The Buzz

10-18-18 Education in the News
Asbury Park Press--Toms River Regional board votes to sue NJ for more school aid TOMS RIVER - Toms River Regional has joined a growing list of districts that plan to sue the state commissioner of education in an attempt to block state aid cuts...'

Education Week--Math Scores Slide to a 20-Year Low on ACT The newest batch of ACT scores shows troubling long-term declines in performance, with students’ math achievement reaching a 20-year low, according to results released Wednesday...'

Education Week--'I Want a Job and a Life': How Principals Find Balance in All-Consuming Work Just a few months into her first year as principal of Oak Knoll Elementary School in Menlo Park, Calif., Kristen Gracia was on a fast track to burnout...'

10-17-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Cutting Down on Paper in a Bid to Modernize Local Government in NJ Greater efficiency and savings for taxpayers promised by proponents of a measure ‘that’s really past due’...'

NJ Spotlight--In Newark, Reporting Lapses Hide Thousands of Student Suspensions from Public View Troubling patterns and racial disparities are masked by state’s inaccurate school report cards, giving the false impression that Newark has all but eliminated suspensions...'

The Record—SAT or ACT: Which Test Should You Take? Experts outline differences in SAT and ACT and whether students should take a college admissions test at all...'

Chalk Beat¬¬What our local education reporters learned when we collaborated with ProPublica to look at equity data It’s a sad, familiar story: Across the country, students continue to have access to vastly different educational opportunities depending on where they live and the color of their skin...'

Education Week--School-to-Work Issues Are Surging in State Legislatures No politician is likely to lose an election by focusing too heavily on creating jobs and boosting the workforce, which may help explain why legislation that seeks to connect education and career paths has become so popular in statehouses...'

10-16-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Setting Out to Fix Major Flaws in the Way New Jersey Funds Higher Education Lawmakers and administration embark on reorganization to make college more affordable and to improve access and equity...'

Education Week--Hostility Toward LGBTQ Students May Be Rising in Schools, Survey Finds After years of improvement in school climate, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students could be facing more hostile environments on campus, a new national student survey found...'

10-15-18 Education in the News
Star Ledger--The 50 N.J. school districts where teachers make the least money New Jersey has plenty of teachers who are making a decent living — right? Well, it's true that the state has some of the nation's highest-paid teachers. But it's also true that there are many teachers who are struggling to make ends meet...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--More local colleges are scrapping SAT requirement...'

Press of Atlantic City--New Jersey releases transgender student policy guidelines for schools For more than a year, Egg Harbor Township teen Emily McGrath attended meetings encouraging her local board of education to pass a policy that would protect transgender students in the district. Now, she might finally see that happen...'

Education Week--What Happens When States Un-Standardize Tests? Few educators are fans of fill-in-the-bubble standardized tests that don’t yield results until after students leave the classroom...'

10-12-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Opinion: It Sure Looks Like DOE Willfully Broke Charter Process to Appease NJEA Did ‘political payback’ matter more to Murphy and Repollet than the wishes of parents desperate for alternatives to poorly-performing public schools?...'

Education Week--These Six Teacher-Evaluation Systems Have Gotten Results, Analysis Says An analysis of six different teacher-evaluation systems shows that when the systems are implemented with fidelity and with certain tactics, they can lead to an improvement in the teacher workforce—good teachers are more likely to stay, and low-performing teachers are likely to either leave the district or improve...'

10-11-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Web Guide to NJ Property Taxes: Everything Except Why They’re So High Online guidebook walks residents through all the aspects of property taxes, including how the revenue is divvied up, using easy to understand graphics and examples...'

Star Ledger--N.J. needs an all-inclusive plan, not a piecemeal approach to 21st century schools New Jersey's public schools are a powerhouse. Student academic performance ranks at the top among states and the world's leading nations. Our graduation rate is the second-highest in the country. Outcomes for at-risk students outpace the national average for all students. We've built a solid foundation for continued progress. One ingredient in our success is the concerted effort over the past 15 years to modernize New Jersey's school building infrastructure...'

Trenton Times--Fate of $500 million in school funding in hands of voters    Editorial
The Garden State's school children are hoping you'll have the wisdom to say "yes" to Public Question 1 when you head to the polls next month for the 2018 mid-term elections...'

