The Buzz

10-23-19 Education in the News
Education Week--Putting the 'Professional' Back in Teacher Professional Development Teachers are the experts of the classroom, educators agreed at a recent forum. So why aren't they leading most professional development?...'

Education Week--Starting High School at 8:30? California's Doing It. Should Everyone?

California’s bold move to mandate later start times for middle and high schools could produce ripple effects far beyond the state, even as it’s yet to be seen whether pushing back start times on such a large scale will deliver major benefits for teenagers and for schools...'

10-22-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Proposal to Reduce Standardized Student Testing Advances, Public Now Gets to Weigh In Although State Board of Education vote was almost unanimous, some members expressed reservations...'

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: The Vaping Industry’s Strategic Misinformation Campaign ‘This industry and its representatives continue to exploit the positive experiences of some former smokers to make unsubstantiated claims’...'

Star Ledger--The next frontier of drug education? A Q&A on the antidote to D.A.R.E We tried telling kids in our most serious voice that drugs are bad. It didn’t work. Now Drug Policy Alliance, whose mission is to end the War on Drugs, has “Safety First,” a brand-new curriculum for high school kids...'

Education Week--How to Manage Discord Over Student Discipline Student misbehavior is a big source of friction in many schools. Educators offer ways to build consensus around discipline...'

10-21-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Last-Minute Tweaks to Student-Testing Plan Enough to Persuade State Board Members? Board of Education set for key vote today on the Murphy administration’s new — and revised — proposal for high school testing

The proposal would allow students to skip the exit test altogether to instead pursue a menu of alternative means of meeting graduation requirements...'

Star Ledger--N.J. is close to killing two standardized tests for 100K students. Here’s why When your typical 10th grader enters sophomore year in New Jersey next school year, Gov. Phil Murphy wants two fewer standardized tests to be waiting for her. Sounds great for the student — and presumably for test-fatigued parents and educators, right?...'

NY Times--High Schools to TikTok: We’re Catching Feelings Teens love the app, and now it’s getting the stamp of approval with teacher-approved clubs. Did school just get ... fun?...'

Education Dive--Human interaction, SEL in curriculum key to curbing cyberbullying Focusing on interpersonal skills, even amid the perceived anonymity of the digital world, helps students learn to be more accountable in their words and interactions, experts say....'

Edutopia--Students Think Lectures Are Best, But Research Suggests They’re Wrong A study reveals students prefer low-effort learning strategies—like listening to lectures—despite doing better with active learning...'

NPR--Key Changes Would Alter The Government's Massive Survey On Schools And Civil Rights The Department of Education has proposed several key changes to its massive survey that collects data from the nation's public schools on a wide range of civil rights issues...'

10-18-19 Education in the News
Chalkbeat (via NJ Spotlight)--Newark Schools Are Short Dozens of Teachers, Leading to Bigger Classes, More Substitutes Despite job fairs and ads in other cities, Newark still has a teacher shortfall, and some students are being taught by substitutes year round...'

Star Ledger--Major increase in teen suicide rate is more than other age groups, new report says More New Jersey teenagers are killing themselves in a mental health crisis nobody was prepared for...'

Education Week--Principals, Here’s How Teachers View You An exclusive Education Week Research Center survey reveals striking gaps between how principals rate the impact of their leadership and how teachers do...'

Edutopia--Sharing College and Career Options With Families A middle school and a high school host an informational event for parents and guardians on some of the post-graduation options open to their children...'

10-17-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Bots’ Superhuman Role in Pro-Vape Social Media Messaging The crucial role that automatic technology plays in the debate over e-cigarette use is already facing scrutiny in Congress...'

NJ Spotlight--Battling on Front Lines of Mental Health in NJ’s Public Schools A task force of educators and health care experts are ready with recommendations to help fight suicide and self-harm among students and staff...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: State’s Latest Proposal on Student Testing Is Regressive It would increase stress for students, decrease the availability of useful data and hamper the deployment of resources...'

Star Ledger--Schools, lawmakers demand change following report on mental health crisis In a span of 16 months, Amy Hassa watched her school district tragically lose three children to suicide. An eighth grader. A sixth grader. And a fifth grader...'

