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8-9-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Senate President’s Failure to Act On Pension Amendment Enrages Public Unions

Sweeney says voters will be more likely to approve the question once the dispute about transportation funding is resolved

New Jersey’s teachers are promising to have a long memory after Senate President Stephen Sweeney didn’t clear the way yesterday to put a proposed constitutional amendment to boost the public-employee pension before voters this fall.

Yesterday was the final deadline to get the issue on the ballot this year. The lack of action by the Senate leader means pension funding, which has dogged Gov. Chris Christie throughout his two terms in office, will now play a leading role in next year’s gubernatorial contest.


John Reitmeyer | August 9, 2016


NJ Spotlight--State Allows Newark to Measure Academic Achievements in New Ways

Inching toward restoration of local control of schools, Newark receives waiver from standard QSACs

The Christie administration took some big steps in the past week to return the state-run Newark public schools to local control, in ways both seen and unseen.

One notable step was the State Board of Education’s vote last Wednesday to return incremental authority to the local community over certain personnel powers. It was the third of five major categories now moved to local hands, continuing Gov. Chris Christie’s pledge to move away from the state’s 22-year control of the state’s largest school district.

Less noticed, and maybe more notable, was the administration’s actions on the two remaining — and most critical — categories: instruction and governance. In what may be an unprecedented move, the administration agreed to use a whole new metric for determining academic achievement in the district, approving the its request for an equivalency waiver from the existing state-monitoring regulations known as


John Mooney | August 9, 2016


Star Ledger--How N.J. high school graduation requirements compare to 6 other states

TRENTON — New Jersey last week chose the PARCC exams as its graduation test for the Class of 2021, but passing the math and English tests isn't all students will need to do to graduate. 

The state, which had an 89.7 percent graduation rate in 2015, also requires students to complete a minimum list of credits for graduation, including four courses in English and three years in math among others.  

New Jersey's graduation standards are more rigorous than many states, a majority of which don't have a graduation test. However, it's requirements aren't entirely different than some of its peer states in the Northeast. 

Here is a look at how many courses neighboring states require in math and English and whether they have graduation exams, according to the Education Commission of the States, a non-profit organization that tracks state policy. 

Of course, many states are in transition to new requirements — especially when it comes to standardized testing — so these policies are all subject to change by the time students future high school students toss their caps next decade. 

Local districts have the authority to implement higher standards and often do. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| August 08, 2016 at 8:00 AM, updated August 08, 2016 at 9:04 AM


Washington Post--Teacher: I’ll ask a pilot how to fly a plane, not a CEO. Why won’t policymakers listen to educators?

Back when the No Child Left Behind K-12 education law was being written some 15 years ago, the authors laid out an entire new accountability system for all public schools in the country without asking a single teacher for help. Since then, many teachers still feel that education policymakers pay them lip service at best and don’t really care — or trust — what they think about how to improve schools for all children. Here’s a post that speaks to this problem, by Ashley Lamb-Sinclair, the 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.

Lamb-Sinclair is finishing up a sabbatical with the Kentucky Department of Education and returning to full time classroom teaching this fall. She teaches high school English and creative writing in Kentucky and authors the www.beautifuljunkyard.com website. (Twitter handle: @AshleyLambS)


By Valerie Strauss August 8 at 2:20 PM