Annual Meeting

Garden State Coalition of Schools 27th Annual Meeting at Forsgate Country Club, Jamesburg New Jersey on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Click here for Registration Form (pdf)

The Buzz

5-21-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Opinion: New Jersey’s Tangled History of Debt and How It Got that Way Part two of an examination of capital planning and budgeting in the Garden State, the long and the short of it In a previous article I suggested New Jersey does poor planning and budgeting for its capital investments...'

Star Ledger--These 25 school districts have the fewest white students -- a lawsuit says that's illegal A lawsuit filed last week calls for the desegregation of New Jersey schools, a potentially game-changing legal challenge for minority students across the state. But how segregated are the state's schools?...'

Star Ledger--Jersey's segregated schools and America's racist past    Moran
Charity Haygood is a respected educator who has taught in Newark for 20 years, in three different schools, and has never had a single white student...'

Education Week--AnotherAmerican School Is Devastated by Gun Violence Another American school has been devastated by gun violence—this time in southeastern Texas—after a 17-year-old male student opened fire inside Santa Fe High School on Friday morning, killing 10, most of them students and at least one teacher. Ten others were injured...'

Education Week--Parkland Survivors and Other Youth Activists: 'You're Going to Listen to Us' on Gun Violence In an emotionally charged session at the Education Writers Association's national seminar, student activists from Parkland, Fla.; Newtown, Conn.; and Chicago urged the media to keep the national spotlight on gun violence and not let their tragedies fade away...'

Press of Atlantic City--Does New Jersey's anti-bullying law address racism in schools? A Camden County lacrosse team’s season was canceled this month after students from Haddonfield uttered a racial slur at a member of the Sterling High School track team in Somerdale...'

New York Times--Things Have Changed Since Sandy Hook Santa Fe, Tex. — The makeshift memorials were growing larger by the hour outside Santa Fe High School on Saturday, the balloons holding up valiantly while the floral bouquets were already beginning to wilt in the early summer heat...'

5-18-18 Education in the News
New Jersey Spotlight--New Jersey Hit with Major Lawsuit Arguing It Must End School Segregation Legal action — led by former justice of state Supreme Court — looks to strike down law requiring students attend schools in their own communities...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: An Open Letter to State Senate President Steve Sweeney I'm not begging you for more money for Jersey City schools; I'm begging you for better policy...'

The Record--Segregated schools? Group challenges where NJ kids go to school, arguing system is biased In a lawsuit that seeks to end what activists say is de facto segregation in New Jersey’s public and charter schools, a coalition of civil rights and other groups has sued the state to alter the long-standing practice of sending students almost exclusively to districts where they live...'

New York Times--Why the Teacher Walkout Movement Won’t Reach Every State DURHAM, N.C. — The nationwide teacher protest movement spread to a sixth state on Wednesday as thousands in North Carolina rallied at the Capitol for higher pay and more money for schools. It was the first mass walkout for teachers in the state...'

Education Week--Schools See Steep Drop in Librarians, New Analysis Finds American schools—particularly those serving black and Latino students—have seen a precipitous drop in their school librarians since the Great Recession...'

5-16-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Murphy's School-Aid Increases Will Not Help Property Taxes Regular audits of education are needed, rather than propping up lopsided education aid and encouraging waste...'

NJ Spotlight--Leading Democrat Adamant There’s Going to Be No Government Shutdown ‘As much as people would love to see’ governor and Democrats in Legislature fail to agree a budget, Sen. Sarlo says it’s not going to happen...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--Bill Gates gives $44M to influence state education reform SEATTLE (AP) - Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates saw an opportunity with a new federal education law that has widespread repercussions for American classrooms...'

Education Week--'Continuous Improvement' Model Woven Into State ESSA Plans States seek systemic route to steady gains "Continuous improvement" has quickly become a buzzword in K-12 policy and practice, as states, districts, and schools strive for systemic, long-term gains in student achievement, instead of looking for the next, shiniest silver bullet...'

5-15-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Opinion: Not Too Soon to Call the Murphy Agenda a Failure A new budget must be ratified in six weeks, and there’s already talk of government shutdown — with the governor’s own party controlling the Legislature...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)-- Study: Nearly all teachers spend own money on school needs WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly all public school teachers report digging into their pockets to pay for school supplies, spending nearly $480 a year, far more than the federal $250 tax deduction available to teachers...'

Education Week--Decades After Brown v. Board, Unequal Class Offerings Remain a Problem Statistically speaking, it's no secret that students of color often have less access to high-level academic courses than do their peers in majority-white schools. But the full extent of some of those disparities is vividly sketched out in a new report by the Journey for Justice Alliance...'

5-14-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJ and Legalized Marijuana: National Model or Petri Dish? At NJ Spotlight roundtable on marijuana reform, participants say get ready for discussions to break out into the open — and look for legalization sooner rather than later...'

