The Buzz

1-21-19 Education in the News
CBS News--Vaping has created teen nicotine addicts with few treatment options The FDA is holding a hearing Friday morning to address the alarming spike in teen vaping and how to help those who want to kick the habit. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 20 percent of high school students admitted to using an electronic cigarette within the last 30 days – up more than 77 percent since 2017...'

Star Ledger--Those PARCC rules killed by the court? They’re not dead yet. Now, lawmakers might save them. New Jersey might be close to avoiding a looming crisis over its controversial high school graduation rules. But it’s not the fix critics who won a legal battle to overturn the rules had said they wanted...'

NY Times--Democrats Are United on Teacher Strikes. But They’re in a ‘Gladiator Fight’ Over Education. When 30,000 Los Angeles teachers went on strike on Monday, prominent Democrats — and potential presidential candidates — lined up to give their blessings...'

1-18-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--State Officials Ask Judges to Let Classes of 2019 and 2020 Graduate Under Old Rules DOE says appellate court case is leaving nearly 170,000 current seniors and juniors without a clear path to graduation With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, the futures of thousands of New Jersey high schoolers are in limbo as the legal battle around graduation testing requirements presses on...'

NJ Spotlight--Teachers Lobby for Reduced Health Insurance Costs Members of the NJEA say they’re losing money because premiums are rising faster than their annual pay raises Members of New Jersey’s largest teachers union rallied in Trenton yesterday, demanding that lawmakers and the governor support a package of bills that would, among others things, lower their healthcare premiums...'

The Record—NJ Seniors ‘In Limbo’ Over PARCC Testing for Graduation What will happen to thousands of students who are getting ready to graduate, now that court says testing requirements were illegal?...'

Education Week--The Black Achievement Paradox Nobody's Talking About Why do black students whose parents serve in the military so significantly outperform their peers from black civilian families? This question has for years stumped researchers, but a new data-reporting requirement for military-connected students under the Every Student Succeeds Act could provide some insights for practitioners and policymakers serving America's increasingly mobile students overall...'

1-17-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Profile: The Right Stuff to Take Camden’s Schools to Next Level — and Beyond Acting Superintendent Katrina McCombs already has plans in place to address Camden’s myriad problems — from gang violence to trauma — but she also needs the top spot...'

Education Week--Data: Are We Preparing Students for a Lifetime of Success? The Education Week Research Center's Chance-for-Success Index identifies strengths and weaknesses in each state's education pipeline that—taken together—capture the many factors within and outside of the pre-K-12 education system that contribute to a person's success throughout a lifetime...'

NY Times: As Los Angeles Teachers Strike, 3 Books Chronicle Educators’ Years-Long Fight for Better Working Conditions More than 30,000 Los Angeles public schoolteachers went on strike on Monday after months of unfruitful negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The teachers are asking for higher wages, smaller class sizes and more support staff in schools, including nurses, librarians and guidance counselors. Here are three books on teachers’ historical battle for improved working conditions and one mother’s year navigating the public school system in Los Angeles...'

1-16-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--State of the State: Murphy Doubles Down on Push to Fix Economic Incentive Program During a rebuttal news conference, GOP lawmakers push back on the governor’s anti-Christie theme Gov. Phil Murphy used the annual State of the State address yesterday to both showcase the new direction New Jersey is headed after eight years under Republican Chris Christie and highlight an urgent need to remake one of the state’s signature economic-development policies...'

Star Ledger--Sorry, ACT. Kids accused of cheating can now sue you, N.J. judge says A judge has sided with a New Jersey teenager accused of cheating on the ACT exams, saying a clause test-takers must sign giving up their rights to sue the testing company is “unconscionable” and “void as against public policy."...'

Education Week--New Setback for PARCC as Another State Abandons Test New Mexico and New Jersey reconsider use of exam New Mexico has joined a long list of states that have abandoned the PARCC test, setting off yet another round of speculation that the exam will go the way of the dinosaur...'

