|8-11-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--The Essence of ESSA: the Good, the Bad, the Meh
A wonk-free assessment of the Every Student Succeeds Act and how it can refocus discussions about New Jersey schools onto more accurate rankings of quality and achievement
When my husband Dennis and I were getting ready to move to New Jersey 25 years ago, we had three criteria for location: affordability, within a not-too-unbearable commute to New York City (where he worked and my extended family lived), and, most importantly, a home in a school district that offered a solid education for our (soon-to-be) four children.
We knew how much money we had. We knew how to read the NJ Transit train schedule. But we didn’t know how to gauge school quality, besides hearsay from neighbors and friends. We ended up in an inner-ring suburb of Trenton called Lawrence Township (Mercer County) and count ourselves lucky that our kids had access to good schools.
But luck shouldn’t be a factor when parents assess school quality.
Laura Waters | August 11, 2017
Star Ledger--N.J.'s 'ambitious' new goals for public schools get federal approval
TRENTON -- New Jersey has gained federal approval for its new long-term plan for public schools, including the expectation that at least 80 percent of students should pass standardized tests in reading and math by 2030, the state announced Wednesday.
The plan, crafted to follow the guidelines of a new federal education law, doesn't include any major changes to the state's standardized testing regimen or academic standards. But it does shift more weight in the annual evaluation of schools to student progress, regardless of whether the students pass their state exams.
Adam Clark| Updated on August 10, 2017 at 5:12 PM Posted on August 10, 2017 at 10:33 AM
The Record--Report: Passaic teachers among state's highest paid
New Jersey employed 116,351 full-time classroom teachers during the 2016-17 school year, but according to the state Department of Education, about 15 percent of the 1,000 highest-paid teachers hail from the city of Passaic school district.
The state Department of Education's 2017 taxpayers' guide to school spending shows that 149 Passaic teachers were paid at least $112,000 last school year.
The agency’s original data compilation reported that the five highest-paid teachers all came from Passaic Gifted and Talented Academy School No. 20 on Henry Street, but, district spokesman Keith Furlong said their salaries were inaccurately input due to human or computer error.
Tony Gicas, Staff Writer, @tonygicas Published 5:00 a.m. ET Aug. 11, 2017 | Updated 6:26 a.m. ET Aug. 11, 2017
Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--School choice program raises questions about accountability
LAS VEGAS (AP) - More than a third of U.S. states have created school voucher programs that bypass thorny constitutional and political issues by turning them over to nonprofits that rely primarily on businesses to fund them. But the programs are raising questions about transparency and accountability at a time when supporters are urging that they be expanded into a federal program.
Unlike traditional school vouchers, which are directly funded by the states or in the case of Washington, D.C., the federal government, these programs don't use any public money. Instead, those who contribute to the voucher program get tax credits. Seventeen states now have the so-called tax-credit scholarships.
SALLY HO, The Associated Press | Updated: August 11, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT
Garden State Coalition of Schools