Education Week--The Teen Brain: How Schools Can Help Students Manage Emotions and Make Better Decisions Research highlights supportive strategies Adolescence tends to be seen by parents—and many teachers—with dread. Teenagers are likelier to engage in risky behaviors and disengage from school. But emerging cognitive and neuroscience research suggests ways schools can help leverage teens' strengths in this unique developmental period...'

10-10-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Charter Schools: Where Does Murphy Administration Really Stand? That’s the big question no one knows the answer to as a major state review of the growing movement gets underway A perennial subject of education policy in New Jersey, charter schools are about to get yet another review from state policymakers, maybe this time with a twist...'

The Record--Two very different local teachers with help from 'brutally honest' students pen SAT prep book Take one math teacher who coaches football and speaks in sports analogies, one English teacher who pens indie rock songs and meditates and some "brutally honest" students and you have the latest in SAT preparation...'

Education Week--How People Learn: A Landmark Report Gets an Update Learning is a conversation with the world, from a newborn's brain lighting up as his mother sings to him, to a teenager choking on a test for fear of fulfilling a stereotype, to elderly people heading off cognitive decline by learning a new language. In an update to its landmark reports on education research, the National Academies' new How People Learn II digs into what science can tell schools about how to build on students' culture and experience to improve learning...'

10-9-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Building a Better Future One Building Project at a Time YouthBuild gives participants a place to master skills, earn a GED, and think beyond high school New Jersey residents between the ages of 16 and 24 who left high school before finishing aren’t necessarily out of luck or out of the running...'

The Record--Public can weigh in on Gov. Phil Murphy plan to cut standardized testing in high schools Starting Friday, the public will get to comment on Gov. Phil Murphy's plan to reduce the amount of standardized testing in state high schools...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--Advocates worry: Is Gov. Murphy imposing ‘stealth moratorium’ on N.J. charter schools? Gov. Murphy wanted a "timeout" for New Jersey charter schools after years of growth under his predecessor, Chris Christie...'

Education Week--How to Make Reading Relevant: Bring Job-Specific Texts Into Class How news articles and technical manuals might help career-technical students master complex texts Larissa VanderZee's students are all going on to work with patients, not patents—but that doesn't mean they're getting out of her classes without a hefty dose of reading. Far from it...'

The Atlantic--Civics Education Helps Create Young Voters and Activists Youth voter turnout is notoriously low in the U.S., especially when social-studies classes are notably absent...'

10-8-18 Education in the News
Star Ledger--N.J. schools may soon screen teens for depression -- A guide for parents. If the bill going through state legislature becomes law, New Jersey schools would be required to screen all students in grades 7 through 12 for depression...'

Star Ledger--N.J. schools can keep transgender kids' secret from parents, state says It's one of the most delicate and potentially combustible questions schools can face. A teenager confides in a teacher that he or she is transgender and wants to transition at school without any family finding out about it...'

Education Week--Betsy DeVos: The K-12 System Has 'Stolen Decision-Making Power From Families' U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has a lot of questions about the American K-12 education that she's been charged with leading, and she unspooled a series of them in a speech in Huntsville, Ala., Wednesday, the first day of four-state "Rethink School" tour. "Why does 'the system' pretend that every teacher and every student is the same?" "Why aren't parents allowed to decide the education that's right for their children?"...'

10-5-18 Education in the News
Press of Atlantic City--Our view: $496M health benefits savings is overdue cut in NJ wasteful spending Gov. Phil Murphy announced last month that his administration had reached a deal on government employee and retiree health benefits with public worker unions that would save taxpayers an estimated $496 million through the end of 2020...'

The Atlantic--Police-Grade Surveillance Technology Comes to the Playground After Parkland, schools are installing gunshot-detection systems typically used in cities like Oakland and Chicago. But are they worth the expense?...'

Education Week--Teachers Told Me Their Stories of Sexual Assault and Harassment—and Why They Keep Silent

The hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have become the most raucous showdown of the #MeToo era in part because of the high political stakes, but also because for many people it’s become acutely personal...'

10-4-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--PARCC Peace Breaks Out: Compromise Is Reached on High School Testing Commissioner Repollet and State Board of Education agree on fewer tests, more flexibility. Questions remain The Murphy administration and the State Board of Education reached a compromise on the future of high school testing in New Jersey that will mean a couple of fewer tests going forward and more flexibility on what counts toward graduation...'