Education Week--Black-White Achievement Gaps Go Hand in Hand With Discipline Disparities Gaps between black and white students in school suspension rates and academic achievement may be two sides of the same coin, according to a massive new national study...'

Education K-12 (Education Week)--Trump Official Defends Plan Affecting School Meals to Skeptical Democrats House Democrats and an official from the U.S. Department of Agriculture clashed Wednesday over a Trump administration proposal that could affect hundreds of thousands of students' automatic enrollment in free school meals programs...'

Education Dive--4 key practices for successful district-wide SEL integration Superintendents and others highlight what schools can do to expand social-emotional initiatives, including positive messaging and culturally inclusive practices...'

10-16-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Weighing Benefits and Costs of Health-Care Reform Plans As Democrats debate varying proposals, authors of a new report aim to equip voters with the facts needed to assess the possible options...'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed--Newarkers support 'controversial’ school reforms, and this poll proves it: education advocate A new poll by the New Jersey Children's Foundation shows that Newarkers support the things that national pundits called “controversial,” including charter schools and a common enrollment system for district and charter schools, says Kyle Rosenkrans, the foundation's executive director...'

Washington Post--The Koch network says it wants to remake public education. That means destroying it, says the author of a new book on the billionaire brothers. Early this year, the Koch network committed to starting an effort to transform public education. What would that look like?...'

Education Week--Why 20-Minute Lunch Periods Aren't Good for Students The amount of time schools allocate for lunch can be just as important as the food they serve—and the 25 minutes to half hour the typical school sets aside is often too short, say the School Nutrition Association and an expert who has studied the issue...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--What States Can Learn From a Rejected California Push to Streamline Testing A recently rejected proposal to streamline standardized tests for California 11th graders has insights for policy makers in other states as they navigate a complicated accountability environment and a public push for less testing...'

Education Dive--Free and appropriate': Special ed stakeholders work to make IEP meetings less one-sided Improvement plans include federal funding for a technical assistance center to support districts in developing IEPs that "enable children to make progress."...'

10-15-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--We typically don’t report on teen suicides. Here’s why we did. More teens and young adults are killing themselves in a mental health crisis that threatens to define their generation...'

Star Ledger--Gone at 15 More N.J. teens are killing themselves in a crisis nobody was prepared for...'

Star Ledger--A world of research supports dropping 10th-grade tests: N.J. teachers union To improve education results in New Jersey, an emphasis that prioritizes mitigating the impact of income inequality and racial segregation would go far further than continuing failed policies of excessive high stakes testing...'

Star Ledger--A child is more than a test score, NJEA president says Testing takes away from valuable learning time. In the 2017-18 school year, New Jersey students across grades 3-11 spent a minimum of 73.5 hours taking state and federally mandated assessments. That's 98 class periods of lost learning opportunities, NJEA's Marie Blistan says...'

NY Times--California Tells Schools to Start Later, Giving Kids More Sleep A new law pushed back start times at most public middle and high schools, citing research that says attendance and performance will improve if teenagers get more sleep...'

10-14-19 Education in the News
Philadelphia Inquirer--Parents consider buying bulletproof backpacks as gun violence shapes their children’s lives When her sons were growing up in West Philadelphia, Monica Peay-Matthews taught them how to duck bullets: Stop and hit the ground. Find a wall. If you run, make sure to zigzag...'

Education Week--Who's Doing the Teaching After School Lets Out? Training issues challenge after-school providers...'

Chalkbeat--Everyone’s talking about climate change. Now, New Jersey’s first lady wants that conversation to happen in every class, too...'

Education Dive--Districts weigh cutting gifted programs as inclusivity lags Affluent elementary school students are much more likely to be admitted into gifted and talented programs than their peers in lower socio-economic brackets, according to a new study. And it’s not just about money — race also plays a part, as the programs are made up of mostly white students, District Administration reports...'

10-11-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Latest Move to Reduce Youth Vaping in NJ Comes from Major Health Network Hackensack Meridian Health is putting $1 million toward a “Take Vape Away” campaign and calling on other health networks to take similar initiatives...'

NJ Spotlight--Murphy’s Target: Replace All Lead Service Lines in NJ by 2029 The plan includes a call for a $500 million bond issue and a requirement for every child to be tested for lead before starting school...'

