The Buzz

3-19-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Giving State’s Vo-Techs the Space — and Seats— to Accommodate More Students Proposed bond issue would help vocational-technical schools deliver what New Jersey manufacturers need most, skilled workers that will help them flourish The number of high school students seeking a vocational-technical education instead of going the college-prep route is rising in New Jersey, a trend that comes as many companies are looking for workers with specific skills instead of a college degree...'

NJ Spotlight--The List: For These 10 Districts, More School Aid Still Means Much Less Gov. Murphy wants to boost school aid to most districts, but many would still get significantly less than they would if fully funded under state formula The good news from Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget proposal is that nearly all New Jersey public school districts would share in the $283 million in addition aid he recommended. The bad news is that almost 92 percent of those districts are getting less money than they are supposed to under the state’s school-funding formula...'

The Record--Editorial: Phil Murphy begins to give New Jersey public education its due While there might be some hand-wringing in Trenton among fiscal hawks in response to Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed big-spending, high-tax budget, one group that will not be complaining much is the state’s public education community, which had been starved for resources for several years. Indeed, former Gov. Chris Christie spent much more time publicly denigrating teachers and their unions than he did trying to consider ways to properly fund public schools...'

Asbury Park Press--Murphy facing strong headwinds from fellow Democrats: Editorial It was obvious from the muted applause Gov. Phil Murphy received from fellow Democrats during his budget address last week that he wasn't going to have an easy time pushing through many of his spending initiatives. Murphy exhibited no restraint with an extravagant budget that was 7.2 percent higher than the previous year's. He also showed no inclination to look for ways to reduce government spending...'

3-16-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Murphy School Aid Plan Keeps Promises, Raises Questions The numbers aren’t set in stone, but districts have gotten a first look at state aid to public schools Following up on the broad concepts laid out in his first budget address, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration yesterday released what are perhaps the most critical details to local communities: his proposed state aid to public school districts...'

NJ Spotlight--Public Gets Say on Budget, but What Matters Most Is Murphy-Sweeney Dialogue Although Democrats control both the executive and legislative branches of NJ government, fate of first Murphy spending plan remains uncertain While Democrats now control both the executive and legislative branches after Gov. Phil Murphy’s election last fall, it remains to be seen exactly how this year’s budget process will play out. Most Democratic legislative leaders offered only benign comments on Monday following Murphy’s budget address, and the governor and Senate President Steve Sweeney have thus far had what could be called a testy relationship...'

The Record--How Murphy's budget will affect aid in your school district New Jersey school districts got a first look at their state aid figures for the coming school year on Thursday, two days after Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled his $37.4 billion spending plan...'

Asbury Park Press--NJ school aid: Many Shore schools see state money pour in Just eight months ago, advocates for Jersey Shore public schools squared off against Trenton lawmakers and the departing governor, who threatened to trim school budgets — in some cases by millions of dollars. Parents, students and taxpayers throughout the state learned Thursday their campaign paid off — in some cases handsomely...'

New York Times--‘This Is Not a Drill’:11 Students on the Terror of Lockdowns School gun violence and the terror it creates have riveted America again since a gunman shot and killed 17 last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The public outrage has produced a new wave of protests, including walkouts in schools across the country on Wednesday. But acts of violence aren’t the only source of school terror...'

Education Week-- Senators Zero In on Law Enforcement, School Discipline in Hearing on Parkland Shooting A Senate hearing on the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month focused today on law enforcement's role in what led to the death of 17 students and staff, what school officials might have done to head off the shooting, and the next steps lawmakers should take to prevent future school violence...'

3-15-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Thousands of Students from Hundreds of NJ Schools Protest Gun Violence Using social-media savvy, young activists get the message out to peers, press, and politicians. And it won’t end here, they pledge Thousands of students across New Jersey walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. yesterday to protest gun violence and call on legislators to enact stricter gun-control measures. And, as part of a highly coordinated effort, hundreds of social media-savvy teens worked tirelessly to amplify their message...'

NJ Spotlight--Day After Budget Address, Murphy Takes Spending Plan on the Road Democratic governor wants to get message across, his big budget means big gains for pension system, education, NJ Transit, and New Jerseyans — who will be getting more for their money A day after putting forward a new state budget that features $1.7 billion in tax increases, Gov. Phil Murphy jumped headlong into a campaign to promote all of the major policy initiatives that are also a big part of his proposed spending plan...'