1-15-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Murphy’s first State of State Address Comes at Pivotal Time for NJ and for Him Hopes were high among progressives when governor came into office, but tension between him and fellow Democrats has impeded his agenda...'

The Record—Editorial: Continue Work to Protect New Jersey’s LGBT Students One way to fight intolerance is through education. This is where schools’ personnel, students and parents can present a united front...'

Asbury Park Press—Teachers’ Pay: How Much are Teachers in Your Town Paid? NJ teachers’ pay: Are your kids being educated by teachers who are underpaid? Who is earning the most in your child’s school?...'

NY Times--The Gender Achievement Gap Starts Later for Asian-American Students A study gives educators insight into how to help American boys in general, pointing to the influence of social pressures. Over all, girls outperform boys in school. It starts as early as kindergarten. By the time students reach college, women graduate at a higher rate than men...'

Washington Post--Higher education moon shot remains stuck in lower orbit When President Barack Obama stood before a friendly and enthusiastic crowd at Macomb Community College near Detroit 10 years ago, the goals he set out were historic. Within a decade, he said on that day in 2009, community colleges such as Macomb would collectively boost their number of graduates by 5 million. That would help return the United States to first in the world in the proportion of its population with the credentials needed to sustain an economy increasingly dependent on highly educated workers...'

Education Week--The Truth About Bilingualism: It's Only for Some Students Schools in the United States are embracing bilingualism like never before. Shifting demographics and political dynamics have transformed views on multilingual education in many parts of the country, paving the way for a focused examination of educating the nation's 5 million K-12 English-language learners and the importance of foreign-language instruction...'

1-14-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Survey Finds Persistent Bullying of LGBTQ Students in NJ High Schools ‘The numbers are alarming,’ says Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, who was a prime sponsor of anti-bullying legislation. She’s working on a new measure...'

NJ Spotlight--New Funding for Expansion of Pediatric Mental Health Programs in New Jersey Aim is to improve diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and substance abuse issues among children and adolescents New federal funding will allow New Jersey to recruit and train nearly 2,000 more primary-care providers to better diagnose and treat mental illness and substance abuse issues in children and adolescents, groups that often lacks access to effective behavioral healthcare...'

Education Week--Special Education Is Broken The year was 1975, and President Gerald Ford was ambivalent about the law he was about to sign, guaranteeing that students with disabilities are entitled to education in the public schools. He said so in what was then an infrequently used presidential option—a signing statement...'

1-11-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Murphy Releases More Funding For Pre-K Programs Across State Thirty-three needy districts that previously had received no pre-K funding from Trenton, will benefit. Advocates praise governor’s move, but say much more needs to be done Gov. Phil Murphy announced a second round of funding Thursday that would spread $26.9 million for preschool education across 33 districts in the state...'

Star Ledger--These N.J. school districts will now get money to create or expand preschool under Murphy plan Nearly three dozen public school districts in New Jersey have been tapped by Gov. Phil Murphy's administration to receive a second round of taxpayer-funded state aid to create or expand preschool programs...'

Asbury Park Press—Op-Ed: Suspend High School Exit Testing—Borst Twenty-four states never adopted exit testing and 14 other states have dropped it because of its destructive consequences. New Jersey should do likewise...'

Education Week--Teachers Have Trust Issues Marches. Walkouts. Running for office and campaigning. Using social media for help both inside and outside the classroom. The motivations for teachers to engage with the world in those ways vary. But one question runs throughout them: When teachers are looking for institutions to trust these days, are more and more of them coming up empty?...'

1-10-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJ Has Weak System of State Support for Black and Latino College Students — Report Higher education in NJ is hobbled by inequities that leave many minority students ill-equipped for college and the job market, authors contend Higher education in New Jersey is failing its black and Latino students, according to a new report. And, if that inequity is not addressed soon, the state’s economy will suffer, the authors say...'

Washington Post--Education Dept. steps up to help students stymied by financial aid application requirements The U.S. Education Department will make it easier for families to provide proof of their income, clearing the way for some of the neediest college students to gain access to federal loans and grants...'

