The Buzz

8-17-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Sweeney Says It’s Time to Get Serious About Consolidating Schools in New Jersey It’s not just about saving money, Senate President maintains, but delivering better education at a lower cost...'

NJ Spotlight--Explainer: Platinum Versus Gold Health-Insurance Plans for NJ Public Workers Bipartisan panel suggests going to less expensive health insurance could save taxpayers $1.4 billion within a few years...'

Star Ledger--These 21 N.J. teachers are competing for Teacher of the Year Twenty-one teachers from across New Jersey have been selected to compete for one of the state's top honors in education. The state Department of Education on Thursday announced the Teacher of the Year in each county. The 21 winners are now finalists for the state Teacher of the Year award...'

Press of Atlantic City—Editorial: Our view: Parents still lack enough guidance on youth football brain injuries Another youth football season is here and parents of players still don’t have the information they need to make fully informed decisions about the brain-injury risks of the sport...'

NY Times—Book Review: What Role Do Teachers Play in Education? • AFTER THE EDUCATION WARS How Smart Schools Upend the Business of Reform By Andrea Gabor...'

Education Week--Schools Are Required to Teach Mental-Health Lessons This Fall in Two States. And That's a First. Students returning to Virginia and New York's classrooms this fall will be required to participate in mental-health education as part of their health and physical education courses...'

8-16-18 Education in the News
Star Ledger--Students were bullied because of dirty clothes. Washing machines in the locker room will change that. The Facebook picture of Akbar Cook standing in front of washing machines and dryers looked rather odd at West Side High School in Newark. Not to Cook, who is the school's new principal this school year...'

Education Week--The Troubling Student-to-Counselor Ratio That Doesn't Add Up As students plan for what comes after high school, they need more support Nationwide, public school counselors are overworked and under-resourced. The average student-to-school-counselor ratio is 482-to-1—nearly double the 250-to-1 ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association...'

8-15-18 Education in the News
Jersey Journal--School district merger plan doesn't get passing grade in East Newark Guttenberg and East Newark would lose "home rule" over their small school districts under a tax-cutting proposal made by a panel of politicians, economists and academics...'

Star Ledger-- Parents are scared of voters in schools, so kids may get more days off The Linden School District no longer wants its schools to be used as polling locations on primary day, and may ask the county Board of Elections to find new buildings for voters to cast their ballots next June...'

The Record--Religious holidays recognized by New Jersey Department of Education...'

Education Week--Charter Schools: 7 Common Questions, Answered Are charter schools public or private? Do they pick and choose who can enroll? Who oversees them? And are they better at educating students than regular public schools? We answer these questions and more about charter schools in this explainer...'

8-14-18 Education in the News
Education Week--More Schools Are Using Anonymous Tip Lines to Thwart Violence. Do They Work? After students in one Oklahoma high school finish a lockdown drill, they immediately hear a plea from administrators over the intercom: Report your safety concerns...'

Education Week--What's the Toughest Part of ESSA For District Leaders? It's (almost) the end of the summer and educators are preparing to go back to school. Nearly every state has an approved Every Students Succeeds Act plan ready to implement. So this question from a reader who wished to remain anonymous seems especially timely: What's the toughest part of the Every Student Succeeds Act for districts to get a handle on?...'

8-13-18 Education in the News
Star Ledger--Recess is now mandatory at N.J. elementary schools New Jersey elementary school students have at least one thing to look forward to this back-to-school season. When they return to class in a few weeks, recess will be mandatory for their schools...'

Associated Press (via Press of Atlantic City)--Plans to overhaul NJ's government face murky path ahead TRENTON — New Jersey’s Senate president is pushing a raft of cost-saving proposals to rescue the state from potential fiscal ruin, but the bipartisan recommendations face an uncertain future in the Legislature and with Gov. Phil Murphy...'

NY Times--Considering College? Maybe You Should Invest in a Coach Evan Casalino, a senior at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J., always dreamed about going to Harvard Medical School. As a student, he worked hard, got good grades and even did a summer lab research internship at Harvard to bolster his college application...'

Education Week--7 Things Teachers Can Quit Doing This Year Teachers, your well-earned summer is winding down and school is starting up again. Right now, you might be focused on turning your empty classroom into a supportive learning environment. But before you know it, you’ll have fallen into a teaching routine: lesson planning, classroom management, grading, and everything in between...'

8-10-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Cut Public-Worker Benefits, Merge School Districts — Sweeney Panel Recommends Commission assembled by Senate President proposes aggressive measures to address New Jersey’s fiscal problems. Teachers union responds in the negative, governor noncommital...'

Star Ledger--Hundreds of N.J. school districts should be eliminated, experts say. Here's the list A new recommendation to curb rising property taxes and make local government more efficient calls for the elimination of nearly half of the state's nearly 600 school districts...'

Star Ledger--Huge change for N.J.: Public worker benefit cuts, merging schools, more toll roads pushed by top lawmaker Frustrated by endless growth in property taxes and public worker benefit costs, New Jersey's most powerful lawmaker earlier this year turned to a panel of accountants, economists and budget experts for help...'

The Record—Some New Jersey School Districts Using Extra Aid to Cut Taxes Most districts that received a large bump in state aid will use at least some of the money towards tax relief. Facility upgrades, safety, also top the list...'

The Record—Is Your School Top Heavy With Administrators? Charter, vocational and small-school districts in New Jersey generally have the highest percentages of administrators, which can mean fewer teachers...'

Education Week--Enrollment Is Down at Teacher Colleges. So They're Trying to Change Colleges of education are in a Catch-22: They’re needed more than ever to produce well-trained teachers as school districts struggle to fill certain positions. But fewer and fewer people are enrolling in their programs...'

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...'

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...'

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 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 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...'

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...'

