7-14-17 Education in the News

Star Ledger--What's next for underfunded school district? Sweeney will talk about it tonight

WOOLWICH TWP. -- Kingsway Regional High School will host state officials to mark the successful start of the school funding reform plan that will increase aid to many underfunded districts, including Kingsway who will see a four percent increase this upcoming school year.  

Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assemblyman John Burzichelli and Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro will join with local officials, educators and community members to discuss the new state budget. The budget will add $150 million in aid and reallocate $30 million to underfunded districts as the first step towards full funding.

Kingsway will see an immediate increase of an roughly $732,244 for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. This increase will bring the district from 44 percent of the state aid formula to 48 percent. 

By Caitlyn Stulpin| Posted on July 13, 2017 at 2:58 PM


The Record-- America sees alarming spike in middle school suicide rate

America is experiencing a striking rise in suicide among middle school students.

The suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds doubled between 2007 and 2014, for the first time surpassing the death rate in that age group from car crashes. In 2014 alone, 425 middle schoolers nationwide took their own lives, including five in New Jersey.

"It’s alarming. We’re even getting cases involving 8- and 9-year olds,” said Clark Flatt, who started the Jason Foundation in Tennessee 20 years ago to help educate teachers about teen suicide after his 16-year-old son took his own life. “It’s scary. This isn’t an emerging problem – it’s here.”

Researchers, educators and psychologists say several factors -- increased pressure on students to achieve academically, more economic uncertainty, increased fear of terrorism and social media -- are behind the rise in suicides among the young. 


James M. O'Neill | Published 6:30 a.m. ET July 14, 2017 | Updated 7:00 a.m. ET July 14, 2017


Education Week--As Schools Tackle Poverty, Attendance Goes Up, But Academic Gains Are Tepid

P.S. 123, a K-8 school in Harlem, had been a chaotic place when Melitina Hernandez arrived as principal in 2013. Students would often run out of class to get attention. Staff members sometimes dodged confrontational parents. The school had old computers and tattered textbooks.

So Hernandez and her staff set out to make big changes with a $4 million grant from the state. They started with upgrading technology and other classroom amenities. They also turned their attention to the needs of the school’s large population of homeless children. Then their efforts kicked into higher gear in 2014 when P.S. 123 became part of New York City’s broad efforts to turn around dozens of low-performing schools by injecting them with a range of health, social-emotional, and academic support services for students and their families.

Nearly three years later, the results at P.S. 123, with its 530 students, offer a small window into what the city’s larger initiative is seeing: an increase in student attendance and family participation in school activities, a drop in chronic absenteeism, but uneven academic progress. Just 17 percent of P.S. 123’s students in grades 3-8 were proficient on the state’s English Language Arts exam in 2016, but in 2015, it had been even lower at 7 percent.


Denisa R. Superville| July 11, 2017