Education Blogs & Reports

The Opportunities and Anxieties of Policy Change: How Educator Preparation Programs Reorganize to Adopt New Teacher Performance Assessments

May 13th, 2024|Comments Off on The Opportunities and Anxieties of Policy Change: How Educator Preparation Programs Reorganize to Adopt New Teacher Performance Assessments

By Rachel Garver, Drew Gitomer, and Emily Hodge. Policy change may bring benefits and burdens to organizations charged with implementation. When New Jersey removed the requirement to use edTPA as a teacher performance assessment [...]

Newark Community-Based Organizers’ Perspectives on Planning for the Future, College Enrollment Trends, and Supports

April 11th, 2024|Comments Off on Newark Community-Based Organizers’ Perspectives on Planning for the Future, College Enrollment Trends, and Supports

By Bernie Lombardi, Ph.D., Betsy Kim, Ph.D., Robyn Ince, Ed.M.   As part of our ongoing study funded by the New Jersey State Policy Lab researching potential barriers to youth in Newark enrolling in college, [...]

Performance Assessments Across New Jersey: What Educator Preparation Programs Are Using Now

March 25th, 2024|Comments Off on Performance Assessments Across New Jersey: What Educator Preparation Programs Are Using Now

By Emily Hodge, Rachel Garver, and Drew Gitomer. In the wake of New Jersey’s 2022 legislative removal of the edTPA as a required performance-based assessment for teacher candidates, educator preparation programs (EPPs) have had newfound freedom [...]

  • Photo of an unlit hallway in a school with lockers on both sides of the walls, where a door is open at the end of the hall and light shines out

Working to Address Youth Disconnection Through Policy in NJ

February 22nd, 2024|Comments Off on Working to Address Youth Disconnection Through Policy in NJ

By Bernie Lombardi, Ph.D., Betsy Kim, Ph.D., Robyn Ince, Ed.M.   On January 16, 2024, The Disconnection Prevention Bill (S3080) was signed into law by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Bill S3080 will establish the [...]

Climate Education Initiatives in New Jersey

February 5th, 2024|Comments Off on Climate Education Initiatives in New Jersey

By Josephine O’Grady. According to the 2020 New Jersey Scientific Report on Climate Change, New Jersey is warming more quickly than the rest of the Northeast region. The state is experiencing a myriad of climate-related challenges [...]

  • Photo of a classroom full of young students, a Black boy is seated and raising his hand while a male white teacher stands in the background

Teacher Candidate Performance Assessment Moves Forward in New Jersey

February 1st, 2024|Comments Off on Teacher Candidate Performance Assessment Moves Forward in New Jersey

By Drew Gitomer, Emily Hodge, and Rachel Garver. In June 2022, New Jersey enacted a significant change in how educator preparation programs (EPPs) would assess the quality and readiness of their teacher candidates through performance assessment [...]

College Enrollment and Attainment in Newark: Tracking the Trends Post-COVID

December 18th, 2023|Comments Off on College Enrollment and Attainment in Newark: Tracking the Trends Post-COVID

By Robyn Ince, Bernie Lombardi, and Betsy Kim Relying on data from the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census and the National Student Clearinghouse, we will give an overview of the college enrollment and attainment trends in Newark, the state of New Jersey [...]

Early Findings Form the Science Course Pathways Study

December 11th, 2023|Comments Off on Early Findings Form the Science Course Pathways Study

By Vandeen A. Campbell, Ph.D. Work thus far on the NJ Science Course Pathways Study has focused on coding and classifying science course pathways and preliminary descriptive and advanced analyses. So far, findings confirm that [...]

  • A photo of a group of students walking away down a long hallway in what appears to be a school building

How Can Institutions and Communities Work Together to Reengage “COVID-Disconnected” College Students?

October 26th, 2023|Comments Off on How Can Institutions and Communities Work Together to Reengage “COVID-Disconnected” College Students?

By Robyn Ince, Ed.M., Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D., and Bernie Lombardi, Ph.D. The Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) is working in partnership with the New Jersey State Policy Lab to explore how institutions and communities in the city of Newark might work together to reengage “COVID-disconnected” college students [...]

Walking Together Over Uncertain Terrain: The Role of Professional Associations During Times of Policy Change 

October 9th, 2023|Comments Off on Walking Together Over Uncertain Terrain: The Role of Professional Associations During Times of Policy Change 

Educator preparation programs (EPPs) in New Jersey are engaged in a nonstop cycle of recruiting, training, and graduating teachers for the state, which has experienced a severe teacher shortage. The design and practices of these programs [...]