NJ Spotlight--Pre-K Murphy’s Way: Educators Sound off on Governor’s Spending Plan At conference to mark 20th anniversary of Abbott v. Burke, talk turns to governor’s education budget and pledge to extend preschool statewide in four years The date was mostly coincidental, but the scheduling of yesterday’s celebration of New Jersey’s famed court-ordered preschool couldn’t have been timelier. The daylong conference at ETS’s campus in Princeton was ostensibly to mark the 20th anniversary of the state Supreme Court’s Abbott v. Burke ruling in 1998, which brought high-standard preschool to the state’s neediest cities and towns...'

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: The First Murphy Budget — a Dicey Proposal A former budget director casts a skeptical eye on the governor’s proposed $37.4 billion budget, and finds much to be concerned about...'

Education Week--Student Walkout Taps Well of Anger, Mourning Over Gun Violence In the most dramatic display of civic activism by American students in recent memory, tens of thousands walked out of their high schools Wednesday and took part in somber, politically charged demonstrations marking the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 educators and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla...'

3-14-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Murphy’s Education Budget: Some Pledges Redeemed, Some Deferred Murphy’s call for a $283 million increase in aid to public schools — to more than $9.6 billion — is the biggest bump in almost a decade for public education next year was as stark a departure from the past eight years as any topic he touched on yesterday. There was no talk of school vouchers; charter schools got barely a mention; and there certainly were no examples of school overspending and waste. Murphy even extolled the virtues of labor unions...'

Star Ledger--N.J. kids are walking out of school Wednesday. Here's what you need to know Students across New Jersey will stop what they're doing and walk out of their classrooms on Wednesday morning to remember the 17 high schoolers and teachers who were killed last month when a gunman opened fire in a Florida school...'

Press of Atlantic City--New Jersey Dept. of Education moves to transition from PARCC Keeping true to Gov. Phil Murphy’s promise to move away from the current state standardized test, the New Jersey Department of Education last week released guidance on how it plans to replace PARCC. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers has been criticized by many educators and school districts since its implementation four years ago as overly burdensome. The test is required each year for students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. The scores are used to measure school performance...'

NY Times--National School Walkout: Florida Shooting Spurs Protests Today Thousands of students, emboldened by a growing protest movement over gun violence, will stand up in their classrooms on Wednesday and walk out of their schools in a nationwide demonstration, one month after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida. The 17-minute protests unfolding at hundreds of schools are intended to pressure Congress to approve gun control legislation after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and will come 10 days before major protests in Washington and elsewhere. Here’s what to know:..'

Education Week--Most Teachers Oppose Arming Educators and Fear a School Shooting, Says NEA Poll Nearly three-quarters of educators oppose President Donald Trump's push to arm school staff, and a clear majority also say working with armed school personnel would make them feel less safe, according to a poll of National Education Association members released Tuesday. In addition, 82 percent of respondents said they would not carry a gun to school even if they had received firearms training and were allowed to do so...'

3-13-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--The Big Things to Watch for in Murphy’s Inaugural Budget New Jersey gets its first look at how governor plans to translate campaign promises into policies and spending priorities, as he issues his first state budget today Gov. Phil Murphy is scheduled to present his first state budget this afternoon in a speech before a joint session of the Legislature in Trenton. Since being sworn in earlier this year, Murphy, a Democrat, has promised to take the state in a new direction after eight years under former Republican Gov. Chris Christie...'

NJ Spotlight--NJ Police Chiefs Oppose Legal Marijuana — No Good Test for It, Danger to Drivers Marijuana use by drivers a major cause for concern along with lack of easy, reliable test to measure impairment Law enforcement officials in New Jersey have announced their opposition to legalization of marijuana, saying there’s currently no way for them to accurately monitor or arrest those driving under the influence of the drug...'

Star Ledger--How to handle snow days? N.J. could learn a few lessons from other states A Roxbury school bus in the snow, Feb. 8, 2017 (Robert Sciarrino / NJ Advance Media for For public school students in New Jersey, there is no such thing as learning from home during a snowstorm. The state law requiring at least 180 days of in-class instruction per school year poses a thorny challenge when winter gets rough...'