NPR--Alexa Can Help Kids With Homework, But Don't Forget Problem-Solving Skills "Alexa, what's 5 minus 3?" A 6-year-old boy recently asked that question in a video, which went viral on Twitter with more than 8.5 million views. He leaned over his homework as his mother hovered in the doorway. Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated assistant, delivered a quick answer: 2. "Booooy," the mother chastised her son. It's cute, but it raises a question that's been on the minds of many parents and educators lately: How do virtual assistants like Alexa, which are increasingly common in households, affect children's learning experiences?...'

1-9-19 Education in the News
Asbury Park Press—Lakewood Schools Get a $2M Security Boost Governor Murphy signed a law Tuesday doubling funding for private school students, meaning about $2.2 million more will go to Lakewood schools...'

Education Week--Thousands of Copyrighted Works Will Now Be Freely Available to Teachers Teachers—especially those of English or the arts—rely on famous works of literature, music, and film in their classes, copying and repurposing them to analyze with students...'

1-8-19 Education in the News
The Record—New School Financial Literacy Mandate Isn’t New A new state law says middle school students should learn financial literacy. But it’s been a requirement for years...'

Chalkbeat--‘Zero student achievement’: Newark superintendent casts doubt on school-improvement program championed by Mayor Baraka Three years ago, Newark unveiled a high-profile experiment: Rather than close low-performing schools in the city’s impoverished South Ward, the district would try to revive them with an infusion of extra services and staffers...'

Education Week--Gates Giving Millions to Train Teachers on 'High Quality' Curricula The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to invest in professional development providers who will train teachers on “high quality” curricula, the philanthropy announced this afternoon...'

1-7-19 Education in the News
Chalkbeat--Major new study finds restorative justice led to safer schools, but hurt black students’ test scores In one Pittsburgh elementary school classroom, students started the day in a circle, explaining how they were feeling as others listened intently. Some were happy, but others were sleepy or sad. “Let’s remember those who said they’re tired or frustrated so we can help them out today,” the teacher said in closing...'

Education Week--Education Statistics: Facts About American Schools How many K-12 public schools, districts, and students are there? What does the American student population look like? And how much are we, as a nation, spending on the education of these youth?...'

1-4-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--For Stretched NJ Students, Help on the Way in Learning How to Manage Finances New Jersey’s college students are among the most debt-laden in the country. Financial literacy soon will be required in middle school Learning how to handle basic financial decisions such as managing a savings account or responsibly using credit cards will soon be required of middle school students in New Jersey, with the first bill to be signed into law in 2019...'

NY Times--The Fight to Keep Teachers in Tech Hubs From Being Priced Out SAN JOSE, Calif. — Rizi Manzon lives in the heart of Silicon Valley, in a modest-looking neighborhood of garden apartments and one-story houses on small lots. His own home is five minutes from Apple’s headquarters in what is, by some measures, the most expensive housing market in the country...'

Education Week--How Parents and Educators Can Team Up on Special Education As its name suggests, the Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood was founded with the goal of fully embracing students with disabilities and their families. You can see that philosophy at work when you walk through the door—literally...'

The Atlantic--How to Turn Schools Into Happier Places A strong student-teacher relationship can help put a dent in school suspensions, according to a new study. When the Trump administration released its school-safety report last month, it landed with a thud—and only partly because it’s a clunky 180 pages. Many of the recommendations in the report, authored by the Federal Commission on School Safety, are aimed at fostering a better school climate—how a school feels to the students who attend it—whether that’s through improved access to counseling and mental-health services or a greater emphasis on social-emotional learning. But other recommendations were met with derision,...'

1-3-19 Education in the News
The Record—Editorial: Knocking Out a Crucial Leg of the PARCC Testing Table The ruling should light a fire under the Administration to move with all deliberate speed towards a less convoluted, more effective testing process...'

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: Will Murphy and Legislative Leaders Find Ways to Agree in 2019? The holidays brought a lull in the pointed rhetoric between the governor and Democratic leadership. But the terrain ahead could be treacherous...'