Education Week--States Gird for Spending Reviews of Worst-Performing Districts Everyone agrees that to craft an effective budget—whether it's for your household or your school district—you have to know where you've spent your money...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--DeVos Announces Plan to Encourage More Charter Schools in Opportunity Zones Private consultants will work with charter school networks to assist in opening more of the publicly funded, independently managed schools in economically distressed areas under a plan announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Thursday...'

Edutopia--Screen-Free Days in a 1:1 School A middle school stows the laptops periodically for an entire day to intentionally foster face-to-face learning experiences and interactions...'

10-10-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--New Jersey Ranked 22nd in Nation for Rate of Childhood Obesity The obesity rate for those in the 10 to 17 age group elsewhere in the country goes from 8.7% in Utah to 25.4% in Mississippi...'

NJ Spotlight--Schools Urged to Include Students with Disabilities in Emergency Planning Security incidents can be particularly traumatic for students with disabilities who may have sparse or even no instructions on what to do...'

Star Ledger--Mayor says LGBTQ curriculum will ‘indoctrinate’ kids and his successor agrees Barnegat Township Mayor Alfonso Cirulli called for a fight against a new law requiring schools to teach LGBT history...'

The Atlantic--The Contradiction at the Heart of Public Education Gifted education puts in tension two equally treasured American ideals: egalitarianism and individualism...'

NPR--School Districts Sue Juul, Saying Student Vaping Drains Resources Schools across the country are so fed up with students vaping on campus that they're suing the e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs...'

The Hechinger Report--OPINION: Four ways that educators can help young black students thrive Affirming, protecting and cultivating the humanity of black children...'

The Hechinger Report--Questioning their fairness, a record number of colleges stop requiring the SAT and ACT Results are mixed, but suggest that making these tests optional is improving diversity on campus...'

10-9-19 Education in the News
NY Times--ACT Change Will Allow Students to Retake Individual Sections Starting next September, high schoolers won’t need to repeat the entire ACT exam to improve their score...'

Education Dive--Administrators share 7 tips for building positive school culture Carefully managing hallway messaging and modeling positive attitudes can be difference-makers on student performance, teacher retention and more...'

10-8-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJEA Sees New Leadership with Exec Director, No Lobbyist in Place Assistant Director Swetsky will fill executive director slot, but union yet to decide on chief lobbyist...'

NJ Spotlight--Murphy Answers Critics, Lays out Plan to Get Lead Out of Schools Governor announces increased inspections and better reporting of water results

Star Ledger--Murphy just took these steps to fight lead in N.J. schools and alert parents of problems New Jersey schools will be required to test their water for lead more frequently and parents will get a more streamlined way to search if levels are dangerous in their children’s schools under new state regulations Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday...'

The Atlantic--Why Is Middle School So Hard for So Many People? It doesn’t have to be this way.

NPR--The Things Parents Don't Talk About With Their Kids ... But Should A majority of parents rarely if ever discuss race/ethnicity, gender, class or other categories of social identity with their kids, according to a new, nationally representative survey of more than 6,000 parents conducted by Sesame Workshop and NORC at the University of Chicago...'

Education Dive--Rising temperatures leave students sweltering as districts look to fund AC As students around the country swelter in autumn heat waves, districts are brainstorming ways to fund air conditioning in classrooms while school is in session, District Administration reports...'

Chalkbeat--No thanks, Obama: 9 states no longer require test scores be used to judge teachers Fewer states are using student test scores to evaluate teachers, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality. As of this year, 34 states require scores to be used in teacher evaluations, down from a high of 43 in 2015...'

10-7-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--The List: Top Ten Payments into NJ’s Public-Worker Pension System The $3.2 billion pumped into the pension system under Gov. Phil Murphy in fiscal year 2019 tops the list, but the problems remain...'

Star Ledger--How to fill out the 2020-2021 FAFSA form, and why the Trump tax plan makes it harder for some families The Trump tax plan inadvertently made completing the FAFSA harder for some families...'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed: Children have legal protections against bullying, law firm says...'

NY Times--She Was Raped by a Classmate. She Still Had to Go to School With Him. The case jolted a working-class town, prompting a walkout by students and a debate over whether school officials are equipped to address sexual assault...'