8-8-18 Education in the News
The Jersey Journal--Weehawken superintendent takes job in Morris County district...' The Record—Editorial: School Bus Safety is a Multi-Faceted Problem As staff writers Nicholas Katzban and Curtis Tate revealed, bills being proposed don’t do enough to address gaps in oversight of bus companies...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--Advocates condemn psych techniques used to keep kids online The tech industry's use of persuasive psychological techniques to keep kids glued to their screens is under fire from a group of advocates who want the American Psychological Association to condemn the practice...'

The New York Times--How to Write a Good College Application Essay Here are some tips compiled from experts for writing that all-important application essay, which can often mean the difference between getting accepted — or rejected — by the school of your choice...'

Education Week--Few High School Students Are Interested in Teaching. But Better Pay Could Help High school students who are thinking about becoming teachers would be more interested in the profession if it paid more, according to a new survey from ACT, the college-admissions testing organization...'

8-7-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Princeton Merger Pays Off in Property-Tax Slowdown, Better Services Five years after borough and township consolidated, officials say homeowners and municipality have saved money, and services have improved...'

The Record—Bergen Academies Ranked Among the Best in the Country Bergen academies send more students to elite colleges than almost any other school in the country, according to a ranking...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--Everybody is down to not drink.' Why young people are drinking less alcohol. It may seem surprising amid discussions of Greek life gone wild and alcohol-involved sexual assault but young people in the U.S. today are drinking less alcohol than their counterparts two decades ago...'

Asbury Park Press--Toms River Regional pleads for public's help to avert school funding crisis TOMS RIVER - Saying "the future of our children and our community is at stake," Toms River Regional Schools Superintendent David M. Healy penned a letter last week to the school community, pleading with residents to write letters and make calls demanding more state aid...'

Press of Atlantic City--Schools facing aid loss turn to Van Drew for help CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Concerned about the impact of state aid cuts to their school districts, administrators and board members from around the region met at Sen. Jeff Van Drew’s office on Thursday to strategize. Representatives from Weymouth Township in Atlantic County and most of the school districts in Cape May County met with their 1st District legislator looking for help to lobby for assistance after cuts in aid due to last-minute changes to the state budget...'

Washington Post--Report: Schools ran Parkland suspect’s education properly FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Broward County schools officials in general properly handled the special-needs education of troubled Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, according to an independent report released late Friday on the orders of a judge...'

Education Week-- Swastikas on bathroom stalls. Chants of 'Build the wall.' Notes that say 'Go back to Mexico.' Education Week found hundreds of reports of hate and bias in schools. Three swastikas were scrawled on the note found in the girls' restroom, along with a homophobic comment and a declaration: “I Love Trump.”...'

8-6-18 Education in the News
The Record—Special Needs Students at Risk Due to Gaps in Bus System Special needs students are often bused from their home school system to another district, putting them at risk from a spotty system to check drivers...'

Education Week--How Private Schools and Districts Partner Up on Special Education Less than 2 percent of school-aged students with disabilities—about 85,000 of them in fall 2016—are enrolled by their parents in private schools, according to records maintained by the federal government...'

CBS News--Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan says U.S. education system "not top 10 in anything" Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says that political decisions about education "don't reflect" a desire to have better schools and teachers, saying that Americans "never vote on education."...'

8-3-18 Education in the News
Press of Atlantic City--New Jersey unveils process to start free community college program TRENTON — A new program launched this week by the state will provide free tuition and fees to select students who attend one the state’s 19 community colleges next spring...'

Associated Press (viaWashington Post)--Hearing on disclosure of school shooting suspect’s education FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Attorneys for Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz want a judge to prevent release of details of his education records to guarantee a fair trial...'

Education Week--What Five American Teachers Learned From Germany's Education System This summer, five of the country's top teachers went to Germany...'

8-2-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--What’s Going to Replace PARCC? It’s Complicated State Board of Education debates value of standardized testing, draws no conclusions. Parents, educators weigh in...'

Star Ledger--34 staffers just got axed by this state agency. But why? Thirty four employees were dismissed from the state Department of Education earlier this month in a controversial move that's prompted questions about the department's leadership...'

Asbury Park Press--NJ school aid cuts will 'decimate' Shore districts for years, superintendents say Raising taxes. Fewer teachers. Program cuts. All will be considered by dozens of Jersey Shore school districts trying to account for big losses in state school aid — a financial hit that will sock schools in the fall and continue to wallop them well into the next decade...'

The home page of Pinellas County Schools in Florida is brimming with information for families, students, staff members and the public: an easy-to-use dashboard of news, shortcuts and links to the district’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel. But Pinellas’s home page has been supplying information to another audience, an unseen one, as well this year...'

Education Week--We All Need to Get Smarter About Testing Assessment literacy is a low-cost solution to improving America’s public schools There are several big-budget fixes we could make to improve America’s schools...'

8-1-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJ Suburbs Bounce Back as Older Millennials Go for House and Garden Population of New Jersey’s suburban ring springs back even as three most urban counties continue to grow. Millennial generation is key...'

NJ Spotlight--Down Payment on Murphy’s Plan for Free Community College in NJ Starting in spring semester, hundreds of students may not have to pay tuition as pilot program is rolled out...'

Washington Post--President Trump signs bipartisan technical-education bill into law President Trump signed legislation Tuesday that renews a federal workforce development program, sending $1.2 billion a year to states but with fewer requirements from Washington on how to spend the money and assess the success of programs...'

Education Week--Amazon’s Footprint Grows in K-12 Purchasing. Should We Be Worried?...'

CBS News--School district to get rid of snow days, have students work from home instead For decades, the sight of snow has set the hearts of American children aflutter with excitement and anticipation. Sure, it may have meant road conditions were too perilous for school buses to safely make their rounds...'

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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.

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