The Buzz

8-23-19 Education in the News
Chalkbeat--Summit Learning reports highlight big ambitions for personalized learning, struggles to prove academic success Leaders behind the Summit Learning technology platform and curriculum once set a goal that it be used in half of U.S. public schools by 2025...'

Education Dive—Op-Ed: 3 ways districts can prepare facilities for back to school Todd Amiet of the South Brunswick School District in New Jersey details why scheduling and communication are so important in preparing for the new school year...'

8-22-19 Education in the News
Jersey Journal--Appellate court strikes down Jersey City school district’s deal to pay union reps’ salaries The Jersey City school district cannot use taxpayer funds to pay the salaries of teachers’ union representatives, a three-judge appellate court panel said Wednesday in a ruling that is expected to have a ripple effect across the state...'

Education Week--'Nobody Learns It in a Day': Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools With little to guide them, schools scramble to create learning environments for students in chronic stress...'

Education Dive--Report: More states setting higher 'proficiency' standards on assessments But some education leaders argue the term continues to create confusion...'

8-21-19 Education in the News
NPR:The Case For Summer Vacation Put down those Popsicles. No more sleeping in. Beach time is over. Economists have long hated summer vacation. All those wasted school facilities! All that educational backsliding! Kids are getting dumber! The conventional wisdom is that summer vacation is a relic of agricultural times, when kids had to help their parents on the farm. But the economist William Fischel says that story is completely wrong...'

Education Week--Federal Lawmakers Tell Ed-Tech Companies to Turn Over Data-Collection Details Three Democratic senators have sent pointed letters to a long list of ed-tech companies asking that they turn over details of how they collect data on students...'

9-20-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--School starts in 2 weeks, but these aides still don’t know if they’ll have a job As a paraprofessional for six years in Union Township, Maloney was sent a termination letter on May 15 and was not guaranteed she would be rehired for the fall. Parents, however, were told the paraprofessionals were coming back—but through an agency...'

NY Times--‘We are committing educational malpractice’: Why slavery is mistaught — and worse — in American schools...'

Education Week--How Do We Teach With Primary Sources When So Many Voices Are Missing? Since the introduction of the Common Core State Standards a decade ago, teachers have been encouraged to give primary sources a more prominent place in the classroom. The standards emphasize close analysis of texts across subject areas, which in history and social studies can mean reading these kinds of archival documents...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--Public Support for Teachers' Unions and Charter Schools Grows, Survey Says An annual poll conducted by an education research and policy journal reports an increase in public support for charter schools—but also for teachers' unions, which are often among charters' biggest antagonists...'

Education Dive--Summer Reading: Best practices on school safety and discipline One of the greatest balancing acts administrators perform is that between school security and culture...'

Chalkbeat--Back-to-school supplies in some Colorado schools include kitty litter and buckets for lockdowns Beyond the supplies themselves, which she’s grateful to have, it was the nonchalant way the buckets, kitty litter, and Sharpie marker were handed out during a routine back-to-school training that shook Jeffco Public Schools teacher Cassie Lopez...'

8-19-19 Education in the News
South Jersey Times--Lunch shaming an odd course for desirable N.J. school district    Editorial
With a recent disclosure by Cherry Hill Township schools, it’s time for the state Department of Education to establish some statewide guidelines about how school systems should deal with lunch debt racked up by students’ families...'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed: Now that a study shows us how to protect children against adversity, let’s get to work About 40% of children in New Jersey have experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience, according to a recent study that also shows that many of these experiences can be avoided or healed...'

Education Week--A Big Charter School Struggle Has Been Galvanized by a Democratic Governor A battle over school choice in Pennsylvania is intensifying, in large part due to a governor who doesn't like his state's status quo...'

Edutopia--8 Proactive Classroom Management Tips New teachers—and experienced ones too—can find ideas here on how to stop disruptive behavior before it begins...'

8-16-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Q&A: Psychologist On Law Adding Mental Health To Ed. Standards Kelly Moore, chief investigator at the Children's Center for Resilience and Trauma Recovery at Rutgers sees measure as ‘game-changer’...'

