News from Camden: All Schools Must Rise and So This One Must Close

This week Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard announced that Charles Sumner Elementary School, which serves 210 K-6 students and employs 57 staff members, will close at the end of this school year. School closings are hard on communities. But this one is a no-brainer. First, academic performance is dismal, despite multiple interventions and total cost per pupil of $25,027.  Only three percent of students reached proficiency in language arts and math, according to the district’s Information …

Newark Public Schools: We Are “Hampered” By LIFO Laws that Privilege Adults Over Children.

Defendant admits to the allegations contained in Paragraph 12 of the Complaint in part. Defendants declare that the District Schools are making great strides towards to meet the constitutionally-mandated Thorough and Effective education requirements for all schools in the District. Through no fault of its own, however, and even without additional cuts to the District’s funding, the District has been hampered by statutory restrictions that essentially protect the interests of adults over the rights of …

Jonah and the Whale

Call me Ishmael. Excuse the melodrama but right now my husband and I feel like we’re about to embark on a dark, god-less, soul-crushing journey. Our son Jonah (whom I’ve written about before) just turned 21 and  will age out of the school system this year. Parents of children with disabilities call this milestone  “falling off a cliff.” The cliff in question is the cessation of Jonah’s rights, inscribed in federal law, for services that …

Hey, Princeton and Save Our Schools-NJ: If You’re So Worried About Princeton Charter’s Impact on Segregation, Here’s a Suggestion

Every week I have a piano lesson in Princeton and so I drive six miles down Route 206 from my home in Lawrence, located smack in the middle between the wealthy college town and impoverished Trenton. As I enter Princeton I pass the Peacock Inn, where the “jacuzzi suite” goes for $660 a night (off-season rate). Then I  bear right on Nassau Street, Princeton’s main drag, with ivied Princeton University on my right and a …

This Is How My Daughter Celebrated International Women’s Day

Forgive my self-indulgence on this snowy Friday. My younger daughter Emily is a second-year chemistry and physics teacher at City On A Hill Charter School on Circuit Street in Boston. The students at COAH are 98% minority and 83% low-income. Twenty-four percent are eligible for special education services and 10% are English Language Learners. Student outcomes are stellar; for example, 91% of COAH students scored proficient or advanced proficient in tenth-grade language arts on Massachusetts’ Common …

Why Do My Neighbors Demonize the Only Public School — Princeton Charter — Where My Special Needs Son Has Thrived?

This is a guest post by Liz Winslow Schartman, a Princeton, New Jersey resident and parent of three children, two of whom have special needs. Dear neighbors, I know some of you are very angry that the New Jersey Department of Education announced last Wednesday that it had granted Princeton Charter School’s application to expand its enrollment by seventy-six students. But I have a different point of view. My husband and I, as you know, …

“We Will Live By Choice and Not By Chance!”

This credo — “we will live by choice and not by chance”  echoed through Trenton’s Masonic Hall  on Monday morning as two hundred charter school parents chanted together as they prepared for a series of meetings with New Jersey legislators. The “Charter Parent Action Day,” organized by JerseyCAN, the Better Education Institute, and the New Jersey Charter School Association, was in response to a series of current and pending challenges to N.J.’s public charter schools …

Save Our Schools-NJ Leaders In a Juvenile State of Mind

Reasonable people can disagree about whether New Jersey should authorize new public charter schools solely in historically-underserved districts or whether families in all towns should have access to alternative schools. The question becomes blurrier when well-established charter schools request expansion from the State DOE because of parent demand. I’m speaking, of course, of Red Bank Charter School, founded twenty years ago and now requesting a 200-student expansion, and Princeton Charter School, also founded twenty years …

Is It Time to Show A Little Love For Poor Betsy DeVos?

It’s been a Conservative/Tea Party talking point for a while now: get rid of the U.S. Department of Education and.(cuing Pink Floyd here) leave them states alone!  While the elimination of the federal bureau charged with establishing policy, collecting data, and enforcing civil rights education laws is still a wish rather than a reality among ardent statists, we’re already seeing signs of the first skid down the slippery slope. Today both the New York Times …

After the Women’s March, New Rules, New Energy, and a Renewed Focus on Education

Not long ago, a group of women education bloggers from around the country shared their thoughts on what it means to be, raise and educate women in the age of Trump. The dialogue stimulated more responses from members of the Education Post network who share their renewed passion for connecting with other women across lines of difference and for ensuring all our children’s educational rights are protected. So we’ve compiled the second round of discussion …