  • Photo of a rising stack of coins next to a jar of coins with a graduating cap resting on it.

The Economic Issues Impacting College Enrollment

September 25th, 2023|Comments Off on The Economic Issues Impacting College Enrollment

By James Barrett. As of May 2023, the National Student Clearinghouse published their annual Current Term Enrollment Estimates, painting a bleak picture of the state of college enrollment across the nation. Public two-year enrollments dropped 10.1% [...]

  • A diverse group of young students surrounds a table while a white, female instructor explains to them the mechanics of a small robotic vehicle

After-School Programs and Students’ Academic Behavior in New Jersey: Current Situation and Future Development

September 18th, 2023|Comments Off on After-School Programs and Students’ Academic Behavior in New Jersey: Current Situation and Future Development

By Xiao Liang After-school programs in the United States can be traced back to the late 19th century, developed from historical changes in children’s participation in the labor force market, the introduction of formal schooling [...]

  • Summer Intern Presentations
  • 2023 NJSPL Summer Interns - Sofia Wernyj, Jesskomar Velarde Gargot, Maia Hill, Ciera Gaither, Xiao Liang, Taylor Hughes, Christopher Gomes, and Anisaa Jean-Pierre
  • 2023 NJSPL Summer Internship Program - Josephine O'Grady, Jesskomar Velarde Gargot, Sofia Wernyj, Dr. Elizabeth Cooner, Maia Hill, Ciera Gaither, Xiao Liang, Taylor Hughes, Christopher Gomes, Anisaa Jean-Pierre, and Molly Basdeo Mountjoy

New Jersey State Policy Lab Summer Internship Summit

August 18th, 2023|Comments Off on New Jersey State Policy Lab Summer Internship Summit

The New Jersey State Policy Lab held the 2023 Summer Internship presentations at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy on August 17, 2023. The eight summer interns each presented [...]

  • Teacher lecturing a variety of middle school aged students in front of a whiteboard containing geometry equations

The Times They are a Changin​​​’​​​ – Shifts in Teacher Education Assessment Policy​​​​​ 

August 10th, 2023|Comments Off on The Times They are a Changin​​​’​​​ – Shifts in Teacher Education Assessment Policy​​​​​ 

By Emily Hodge, Rachel Garver, and Drew Gitomer. What happens on the ground ​​​​when years of strong state control and authority over teacher licensure is suddenly minimized?  In what ways do local educational institutions change and maintain practices [...]

  • Youth Mental Health in New Jersey Report

Report Release: Youth Mental Health in New Jersey: Current Status and Opportunities for Improved Services

June 15th, 2023|Comments Off on Report Release: Youth Mental Health in New Jersey: Current Status and Opportunities for Improved Services

By Karen Lowrie and Brooke Schwartzman. Teens of today have faced major shifts in societal, environmental, community, familial, and individual spheres, heightened by racial and school-based violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, creating challenges [...]

  • STEM Focus in New Jersey High Schools

Do New Jersey High Schools Have STEM Focus? Piloting New Measures

June 12th, 2023|Comments Off on Do New Jersey High Schools Have STEM Focus? Piloting New Measures

By Vandeen Campbell High schools’ focus on STEM is a key feature of the ongoing study of the relationship between science course sequences, college enrollment, and pursuing STEM fields for students in New Jersey. Alongside the question of what types of science course sequences are predictive [...]

  • New Jersey School Aid Formula

Report Release: The Impact of Eliminating Adjustment Aid for School Districts in New Jersey

June 8th, 2023|Comments Off on Report Release: The Impact of Eliminating Adjustment Aid for School Districts in New Jersey

By Michael S. Hayes. In 2018, New Jersey implemented the S-2 bill, which aimed to reduce adjustment aid to school districts in the state. The objective of this policy was to end a practice of “overfunding” school districts, which had it not been for the adjustment aid [...]

  • Surveying seniors on technological devices in New Jersey

Insights on Ageism, Health Care, and the Digital Divide 

May 4th, 2023|Comments Off on Insights on Ageism, Health Care, and the Digital Divide 

By Epiphany Munz, Donita Devance, and Diane Hill, Ph.D. The World Health Organization (WHO) published the Global report on ageism to call attention to the discrimination that older adults face, along with recommendations for a [...]