NY Times--Push for Ethnic Studies in Schools Faces a Dilemma: Whose Stories to Tell Discuss a recent instance of police brutality in your community. Read op-eds arguing for and against legal status for unauthorized immigrants. Compare and contrast border conditions in the Palestinian territories and Mexico. Those are some of the lesson plans suggested in a draft of California’s newly proposed ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 public schools...'

Education Week--Academy Aims to Equip New and Future Principals With Real-World Skills One of the enduring criticisms of principal-preparation programs is that many still offer courses and experiences that are divorced from the practical skills principals need to address day-to-day challenges they face in schools...'

Chalkbeat--Merit pay was the heart of a ‘revolutionary’ teachers contract in Newark. Now the Cory Booker-era policy is disappearing. In 2012, Newark teachers agreed to a controversial new contract that linked their pay to student achievement — a stark departure from the way most teachers across the country are paid...'

When teachers want academic interventions for struggling students, they are more likely to seek advice from their peers than from administrators. But when they aren’t sure what to do about behavior, absenteeism or other nonacademic issues in their classroom, school leaders and other support staff members are their first choice for guidance...'

The Hechinger Report--States increasingly extend charter-like flexibility to district schools 24 states now give districts or individual schools freedom from state regulations to innovate Charter schools serve just 6 percent of the nation’s public school students, but they have prompted bitter debates about educational priorities – and fair competition – particularly in cities that have a lot of them...'

8-15-19 Education in the News
Chalkbeat (viaNJ Spotlight)--New Contract to Raise Newark Teacher Salaries, End Performance Pay Pay-for-performance provisions, hailed as groundbreaking when introduced in 2012, are being eliminated...'

Star Ledger--These are N.J.'s top 21 teachers of the year. See who made the list They’re highly skilled, compassionate and dedicated to education. Now, they’ve been recognized among New Jersey’s best. The state Department of Education on Wednesday announced the 21 finalists for its Teacher of The Year award, including one teacher from each of the state’s 21 counties...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--Students with a $20 lunch debt won’t get a school lunch, N.J. district proposes The Cherry Hill school district is considering a stricter policy for students who don’t pay their overdue lunch bills. After the first $10 in debt: Their lunch will be a tuna fish sandwich. Those who owe $20 or more will get no lunch at all until the debt is paid...'

NY Times--How a State Plans to Turn Coal Country Into Coding Country Driven by a tech-industry vision of rural economic revival, Wyoming is requiring all of its K-12 public schools to offer computer science...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--Congress' Research Arm Explores Why ESSA's Spending Pilot Has Been Snubbed The Every Student Succeeds Act's brand depends largely on the flexibility it provides states and districts. Yet one of ways it was designed to provide schools more freedom, in this case for funding systems, has been almost totally ignored. Now the Congressional Research Service has identified possible reasons for that. One potential culprit? Father Time...'

The Hechinger Report—Column: The cost of going back to school keeps rising But the school supplies list should always have room for Toni Morrison Index cards — check. Pencils — check. Three-ring binder — check. Copy of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” — check. Parents, you’ll be paying a little bit more this year for school supplies, so please prioritize the essentials...'

8-14-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Plug Pension Hole By Curbing Traditional Plan? It May Not Be Best Strategy Closing their so-called defined benefit plans to new workers has not worked out well in four states that tried it...'

Star Ledger--Bulletproof backpacks are now available in N.J. stores Christopher Wagner laid out a simple scenario. “Imagine sitting around the dining room table before the first day of school and going over supplies,” he said. “Green is for math, red is for social studies, yellow is for grammar. And then saying, ‘This is a bullet-resistant backpack.’ I can’t fathom having a conversation with my kid about that.”...'

The Record—Will NJ High Schools Want to Try Later Start Times? Five schools will be part of a pilot program to start school at 8:30 am. Will there be enough interest?...'

8-13-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--District said town was overcrowding its schools. A judge disagreed. A state judge has dismissed one local Board of Education’s lawsuit against its own township’s Zoning Board, citing a lack of legal standing. State Superior Court Judge James Hurley dismissed the Edison Board of Education’s lawsuit of an “overcrowding crisis” against the township zoning board on July 31, ruling that the district failed to offer evidence to support its claims...'

The Atlantic--When ‘Back to School’ Means Back to Mass-Shooting Fears High-profile massacres have created ambient, worsening anxiety about gun violence on K–12 campuses...'