New State Funding for Autism Center to Boost Research and Treatment Aim is also to improve services for the thousands of New Jersey residents who have some form of the disorder...'

NJ Spotlight--Murphy Announces Grants to Gear Up Schools for Science and Tech School districts have until October 25 to apply for program that’s aimed at bringing computer science, other advanced courses to high schools...'

Star Ledger--These PARCC tests were just spared a death sentence The most controversial standardized test in New Jersey history is now becoming the most difficult one to kill...'

Star Ledger--This N.J. teacher just won the state's top teaching award Jennifer Skomial she spends her days teaching high school students how to become teachers. Now, she's New Jersey's state Teacher of the Year...'

Washington Post--Education Department rolls out new federal student app WASHINGTON — The Education Department is unveiling a mobile program intended to make it easier for students to apply for federal financial aid...'

Education Week—Commentary: We Already Know School Starts Too Early. It's Time to Do Something About It Teenagers shouldn't have to go to class while half asleep...'

10-3-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Repollet Hits ‘Pause’ for Charter Schools, Rejects Latest Two Hopefuls Education commissioner turns down new charter schools for Trenton and Jersey City, as Murphy administration readies major review of the sector...'

Star Ledger--These 18 N.J. schools were named among the best in U.S. by Trump administration The U.S. Department of Education on Monday honored 18 New Jersey schools among the national winners of one the most important awards in education...'

Education Week--A Scholar's-Eye View of School Law as High Court Gears for New Term The U.S. Supreme Court opens its new term Oct. 1 with no education cases yet on its docket, but with the potential for several to be added in the coming months involving such issues as teacher First Amendment rights, employment discrimination in schools, and equal pay for teachers of similar experience...'

10-2-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Commissioner Repollet’s School Testing Revisions Make Sense State Board of Education should adopt education commissioner’s proposed changes as best way to prove students are meeting requirements...'

The New York Times--Detailed New National Maps Show How Neighborhoods Shape Children for Life Some places lift children out of poverty. Others trap them there. Now cities are trying to do something about the difference...'

The Atlantic--How a Teacher in Rural Oklahoma Started a Science-Fair Dynasty To get her students interested in STEM, Deborah Cornelison shows them how science projects can improve their community. Editor's Note: In the next five years, most of America’s most experienced teachers will retire. The Baby Boomers are leaving behind a nation of novice educators. In 1988, a teacher most commonly had 15 years of experience. Less than three decades later, that number had fallen to just five years leading a classroom. The Atlantic’s “On Teaching” project is crisscrossing the country to talk to veteran educators. This story is the first in our series...'

Education Week--From 'Rotten Apples' to Martyrs: America Has Changed Its Tune on Teachers After years of being blamed for the problems in schools, teachers are now being held up as victims of a broken system. How did the pendulum swing so quickly?...'

Education Week--Do Students Need an Exam to Measure Workplace Skills? Four States Think So. Students take tests exhaustively throughout their K-12 careers—so do they need to take a separate exam to gauge reading and writing skills for work? It's a question still a long way away from having a clear answer...'

10-1-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Sweeney Panel Proposes ‘401(k) Pension’ for Some State, Local Workers Unions are already mobilizing against key recommendation from Senate President’s fiscal policy experts, who say pension change could save the state billions of dollars...'

Star Ledger--N.J. has a new plan to protect transgender kids in schools New Jersey schools are about to be out of excuses for violating the rights of transgender students...'

Press of Atlantic City--Our view: Legislative leaders step up as Murphy abandons education reform Gov. Phil Murphy repeatedly promised to get rid of the standardized tests New Jersey schools use to assess student learning and teacher effectiveness. That would pay back the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s most powerful union election force, for its support...'

Washington Post--A controversial secretary of education assesses his tenure and his life When Arne Duncan arrived in Washington nearly a decade ago, his boss instructed him not to sweat the politics of the place. “Just do what you think is right for kids and let me worry about the politics,” Duncan recounts being told...'

Education Week--New Money and Energy to Help Schools Connect With Families Engaging parents draws new energy It's indisputable that most students perform better academically when they have parents or adults to help with homework and to be advocates with teachers and principals.

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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