  • New Jersey Digital Literacy Initiative

Digital Inequity: New Jersey State Digital Literacy Initiative

March 23rd, 2023|Comments Off on Digital Inequity: New Jersey State Digital Literacy Initiative

By Diego Gudino-Martinez & Leonor Camarena, Ph.D. (Indiana University). It is safe to say that COVID-19 has both illustrated and influenced the dependence the United States educational system has on technology. Existing education inequalities were worsened by a rapid shift towards virtual learning that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic's beginnings [...]

  • Student-Teacher Diversity Gap

Understanding the Teacher-Student ‘Diversity Gap’ and Discipline Rates in New Jersey

March 20th, 2023|Comments Off on Understanding the Teacher-Student ‘Diversity Gap’ and Discipline Rates in New Jersey

By James Barnett. Through collaborations with the Joseph C. Cornwall Center at Rutgers-Newark, the New Jersey State Policy Lab has provided ongoing, rigorous research on the subject of discipline disparities in New Jersey K-12 schools through multiple reports and articles [...]

  • High School Science Courses

Why Does the High School Science Course Sequence Matter?

March 9th, 2023|Comments Off on Why Does the High School Science Course Sequence Matter?

By Vandeen A. Campbell, Ph.D. Why does the sequencing of high school science courses matter? This essential question puts an emphasis not only on the combination of science courses taken in high school but also [...]

  • New Jersey School Aid Formula

How Did the 2018 Revision of New Jersey’s School Aid Formula Impact the Distribution of State Funding Across New Jersey School Districts?

February 20th, 2023|Comments Off on How Did the 2018 Revision of New Jersey’s School Aid Formula Impact the Distribution of State Funding Across New Jersey School Districts?

By Michael S. Hayes, Ph.D. The School Reform Funding Act of 2008 (SRFA) was designed to create a new school funding formula to end a long cycle of failed legislative attempts to reduce school spending [...]

  • The Perkins Acts - Technical School

Perkins Act: A Key Component to Bringing Everyone into the Digital Age

February 9th, 2023|Comments Off on Perkins Act: A Key Component to Bringing Everyone into the Digital Age

By Abigail Alcala. The Perkins Act, or its most recent iteration, which went into effect in 2019, called Strengthening Career and Technical Education in the 21st Century, is facing the end of its run in the coming year of 2024 [...]

  • New Jersey Educative Teacher Performance Assessment

The Future of Educator Performance Assessments in New Jersey

February 2nd, 2023|Comments Off on The Future of Educator Performance Assessments in New Jersey

By Drew Gitomer, Emily Hodge, and Rachel Garver On December 16, 2022, Governor Murphy signed legislation that removes the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) as a statewide requirement for teacher certification in New Jersey. The edTPA, adopted by New Jersey in 2016, is an assessment [...]

  • Youth Mental Health Services in New Jersey

Youth Mental Health in New Jersey: Current Status and Opportunities for Support Service Improvement

January 26th, 2023|Comments Off on Youth Mental Health in New Jersey: Current Status and Opportunities for Support Service Improvement

By Karen Lowrie and Brooke Schwartzman. Childhood, particularly adolescence, has always been marked by challenges, as youth learn to navigate the world. But times are changing; youth of today have faced major shifts in societal, environmental, community, familial, and individual spheres [...]

  • New Jersey Childcare Access

Literature Review & Policy Menu: How Can the Government Improve New Jersey Families’ Access to Childcare?

January 19th, 2023|Comments Off on Literature Review & Policy Menu: How Can the Government Improve New Jersey Families’ Access to Childcare?

By Jocelyn Fischer and Debra Lancaster. Childcare is unaffordable for many families.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deems affordable childcare costs as those that are no more than 7 percent of families’ incomes [...]

  • NJ Education & Tax Rates

Property Tax Rates and Quality of K-12 Education in New Jersey Communities

January 17th, 2023|Comments Off on Property Tax Rates and Quality of K-12 Education in New Jersey Communities

by James Barnett New Jersey is consistent in featuring at the top of the ranks for two different variables: effective real estate property tax rates and quality of K-12 education services.[1][2] These, unsurprisingly to most [...]

  • Math Course-taking in New Jersey High Schools

Report Release: Disparities in High-Leverage Mathematics Course-Taking in New Jersey, 2016-2020

January 5th, 2023|Comments Off on Report Release: Disparities in High-Leverage Mathematics Course-Taking in New Jersey, 2016-2020

By Vandeen A. Campbell, Ph.D. The New Jersey State Policy Lab, in collaboration with the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, is releasing a report that examines patterns in high school math course-taking across New Jersey [...]

