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10-10-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger--Influential state teachers union throws support behind Murphy

TRENTON — New Jersey's biggest teachers' union on Saturday endorsed Phil Murphy's bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, saying his "pro-public education stance is in line" with its members' values.

The New Jersey Education Association announced the endorsement after its 125-member political action committee unanimously backed the former ambassador and Goldman Sachs executive.

"From high-stakes testing to college affordability to school funding, Murphy has a clear, well-thought out plan that prioritizes education and the needs of the school employees who have made New Jersey's public schools a global leader" union President Wendell Steinhauer said in a statement announcing the endorsement.


Senate President Stephen Sweeney asked state and federal prosecutors to investigate the union's threats that he said sounded like extortion.

Murphy said he was "proud and deeply humbled" to gain the endorsement.

"New Jersey's educators deserve a governor who will treat them with respect and who will honor the work they do in our schools and communities," he said. "Creating the educated workforce we will need to grow our economy and create new opportunities begins with our schools."


The Associated Press| on October 08, 2016 at 7:23 PM


The Record--Schools and police taking hard line against clown threats

Some school districts in New Jersey have taken to banning clown costumes, while one police department in Union County has warned of “possible exposure to criminal prosecution” for “suspicious or threatening clown behavior on social media or in public.”

Even the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has gotten involved. In an email to county superintendents on Wednesday, it remarked on “an uptick in online threats involving clown images” and urged districts to report such instances to authorities.

The warnings come as police departments across the country have been responding to reports of disturbing clown sightings and online threats of violence involving clowns.

About a dozen school administrators and law enforcement officials in North Jersey who were interviewed Friday agreed that these are no laughing matter.

“It’s not a joke,” said Superintendent Mark Toback of the Wayne Township Public Schools. “There’s nothing funny about having other children being scared.”

A phenomenon that seems to have begun in South Carolina in August with reports of suspicious clowns trying to lure children into the woods has since spread to nearly every corner of the country. North Jersey is no exception.


By NICHOLAS PUGLIESE |Staff Writer | The Record


Education Week-- New Teachers Make Up a Significant Segment of Profession

Everybody involved in K-12 education knows that new teachers tend to need a lot of extra support. What they may not fully grasp, however, is just how many new teachers are out there.

As a segment of the total U.S. teaching force, their representation appears to be considerable.

Nationally, 12 percent of all public school teachers are in their first or second year, according to an Education Week analysis of new data from the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights. And in some states, that figure is more than 15 percent.

The data, while still under review, are consistent with other recent research pointing to a "greening" trend in teaching over the past 20 years. They also raise questions both about the overall stability of the teaching force and the ability of school systems to provide adequate support to so many novices.

"It's a really substantive and serious issue when a district or school is dealing [with an influx of new teachers]," said Susan Moore Johnson, a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The office for civil rights, which gathers a wide range of information from schools in order to monitor education equity, added years of teacher experience to its collection in 2010-11. It now has data on levels of teacher experience across states, districts, and even individual schools.


By Stephen Sawchuk and Anthony Rebora| October 4, 2016