Star Ledger--New effort launched to spot early warning signs that your child may be thinking about suicide These weren't "weird" kids. They had friends, played sports and seemed fine. Until they killed themselves...'

Star Ledger--The average teacher pay in all 50 states, ranked For teacher appreciation week, let's appreciate how much — or how little — secondary school teachers are paid...'

Education Week-- Who Is Taking Care of Teachers? The emotional drain of teaching too often goes unacknowledged...'

5-11-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Putting Acting Commissioner Repollet’s Staff Picks in Perspective As he names assistant commissioners, Repollet draws both on newcomers and on department veterans...'

Education Week--The Teachers Are Winning. What Does It Mean for the Profession? The extraordinary wave of teacher strikes highlights these crucial but often forgotten facts: In number, teachers are the largest profession in the United States. And collectively, they have the power to demand and win changes to funding and salaries. It's a stark reminder in an era characterized by diminishing labor influence. And yet political scientists, researchers, and labor-watchers say it's tough to predict how teachers' reawakened activism will continue to evolve...'

5-10-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Rough Ride for Education Official as She Pitches Community College Aid Plan Members of Gov. Phil Murphy’s own party raise tough questions about his proposal for tuition-free community college in New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s call for tuition-free community college in New Jersey appears to be in some trouble among lawmakers, including from his own party...'

Star Ledger--These are N.J.'s top 23 high schools, as rated by U.S. News Twenty three of America's top 500 public high schools are in New Jersey, including five that rank among the top 100, according to a new ranking...'

Press of Atlantic City: Op-Ed--Our view: Safeguards, awareness continue NJ progress on youth concussions With the sound of hockey pucks thudding off the plexiglass surrounding the rink, the group of physical therapists and experts taught parents the warning signs of a brain injury and demonstrated what to look for — dizziness, headache, vision problems, unconsciousness, fatigue, poor balance, light sensitivity, disorientation and nausea. They also demonstrated the benefits of pre-injury “baseline” tests for athletes as a way to track their recovery better, so that injured athletes don’t return too quickly to the ice or field...'

Education Week--Too Much Help From Mom Might Backfire, Study Suggests Parent support can help keep students on track academically, but a new international study suggests a light touch can be more helpful for students in the long run...'

5-9-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Bond Act for Career and Technical Education Will Secure the Future Funding for more career and technical education will be a game-changer for workforce development in New Jersey There is one thing that New Jersey’s public policy leaders all agree on: If our state expects to prosper in the global economy, we need to increase our efforts to create a highly skilled 21st century workforce...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--Gates, Zuckerberg team up on new education initiative SEATTLE (AP) - Tech moguls Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday they will team up to help develop new methods for kids with trouble learning - an effort that will include dabbling into child brain science...'

Washington Post—Op-Ed: What ails education? ‘An absence of vision, a failure of will and politics’ We have long benefited from a broad coalition that has advanced bold action to improve America’s education system. That coalition has waned. It’s time to rebuild it...'

5-8-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Growing Focus on Suicide Prevention, Especially Among Teens Lawmakers, parents, advocates, educators, and mental health professionals are working on numerous fronts across the state to save lives New Jersey has beefed up efforts to prevent suicide in schools and on college campuses in recent years, and the rate of these tragic deaths remains well below the national norm. But several state lawmakers, including Sen. Richard Codey — the former governor and longtime mental health advocate — believe more must be done to reduce suicide in the Garden State, especially among teens, a group that is particularly at risk, experts agree. Data shows as many as one in 10 high school students here have tried to kill themselves...'

Star Ledger--N.J. Senate to hold hearings on 'offensive' NJEA videos The state Senate announced Monday it will hold hearings to investigate hidden-camera videos that appear to show local leaders of New Jersey's top teachers union talking about protecting teachers accused of abusing students...'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed: O'Keefe may be a fifth-rate attack schnauzer, but his NJEA footage demands scrutiny Typically, it's pointless to call attention to anything James O'Keefe manufactures with his hidden camera unless he films his pet viper doing something whimsical, because he tends to use deceit, amateurishly selective editing, and general wing-nuttery to launch himself into mainstream discourse. But the footage his Project Veritas spies collected in their visits with NJEA local leaders in Hamilton and Union City deserves further scrutiny, and both districts need to examine whether any student faced any form of abuse from a teacher...'

Education Week--'Juuling' Craze: Schools Scramble to Deal With Student Vaping Use of Juul device makes vaping hard to detect After years of aggressive anti-tobacco campaigns aimed at teenagers, students have largely rejected smoking, but many have tried vaping, sending school leaders scrambling to revise discipline policies and drug prevention classes to confront the new trend of inhaling flavor-infused nicotine vapor...'

5-7-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--What Do High Scores on NAEP Mean for Murphy’s PARCC Plans? With NJ ranked at or near top on the Nation’s Report Card, some members of state board aren’t so sure PARCC needs to be scrapped When New Jersey’s latest scores on the national NAEP tests came out in April, they were reason for celebration among education leaders who touted how the state does as well or better than any other in the country...'

