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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

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The Buzz

12-11-17 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Fed Tax Reform Focuses New Attention on NJ’s Property-Tax Deduction Written into state’s income tax code in 1996, statute allows Garden State homeowners to deduct up to $10,000 of their annual property taxes The ongoing debate in Washington, D.C., over the fate of a longstanding federal tax write-off for property taxes is generating new interest in a New Jersey tax policy that for the past two decades has allowed homeowners to deduct at least some portion of their property-tax bills...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--Sandy Hook's legacy: More security in elementary schools NEW CANAAN, Conn. (AP) - The setting could not be more different, but David Wannagot says he applies some of the same skills from his 30-year police career to his new role as a school sentry. As he greeted children getting off the bus at West Elementary School one recent morning, he scanned their faces, ready to guide any who seem upset directly to the vice principal. And from his station at the entrance he sizes up all visitors asking to enter the building...'

Press of Atlantic City--Op-Ed--Our view: Schools need tailored strategies to keep chronic absenteeism falling Education only works if students show up to be educated, so absenteeism has been a problem as long as there have been schools. A century ago, a quarter of the kids in the Chicago House of Corrections were there for truancy — an example of how seriously government can take the attendance requirement...'

Education Week--A Commentary by Betsy DeVos: 'Tolerating Low Expectations for Children With Disabilities Must End' Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision. The justices ruled 8-0 in Endrew F. vs. Douglas County School District that Endrew, a child with autism, was entitled to an educational program that required more than the "de minimis"—or minimum—progress set by his assigned school...'

12-8-17 Education in the News
Education Week--Joseph Meloche Recognized for Leadership in Elevating Student Voice • Expertise: Elevating Student Voice • Position: Superintendent • District: Cherry Hill Public Schools, Cherry Hill, N.J. When Superintendent Joseph Meloche weighs a major decision for his school district, he often turns to some of his most trusted advisers: students...'

The Atlantic--The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone Students don't seem to be getting much out of higher education. I have been in school for more than 40 years. First preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Then a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a doctoral program at Princeton. The next step was what you could call my first “real” job—as an economics professor at George Mason University...'

12-7-17 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Fighting the War on Opioids, Substance Abuse on School Front Administration consolidates tools, lesson plans on one website to help educators spend time teaching rather than searching Substance-abuse awareness and prevention have been standard in schools for decades, from the anti-drug movies of the 1970s to the familiar DARE officers in the classrooms well into the 2000s...'

NJ Spotlight--Poll Shows Broad Reach of Drug Epidemic, Strong Support for Treatment Some analysts see findings as indication that people believe war on drugs has failed Half of New Jersey’s residents have been touched by opioid addiction, and that familiarity may contribute to a more compassionate approach to drug use and strong support for treatment — even if the treatment center is nearby. Those were among researchers’ takeaways from a Public Mind Poll, released Wednesday by Fairleigh Dickenson University and its School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences...'

NJ Spotlight--In its Last Gasp, Christie Panel Gives Dire Appraisal of NJ’s Public Pension System Nonpartisan experts say state can no longer afford ‘intransigence, inaction, apathy and denial’ and recommend switch to retirement plans similar to 401(k)s A nonpartisan panel of benefits experts that Gov. Chris Christie assembled several years ago to examine the state’s beleaguered pension system released a final report yesterday, issuing one last plea for serious consideration of a set of cost-cutting recommendations that so far have been ignored by top leaders in the Senate and Assembly...'

Education Week--Facebook's New Messaging App for Young Children Raises Concerns Social-networking giant Facebook has launched a new messaging app aimed at children under 13, part of a push to bolster the company's younger user base that is raising fears about expanded use of screens and social media by children...'

12-6-17 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Stress Testing Pension System to Help Determine — and Maintain — Fiscal Health Public-employee pension system comprises numerous funds whose health needs to be ascertained and made public on state website As his tenure comes to an end, Gov. Chris Christie’s legacy on the pension issue is widely considered to be a mix of failures and success...'

