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4-28-2016 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--What Will It Take to Repair New Jersey’s Ailing Water Infrastructure?

Lead is just the most publicized of several serious problems; meanwhile, costs for consumers continue to climb

The Legislature appears poised to take a crack at fixing the state’s aging drinking-water systems, which have exhibited several highly visible problems in recent months.

A special legislative task force would be given six months to come up with recommendations to deal with issues related to the drinking-water infrastructure under a measure (SCR-86) to be considered early next week.

The issue, long festering even while being acknowledged by state officials and experts, is daunting. New Jersey faces at least $8 billion worth of needed improvements, according to estimates by the federal Environmental Protection


Tom Johnson | April 28, 2016

NJ Spotlight--Baraka and Christie Square off Over $72M Gap in Newark School Budget

Mayor places blame on former superintendent Cami Anderson, governor defends investment in charter schools

Faced with a $72 million gap in the Newark school budget -- and a plan to raise the state-controlled district’s school taxes by 10.3 percent -- Mayor Ras Baraka went on the offensive.

Baraka blamed former Superintendent Cami Anderson -- who was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie -- for the shortfall, claiming that there was a $40 million budget surplus when she took office.

“But that money was wasted away. Wasted away,” Baraka said in a YouTube video.

Christie wasted no time in firing back.


NJTV Online News | April 28, 2016

Star Ledger--N.J. school district seeks to lead in transgender equality

HIGHLAND PARK — The borough has never been afraid to take a stand for progressive values, even if it meant making a little noise, said Darcie Cimarusti, president of the Highland Park Board of Education.

Which is why Cimarusti and other officials and experts were not afraid to say that state has not gone nearly far enough in addressing transgender and gender diverse equality with statewide policy.

So, the Highland Park Board of Education plans on taking its own action, and is scheduled to vote early next month on a new policy that officials and experts say could be the most dynamic in New Jersey in addressing transgender equality.


Star Ledger--N.J. school gave students the wrong PARCC test

BAYONNE — As George Christiana's daughter was taking her scheduled PARCC algebra I exam on Tuesday afternoon, she thought the questions seemed too easy, he said.

There was a good reason why: The test didn't have any algebra on it, Christiana said.

Christiana's daughter, an eighth-grader at Nicholas Oresko Community School in Bayonne, was in a classroom of students given the wrong PARCC exam, he said.

The school notified parents that students who were supposed to take the algebra I exam were "inadvertently assigned to the grade 8 mathematics assessment," according to a letter obtained by NJ Advance Media. The algebra I test will be rescheduled, the letter said.

Neither the district superintendent nor the school principal responded to requests for comment. The state Department of Education was unaware of the error, spokesman Mike Yaple said.


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Star Ledger--Should N.J. delay using PARCC, other tests for graduation?

TRENTON — Amid an ongoing lawsuit challenging the state's graduation requirements, a New Jersey lawmaker is calling for a moratorium on requiring students to pass a standardized test to graduate high school. 

State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Essex) on Wednesday announced that she will introduce legislation  that would prevent New Jersey from using the controversial PARCC exams or any other test for the purpose of a high school exit exam until the 2020-2021 school year. 

"While students would still be permitted to take the tests, their participation in the assessment and their scores on the exam over the next four years would not affect their academic standing or their ability to graduate," Gill said. 

If passed, the bill would take effect immediately, though it's not intended to save current seniors who have yet to meet graduation requirements, according to Gill's office. 

Students in most states do not need to pass an exit exam to earn a diploma, but New Jersey has required students to pass a standardized test since the 1981-82 school year, according to the state Department of Education. Students also need to fulfill a minimum number of credits and any other requirements outlined by their school districts. 

Most recently, students were required to pass the High School Proficiency Assessment, an exam for juniors that tested material primarily learned by ninth grade, according to the state. 

But that changed when New Jersey introduced new tests, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams, and stopped administered the old test. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| April 27, 2016 at 3:32 PM, updated April 28, 2016 at 7:11 AM