NJ Spotlight--Law Lets Local Governments Treat Property Taxes as Charitable Contributions Mayors are happy with new workaround, and state’s congressional delegation says it’s willing to fight for it, but nonprofits think it could kill charitable giving they depend on New Jersey has a new law to help residents go on the offense against President Donald Trump’s decision to cap a longstanding write-off for local property taxes...'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed: Concussion expert: Should we ban tackle football before the age of 12? I am a longstanding ice hockey and off-road cycling mom. My son has advanced to auto racing. I am a neuropsychologist who began researching youth concussion in the 1990s before it was a hot topic of pro-sports and Hollywood producers...'

Jersey Journal--Education groups want hearings after undercover videos of teachers union chiefs Two education advocacy groups are calling for an investigation by state lawmakers following the release this week of two videos that appear to show New Jersey teachers unions presidents...'

5-4-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Interactive Map: Diversity Remains Elusive for NJ Schools and Districts Despite efforts to encourage integration, state’s public school system continues to be among the most segregated in the nation...'

Star Ledger--The governor promised to get rid of PARCC. So why isn't it going away? Almost a year before he was elected governor, Phil Murphy sat before an audience full of teachers and made a promise: He would "scrap PARCC Day 1."...'

The Record--State lawmakers question Denville leaders on school security DENVILLE — State lawmakers have noticed steps taken by the Denville police and the Denville School District to address school security...'

Princeton Packet--Survey of students at four high school finds almost 21 percent report vaping A survey of high school students in Princeton found that nearly 21 percent of them said they vape and that most do so with nicotine, a substitute for regular smoking that one expert said on April 30 is a “gateway” to using tobacco products...'

Education Week--Educators Battle Fortnite for Students' Attention When kids open the wildly popular video game Fortnite, they might see a message that says “Mr. Hillman says stop playing in class.”...'

5-3-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Paterson Starts on Long Road Back to Local Control More than two decades after the takeover, state starts to review how it makes these critical decisions Starting in the late 1980s, New Jersey’s takeovers of its most troubled school districts made it a national pioneer in state intervention in local public education...'

NJ Spotlight--How One University Is Luring Top Honors Students with Social Justice To revitalize its home city, Rutgers University-Newark has started an honors program that looks beyond test scores to students’ commitment to equality and social change...'

NY Times--Teacher Pay Is So Low in Some U.S. School Districts That They’re Recruiting Overseas...'

Education Week--Where School Employees Can't Afford Housing, Some Districts Try to Help In some of the nation's hottest real estate markets, school districts are trying new tactics to help employees cover the spiraling costs of renting or buying a home...'

Education Week--Is Curiosity as Good at Predicting Children's Reading, Math Success as Self-Control? Study Says Yes Ever since the landmark "marshmallow test" highlighted the importance of early self-control in later achievement, educators have worked to find ways to build self-regulation among young children. But a new study in the journal Pediatric Research suggests boosting children's natural curiosity may be equally crucial to their long-term learning...'

5-2-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJ High School Students Focus Energy, Efforts on Registering to Vote Gun-control protests have taught students they have a voice that will be heeded. Now they are funneling their drive into civic engagement New Jersey high school students are working to add their names to the voter rolls this week in a mass effort to increase civic engagement among young people, following their demonstrations in favor of gun control...'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed: #MeToo movement has shown us sexual violence is not a 'women's' issue The #MeToo movement came as a shock to many. Unfortunately, as the silent keeper of "me toos" for 13 years, the surprise for me was not in the number of people affected by sexual violence but rather the number of people ready to talk about it openly...'

Where are your tax dollars going? What's in store for New Jersey schools? Crowded classrooms. Unfilled staff positions. Layoffs. Another year where overdue building repairs are put off once again. This is Brick Township Public Schools, considered by the Department of Education to be wealthy and "overfunded" in terms of state aid. School officials paint a far different picture...'

Education Week--On Social Media, Principals Fight Losing Battle to Keep Up With Students Students' online behavior outside of school is a big worry, survey shows. But most principals don't feel prepared to tackle the challenge. More than half of U.S. school principals say they're extremely concerned about children's use of social media outside of school, but just 14 percent describe themselves as "very prepared" to help students use social media responsibly...'

5-1-18 Education in the News
The Record--New Jersey schools stuck in limbo: Districts unsure whether they'll gain or lose funding For the second year in a row, competing visions over how to fund public education has left New Jersey’s roughly 600 school districts in limbo as they face crucial May deadlines to finalize their budgets, set tax bills and make hiring decisions for the coming school year...'

Education Week--A Year Ago the Supreme Court Raised the Bar for Special Ed. What's Happened Since? A year out, Endrew F. ruling leaves imprint A year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schools must offer students with disabilities an education reasonably calculated to enable them to "make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances," what has changed?...'

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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