Here’s what’s happening both locally and nationally!




Superintendent Cerf and Newark Teachers Union Spar Over No-bid Contract 
The District’s recent decision to transfer to a new prescription benefits program for its employees has been called into question by the Newark Public Schools’ Advisory Board and the Newark Teachers’ Union.

 Op-ed: Open Letter to Commissioner Hespe About Newark’s Charter Schools 
In an open letter to Commissioner Hespe, Mashea Ashton, President and CEO of the Newark Charter School Fund calls on the state to reject requests for a moratorium on charter growth in the city.

Students from East Side High School Participate in a Google Hangout with U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development
Students from East Side High School recently participated in an interactive event with Julian Castro, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, and students from across the country to discuss the existing digital as part of a pilot program called ConnectHome.

New Strategic Plan for Newark Public Schools
The Newark Public Schools district has launched ward-by-ward meetings to gather input and feedback on key priorities to help inform the development of a new strategic plan. See the schedule here.

Taking Away School Choice Goes Against Newark's History of Improving Education  
Former chairman of the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board and Newark native, Rashon K. Hasan, provides a historical perspective on education in the district and offers his take on the role that “school choice” has played in supporting student achievement through the years.

Fulfilling Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream: The Role for Higher Education
With a rise in student activism across the country, Dr. Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Rutgers University and her senior administrators ask the important question, “what role can universities play in closing the gaps in educational achievement”, highlighting the recent contributions of the Newark City of Learning Collaborative initiative.  



This week Governor Chris Christie signed 93 Bills into law, while also vetoing others. Here are a few K-12 highlights that we found:

  • Recess: Governor vetoes bill that would have made 20 minutes of recess mandatory in elementary schools across the state.  Read more here.
  • Arts Education: This bill requires public schools to weight courses in visual and performing arts equally with other courses worth the same number of credits. Read more here.

  • Health & Physical Education: New Bill requires teachers of health and physical education in grades K-6 in public schools to possess appropriate instructional certification.

  • Military Service and Children: Permits children whose parent/ guardian is ordered into active military service to remain enrolled in school district where child’s parent or guardian resided prior to service.

  • Homeless Students: Permits students made homeless by act of terrorism or natural disaster to attend tuition-free the district in which they resided prior to being homeless (for two school years).

  • State Assessment: Requires school district or charter school to provide notification to parent/guardian on upcoming administration of State or standardized assessments.

  • Abigail’s Law: requires that newly-manufactured school buses be equipped with sensors.

  • Biliteracy: Establishes State Seal of Biliteracy to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of bilingual proficiency.

Read more about the new bills here and here.

26 Threats Made Against N.J. Schools Tuesday, Authorities Say
Report states that several schools across the state were subject to 26 threats of violence.



What's the State of Your State's Early Education Program?
As a means to improve and promote early childhood literacy, education news writer Laura Bornfreund calls on states to develop a coordinated continuum of services for their young learners.

Netflix Education Fund to Give $100M to Minority Students
Reed Hastings, founder and chief officer of Netflix, has established a $100 million education fund in hopes of increasing the number of students who have access to quality higher education. Read more about potential implications here.

Obama Calls for Computer Science Expansion in Schools
In his final state of the union address, Obama emphasizes the importance of teaching students basic and cutting edge technological skills, such as coding as a condition in preparing the next generation to compete globally.

What Happened When One State Tried to Rewrite the Common Core
As states grapple with strategies on how to improve the Common Core standards, Louisiana officials offer insights into the importance of engaging with education stakeholders and community members throughout the review process.

Most Detroit Public Schools Close Amid Teacher Sick-Out on Day of Obama's Visit
Detroit teachers plan massive “sick-out” to coincide with a planned visit to the city by President Barack Obama.