8-7-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--NJEA PAC Announces Its Picks for 2017 Legislative Races

While typically true blue, Democratic-leaning union makes some GOP exceptions, and withholds endorsement for Sweeney and Ruiz

Its influence both symbolic and real, the New Jersey Education Associationís PAC this weekend finalized the last of the powerful unionís political endorsements for the November legislative races ó with some notable picks and some notable omissions.


John Mooney | August 7, 2017

Star Ledger--108 N.J. districts can compete for pre-K expansion money

TRENTON -- Parents in more than 100 New Jersey school districts could have a second chance to get their children into a public pre-K program this year or see their current half-day program expanded to a full day.†

However, the expanded classes might not start until October in some districts, according to the state Department of Education.†

The department this week released applications for $25 million in pre-K expansion funding, money added to the state budget as part of a compromise†between lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie.†


Adam Clark| Updated on August 4, 2017 at 10:45 AM Posted on August 4, 2017 at 10:23 AM

Washington Post-- Like it or not, Betsy DeVos has made a mark in six months as education secretary

It is tempting to conclude that after six months as education secretary, Betsy DeVos hasnít accomplished all that much.

Congress has not been kind to her legislative agenda, and Republicans have joined with Democrats in criticizing her proposed budget cuts. She faces protests at many public appearances, which is why she receives special protection from the U.S. Marshals Service, at an average cost so far this year of $1 million a month. Her department, like many others in the Trump administration, has yet to fill a long list of empty jobs.

But, like it or not, DeVos has taken some major steps to change education policy, and her very presence at the head of the U.S. Education Department signals something important about the past, present and future of public education in the United States.

DeVos is a Michigan billionaire who has labored tirelessly for decades to promote school choice, or alternatives to traditional public schools, and is seen by critics as the most ideological and anti-public-education secretary in the more than 40 years of the departmentís history.


Valerie Strauss August 4

The Atlantic--The Drawback of Schools Near State Lines

A recent study says student achievement could be suffering from policies that limit the pool of educators on both sides of the border.

Want a leg up in school? Donít attend one near a state border.

Thatís the surprising finding of a new study published in the Economics of Education Review. The likely culprit: certification and pension rules that discourage teachers from moving between states, limiting the labor pool on each side of the border.

The peer-reviewed paper focuses on test scores at public middle schools near a state boundary. Eighth-graders attending those schools, the researchers find, perform consistently worse in math than students at non-boundary schools. (The results are negative in reading, too, but smaller and not always statistically significant.)

One reason the findings ought to catch the attention of policymakers across the country: the data comes from 33 states, including big ones like Florida, New York, and Texas.


Matt Barnum|Aug 4, 2017