Star Ledger--Murphy: I won't say 'hell no' to charter schools Gov. Phil Murphy's administration is about to scrutinize charter school law, but that doesn't mean he has it out for charter schools, he said Monday. "I have never been nor will I be 'hell no' on charters," Murphy said during an appearance on NJ 101.5. "I just don't like the way we've done it."...'

Star Ledger--Meet 8 N.J. teen activists leading the Parkland walkouts, trying to make change For students in New Jersey, watching the images of terrified high schoolers as gunman massacred 17 students and teachers at a Florida high school last month felt personal. Eighth-grader Jane Halpern, of Upper Saddle River, is a dancer like one of the 14-year-old victims. Zach Fessler, 17, said Parkland is a community just like his in Upper Saddle River. And Hannah White said one of victims looked just like one of her friends...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--So much security in Washington. Why not in schools?    Opinion
The horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas has sparked a national conversation about how to keep our kids and schools safe. The outpouring of grief and loss from Florida strikes deep into every American heart. I think of my four daughters, two of whom are teachers, and my eight grandchildren. I worry about their safety. No parent should fear for their child, and no child should be afraid to go to school...'

Education Week--This Week's Nationwide Student Walkout: 6 Things to Know On March 14, thousands of students across the country are expected to walk out of class or participate in events tied to what’s billed as ENOUGH: National School Walkout. The Women’s March Youth Empower, the organizer of the event, is asking students to stage the protest at 10 a.m. in each time zone—on the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 students and educators. Organizers are calling for students to stay out of class for 17 minutes—one minute for each person killed in the shooting...'

NBC News--White House promises federal aid to train armed teachers President Donald Trump took the first step toward arming America's teachers on Sunday night, promising Justice Department assistance to help fund firearms training for school personnel. The proposal, which the president announced last month after a former student killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was part of a series of school safety measures the White House released Sunday evening...'

Districts grappling with more weather-related cancellations than expected have scrapped spring break or extended the school year deep into June, wrecking havoc with planned vacations by students and staff...'

3-12-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJ Court Determines How Many Affordable-Housing Units Needed by 2025 Ruling sets statewide housing quota for new affordable units at close to 155,000, according to Mercer County Superior Court Assignment Judge Mary Jacobson A Superior Court judge's ruling on two Mercer County communities' affordable-housing obligations has finally answered the question of how many homes for low- and moderate-income residents New Jersey towns should provide for by 2025...'

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: Trenton's Circular Firing Squad Democratic leaders compete to harm New Jersey's tax competitiveness After years of championing New Jersey's generous corporate tax incentives for job creation and economic development, and just one week before Gov. Phil Murphy delivers a budget address that will undoubtedly include a new millionaires tax, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney has proposed a dramatic increase in New Jersey's corporate income tax to support increased education-related spending...'

Star Ledger--Is this the charter school 'time out' Murphy promised? New Jersey's new governor will consider changes to the state's charter school law, potentially slowing the expansion of controversial, yet in-demand schools championed by former Gov. Chris Christie. The state on Friday announced a "comprehensive review" of its charter school law, fulfilling one of Gov. Phil Murphy's campaign promises after an era of rapid school choice growth...'

Star Ledger--Teaching math and learning the sound of gunfire: America, 2018 Can you tell the difference between gunshots and fireworks? Do they sound far away, or are they close, such as just outside a closed door? And how quickly can you identify the shots fired? Would you know before the gun was in the same room as you?...'

The Record--Editorial: Don’t take long to plot future without PARCC tests The trap door under the state’s PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) exams is beginning to open. But there’s still a lot of work to do before the controversial tests drop into history. Mark this down as another instance of practical realities getting in the way of bold campaign declarations...'

Association Press (via Press of Atlantic City-- NJ Democrats wrangle over which taxes to hike as budget nears TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy might have been expected to get his first budget through with few if any hurdles when he introduces it next week, but that’s not exactly how things are shaping up. Murphy, a Democrat, will deliver his budget address Tuesday to the Democrat-led Legislature, giving a glimpse of how he plans to achieve his campaign promises: funding pensions, education and other priorities such as free community college...'

CBS News--Betsy DeVos on guns, school choice and why people don't like her The secretary of education has been one of the most criticized members of President Trump's Cabinet, but DeVos says she's "more misunderstood than anything" Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is a devout Christian grandmother from Michigan -- who has spent most of her life trying to improve the quality of education for poor kids. So how in the world did she become one of the most hated members of the Trump Cabinet?...'

