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7-13-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Now It’s Official: Harrington (Finally) Sworn in as Education Commissioner

She’s spent nine months doing the job, and now that she has the title it may be short lived: Christie’s term runs out in six months

It got little notice and may not last all that long, but yesterday Kimberley Harrington finally won the full title that has gone with her job for nearly the past year: New Jersey’s commissioner of education.

Gov. Chris Christie announced late in the day that Harrington had been formally sworn in to the job she had held in an “acting” capacity for nine months, following the resignation of former commissioner David Hespe.


John Mooney | July 13, 2017


Philadelphia Inquirer—Op-Ed: Council should follow New Jersey's lead in helping students interact with police

I don’t often say this, but it’s time for Philadelphia legislators to look across the river and model a recent decision by New Jersey legislators. The New Jersey Assembly unanimously passed a law that would require school districts to teach students how to talk and interact with police officers. Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) was the primary sponsor and likened her vision to schools reinforcing the interaction many African-American parents have with their kids to lessen tensions with police, particularly during car stops.


Dom Giordano, Daily News Columnist Updated: July 12, 2017 — 7:54 PM EDT

Associated Press (via The Press of Atlantic City)--Detroit school district may rethink charter schools

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit school officials may decide to stop authorizing and overseeing charter schools in order to focus on improving traditional public schools.

Newly appointed Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti tells the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/2t5fNjA ) that he'll likely recommend the district fulfill its existing contracts with charter schools and then concentrate on improving its traditional schools.

The effort to focus on traditional public schools comes at a time when students in the district have performed poorly on national and state exams.


Associated Press Jul 10, 2017


NPR: On Education, The States Ask: Now What?

The new federal education law is supposed to return to the states greater control over their public schools.

But judging from the mood recently at the annual conference of the Education Commission of the States, the states are anything but optimistic about the future, or about the new law.

The apprehension reminded me of the 1989 education summit convened by President George H.W. Bush. Back then the goal was to persuade governors to adopt a set of national education goals. All but a couple of states bought into the idea of "systemic change" with support from the federal government.

The prevailing view was that state and local control of schools wasn't working. What was needed was a national vision for educating every child, regardless of geography, race, ethnicity, sex, ability or disability across social and economic classes. That vision would drive U.S. education policy for a quarter century, and it was a big part of the No Child Left Behind Act signed by George W. Bush in 2002.

Now, with the new education law, the pendulum has swung back to the states. The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, ostensibly puts them in the driver's seat.

So why aren't they happy? I heard lots of reasons at the ECS meeting in San Diego.


Claudio Sanchez | July 13, 20176:00 AM ET


Education Week--House Education Spending Plan's Cuts Less Severe Than Trump Budget


The House spending bill that would fund the U.S. Department of Education for the coming budget year seems to mostly ignore the school choice proposals put forward by President Donald Trump and would cut overall spending at the U.S. Department of Education by less that the president proposes.

However, the budget appears to cut Title II funding for teacher training, which currently stands at about $2 billion. That is in harmony with the Trump budget, which also seeks to scrap the program. 

The bill, released on Wednesday, would provide $66 billion for the department, down $2.4 billion from the current budget. By contrast, the Trump adminstration wanted a $9.2 billion cut, down to $59 billion. However, at least a few big-ticket K-12 programs are saved from the budget ax. The legislation would not fund the $1 billion public school choice program the president proposed in his fiscal 2018 spending blueprint. Nor does it appear to provide any money to the $250 million in state grants to support private school choice that Trump also sought.


Andrew Ujifusa on July 12, 2017 5:29 PM


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