8-23-18 Education in the News

Star Ledger--Most N.J. kids failed the state math exam (again)

New Jersey students are doing better on their state exams, but the majority of them still can't pass a controversial math test that debuted four years ago.

Fewer than 50 percent of students hit the target score on eight of the nine PARCC math tests last spring, according to statewide results.

And while scores on both the state math and English tests continued to rise, the highest pass rate on any of the exams was just 62.7 percent (seventh-grade English). 


Adam Clark| Updated Aug 22, 8:43 AM; Posted Aug 22, 7:31 AM


CBS News--America's new education crisis: A teacher shortage

America's students are returning to school, but in many cases, their teachers aren't. 

The country is facing an education crisis as more teachers leave the profession for other fields, often lured by higher pay. At the same time, colleges have witnessed a plunge in the ranks of students majoring in education, leading to a shrinking pipeline of young classroom teachers. 

States across the U.S. are reporting teacher shortages just as schools open for the 2018-19 school year.


Aimee Picchi|  MoneyWatch August 23, 2018, 5:45 AM


Education Week--Do States Weaken Their Standards By 'Un-Adopting' the Common Core? These Reviewers Think So.

The English/language arts and math standards in most states that "un-adopted" or made changes to the Common Core State Standards are, in the end, "substantially weaker," according to a new report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. These states would have served students better by simply adopting the common core whole, the report says. 

"When states tried to quote 'revise' the standards it was a pretty fraught and perilous activity in that the changes they made did more harm than good," Amber Northern, senior vice president for research at Fordham Institute, said in an interview. "If you have the right expertise in place, it's not that you can't develop strong, or potentially even better, standards. But it's the exception to the norm." 


Brenda Iasevoli on August 22, 2018 12:01 AM


Education Week--Staff Benefits Are Eating Up Bigger Shares of District Budgets, Report Finds

School districts are spending bigger chunks of their budgets on staff benefits, leaving less money to spend in the classroom, a new study finds.

The report, published by the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners and its project TeacherPensions.org, analyzes the 10 most recent years of school district finance data from the U.S. Department of Education. It found that nationally, from 2005 to 2014, instructional spending increased by 2.6 percent, while spending on benefits for instructional staff members grew by 24 percent. 

Since education budgets have been largely flat, this means that spending on benefits is eating up more of districts' money, and fewer dollars are making it into the classroom. In 2014, nearly 26 percent of per-pupil instructional spending went toward benefits rather than the classroom. That's a 4.43-percent increase from 2005.  


Madeline Will on August 22, 2018 12:03 AM