2-9-18 Education in the News
The Record—Op-Ed--It's time for our generation to carve out its legacy Looking back on early February, everyone seemed to have an extra spring in their step, a little Olympic magic in their eyes. The Winter Games were going on in Pyeongchang. My classmates recounted their favorite events in the hallways, comparing notes on Shaun White, Mirai Nagasu’s historic triple axel, and “Nathan Quad’s” shortcomings and achievements. February had more in store than Double McTwists and triple axels, though. Five days after the Opening Ceremony, as the Acabellas and Maroon Men wrapped up their annual Valentine's Day Singing Gram tradition at Ridgewood High, and NBC began airing luge online, a message appeared at 2:56 PM on Twitter: “Avoid the area of Stoneman Douglas HS. #BSO is currently working a developing incident regarding a report of active shooter.”...'

Philadelphia Inquirer-- School threats in Philly region on the rise since Florida massacre Threats made to school districts throughout the region are increasing at an alarming pace — a disturbing trend with a complex foundation that includes copycat crimes, more reporting, and the delicate task of dealing with immature students who simply make bad decisions...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--AP Analysis: NRA gave $7.3 million to hundreds of schools The National Rifle Association has given more than $7 million in grants to hundreds of U.S. schools in recent years, according to an Associated Press analysis, but few have shown any indication that they'll follow the lead of businesses that are cutting ties with the group following last month's massacre at a Florida high school. Florida's Broward County school district is believed to be the first to stop accepting NRA money after a gunman killed 17 people at one of its schools Feb. 14. The teen charged in the shooting had been on a school rifle team that received NRA funding...'

Education Week--In Florida, Bullied Students Will Get Vouchers to Attend Private School Florida is poised to become the first state to offer private-school vouchers specifically to students who are bullied or physically attacked in their public schools. The Florida legislature passed a sprawling education bill this week that, among several other unrelated provisions, creates a new scholarship program for students who suffer from harassment or violence to attend private schools—paid for with tax credits—and further boosts the state’s already expansive private-school choice offerings...'

It’s not just happening here. Across the nation, school districts and law enforcement officials are responding to more threats that have teachers, students, and parents on edge...'

3-8-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Fear and Learning in America Children need to feel emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically safe in order to realize their full potential A high school student once told me that he needed his school to be safe enough for him to tell his teachers that he could not read. That's the kind of safe that is far beyond what security guards, metal detectors, and gun-packing teachers could ever provide and nobody is talking about that. The mind makes no distinction between real and imagined fear...'

Trenton Times--Don't punish students who take part in gun-control protests    Editorial
Spurred on by their grief at losing friends, classmates and teachers at the hands of a young man with an AR-15, students from Parkland, Fla., have stirred up enough support to convince major companies to reconsider the way they do business. Think Avis, Budget, Hertz, United Airlines, Dicks Sporting Goods, among others. Now these eloquent youngsters have galvanized their peers nationwide to plan peaceful protests and walkouts this month and next, throwing the grown-ups in the room - teachers and administrators - into a tizzy...'

The Atlantic-- The Ripple Effect of the West Virginia Teachers' Victory The success of the statewide strike has intensified education unrest nationally—and could have lasting implications for the country’s schools. West Virginia lawmakers at last reached a deal on Tuesday to raise teachers’ salaries by 5 percent. The agreement—along with the prospect of policy solutions to the educators’ other demands—brought to a close a teachers’ strike that had kept K–12 classrooms across all the state’s 55 counties closed for nine school days. Even though the West Virginia walkout is over, however, observers suspect that it has jump-started a national movement that could have lasting implications for country’s schools...'

Education Week--Thwarted School Shooting Plans Don't Get Much Attention. Here's How That Affects School Safety Debates. Schools, parents, and law enforcement agencies regularly intervene before would-be shooters attack schools, but those thwarted plans understandably don't get the same level of coverage as mass shootings. And the resulting imbalance in discussions can affect the debate over how to keep schools safe, school safety experts say...'

