Second Item: Pro-Lakewood Guest Post

I’ve been tough on Lakewood this week. And so, in the interest of equal time, here is a guest post from Steven Looney, a Trustee of E3, who “supports parental choice in education and of improved public and private education in New Jersey.”  The Star Ledger, with worthy help from The Education Law Center, ran with an article last week on school busing in Lakewood  that corrected some of my developing errant thoughts. In brief, Lakewood is loaded with children …

Two Other Lakewood-Related Items

Number one: the Star-Ledger reports that Tobree Mostel, the supervisor of the district’s office of Chapter 192 and 193 funding  (the line items for tax dollars that contribute to tuition for special education students to attend ultra-Orthodox yeshivas) was fired for confronting the Lakewood School Board about improprieties. From the Ledger: Mostel claims in the notice that she was targeted after she objected to “certain questionable and unethical practices” by a third-party vendor handling the evaluations …

“Culture of Fear” in Lakewood Cheats Children of Color

The New Jersey Department of Education announced last week that it will give Lakewood Public Schools an “advance” of $8.5 million in state aid money (presumably from next year’s payments) to help bridge a $15 million budget gap. Superintendent Laura Winters told the Asbury Park Press that “it isn’t enough.” She’s right. It will take a lot more than $8.5 million — indeed, a lot more than $15 million — to adequately educate 6,000 low-income …

Do All Schools Rise? They Do In Newark!

On Thursday I attended College Signing Day at North Star, one of Newark’s best public charter schools. But someone beat them to the punch. On May 1st, Newark Public Schools inaugurated its first annual district-wide College Decision Day. where  each member of the 2017 NPS senior class who has committed to attending college this upcoming fall was celebrated by peers, teachers, administrators, and Superintendent Chris Cerf. “Today is a remarkable moment in the educational journey …

“Where Are We Headed?” “TO COLLEGE!”

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of attending North Star Academy’s Senior Signing Day, the annual celebration when seniors reveal to their class — as well as younger high school students — where they are going to college. North Star, part of the Uncommon Schools charter network,  was just recognized in the U.S. News and World Report annual rankings as the 24th best public high school in New Jersey (based on student outcomes) and among the …

Lakewood Public Schools is Actually a Funding Stream for a Jewish Special Education School

Lakewood Public Schools just asked the state for a “loan” of 10 million dollars to partially bail it out of a $15 million hole in its 2017-2018 budget. This gift from the State would follow last year’s gift of $6 million yet still leave the district $5 million short.  Superintendent Laura Winters, who reportedly won’t be renewed by the Board, told the public that without the extra money she would be forced to lay off …

Road Trip for Responders to David Leonhardt’s Charter/Voucher Editorial!

Last week David Leonhardt wrote an editorial in the New York Times that looks at two types of school choice, public charter schools and voucher programs, that, he says, are often conflated into a “misleading caricature.”  Several days after his column ran, the Times published seven Letters to the Editor that mostly succumb to the very caricature that Leonhardt warns against. While Leonhardt indulges in  a few over-generalizations himself, it’s worth picking apart several of …

A Picture of Trenton Public Schools. Or, Is This Good Enough for Your Kid?

This is a picture of a young boy receiving physical therapy in an appropriate room in his school.. Now click on this link and look at the picture at the top of this Trentonian article (which I couldn’t reproduce on this blog).  That’s a picture of a young boy (identifying characteristics are redacted because the paper didn’t have permission from the child’s parents) receiving physical therapy in an inappropriate venue. Specifically,  the crowded front foyer …

Troy Singleton and Cory Booker Are New Jersey’s “Charter Champions”

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools just released a list of this year’s “Charter Champions,” nineteen legislators across the country who exemplify the values espoused by those who recognize that our traditional education system inadequately serves all children. Of those nineteen legislators, two hail from New Jersey, State Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) and U.S. Senator Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark. If you’re a fan of improving access to quality public schools for children …

John the Ringworm

“We are hopeful that the winners are ready to get to work to put Newark back in local control,” Abeigon said. “We also want to make sure that resources come back to traditional schools. Corporate charter schools, we view them as parasitic. I don’t see any compromise coming from their sector at all so I don’t see why the city feels that they can compromise with these people.” That’s John Abeigon, president of the Newark …