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Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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The Buzz

1-17-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Murphy Echoes Kennedy, Jabs Trump in Optimistic Inaugural Address New governor wants immediate action on some of his promises amid Republican grumbles that he’s ‘still posturing, still campaigning’ Sworn into office with the same Bible that President John F. Kennedy used for his inauguration nearly 60 years ago, Gov. Phil Murphy repeatedly struck tones of service and inclusion during his inaugural address in Trenton yesterday. He also urged fellow Democrats to get to work right away on measures that would follow through on major campaign promises, including increasing the minimum wage and boosting funding for women’s healthcare...'

Education Week--Nation's Schools Stuck in 'Average' Range on Annual Report Card Analysis flags state disparities As a new presidential administration nears the close of its first year in office and educators across the country grapple with the challenges and opportunities in implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, the nation's educational performance earns a grade of C from Quality Counts 2018, the 22nd annual report card issued by the Education Week Research Center...'

1-16-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--New Education Boss Would Take Seat in Trying Time for State’s Schools Murphy names Asbury Park’s Lamont Repollet as commissioner of education When Gov. Chris Christie last year called out Asbury Park schools as the poster child of ineffectiveness and waste, district superintendent Lamont Repollet didn’t bite...'

Star Ledger--Murphy says N.J. will 'soon' end PARCC testing As Phil Murphy succeeds Chris Christie as New Jersey's governor Tuesday, there's at least one thing students and teachers in the state's public schools can expect: an end to controversial PARCC testing...'

Star Ledger--Murphy must address growing segregation in schools    Opinion
New Jersey has some of the best public schools in the country. But our current system is not operating on a level playing field. While wealthy suburban schools continue to provide rich educational experiences for their mostly white student population, too many Latino and African American students attend segregated schools hampered by intense poverty...'

Education Week--Supreme Court to Weigh Internet Sales Tax Issue of Interest to Schools, States The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a major case about sales taxes on Internet purchases, one that will have enormous consequences for the states and for school districts and other local governments...'

1-15-18 Education in the News
Star Ledger--These 10 N.J. districts will battle the state on school funding Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has promised to fully fund public schools, but a group of New Jersey school districts won't wait to find out if he sticks to his word. Declaring themselves overtaxed and underfunded, 10 districts announced legal action Friday, saying they will petition the state education commissioner to fix inequalities in state school aid in a potential precursor to a lawsuit against the state...'

Star Ledger--Murphy turns to Asbury Park for N.J.'s next education commissioner Gov.-elect Phil Murphy announced Friday he's nominating the superintendent of Asbury Park schools to be New Jersey's next education commissioner -- and tasked him with helping "revolutionize learning" in the state. Murphy said Lamont Repollet -- who has run the Monmouth County city's school system since 2014 -- will help him with some of his biggest goals for education: eliminating controversial PARCC testing and improving the state's relationship with teachers after eight years of Republican Gov. Chris Christie...'

The Atlantic--Is School-Discipline Reform Moving Too Fast? In some districts, efforts to curb suspensions result in rushed solutions and even a loss of teachers. One of the more radical transformations in public education today begins with a simple greeting each morning among second-graders...'

1-12-18 Education in the News
Star Ledger--Sweeney supports schools' planned lawsuit for more funding A South Jersey school district is among several other public schools that plan to sue the state over education funding that they said is inadequate relative to the size of their schools. And Senate President Steve Sweeney, who fought for growing school districts to get fair funding, thinks the legal action is a good idea...'

The Record--First time in 46 years, a NJ teacher has a chance at national title NEW JERSEY — For the first time in 46 years, a state teacher has a chance at the National Teacher of the Year title. Amy Andersen, an American Sign Language (ASL) teacher at Ocean City High School in Cape May County, is up against three finalists from Ohio, Washington and the Department of Defense for the coveted award from the Council of Chief State School Officers established in 1952...'

Asbury Park Press--Addiction recovery: Teens find fresh start in new high school program at Brookdale The K.E.Y.S. Academy brings new hope to students recovering from addiction. Amanda Oglesby MIDDLETOWN - Seventeen-year-old Jesse Musco has been through in-patient treatment twice to fight addiction, so returning to high school worried her. "I didn't know if I was going to get caught up with the same people," said Jesse, a junior from the Morganville section of Marlboro. "If you're under treatment and you just go back to the same place, the same people, the same things, you're at a higher risk for relapsing," said Matawan-Aberdeen Regional Assistant Superintendent Nelyda Perez...'

Education Week--Training Young People for Middle-Skill Jobs: New Guidelines Proposed Programs to train young people for middle-skill jobs must avoid tracking, and should carefully balance industry-specific preparation with more generalizable skills to equip students for a changing workplace, according to a report issued this week. The study, issued by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, explores a part of the jobs-and-education landscape that's risen sharply on the public's radar in the last few years: the vast array of jobs that require more than a high school diploma and less than a bachelor's degree. Those "middle-skill" jobs account for 48 percent of U.S. employment, according to researchers...'