3-7-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Sweeney Wants to Find Funds for Education by Bumping up Corporate Tax Rate Senate president proposes raising CBT on companies that earn more than $1M to 12 percent, up from 9 percent. Governor wants to see more details before commenting Senate President Steve Sweeney has yet to share Gov. Phil Murphy’s enthusiasm this year for increasing taxes on New Jersey’s millionaires, but yesterday he put forward a proposal that would have the state’s highest-earning corporations staring at a tax hike...'

NJ Spotlight--Murphy Administration Makes First Move to Part Ways with PARCC Education commissioner issues state of PARCC memo, announces advisory group and listening tour Gov. Phil Murphy’s new education commissioner yesterday put out the first official word on what’s next with student testing in New Jersey: an advisory group and a listening tour...'

Star Ledger--Top Democrat reveals how he'd spend money from his plan to raise business tax A week before Gov. Phil Murphy introduces his first state budget, the state's top lawmaker on Tuesday grabbed attention by offering up his own proposal to hike corporate taxes and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into New Jersey public schools. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney called for a one-third increase in New Jersey's corporate tax rate -- from 9 percent to a nation-high 12 percent -- on businesses with more than $1 million in net income to bring another $657 million in revenue to cash-strapped state coffers...'

Star Ledger--See how every N.J. public high school scored on the SATs Even if your high school didn't make the list of N.J.'s 50 best SAT scores, there's a chance its results were still pretty good. The state's Class of 2107 posted an impressive average score of 1,103 out of 1,600. That's with an average score of 551 in reading and writing and a 552 in math...'

Education Week— 2018 Leaders To Learn From: Joseph Meloche Recognized for Leadership in Elevating Student Voice Superintendent Turns to Students for Advice • Expertise: Elevating Student Voice • Position: Superintendent • District: Cherry Hill Public Schools, Cherry Hill, N.J...'

Education Week--Can the Parkland Survivors Inspire a New Focus on Civics Education? Powerful examples are being set by shooting survivors The Marjory Stoneman Douglas students-turned-activists are fast becoming a powerful model of civic engagement for educators across the country...'

3-6-18 Educaiton in the News
Philadelphia Inquirer--For Gov. Murphy to achieve racial justice, Trenton must make school integration top priority    Opinion
Achieving beloved community and a just society starts with how we raise our children. Exposure to diverse perspectives and different backgrounds strengthens students academically, socially, and individually. These experiences also help prepare children for adulthood as they develop skills that aren’t learned through reading a book or writing a paper. But far too many New Jersey students are being robbed of a quality education that reflects the cultural diversity of our state...'

NY Times--Fighting Poverty, Drugs and Even Violence, All on a Teacher’s Salary They were asked to preside over classrooms of up to 60 children, many of whom could not speak English, in a city surging with immigrants and struggling to control rampant child labor and typhoid in the water. All for the equivalent of $13,000 a year in today’s dollars. Thus, in 1897, the Chicago Teachers Federation, and the modern teachers union movement, was born...'

Education Week--Even Teachers Who Have Firearms Training Are Wary of Trump's Proposal In response to the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month, President Donald Trump has suggested arming a fifth of the nation's teachers, including those who are military veterans or otherwise trained with firearms, as well as giving bonuses to educators who agree to carry...'

3-5-18 Education in the News
The Record--Do safe schools need armed guards or armed teachers? of having armed guards — whether that means a borrowed patrol officer or a retired cop with a license to carry around kids — has become more appealing to stressed officials and jittery parents...'

NY Times--School Officer: A Job With Many Roles and One Big Responsibility Maple syrup gumming up the gun belt isn’t normally a hazard of police work. But it is a common problem for Cpl. Pamela Revels when students have been eating pancakes at the school breakfast. “Kids like to come up and give you a little bit of a hug,” Corporal Revels said. “They don’t wipe their hands that well.” Ms. Revels freely dispenses hugs and smiles at the schools where she works around Auburn, Ala. But she is also a sheriff’s deputy who wears a sidearm and a bulletproof vest, drives an official S.U.V. and has an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle stored nearby...'

Washington Post--Teachers of the Year urge educators to do the uncomfortable: Advocate for safe schools Most teachers have long been loathe to speak out on controversial topics. Some do not want to but others who do are afraid of antagonizing students, parents and administrators and literally, putting their jobs on the line. In recent years, we have seen more speak out, first over the effect that over-testing was having on students as well as the teaching profession, and now, about safe schools...'