Education Week--How Should Schools Respond to ICE Raids? Some Advice In the wake of the largest U.S. immigration raid in a decade, educators in Mississippi this week were left to console and support children with detained parents...'

Chalkbeat--N.J. put two troubled Newark charter schools on probation, citing academic and safety concerns New Jersey has put two struggling Newark charter schools on probation, a rare sanction that could lead to closure if the schools do not make swift improvements...'

Education Dive--Study links positive messages about middle school to better grades, behavior Sixth-grade writing and reflecting exercises that communicate how it’s normal for new middle schoolers to be anxious and worry they don’t fit in — and that these feelings are temporary — can contribute to better attendance, behavior and academic performance, according to a new study appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...'

Edutopia--Is It Time to Detrack Math? Districts are moving to end the practice of tracking as research suggests that it may deepen educational inequities—with little benefit for students’ academic performance...'

The Hechinger Report--OPINION: Do our divided schools look like a scene out of ‘Mean Girls’ — or a slide into white nationalism? Students report that they 'want more hard conversations in class'...'

8-12-19 Education in the News.
NJ Spotlight--Interactive Map: Cost of Education in Each School District, 2017-2018 Typical NJ public school district spent almost $16,000 per pupil. Total cost of educating each child was 40 percent higher when spending on busing, pensions, benefits, other costs are considered...'

Star Ledger--How much do teachers make? Here’s the typical salary for every N.J. district The typical New Jersey teacher made $68,985 last school year, but new state data shows school districts and charter schools have a wide range of median salaries...'

Star Ledger--Waking up teens too early is over for 5 N.J. high schools. The law says so. Some New Jersey high school students will soon be able to sleep in on school days with the best possible defense: It would be illegal to start school any earlier....'

The Record—These Unions Gave $3.8 Million in Secret Donations to NJ Governor’s Group Two unions, the NJEA and SEIU, gave a combined $3.6 million to Governor Murphy’s dark money group, New Direction, New Jersey, northjersey.com has found...'

Press of Atlantic City--Schools worry how changes to federal food assistance may affect free lunches A federal proposal to change eligibility rules for food assistance benefits has drawn concerns from New Jersey legislators, childhood hunger advocates and school officials...'

New York Times--To Graduate, File a Fafsa, More High School Seniors Are Told More states are adding a graduation requirement for high school seniors: filling out the college financial aid form known as the Fafsa...'

Edutopia--Reducing the Stigma Around Student Mental Illness—A Day at a Time Driven by high rates of youth suicide and depression, some states are now providing the legal backing for students to take a ‘mental health day.’ ‘Mental health days’ now join the flu, stomachache, and common cold as excusable absences in schools in Oregon and Utah...'

The Atlantic--‘Popular’ Kids Aren’t That Special They do play a role in setting a school’s norms—but kids’ parents and close friends have more sway...'

8-9-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--[Distribution And Use Of Naloxone Rise in NJ And Across Nation Various data sources make it clear that easy access to the overdose antidote is critical in preventing opioid deaths New Jersey has worked for years to expand access to naloxone, including holding in June what officials believe is the nation’s largest single-day give-away of the opioid-overdose reversal agent...'

Star Ledger--Backpacks banned from N.J school’s halls for kids’ safety Students in one New Jersey high school won’t be allowed to carry backpacks in the hallways this year unless they are clear, a new procedure that is just one of several security changes for the upcoming school year...'

Star Ledger--The 25 N.J. school districts where teachers get paid the most money Experience. Education. Staff size. Cost of living. It all factors into a school district’s median teacher salary, and that number can look a whole lot different depending on where you work...'

Education Week--'Anywhere I Go, I Feel Threatened': Schools Encounter Latino Students' Fears in Shooting Aftermath Another wave of mass shootings. Thirty-five people killed in three separate gun rampages. And a resurgence in racist rhetoric that prompted the deadliest of the attacks, in El Paso, Texas...'

Edutopia--Using Scientific Pedagogy to Teach History Employing the scientific method in history instruction can improve comprehension and engagement...'

8-8-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--New State Guidance on Resolving Special Education Disputes Every year there are hundreds of special ed disputes between school districts and families. The Department of Education has issued new rules in hopes of settling them more quickly...'

