9-5-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Back-to-School Special: Policy, Politics, and the Upcoming Elections

Education always plays a big part in New Jersey politics, but this year it’s going to be an even more critical factor thanks to the gubernatorial race

The line between education policy and education politics is often a blurry one in New Jersey, and that is never truer than at the start of a new school year.

The summer behind us, public education will likely be playing a big role in the 2017 gubernatorial and legislative elections, with both the issues and the key players front and center in the various campaigns.


John Mooney | September 5, 2017


Jersey Journal--Kids should learn to read and write cursive | Quigley

  My father had beautiful handwriting. Elegant and precise. His letters were swooping, artistically curved, and a pleasure to look at. His numbers were small, perfectly shaped and unmistakable. I guess that was required of the man responsible for the general ledger when banks still kept their records in pen and ink.  My mother's penmanship was what you'd expect of a grade school teacher. Simple, spare and clear.

Somehow the good handwriting gene skipped my generation. "Chicken scratches" was the kindest comment I can remember any teacher making. This was despite the fact that I labored for hours in school and home, tongue clenched between my teeth, to make the symmetrical circles of the Palmer Method.

Joan Quigley| Posted on September 4, 2017 at 8:20 AM


The Record--5 big changes for the 2017-18 school year

Across New Jersey, 1.4 million public school students are returning to classrooms this week, and they — and their parents — can expect more to change than just a grade level or teacher.

There will be transformations in areas such as school funding and charter school rules. But the biggest difference, potentially, will be the departure of Gov. Chris Christie, who during eight years famously sparred with teachers, rolled out tougher testing and repeatedly ignored a 2008 law for funding schools. 


Hannan Adely, Staff Writer| Published 5:17 a.m. ET Sept. 5, 2017 | Updated 6:56 a.m. ET Sept. 5, 2017


Press of Atlantic City--New Jersey's ESSA plan approved, but educators still wary over PARCC

To much applause, New Jersey last month became one of only a handful of states to have its Every Student Succeeds Act education plan — the replacement for the No Child Left Behind Act — approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

Educators and administrators criticized No Child Left Behind, signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, for giving too much control over local education to the federal government by requiring testing, reporting and proficiency standards. Change came in 2015 with the ESSA, which transferred much of the control over the educational process back to the states but maintained an emphasis on annual testing as a measure of school performance. States were required to submit an ESSA plan to the federal DOE for approval this year.

But while educators across the state have praised the recent approval, some are concerned ESSA is still too heavily focused on standardized testing.


CLAIRE LOWE Staff Writer | Sep 1, 2017


NY Times--Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues

MAPLETON, N.D. — One of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States teaches third grade here at Mapleton Elementary, a public school with about 100 students in the sparsely populated plains west of Fargo.

Her name is Kayla Delzer. Her third graders adore her. She teaches them to post daily on the class Twitter and Instagram accounts she set up. She remodeled her classroom based on Starbucks. And she uses apps like Seesaw, a student portfolio platform where teachers and parents may view and comment on a child’s schoolwork.

Ms. Delzer also has a second calling. She is a schoolteacher with her own brand, Top Dog Teaching. Education start-ups like Seesaw give her their premium classroom technology as well as swag like T-shirts or freebies for the teachers who attend her workshops. She agrees to use their products in her classroom and give the companies feedback. And she recommends their wares to thousands of teachers who follow her on social media.