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: NJ's High School Diplomas - Worth the Paper They're Printed On? As state high-school graduation rates continue to climb, we need to assess if we're doing our grads a grave disservice Last month, New Jersey's new acting Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet described the state's sixth year in a row of increased high school graduation rates - now 90.5 percent - as "exciting," because it "demonstrates we are on a path toward closing our achievement gaps and achieving excellent and equitable educational opportunities for our children." Mr. Repollet is both right and wrong...'

NJ Spotlight--State to Reconsider Marijuana Classification as Dangerous Drug Reclassification will not ensure legalization or decriminalization New Jersey officials plan to reconsider the potential dangers and possible benefits of marijuana use, a process that is separate from legalizing or decriminalizing the substance, but could impact its use in medical research or how it is regulated...'

Star Ledger--70 N.J. independent school leaders just demanded gun action A state organization of schools is calling on lawmakers to create legislation banning certain weapons in the wake of the Parkland High School shootings in February. The leaders of the 86-member New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) released an open letter Friday supporting Parkland students' efforts to ban military-grade guns and high capacity ammunition...'

Star Ledger--Do schools have to discipline students who join gun-control protests? Students across the county say they're determined to make a statement March 14 by walking out of their schools in a show of support for stricter gun laws — but how should schools react? As districts contemplate how to handle the planned 17-minute demonstration — one minute for each person killed last month in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida — agencies are weighing in on how schools should protect both students' safety and their right to political action...'

3-2-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Profiling Local Property Taxes and Property-Tax Relief Across Garden State Increased transparency at the Department of Community Affairs makes it possible to track property taxes for New Jersey municipalities - and see where and by how much the state tried to offset them...'

Star Ledger--N.J. schools are putting kids through scary shooter drills -- and parents have no idea Every month in Jessica DeLuca's first-grade classroom at Paul Robeson Community School in New Brunswick, the 6- and 7-year-old students huddle in the corner with the lights out, unsure if there's actually a shooter in the hallway, she said...'

Star Ledger--What students planning school protests, walkouts need to know about their rights Students across the nation are planning to walk out of their schools on March 14 at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes -- 60 seconds apiece to honor each of the victims of the February mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida. Districts in New Jersey have had varying responses to the idea of the walkout, with some facilitating student action, and others raising concerns over school safety...'

Star Ledger--5 ways Trump's immigration crackdown could be affecting your kid's classroom The Trump administration's efforts to arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants is causing behavior issues, increased absenteeism and other problems in the nation's schools, according to a first-of-its-kind study released Wednesday. Researchers with UCLA's Civil Rights Project surveyed educators in 730 schools in 12 states -- including New Jersey -- on how increased immigration enforcement has impacted teaching and learning in the nation's classrooms...'

Gannett News Service (viaThe Record)--Opinion: On the First Amendment and school “walkouts” The national walkouts that students are currently organizing to call for new gun control legislation are commendable examples of “Generation Z” exercising its First Amendment freedoms. Unfortunately, students, teachers and other staff are likely to run up against legal limits around free speech and protest on school grounds...'

Press of Atlantic City--Our view: Gov. Murphy gets first urgent lesson in school of political reality The Murphy administration made a serious misstep recently, hastily tossing an accomplished black woman out of the education position it had named her to. Gov. Phil Murphy’s action and his response to the fallout from it raise significant worries about how he sees himself and his mission...'

NY Times--Trump Wants to Arm Teachers. These Schools Already Do. SIDNEY, Ohio — The 8-by-11-inch box sits atop a bookshelf in the district headquarters, as much a part of the office furniture as the manila folders, yearbooks and Webster’s dictionaries. Inside is a semiautomatic Glock handgun with extra magazines, equipment that education leaders here say will prevent this district from suffering the next schoolhouse tragedy...'

3-1-18 Education in the News
Philadelphia Inquirer--More New Jersey students taking and passing AP exams TRENTION — More New Jersey students are passing Advanced Placement exams than the national average, according to new data. Twenty-eight percent of New Jersey’s students in 2017 successfully passed an Advanced Placement exam, moving the state from ninth to seventh in the nation, College Board data shows. The national average is 22.8 percent...'