Associated Press (via Star Ledger)--N.J. mayor calls teaching LGBT history in schools ‘an affront to almighty God,' urges fight against new law The Republican mayor of a small New Jersey town is urging residents to oppose a state law that requires middle and high schools to instruct students on the contributions of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered...'

Education Week--National Study Shows How a Simple 'Growth Mindset' Exercise Lifted Students' GPAs Any student’s self-confidence can take a hit at the start of high school. Yet giving students even a brief opportunity to understand and reflect on their mindsets for learning can make them likelier to challenge themselves and improve, finds a new national study in the journal Nature...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--Education's Biggest Problem Is a Lack of Money, Many Americans Agree Twenty-five percent of respondents to a recent national poll identified "a lack of financial support" as one of the biggest problems facing public schools in their communities...'

Edutopia--Dispelling Myths Around Learning Disabilities One in five students struggle with learning or attention issues like autism, dyscalculia, or ADHD, yet only 17 percent of teachers feel prepared to support them, a new report finds...'

8-7-19 Education in the News
Education Week--'I Am a Fool to Do This Job': Half of Teachers Say They've Considered Quitting More than half of the country’s teachers say they’d go on strike for better pay if they had the chance, and half are so unhappy that they’ve seriously considered leaving the profession in the last few years, according to a poll released Monday...'

Education Week--Shootings Reignite Focus on 'Red Flag' Laws, Schools' Role in Violence Prevention Responding to two large mass shootings over the weekend, President Donald Trump on Monday resurrected an idea he first pushed after a 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.—the enactment of state-level “red flag” laws that allow authorities to restrict people’s access to weapons if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--How Each State Distributes Money for Public Schools and At-Risk Students The Every Student Succeeds Act has brought a new focus to school funding and how it works, including a new federal requirement for states to report how much individual schools receive per pupil. But the number of approaches states take to support their schools, and whether they account for special student populations, still vary dramatically...'

Education Dive--Does requiring seniors to fill out FAFSA forms increase college attendance? Louisiana saw a 6% jump in higher ed enrollment after the requirement was put in place, but forcing students to complete FAFSAs may be a hurdle without adequate support...'

Edutopia--Starting Small Helps Keep Innovation Manageable Whether a school is planning a new curriculum or a new use of space, low-key testing of different ideas can improve the end result...'

8-6-19 Education in the News
Politics K-12 (Education Week)--Why a Fight Over Trump's Housing Policy Matters to School Segregation School desegregation continues to make waves in the 2020 presidential campaign, particularly for two Democratic front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris of California. But a dispute between the Trump administration and some civil rights advocates over the federal Fair Housing Act illustrates the extent to which education segregation cuts across policy issues, and the challenges school integration advocates face at a national level that go way beyond debate-stage arguments over "busing."...'

Education Dive--PDK Poll: Most parents would support a teacher strike over school funding This year's survey includes the views of public school teachers and covers topics such as religion, discipline and how schools are graded. Teacher strikes may put parents at an inconvenience, but that’s not stopping them from saying they would support teachers in their communities from going on strike over salaries, school funding and having more say in education issues, according to this year’s Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools...'

The Hechinger Report--OPINION: The first step toward promoting women into education leadership? Stop paying men more Gender pay gaps 'begin in the classroom and follow women to the principal's office' Education is among the most female-dominated of professions. Yet strikingly few women make it to the top role in America’s state and district education systems. And along the path to leadership, they face a familiar and frustrating pay gap compared to their male colleagues...'

8-5-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Addressing Inequities in NJ’s Public Schools Is Moral Imperative Education commissioner says state education officials continuously question whether policies and practices create opportunities, not unfair barriers to student learning...'

Star Ledger--These teachers stole, cheated and choked kids. Why did N.J. take so long to strip their teaching licenses?...'

Star Ledger--The 30 N.J. towns paying the highest school tax bills If you’ve been complaining that your property taxes keep going up, just know that you’re not alone...'

Education Week--High School Naps May Boost Learning for Sleep-Deprived Teenagers For chronically sleep-deprived adolescents—which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is most of them—afternoon naps could help bolster memory and learning, according to a new study in the journal Nature...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--ESSA Puts Pressure on Schools to Reduce Student Absences. Here's How They Might Do It The Every Student Succeeds Act puts more pressure on schools to ensure their students show up every day. But when it comes to addressing chronic absenteeism, some educators and policy makers say they are building the plane in the air, relying on a growing body of research about everything from student health and motivation to mentoring to family poverty to find ways to move the needle...'

