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9-28-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger--Here's how N.J. students fared on the SAT exams

TRENTON — New Jersey's Class of 2016 outperformed the national average on the SAT exams, according to new data released Tuesday by the College Board. 

The average scores for last school year's seniors in New Jersey were 495 in reading, 492 in writing and 514 in math, a total score of 1,501. Nationwide, students posted averages of 494 in reading, 482 in writing and 508 in math, a total of 1,484. 

Scores declined across the board both in New Jersey (19 points) and nationwide (6 points), but comparisons between the Class of 2015 and 2016 are unfair because some students who graduated this year took the redesigned SAT, which debuted in March, and those scores were not included in the report, the College Board said. 

"Most data points in this year's report cannot be compared to those in previous years," the College Board said. 

The average scores for New Jersey are based on the most recent SAT tests taken by 84,964 seniors prior to the exam redesign.  


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com |on September 27, 2016 at 5:28 PM


Education Week-- ESSA Clears Out Underbrush on School Improvement Path

The new federal education law gives states and districts a freer hand in fixing their lowest-performing schools, but questions loom on whether that leeway will translate into better outcomes


For more than a decade, states and districts have had to consider off-the-shelf, federally prescribed interventions for many schools in which students weren't meeting expectations.

That's about to change.

The new Every Student Succeeds Act, the latest revision of the nation's main K-12 education law, gives local leaders a freer hand when it comes to fixing their lowest-performing schools, those with serious dropout problems, and schools that are doing well overall but where a particular group of students might be struggling.

Instead of choosing from a list of federal options as they had to do under the previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind Act, districts and even schools will be able to cook up their own improvement strategies, as long as there is evidence to back up their approaches.


By Alyson Klein| September 27, 2016


Patterson Press--Alarm in Paterson over out-of-school suspensions of youngest pupils

What does a kindergartner have to do to get suspended from school? And what did 238 Paterson children in kindergarten and first and second grades do to get sent home for days presumably for bad behavior?

The answer still is unclear amid revelations that out-of-school suspension among the youngest children in Paterson public schools rivals those of high school seniors, according to statistics released Tuesday by the school district.

 The data showed that suspensions were meted out to 53 kindergartners, 81 first-graders and 104 second-graders.

By contrast, 129 high school seniors were subject to out-of-school suspensions during the same year.

Local education advocates reacted with alarm to those numbers.

“Are you kidding me? What could a child in kindergarten possibly do to get suspended?” said Linda Reid of the Parents Education Organizing Council of Paterson.

“Kids shouldn’t be suspended like that in the lower grades,” said Rosie Grant, executive director of the Paterson Education Fund non-profit group. “That’s outrageous.”

The district released numbers of suspensions across the grades, but provided no descriptions of the children’s offenses, and there was no gender breakdown among youngsters in the statistics.

The data did not specify the number of days children spent in suspension.


By JOE MALINCONICO| Paterson Press| September 28, 2016