Education Week--School Districts Vow to Sue Juul Over Student Vaping Two Kansas school districts have vowed to sue Juul Labs Inc. and other companies in the e-cigarette industry, alleging that vaping is harming their students and disrupting their schools to the point that the districts may recover damages...'

Chalkbeat: Op-Ed: A message from a black male teacher: Don’t make educators like me the default disciplinarians...'

10-4-19 Education in the News
NY Times--Florida Teachers Can Now Carry Guns at School A hotly debated law passed in May that would allow some teachers to carry firearms in the classroom takes effect Tuesday...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)-- The State With the Most Charter Schools Just Gave Districts More Power to Reject Them California school districts will have expanded authority to reject new charter school applications under a set of bills signed into law on Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom...'

Chalkbeat--In Newark schools, popular enrichment programs were set to expand — until they disappeared On the first day of classes last month, a group of students at Science Park High School made a beeline for Karen Gaylord’s office. Gaylord was the school staffer who oversaw a number of popular, privately funded extracurricular programs. One taught students to code and build robots; another, for young men, combined tutoring, college visits, and chess. But when the students arrived at the office that day, eager to snag spots in the programs, they were greeted with bad news: Gaylord was gone, and the programs she managed were suspended...'

10-3-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--State Board of Education Postpones Vote on New Student Testing Plan Members, divided on the issue, face Nov. 6 deadline; commissioner warns of unilateral action...'

Star Ledger--This N.J. English teacher just won state’s top teaching award (and she just got married at school) A South Jersey English teacher is New Jersey’s Teacher of The Year for 2019...'

Education Week--High Court Case Tests Religious Schools' Use of Tax-Credit Scholarships A national debate that has simmered for 200 years—whether public funds may go to the coffers of religious schools—is set to take center stage at the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that originated in this small Montana city over a state tax credit for donations to groups providing private school scholarships...'

Chalkbeat--Do charter schools ‘lift all boats’? Here’s what the latest research tells us Lots of research on charter schools amounts to a horse race: Which schools produce better test scores or higher college enrollment rates, district schools or charter schools?...'

Education Dive--E is for educator: Sesame Street celebrates 50 years of quality early learning The show was introduced when it wasn't common for children to attend preschool, and research has demonstrated those who watched it experienced better outcomes later in life than those who didn’t...'

10-2-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--The Case for Screening Students for Addiction, Mental Health Issues A school-based program of early intervention has worked in other states. Health advocates and others argue for its widespread adoption in New Jersey...'

Chalkbeat (via NJ Spotlight)--Nearly Two-Thirds of Newark Voters Approve of Charter Schools, Poll Shows Most Newark voters agreed that charter schools are “an important part of the public school landscape in Newark.”...'

Education Week—Opinion: It's Time to End Timed Tests Why do we believe that speed reflects intelligence?...'

10-1-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Administration Pushes Student-Testing Plan Ahead, Despite Opposition The Murphy administration is moving ahead with its controversial plan to reconfigure the state’s student testing program — again — with the State Board of Education scheduled to vote on the latest version on Wednesday...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: School Emergency Plans Must Take Better Account of Students with Disabilities On any given school day, New Jersey students line up and leave the building as part of mandatory emergency drills. These drills are a good thing. Students, staff and emergency responders need a plan and need to practice it so they are safe and ready in the event of a real emergency...'

Star Ledger--Educators: Let’s give kids something their predecessors didn’t have - teachers of color Vivica Foster is an aspiring teacher who would like her students to have an opportunity that she never had: she’d like them to have a teacher who is a person of color...'

New York Times--A Teenager Killed Himself After Being Outed as Bisexual. His Family Wants Justice. The family and classmates of a Tennessee high school student who killed himself after being outed online as bisexual have demanded that the school and state authorities investigate and prosecute those responsible, calling it a case of “social media bullying.”...'

Education Week--7 Steps Schools Can Take to Keep Sporting Events Safe With recent shootings at or near football games, school districts are taking a fresh look at safety measures to protect students and the public at those events and other after-school activities...'

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The Special Education Task Force Report was released  in November 2015. GSCS, a Task Force member,  looks forward to discussion on this important topic under the Murphy administration.  See below for a link to the report.

Final Report of NJ Task Force on Improving Special Education for Public School Students