Survey: Most parents, guardians want some classroom instruction for their children

Around 70 percent of parents and guardians prefer a learning model for their children that has some classroom instruction, according to a Reuters survey of 217 school districts in 30 states.

Meanwhile, many districts “have been forced to raid their regular budgets and reserves,” write Kristina Cooke, Benjamin Lesser and M.B. Pell for Reuters, “creating the potential for cutbacks later affecting anything from textbook purchases to payroll.”

Also, roughly two-thirds of the 217 districts surveyed said they collect data on positive COVID-19 tests among students and school staff.…

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Highlights from Weingarten’s SiriusXM appearance

AFT President Randi Weingarten spoke by phone Nov. 23 with Zerlina Maxwell, co-host of the “Signal Boost” show on SiriusXM’s Progress channel, about education and the pandemic.

Here is some of what Weingarten had to say:

“I’m not giving up on the second semester of this year. … We’ve spent all weekend long kind of putting together what we think is like the 10 things that we need to do for schools — school buildings, not just for schools, but for school buildings — to be reopened in the spring.”

“We’ve been doing this backwards from the beginning.…

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U.S. schools look to adjust Thanksgiving narrative

As part of her lessons about Thanksgiving, Susannah Remillard, a language arts teacher in East Harwich, Massachusetts, asks her students to write poems from the Pilgrim and Wampanoag points of view.

“We carry this Colonial view of how we teach, and now we have a moment to step outside that and think about whether that is harmful for kids, and if there isn’t a better way,” Remillard said in a story by Associated Press writer Collin Binkley.…

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Survey: Teachers should have early access to COVID-19 vaccines

Nearly 90 percent of respondents to a recent EdWeek Research Center survey said teachers should be considered essential workers who receive early access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The nationally representative survey of 913 educators (prekindergarten through 12) was conducted this month after Pfizer and Moderna reported promising clinical trial results of their respective vaccines.

Finishing second to teachers were school nurses (85 percent), followed by school bus drivers (84 percent).…

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Diving into the data of college degree programs

An analysis of federal data by analytics software company Burning Glass Technologies finds that about 50 percent of programs that first graduated students in the 2012-13 or 2013-14 academic years reported five or fewer conferrals in 2018.

In “Bad Bets: The High Cost of Failing Programs in Higher Education,” Burning Glass also reports that two-thirds of new programs produced 10 or fewer graduates in 2018.…

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Holloway looks at Rutgers’ financial future

In a recent Zoom call with The Star-Ledger’s editorial board, Rutgers University President Josh Holloway addressed Rutgers’ financial concerns should the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic result in more closures across the state.

“We don’t want to lay anybody off,” Holloway said. “We don’t want to furlough anybody. But the numbers will not work if we don’t proceed with some sort of cost savings for our payroll.”

To read more of what Holloway had to say, as well as comments from Rutgers AAUP-AFT (Local 6323) President Todd Wolfson, click here.…

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Murphy stands by data used to keep schools open

During the Q&A portion of his Nov. 20 coronavirus briefing, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was immediately asked whether he’s downplayed the danger to students and school staff by allowing in-person instruction to continue and if the data he’s using to support keeping schools open is misleading.

“Educators are on the pedestal … I can’t say enough good things about them,” Murphy said.…

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Rutgers event explores innovation’s future

Members of the Rutgers University community are invited to participate in “The Future of American Innovation & The Role of the University,” an hourlong free event taking place online Dec. 1 at 3 p.m.

Biju Parekkadan, a Rutgers associate professor with the Rutgers School of Engineering, will be among the participants in a panel discussion. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S.…

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Ruiz bill aims to prevent further learning loss

State Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, chair of the Senate Education Committee, on Nov. 19 introduced legislation that would require the Department of Education to put together a learning loss report in relation to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on students statewide.

“If we are genuinely committed to closing the achievement gap, we must acknowledge there was a divide pre-COVID, we must assess to see where we are now, in the midst of the pandemic, and we must invest post-COVID to ensure that gap does not continue to grow the way it has over the last eight months,” Ruiz said in a story by Insider NJ.…

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NJSIAA’s Maguire asks senior athletes to thank school staffs for fall season

With the fall 2020 high school sports season coming to a close, Colleen Maguire, the chief operating officer for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, has issued a Thanksgiving challenge of sorts to senior athletes: “Step up on behalf of your team and take the time to thank everyone involved.”

“Many people doubted whether high school sports could be successfully played during a pandemic, and we did it, so congratulations,” Maguire said in a nearly seven-minute video titled “Winter Update.”

In the video, released Nov.…

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COVID-19 takes multilayered toll on U.S. schools

During his Nov. 18 coronavirus briefing, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that a majority of COVID-19 cases in the Garden State’s public schools were “linked to out-of-school activities.”

In her analysis of in-school infection data from across the country, Brown University economics professor Emily Oster has reached a similar conclusion. 

“I don’t think anyone would claim that no one has gotten COVID at a school.…

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Poll: N.J. parents want regular teacher access for their children and themselves

A recent poll of 600 parents of children in New Jersey public schools shows 97 percent said it would be helpful if their children could have regular live access to their teacher, such as through online sessions or phone/video calls. 

Additionally, 96 percent of the surveyed parents felt the same about having regular contact with or access to their child’s teacher.…

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Murphy urges COVID-19 test availability for all residential college students

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy opened his Nov. 18 coronavirus briefing by urging all colleges and universities to make COVID-19 testing available to all residential students before they leave for Thanksgiving break, part of a regional effort with New York, Connecticut and other states.

Murphy also delved into recent statistics related to prekindergarten through 12 school districts.…

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