Here’s what’s happening in education news both locally and nationally!




Planning for Newark Public Schools
Newark Public Schools will convene its 3rd strategic planning development meeting on Wednesday, February 3rd, from 6:00PM – 8:00PM, at Barringer High School Campus in the north ward. 

How Newark Schools Closed a $65M Deficit in 6 Steps
A recent analysis by offers fact-based insights on how the District has closed its $65 million deficit.  

Judge Puts Controversial Benefits Switch for Newark Teachers on Hold—for Now
The court has ordered the state to “justify its plans” to transfer services for Newark Teachers Union members.

Newark Students Miss Too Much School
A new report released by the Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ANCJ) finds that nearly one-quarter of Newark’s youngest students are missing school. ACNJ calls on schools and community leaders to work collaboratively to address chronic absenteeism in the early years. Read the full report here.

Op-Ed: Time to Shed Some Light on Corporate-Backed Charters
John M. Abeigon, President and Director of Organization for the Newark Teachers Union calls for greater transparency in the management of corporate-backed charter schools.



Op-Ed: Attack Poverty and Improve Education with Community Schools
In a recent editorial, State Senator Lesniak shares his thoughts on the important role that community schools can play in closing the “educational poverty gap”.

Last Word on Bullying: Anti-Bullying Task Force Delivers Final Report
A task-force looking at the state's anti-bullying law released its final report with a series of recommendations to help strengthen the law's implementation. Read the report here.

The List: New Jersey Schools with the Highest Percentage of Kids Living in Poverty
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau small-area poverty estimates, NJ Spotlight has released a list of 10 school districts in New Jersey with the highest poverty rates for children age 5 to 17.

Plan to Put Armed, Retired Cops in N.J. Schools Advances
A proposal that would allow for armed, retired police officers to be placed in schools and community colleges was revived last week for the new legislative session.

11-Year-Old Wants to Help Kids Discover Books They Can Relate to
In partnership with the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, a 6th grader from New Jersey has initiated #1000BlackGirlBooks, a book drive that collects books where black girls are the main characters. Read more about this campaign here.

Teens Make it Easier for New Jersey Kids to Get Counseling
Working in partnership with their local Boys and Girls Club, a group of teens have helped to pass the Keystone Law, which allows for youth to seek therapy without parents' permission.

Job Moves and Changes in Duties Bring Deputy Commissioner Role Back to DOE
Department of Education Commissioner David Hespe has made a series of staffing and organizational changes to the department which have been approved by the State Board of Education.



Education Department Tells States: If Students Don't Take Tests, You Will Lose Funding
In a recent letter from the federal Department of Education, states are reminded that under the newly passed Every Student Succeeds Act, schools must continue to test at least 95 percent of grade 3-8 students, or face the loss of federal funding. 

States are Setting Higher Proficiency Bars on Tests, Study Finds
Within the last two years, 36 states have raised the levels at which students are considered "proficient" on local assessments.

A Look at the Education Crisis: Tests, Standards, and the Future of American Education
A new report from the Center for American Progress takes a look at both the progress and setbacks that have been made by implementing standard-based reforms across the country. Read the full report here.

Obama Wants Congress to Pledge $4 Billion for Computer Science in US Schools
President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress to pledge $4 billion dollars to help students learn computer science skills in the nation’s schools. Read some reactions here and here.

As Scandals Plague Charter Schools, Calls for Oversight Grow
Hit by claims of fiscal mismanagement as well as recent allegations of student discrimination across several major cities, a number of critics have called for greater accountability and oversight of charter school operators.

Spending in Nation’s Schools Falls Again, with Wide Variation Across States
A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that in at least 31 states, less funding is contributed to K-12 public education than they were in 2008, before the recession.