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9-15-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: ESSA Offers Opportunity for Schools to Change Course

Stakeholder involvement in the requisite re-imagining and re-inventing – by educators and parents alike – is critical if ESSA is to reach its full potential

With the anticipation and excitement of the new school year upon us, parents and educators have a unique opportunity to participate in shaping public education in New Jersey. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the new federal education law passed late last year to replace the notorious No Child Left Behind (NCLB), critical decisions about our schools have been returned to the state and local districts. With that increased control comes a federal requirement to engage education stakeholders in the process of creating state and local plans.

In short, ESSA means opportunity.

Over the next few months, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is required to develop a new plan for education in New Jersey to submit to the federal government. ESSA gives us – educators and parents – the power to help shape education policy in New Jersey.


Wendell Steinhauer | September 15, 2016


Star Ledger--POLL: Should elementary schools stop giving homework?

WOODBRIDGE — Two New Jersey elementary schools are putting less emphasis on homework this year, and some schools in other states have eliminated homework completely. 

Proponents of reducing homework say the assignments should be more meaningful and less stressful. But supporters of homework believe it's a critical part of a child's education. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| on September 14, 2016 at 12:26 PM


Star Ledger--Here's the plan to expand N.J.'s largest vocational high school

The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously agreed Tuesday night to expand Passaic County Technical Institute despite opposition from local school officials who said the expansion would hurt their own budgets.

The state awarded the Wayne school a $15 million grant last year, which the county matched on Tuesday when freeholders issued $30 million in bonds. The money will be used to build PCTI's STEM Academy.

The school will expand by about a third and will enroll 1,200 more students over a period of four years. The school currently has more than 3,400 students, said Diana Lobosco, the vocational school's superintendent.

The expansion will be built on county land that borders the existing school building, and property clearing is already underway. Lobosco estimates that the expanded facility will open in September 2017.

The STEM Academy will feature programs including those related to biomedical careers, computer science and engineering.


Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|on September 14, 2016 at 9:28 AM, updated September 14, 2016 at 10:10 AM