Education Week--Global Reading Scores Are Rising, But Not for U.S. Students The good news from the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study is that basic literacy is at an all-time high worldwide and a majority of countries have seen rising reading achievement in the last decade...'

NJ Spotlight-- Op-Ed: Collaboration Benefiting Newark Schoolchildren As Newark transitions back to local control, an exciting time is made all the more so by the burgeoning collaboration between charter and traditional district schools Evidence is growing that, when it comes to making sure all children have the high-quality education needed to reach their full potential, the word “and” will take us a lot further than the word “or.”...'

12-5-17 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Opinion: The Four Factors Behind Newark’s Education Turnaround Academic improvement, higher standards for students and educators, parent empowerment through school choice signal hard-won cohesion for a fractured district in a fragmented state New Jersey is a fragmented and complicated state, splintered into 565 municipalities and even more school districts. Newark is its microcosm, a byzantine culture of powerful ward bosses who control every aspect of governance, including its school system. Although I’ve been writing about education in New Jersey for a decade, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to understand Newark...'

NY Times--Why Applying to College Is So Confusing The annual college applications frenzy is upon us — a season when high school students agonize over G.P.A.s and personal essays, hoping and praying that they will stand out among throngs of applicants...'

Washington Post-- Teacher: We didn’t sign up for this Teachers in Anchorage recently rejected a tentative agreement on a new contract that failed to include a sought-after 3 percent salary increase — but, according to news reports, money was not the only issue. Sagging morale was another factor...'

Education Week--Schools Struggle to Keep Pace With Hackings, Other Cyber Threats New survey data show IT leaders underestimate cybersecurity challenges A wide range of cybersecurity threats are sweeping through the education sector, sowing discord and costing public schools significant time, money, and trust. Criminal hacking groups have terrorized and extorted school communities...'

12-4-17 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Can a ‘No-Zero’ Approach to Schoolwork Make the Grade in New Jersey? No zeros should be a no-brainer: but some teachers, parents, and even students would rather stick to traditional grading policies Innovative grading policies making it harder to fail are a growing trend in New Jersey school districts...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--US charter schools put growing numbers in racial isolation MILWAUKEE (AP) - Charter schools are among the nation's most segregated, an Associated Press analysis finds - an outcome at odds, critics say, with their goal of offering a better alternative to failing traditional public schools...'

Education Week-- Senate OKs Tax Bill Changing Teacher Deduction, Expanding School Choice The U.S. Senate has passed its version of a tax overhaul package that contains potential changes for how teachers do their taxes and for state and local education funding, as well as a provision aimed at boosting school choice. Senators passed the GOP-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the early hours of Saturday morning after extensive negotiations. It contains numerous changes to the current tax code with notable implications for K-12...'

The Atlantic--Do Employers Overestimate the Value of a College Degree? Worker-training programs could bring companies good workers at low costs. It’s dinnertime, and a teenager is seated with her immediate family. She looks around—everyone has at least a college degree and a stable job...'

12-1-17 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Interactive Map: Who Gets Hurt Most by GOP’s Plan to Kill Higher-Ed Deductions? The Republican tax-reform package targets benefits taken by New Jerseyans in college and grad school — and their families Several hundred thousand New Jerseyans stand to lose one or more federal tax benefits set aside for higher education under the current tax-reform proposal that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives...'

Education Week--Age, Condition, and Spending How well are America’s public school buildings and other facilities holding up? How much is the nation spending to build and maintain them? Is it enough? And just who’s bearing the costs? Here’s some data to fuel that discussion gleaned from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, and a 2016 joint report from the 21st Century School Fund, the National Council on School Facilities, and the Center for Green Schools...'

2017 - 2018 Announcement Archives
2016 - 2017 Announcement Archives
Older Archives

The Special Education Task Force Report was released  in November 2015. GSCS, a Task Force member,  is looking forward to discussion on this important topic.  See below for links to the report.

RELATED LINKS

FINAL REPORT OF THE NEW JERSEY TASK FORCE ON IMPROVING SPECIAL EDUCATION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS

LETTER TO LEGISLATURE, GOV. CHRISTIE AND STATE OFFICIALS

Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828



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