1-11-18 Education in the News
Education Week-- The Secret to Student Engagement What schools can do help students engage more in learning What makes certain brief experiences in our lives so memorable and meaningful? Let's call them "peak moments": A wedding day. A successful public presentation. An award received for work well done. We spent several years studying peak moments, and in our book The Power of Moments, we reveal what we learned: Peak moments share similar elements—such as elevation and connection—and armed with this knowledge, all of us can create richer experiences for the people we care about...'

The Atlantic-- Is the ‘War on Teachers’ as Dire as It’s Made Out to Be? A decline in job protections isn’t pushing teachers out of all schools, a study suggests—just those schools that are already struggling. Is a “war on teachers” driving them out of the classroom? In many states, teachers and their unions have made that case, noting that it’s become tougher to earn tenure, bargaining rights have been diminished, and more of their evaluations are based on test scores. A new study tries to find out whether the two—recent policy changes and teacher turnover—are really linked. Its findings make it the latest in a handful of recent studies to suggest that the weakening of teachers unions and job protections hits already-struggling schools the hardest...'

1-10-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Keeping Tabs on the New Democratic Committee Chairs Who earned a seat, who’s moving on — or up — and what does it portend for the coming legislative session? It was an almost-routine announcement in a day of big speeches yesterday, but the Democratic legislative leadership’s picks of committee chairs could portend some significant changes in how it will do business this coming year. The lengthy list released by each chamber’s Democratic leadership was full of changes on virtually every committee, as would be expected in the change of legislative sessions...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Property Taxes Can’t Be Reduced, So Stop Making Promises, Unless … Promises aren’t going to bring property taxes down; implementing one or more admittedly difficult reforms might do the trick, however Overview Every governor and Legislature maintains that property taxes are too high and has a plan for reduction. But in my judgement, such promises are false and impossible, so stop the rhetoric and false expectations...'

Asbury Park Press--Controversial HS sports merger bill sent to Christie Despite the New Jersey Statewide Interscholastic Athletic Association’s opposition to legislation that permits public high schools from the same district to merge sports teams, bills allowing cooperative programs passed the state Senate and Assembly on Monday. Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester) said he believes Gov. Chris Christie, who played NJSIAA sports as a catcher on Livingston High School’s 1980 state Group IV championship baseball team, will sign the legislation into law later this month...'

1-9-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Putting the Force of Law Behind Students Trying to Pay for College Four bills looking to ease “predatory” practices employed by some New Jersey loan providers are waiting for the governor’s signature New Jersey lawmakers have sent Gov. Chris Christie four more bills aimed at helping students pay for college, either through loans or state grants. They fell short of passing all the measures introduced 18 months ago in an effort to rein in the state’s student loan agency, however...'

The Record--Cooper: How could new high school sports law affect North Jersey? Superintendents and Boards of Education in North Jersey have been bestowed the ability to combine athletic programs from the same district. But will they use the power? The Senate passed Bill S3447 Monday afternoon by a vote of 24-10, while the Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 52-14 a few hours later...'

NY Times--Apple Investors Warn iPhones and Other Technology May Be Hurting Children A pair of investors who say they hold about $2 billion in Apple stock are pushing the company to do more to protect its youngest users from the effects of digital technology. In an open letter to Apple, the investors, the activist hedge fund Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, voiced concerns that such technology might be hurting children and said Apple could help ease the damage even as it generates business...'

Education Week--Few States Want to Offer Districts Chance to Give ACT, SAT Instead of State Test The Every Student Succeeds Act may have kept annual testing as a federal requirement. But it also aims to help states cut down on the number of assessments their students must take by giving districts the chance to use a nationally-recognized college entrance exam, instead of the regular state test, for accountability purposes. When the law passed back in 2015, some superintendents hailed the change, saying it would mean one less test for many 11th graders, who would already be preparing for the SAT or ACT. Assessment experts, on the other hand, worried the change would make student progress a lot harder to track...'

1-8-18 Education in the News
Education Week--Districts Grapple With Closure Decisions In Wake of 'Bomb Cyclone' Storm A giant winter storm swept through the East Coast this week, blanketing parts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina with snow for the first time in decades and bringing blizzard warnings and major school disruptions from Rhode Island to Maine. In school districts from New England through the Deep South, the upheaval forced K-12 systems to make quick decisions, with top administrators coordinating decisions internally and then working in tandem with outside community agencies...'
1-5-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Changing the Culture of Sexual Harassment, Starting in Middle School Students in health class need to learn about more than drugs, good habits, and sexual behaviors, they need to learn how to treat one another In the past two months, our country has been shocked by numerous high-profile cases of sexual harassment and assault in Congress, the entertainment industry, the press, and other workplaces. As these stories have come to light, I, a student, was initially unable to understand exactly why this happens...'