NJ Spotlight--Task Force Takes Aim at Public Health Benefit-Plan Managers Group appointed by governor recommends ways state can save money while delivering better care for some 800,000 public employees...'

Education Week--Trump, Congress, ESSA and More: Six Issues to Watch in 2019 Happy New Year! It's 2019, which means that the Every Student Succeeds Act is more than three years old, and finally having an impact on school districts. President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have been on the job for almost two years, with no major school choice initiative in sight. And Democrats are about to take over the U.S. House of Representatives. Here's what to watch for next year...'

1-2-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--Court strikes down PARCC requirements for high school graduation New Jersey’s controversial rules that force students to pass PARCC tests before graduating from high school are already regarded as confusing and chaotic. Now, they’ve been declared invalid...'

Chalkbeat--What worked (and didn’t) this year: 10 lessons from education research to take into 2019 It’s hard to keep up with education research. So with the end of the year approaching, we’re here to help...'

Education Week--Top Education Stories of 2018: Education Week’s Most Viewed Get a sense of what was high on educators’ priority lists in 2018. This list of Education Week’s 10 most-viewed news articles and blog posts provides insight into what piqued the interest of our audience of teachers, school leaders, and more...'

Washington Post--A teacher makes 2019 education predictions — some he 'desperately’ hopes won’t come true This is the eighth year that I am publishing veteran teacher Larry Ferlazzo’s education predictions for the coming year — and, frankly, some of them are bold, if not scary. (You can see his predictions from earlier years at the bottom of this post.) I don’t quite agree with all of them, but it’s not my list, it’s his! Let him know what you think in the comments...'

NPR (American Public Media)--Why Millions Of Kids Can't Read, And What Better Teaching Can Do About It Jack Silva didn't know anything about how children learn to read. What he did know is that a lot of students in his district were struggling. Silva is the chief academic officer Bethlehem, Pa., public schools. In 2015, only 56 percent of third graders were scoring proficient on the state reading test. That year, he set out to do something about that...'

12-31-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Top Reports: How Fair Is School Funding in NJ Compared to Other States? The answer, it seems, is fairer than most. Only Wyoming matches New Jersey on key criteria Just how much do states fund their schools? And how fairly do they do so in terms of what the schools need and what the states can afford?...'

NJ Spotlight--Top Reports: Experts Say Big Cuts Needed to Make State Fiscally Stable Senate President Steve Sweeney convened a nonpartisan group to examine New Jersey’s ledgers. They prescribed some harsh medicine, including cuts to public worker benefits After a new federal tax law took away the deduction for state and local taxes that is coveted by many New Jersey residents, Senate President Steve Sweeney assembled a 25-member panel of fiscal policy experts to scrutinize state fiscal policies and search for ways to find new savings...'

Star Ledger--With more students sickened by vaping, another N.J. school district joins chorus of warnings After a number of its students were sickened last week, another New Jersey school district has issued warnings about the dangers of e-cigarettes in connection with a particularly potent brand of the flavored electronic nicotine sticks. “We are writing today to ask for your help in discussing a serious topic with your children,” stated a Dec. 20 letter to parents of North Warren Regional High School in Blairstown. “We have had several students fall ill after inhaling substances from vape pens. This is a burgeoning problem.”...'

Washington Post—Asking if early-childhood education ‘works’ is the wrong question. Here are the right ones.

The midterm elections were good for supporters of expanding early-childhood education, with the majority of newly elected governors expressing support for programs targeted at teaching and caring for young people...'

Chalkbeat--Want a charter school application? If your child has a disability, your questions more likely to be ignored, study finds In a sweeping national “mystery shopper” experiment, researchers posing as parents sent emails to thousands of schools asking how to apply for admission...'

The Atlantic--The Year the Gun Conversation Changed States passed a flurry of gun-control measures in 2018, but the future of the push for greater regulation is tied to the much larger political drama playing out in America...'

2018 - 2019 Announcement Archives
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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