Edutopia--Helping Students Develop Self-Regulation Guiding students to create on an ongoing cycle of growth in self-regulation starts with having them set explicit goals for themselves...'

8-2-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--The List: ‘Lighthouse’ School Districts Lauded for Big Improvements Credited for having made significant academic progress and for helping diverse sets of learners, the newly designated ‘lighthouse’ districts are expected to be beacons of best practices...'

NJ Spotlight--NJ Groups Join Lawsuit over Questionable New Federal Lead Standards Attorney claims ‘Trump’s EPA’ failed to ‘follow mainstream science and correctly update these standards for children’s sake’...'

Asbury Park Press—Toms River Schools Beg NJ for $4.4 Million in Emergency Aid to Restore 62 Jobs The Toms River Regional School District has been struggling to cope with state aid cuts that have led to the loss of 77 staff positions...'

NY Times--Vivian Paley, Educator Who Promoted Storytelling, Dies at 90 Vivian Gussin Paley, a pioneering teacher and widely acclaimed author who emphasized the importance of storytelling in early childhood development, died on July 26 in Crozet, Va. She was 90...'

The Atlantic--The Whiter, Richer School District Right Next Door Public schools’ dependence on local property taxes means some districts get isolated from the financial resources in their communities...'

Education Week--What Ed. Schools Can Do About School Shootings (And Other Overwhelming Problems) There are some challenges educators shouldn't have to face alone...'

Edutopia—Op-Ed: The Case for Not Allowing Test Retakes As more educators drop penalties for late work and allow students to redo tests, a high school teacher says that traditional policies are better for the majority of students...'

8-1-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Where Are Teachers of Color as Schools Try to Serve Students of Color? A new approach called ‘social-emotional learning’ helps students form meaningful relationships with teachers, a key to improving grades and attitudes...'

Star Ledger--Organization that gives away books for free just opened its first ‘store’ for teachers Larry Abrams can finally see from one side of his two-car garage in Cherry Hill to the other. That’s because more than 10,000 children’s books that were there are now gone...'

The Record—SDA became “toxic” , then a scandal, before 30 were fired The school’s agency’s former chief, who hired family and friends, looked to fill jobs even before she was in charge. Now the authority is in limbo...'

The Atlantic--An Underhanded, If Legal, Scheme to Get Financial Aid When families try to game higher education, the neediest students suffer the most. As college admissions become more competitive, some families with means seem to be turning to underhanded methods of getting their kids into schools. For instance, the wealthy parents involved in the Varsity Blues admissions scandal earlier this year were charged with fraudulently boosting their children’s applications by obtaining fake athletics profiles and getting ringers to take their kids’ standardized tests, among other things. The parents at the elite D.C. private high school Sidwell Friends spread rumors about other students so their children might seem better in comparison. Now a new scheme described by ProPublica and The Wall Street Journal involves families seemingly machinating to get an unfair leg up in paying for a coveted seat at a university...'

Education Week--Why Teachers Should Write Teaching is hectic. The combination of precision work and chaos theory can make the school year feel like an attempt to knit a sweater while riding a Tilt-A-Whirl. Most of us collapse on the couch at the end of another tumultuous day wondering, "What the hell just happened?"...'

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Attention

NJSBA FALL WORKSHOP 2012, Tuesday October 23, 2012 2:30pm - 4:00pm @ Room: 404

Special Session 2:30pm: Inside Look: Insights from NJ’s Governmental Relations Directors

…The governmental relations directors from around New Jersey work directly with legislators on education issues that impact local schools. Join us for an informative conversation and an inside look into the perspective of the governmental relations directors. The discussion will be moderated by John Mooney, founding editor and education writer at NJ Spotlight.

Debra Bradley, Esq., Governmental Relations Director, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association

John Donnadio, Executive Director, New Jersey Association of Counties

Judy Savage, Executive Director, NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools

Ginger C. Gold Schnitzer, Governmental Relations Director, New Jersey Education Association

Lynne Strickland, Executive Director, Garden State Coalition of Schools

Michael A. Vrancik, Governmental Relations Director, New Jersey School Boards Association