Washington Post--DeVos moves to delay Obama-era rule on minority special-education students Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is seeking public comment on a plan to delay the implementation of an Obama-era rule that is intended to prevent schools from unnecessarily pushing minority students into special education. The Education Department published a note in the Federal Register on Tuesday that says it wants to delay for two years the rule that was intended to be implemented starting in the 2018-2019 school year...'

Education Week--States Confront New Mandate on School-Spending Transparency A tricky financial-transparency requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act has cranked up tensions among state politicians, school district administrators, and civil rights activists over public understanding of how districts divvy up their money among schools. ESSA requires districts to break out school-level spending by December 2019—a first-time federal requirement. It's a level of detail unknown even to most district superintendents...'

2-28-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJ Teens Protest Gun Violence: Teachable Moment or Disciplinary Problem? New Jersey high school students plan to show solidarity with national ‘March for Our Lives,” leaving parents and educators uncertain about best response Teenagers across the country are organizing student protests to express their fear and anger about school security and national gun laws, while New Jersey’s parents, teachers and school administrators are unsure how best to respond...'

NJ Spotlight--The List: Top 10 School Districts Where English Is Not the Primary Language Nearly a quarter of New Jersey’s public school students live in homes where the main language used is not English. Here are the top 10 districts That New Jersey is among the most diverse states in the nation is a given, but anyone who has doubts can just look at the most recent District Performance Reports issued by the state Department of Education...'

NJ Spotlight--In Wake of Parkland Tragedy, Listen to What Our Students Are Telling Us It has been both moving and troubling to see high school students, now survivors of another horrific school shooting, plead with their elected officials for relief Once again, American students, teachers, and families have to learn about, process, and absorb yet again another attack on an American school. The consensus is unequivocal...'

Star Ledger--These 25 schools rank surprisingly low in N.J.'s new ratings If you live in a town like Livingston, Ridgewood or Chatham, you might think your local high school is among the state's best. New Jersey's new school rating system doesn't agree. Last month, the state for the first time published a rating of every public high school on a scale of 0-100. The ratings are designed to uncover statistics that often get masked by the overall performance of a school. And there were numerous surprises, especially among high schools often considered elite...'

Star Ledger--Murphy says teachers union did not ask him to fire top education official Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday rejected the notion that New Jersey's largest teachers union was responsible for his decision to fire an assistant state education commissioner just hours after she was confirmed for the job. "Ridiculous," Murphy said when asked about whether the New Jersey Education Association asked him to dismiss Paula White -- a move that came to light in a column written by Star-Ledger editorial page editor Tom Moran and published on last week...'

Star Ledger--N.J. to get tougher on teacher hires, unless Murphy vetoes bill A proposed law to prevent teachers suspected of sexual misconduct from easily moving to new schools has the blessing of New Jersey lawmakers and is going to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk...'

Hudson County View--Union City BOE receives more state funding than all of Sussex County, is it fair? The Union City Board of Education receives more funding from the state than all of Sussex County, highlighting the feast or famine nature of school funding in New Jersey. Is it fair?...'

Education Week--Students Are Walking Out to Protest Gun Violence. What Should School Administrators Do? In the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead, students are planning mass walkouts to protest gun violence and call for more gun-safety measures. But across the country, the responses from school and district administrators have varied...'

2-27-18 Education in the News
The Record--Educators demand action to keep schools safe, support students' efforts to spark change As a generation of young people rises up and calls for action from the country’s leaders after yet another deadly school shooting in the United States, Bergen County school administrators want students to know: They hear them and support their efforts...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)-- Q&A: West Virginia sees rare statewide teacher walkout West Virginia's teachers are refusing to go to school for a fourth day Tuesday in protest of pay that is among the lowest in the nation. Such statewide strikes are unusual but not unprecedented - West Virginia teachers last walked out in 1990. Most teacher labor disputes start and end at the district level, where teacher salaries are more typically set. The strike in West Virginia has closed schools in all 55 counties...'

Education Week--Justice Gorsuch Silent as Supreme Court Weighs Public-Employee Union Fees The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a major case about public-employee unions, with four justices appearing to support upholding agency fees for nonunion members and four other justices giving every indication that they are inclined to overrule a 40-year-old precedent that authorized such fees. That leaves the tie-breaking vote in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 (Case No. 16-1466) to the court's newest member, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who listened intently during the 60-minute argument but did not ask any questions and thus did not tip his hand...'

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,  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