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10-24-16 Education in the News

The Record--Educators gather for NJ conference to find ways to help undocumented students

NEW BRUNSWICK — A Teaneck guidance counselor arrived at Rutgers University intent on collecting information about colleges that would be helpful to bilingual and undocumented students in her school district.

A teacher in Morristown wanted to learn how she could help bilingual students in her district develop self esteem around their heritage. And an admissions counselor at a county college wanted to find new ways to attract English as a Second Language students.

They were among 140 educators that gathered Friday at Rutgers’ Cook Campus Center for a conference focused on ways to build coalitions, connections and pathways to help undocumented students in elementary school through college.

Ariana Mangual Figueroa, an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, said the conference was also a way to distribute information about the rights of undocumented students to the educators responsibility to them.

“A real emphasis was to bring together folks of all levels of the educational system. For a long time we have been very focused on the transition from secondary school to higher education,” said Mangual Figueroa, who has done research on ways citizenship status shapes the educational experiences of immigrant girls. “But as we heard today the strengths, resilience, and challenges of the undocumented, mixed-status population is lifelong.”


By MONSY ALVARADO||Staff writer | The Record


NY Times--How Much Graduates Earn Drives More College Rankings

College Rankings Confusion

PayScale introduced its first college salary report in 2008, and the College Scorecard from the federal government followed last year, ushering an elephant into the hallowed halls of college admissions: What do the schools’ graduates actually earn?

Despite the hand-wringing of many in academia, who saw the immeasurable richness of a college education crassly reduced to a dollar sign, the data has wrought a sea change in the way students and families evaluate prospective colleges. Earnings data are finding their way into a proliferating number of mainstream college rankings, shifting the competitive landscape of American higher education in often surprising ways.

This fall, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education (a unit of TES Global, and no relation to The New York Times) introduced their first college rankings.

Forty percent of their result is measures of “outcomes” — earnings, graduation rate and loan repayment rate. The other 60 percent rates the school’s resources; student engagement, as measured by student responses to a questionnaire; and “learning environment,” or diversity.


By JAMES B. STEWART| OCT. 20, 2016


Philadelphia Inquirer--2nd-grade teacher wins $25K Milken award

SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) - A second-grade teacher at a New Jersey school has won a $25,000 national award honoring outstanding educators.

The Milken Educator Award was presented to Van Derveer Elementary School teacher Lindsay Frevert at an assembly Thursday at the Somerville school.

Republican U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance and state Acting Commissioner of Education Kimberly Harrington joined Somerville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Timothy Purnell in attending the presentation.

Frevert is the only recipient in the state this year. Up to 35 teachers nationwide will receive the award this year.

She says the award should be given to all staff members at the school.


The Associated Press| Updated: October 21, 2016 — 8:39 AM EDT


Education Week--See New Details on ESSA Funding for Healthy, Safe, Well-Rounded Students

One of the big goals of the Every Student Succeeds Act was to give states and districts significantly more say in how they spend their federal dollars. As part of that effort, Congress collapsed a bunch of small federal programs aimed at health, safety, arts, technology, and more into a big giant block grant called the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program.

And Friday, the department put out guidance on how those funds can be spent. The guidance isn't binding, and it ultimately amounts to a set of recommendations.

First, though, a little more on the block grant itself. The law requires districts that get more than $30,000 to spend 20 percent of their money on an activity that helps students become more well-rounded, and another 20 percent on something that contributes to student health and safety. 

And even though districts are allowed to spend their money on technology, no more than 15 percent can go to technology infrastructure (such as laptops). Districts that get less than $30,000 don't need to meet these requirements, according to the guidance.

The department's big message in the guidance is that a "well-rounded education" it isn't just about music and arts, even though those are important. Well-rounded can include everything from foreign language courses to Advanced Placement to civics education to college and career counseling.  And districts can partner with post-secondary institutions on these programs. 

The guidance doesn't mention this, but it actually appears that Title IV may get a lot less money than the law recommends.


Alyson Klein on October 21, 2016 7:39 AM