  • Science Courses in NJ

Science Course Pathways in NJ’s High Schools and Postsecondary Outcomes in STEM

December 15th, 2022|Comments Off on Science Course Pathways in NJ’s High Schools and Postsecondary Outcomes in STEM

By Vandeen A. Campbell, Ph.D. With funding from the New Jersey State Policy Lab, the American Education Research Association (AERA), and National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Grant Program, the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan [...]

  • FAFSA, CCOG, and GSG case study

Case Study Release: Parents and Students’ Perceptions of the CCOG and GSG

November 22nd, 2022|Comments Off on Case Study Release: Parents and Students’ Perceptions of the CCOG and GSG

By Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D., Bernard Lombardi, Ph.D., and Robyn Ince, Ed.M. The Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) and the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University-Newark are working in partnership with the New Jersey State Policy Lab [...]

  • School Staffing Pre- and Post-Pandemic

Assessing Pre- and Post-Pandemic School Staffing Changes in New Jersey

October 27th, 2022|Comments Off on Assessing Pre- and Post-Pandemic School Staffing Changes in New Jersey

By Maia de la Calle Pandemic-related school closures posed several challenges to students and their families, including learning losses, adverse socioemotional and mental health outcomes, and food insecurity. The pandemic and associated school closures also [...]

  • Freshman Science Course Taking

Report Release: Equal Access to STEM Pathways? A Closer Look at Science Course-taking Trends in New Jersey’s High Schools

July 28th, 2022|Comments Off on Report Release: Equal Access to STEM Pathways? A Closer Look at Science Course-taking Trends in New Jersey’s High Schools

By Vandeen Campbell. New Jersey students in high schools segregated by both race and poverty tend not to take advanced science courses.  Only about one-quarter (25%) of high school freshmen in schools segregated by both race [...]

  • The words Financial Aid on a calculator

Understanding Awareness and Impact of the Community College Opportunity Grant and the Garden State Guarantee in Newark, NJ

May 12th, 2022|Comments Off on Understanding Awareness and Impact of the Community College Opportunity Grant and the Garden State Guarantee in Newark, NJ

By Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D., Bernie Lombardi, Ph.D., and Robyn Brady Ince, Ed.M. The Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) and the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University-Newark are working in partnership [...]

  • High Schooler in Hall

Examining Discipline Disparities in New Jersey’s High Schools

April 21st, 2022|Comments Off on Examining Discipline Disparities in New Jersey’s High Schools

By Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D. and Jamelia Harris, Ph.D. Background and National Trends There is substantial evidence that documents the profound and adversarial consequences of the overreliance on exclusionary discipline practices such as suspensions and expulsions [...]

The New Jersey High School Experience: Differences in Freshman Year Science Course-taking

February 7th, 2022|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience: Differences in Freshman Year Science Course-taking

Vandeen Campbell, Ph.D. It is well established that careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields tend to offer higher wages (Carnevale, Cheah, & Hanson, 2015). Further, individuals who begin engaging in standard and [...]

The New Jersey High School Experience: Opportunities for High-leverage Mathematics Course Taking

December 23rd, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience: Opportunities for High-leverage Mathematics Course Taking

Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D. and Vandeen Campbell, Ph.D. Mathematics has long been considered essential to success in secondary and post-secondary education and in a labor market increasingly reliant on 21st century skills (Aughinbaugh, 2012; Kim et al., [...]

  • Teenage boy using laptop for homework

Digital Equity for K-12 Students

December 9th, 2021|Comments Off on Digital Equity for K-12 Students

By Stephanie Holcomb, Jessica Cruz-Nagoski, Andrea Hetling, Gregory Porumbescu, Vishal Trehan The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the important role efforts to promote digital access, literacy, and skills play in promoting a more equitable society. This [...]

The New Jersey High School Experience

November 11th, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience

Jamelia Harris, Ph.D. and Vandeen Campbell, Ph.D. Background and National Trends The connection between expanding access to high-quality and rigorous coursework and improving postsecondary outcomes is well established within the literature. According to the U.S. [...]

  • Rear view of large group of students raising their hands to answer the question on a class.

The New Jersey High School Experience: Promoting Freshmen On-track through Postsecondary Success for Cohorts of Secondary School Students

October 13th, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience: Promoting Freshmen On-track through Postsecondary Success for Cohorts of Secondary School Students

Vandeen Campbell Ninth grade is a critical year for getting adolescents on a path to secondary and postsecondary success. For underperforming secondary schools and districts looking to turnaround the trajectory of their freshman cohorts, offering [...]