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12-19-16 Education in the News

The Record--New Jersey schools go full STEAM ahead

On a recent school day, Amira Isenberg and her classmates at Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School in Teaneck were busy creating wearable electronics.

"We are sewing patterns on a piece of clothing, attaching LEDs and then putting in code to make the lights flash in specific patterns," said Amira, a ninth-grader. "We are also attaching light sensors, so the LEDs will automatically turn on when they sense darkness."

Over at the Alpine Borough Public School, Ryan Kim was busy designing and building a car strong enough to carry a pumpkin down a ramp.

"First, we sat down and made a plan with all of the dimensions. Then, we cut out a wooden cart from plywood," said Ryan, 12. Finally, he and his team put the finished product on a ramp to test its mettle. "After the first round, we had to make a major design change and replaced it with scooter wheels. It worked better."


Deena Yellin , Staff Writer, @deenayellin 8 a.m. EST December 18, 2016


CBS News--What skills will today's students need tomorrow?

This time of the year, the question many high school- and college-age kids often ask is: “What should I be studying now so that I’ll have a good job later?”

With my two daughters -- one in college and the other in high school -- this is never easy to answer. It’s flummoxing parents around the world in an anxious age of an unforgiving global economy.

But as the year winds down and students get closer to entering a harsh world in which truly decent-paying jobs are ever scarcer, we need to break this question down and offer some thoughtful guidelines.

The baby boomer in me wants to respond: “Follow your passion, find your bliss.” But I know they might not be able to pay the rent if they get a degree in the arts or literature, although what one studies in college may not correlate with the career one ultimately chooses.

Then there’s the sensible, conservative parent in me, blurting out “engineering” or “accounting,” two professions I naively sense aren’t going away soon, although they may be automated or outsourced like nearly everything else in the white-collar world. No job is truly safe in the future.


By John Wasik MoneyWatch December 19, 2016, 5:30 AM


NJ Spotlight--Will NJ’s Undocumented Students Be Punished for Following the Rules?

Idrissa Kaba, 23, emigrated from Guinea in West Africa in 2000, when he was seven years old. He grew up in the United States, and graduated from high school in Newark. He has attempted to attend Essex County College, but repeatedly ran into financial issues that interrupted his studies.

His mother helped, but it wasn’t enough. As an undocumented immigrant, not only did he not qualify for college aid or in-state tuition, he couldn’t work legally in the United States to help offset the cost of his education.

“There were semesters that I had to take off because I couldn’t make the payments,” he said.

That changed in 2013 when New Jersey allowed undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition, and perhaps more importantly, a new federal deferred action program was put in place. President Barack Obama created the program in June 2012 when he issued an executive order that deferred legal action against people like Kaba — undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children or young teens.

Hank Kalet | December 19, 2016


The Record--Somerville school superintendent leaving post to join Montessori society

SOMERVILLE -- Somerville schools Superintendent Timothy Purnell will be leaving the school district next year to become executive director of the American Montessori Society, the organization announced Thursday.

Purnell, who was named superintendent of the year in August by the National Association of School Superintendents, will remain in Somerville for the completion of the 2016-2017 academic year and begin his new job with the New York City-based organization on Aug. 1.

"Warm, dynamic, and engaging are three adjectives that quickly come to mind when I evoke Tim," said Joyce Pickering, chairman of the American Montessori Society's Board of Directors, in the a news release.


Dave Hutchinson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com | December 16, 2016 at 11:54 AM