep Students Safe at School

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled a broad school safety plan Tuesday that could bring more armed staff, as well as an expanded police force, into the state's schools, a little more than a week after a student gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.

His lengthy set of proposals also include installing active-shooter alarm systems in every school and the creation of an app that will allow students and teachers to anonymously report threats.

The measures come after Abbott, a prominent gun rights supporter, convened three days of roundtable meetings last week with gun violence survivors, gun control advocates, superintendents, legislators, and others to discuss ways to improve school safety. 

Nothing Abbott unveiled will be mandatory for districts, but the governor said covering the costs of some of his proposals could come from $120 million in federal and state grants. He acknowledged that some schools in Texas are already doing what he's proposing.

The recommendations that Abbott announced at a news conference at a Dallas school fall into three big buckets: hardening schools, addressing mental health, and promoting gun safety.


Denisa R. Superville on May 30, 2018 3:50 PM