8-9-18 Education in the News

New Jersey Spotlight--Shock for Three School Districts as New Funding Comes Up Way Short

Recent landmark reform was supposed to correct big imbalances in state aid to schools. Glassboro and two other districts get a nasty surprise

  New Jersey lawmakers have been celebrating the long-awaited school funding changes set to end decades of confusion and unbalanced state aid. For three districts however, the changes were a shocking surprise.


Carly Sitrin | August 9, 2018


NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: PARCC’s Going, But We Will Still Need Objective Assessment Data

Murphy administration’s proposal for replacement testing system needs more work. Its elimination of several state assessments is troubling

The debate and rancor that greeted New Jersey’s flawed implementation of the PARCC test four years ago have in many ways receded. Over time, adjustments have been made which have improved the test and how it’s utilized to help families and schools achieve better educational outcomes. That doesn’t mean the debate is over or that there isn’t room for more changes, but it also cannot mean that we move backward in the name of simplicity and comfort.


Shelley Skinner | August 9, 2018


Star Ledger--N.J. is slashing state funding for 172 districts. Can they survive?

In Haddon Township, students won't get new science equipment. In Toms River, officials are tapping reserves to stave off budget cuts. In Jersey City, the school board is eliminating 25 jobs. 

Across New Jersey, more than 150 districts have spent the past month scrambling to offset reductions in state funding announced in July, after they had already passed their budgets for the coming school year. The worst part, they say? Their state aid is set to get slashed again and again under a new state law. 


Adam Clark and Olivia Rizzo| Updated Aug 8, 4:38 PM; Posted Aug 8, 7:06 AM


The New York Times-- Asbestos in a Crayon, Benzene in a Marker: A School Supply Study’s Toxic Results

A public interest group said this week that it had found toxic substances in a number of school supplies, including asbestos in a Playskool crayon and another carcinogen, benzene, in a dry-erase marker.

The findings were detailed in a report published Tuesday by the group, the United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, which had an independent laboratory test 27 back-to-school products. Four tested positive for dangerous chemicals.


Niraj Chokshi| Aug. 8, 2018


The Atlantic--School-Security Companies Are Thriving in the Era of Mass Shootings

A multibillion-dollar industry is pushing an array of expensive technologies with the message that any campus could be next.

In late June, inside an underground meeting room attached to the U.S. Capitol, past guards and metal detectors, lawmakers and representatives from multiple large security companies discussed the threat of mass school shootings and the need to, in their words, “harden” campuses before someone else gets killed.


Mark Keierleber| August 9, 2018


Education Week--Arming Teachers: A 'Threat to Safety' or the 'Only Way to Protect Innocent Lives'?

President Donald Trump has made it clear that he thinks that arming trained school staff—a solution pushed by the National Rifle Association—could help prevent the next school shooting.

But educators, students, and community members who showed up to a federal school safety commission meeting Tuesday in ruby-red Wyoming, a state that allows its districts to arm certain school staff members, were deeply divided on the idea, according to a live-stream of the event. 

Brian Cox, the principal of Johnson Junior High School in Cheyenne, where the event was held, said he'd much rather see resources directed to mental health than to arming educators.


Alyson Klein on August 7, 2018 9:38 PM