Star Ledger--WATCH: School music videos give snow day the warmest welcome akuperinsky@njadvancemedia.com, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com What's a snow day -- or even a delayed opening -- without the requisite snow day announcement hosted by your school principal or superintendent?...'

The Record--Cooper: NJSIAA should see bills as opportunity to evolve The Paterson Ghost Knights? The Pascack Valley Regional Raiders? Snow shuttered the New Jersey legislature Thursday, but on the docket Sunday are a pair of bills, A5254 and S3447, that could reshape high school athletics forever. This being New Jersey, of course, it seems like it’s a situation where the intentions are good, but mixed in with politics and reprisals. High school sports need to adapt in New Jersey, but these bills would likely cause unforeseen consequences and do more harm than good. Critics of the bills say it shouldn’t be up to the state Assembly to make policy for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Proponents of the bill are seeking to broaden the opportunity for participation in multiple sports...'

Education Week--As End of DACA Looms, an 'Anxious Time' for Immigrant Educators and Students As the deadline for the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals nears, each week hundreds of young people who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents are losing the permits that allow them to legally work and stay in the country...'

1-4-18 Education in the News
Asbury Park Press--NJSIAA fears legislation would lead to HS ‘all-star teams’ An NJSIAA news release imploring member schools to contact state lawmakers in an attempt to thwart legislation the athletic association believes will give districts a “green light” to create “all-star teams” while simultaneously “limiting playing opportunities” is expected to have no impact on the bills’ passage...'

The Atlantic--9 Charts That Show What Education in America Is Like in 2017 Compelling visuals on the key issues of the past year As trends in education ebb and flow, it gets hard to keep track of the current state of things. Visuals can clarify what’s changed over the past year and what has stayed the same. As 2017 comes to a close, we’ve compiled some graphs and charts that help contextualize the year in education issues...'

Education Week--U.S. Judge Bars District Policy Against Kneeling During National Anthem A federal district judge has granted a preliminary injunction blocking a California school district's rules requiring students to stand during the National Anthem at sporting events...'

1-3-18 Education in the News
Asbury Park Press--NJ Property Taxes: Will federal tax bill spark property tax reform? Before the last property tax prepayments reached the coffers of local municipalities last week, fresh discussion had begun anew on how to solve New Jersey's never-ending property tax dilemma. Elected officials, think tanks and academics all agree that renewed attention is being paid to New Jersey's sky-high property taxes, in light of the tax overhaul's sharp new limitations on housing-related deductions...'

Education Week--Trump, Congress, and Education in 2018: Eight Big Questions There's plenty of suspense heading into President Donald Trump's second year in office when it comes to education, and some big issues on the horizon for the GOP-controlled Congress as well...'

1-2-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--2018 and Counting: Drawing a Bead on Gov.-Elect Murphy’s Education Policies In some ways, Murphy campaigned as ‘not Christie,’ but now it’s time to start delivering on his education promises and programs Over the course of his eight years in office, Gov. Chris Christie grew to be pretty predictable on the issue of public education ¬— trying to revamp school funding, promoting charter schools and school choice, and whenever he could, fighting with the teachers unions...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Jersey Politicians, Can You Hear Us Now?
Joseph Caruso    January 2, 2018
Federal tax reform makes state tax reform imperative It seems appropriate now, in the wake of the new federal tax law that New Jersey remember the immortal words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The sentiment is directed at all the state politicians who are crying over the “unfairness” of the new federal tax-reform measure that caps the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000 — including property and income taxes...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Jersey Politicians, Can You Hear Us Now? Federal tax reform makes state tax reform imperative It seems appropriate now, in the wake of the new federal tax law that New Jersey remember the immortal words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The sentiment is directed at all the state politicians who are crying over the “unfairness” of the new federal tax-reform measure that caps the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000 — including property and income taxes...'

Star Ledger--Newark to pick own schools chief for first time in 22 years The state-appointed superintendent for Newark schools will step down in February, paving the way for the district to select its own leader for the first time in 22 years. Superintendent Christopher Cerf announced last week he would resign on Feb. 1 -- the same day the state's takeover of Newark schools will officially end...'

Princeton Packet--MERCER COUNTY: Area school districts plan teenage suicide program Seven teenage suicides in the last 20 months in Mercer County is seven suicides too many, and the 10 Mercer County public school district superintendents are determined to do something about it. The superintendents have arranged for the Traumatic Loss Coalition to present a program on teenage mental health and teenage suicides next month at Rider University in Lawrence Township...'

Washington Post-- Sharp decline in high school graduation exams is testing the education system In this new year, we are experiencing a drastic change in the way U.S. students are assessed. A national movement led by educators, parents and legislators has greatly cut back high-stakes standardized testing in public schools...'

2017 - 2018 Announcement Archives
2016 - 2017 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


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608