States Must Ensure Espinoza Does Not Further Marginalize Students with Disabilities.

Via the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools: In its June 30, 2020 decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the United States Supreme Court allowed the use of public funds for private religious schools—a move that raises concerns about new legitimacy given to publicly funded voucher programs that do not support the rights of students with disabilities.  The facts in Espinoza, at first glance, are not directly related to students with disabilities. The …

White Progressives Have a Lot of Work To Do And I’m Not Here To Help.

This is a guest post by my boss and colleague Chris Stewart, the Chief Executive Officer of brightbeam. He is a lifelong activist and 20-year supporter of nonprofit and education-related causes. When I ran for school board it was former Minneapolis mayor who was the first elected official to endorse me. She asked me a lot of questions, offered some straight talk about the political system, and spoke very clearly about what it takes to win …

Breaking News: Six Rumors From NJ Education Department Include Extended School Closures, Lack of Guidance, and Mandatory Furloughs.

Jeez, you leave for one week and all hell breaks loose. Just kidding. Or not. Last night I came home from a week away with my husband and all our kids to a host of rumors from the New Jersey Department of Education and Governor Murphy’s Office. I am printing the ones that have been confirmed by two independent sources who will, of course, remain anonymous. As always, I can’t do this work without the …

For White Teachers of Black Children.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for thirteen years. For Mark’s other posts, see here, here, here, here, and here. Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. – James Baldwin I’ve been lucky to see Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade speak a few times. I actually have one of his talks from 7 years …

New Interim Education Commissioner Named for New Jersey

From the New Jersey Globe: Gov. Phil Murphy has named Kevin Dehmer to serve as interim Commissioner of Education following the departure of Lamont Repollet today. Repollet will remain in state government as an advisor for the next two weeks and will later assume his new post as president of Kean University. Murphy has not yet named a replacement. Dehmer is currently the Assistant Commissioner for Finance and the CEO of the Department of Education. Murphy praised …

Camden Public Schools Get a Reopening Lift from Camden Education Fund

As New Jersey schools make plans to reopen in September, Camden is getting some extra help from the Camden Education Fund through its Open Doors/Safe Classrooms grant program.  All Camden public school networks, including district, charter, and renaissance schools, will be eligible for up to $100,000 to support efforts to safely reopen.  CEF Executive Director Naeha Dean explains, “schools can use the funds to cover additional needs across a wide variety of areas, including operations, academic …

Why Are Medically-Compromised Students Going Back to School in a Week? They’re Following State Guidelines.

We are not a hospital. We are not a summer camp. We are not a test for the thousands of students hoping to return to public school in September. I am extremely concerned that our governor does not seem to understand that ESY programs cannot be viewed as day camps and that they are a continuation of the school year for our students with special needs. If I accidentally infected a student and something were …

Musical Chairs at Lakewood Public Schools

Last year the Lakewood Board of Education appointed a new principal and assistant principal for Lakewood High School. Last Wednesday the Board did it again, setting a pattern for what appears to be a practice of promoting instability and community distress as these new moves mean that Lakewood High School students will have had three principals and assistant principals in one year. Last August the Board transferred Principal Marcy Marshall and Vice Principal Douglas Riley …

Donald Trump and Diane Ravitch Are Anti-Testing Soulmates

In these times of high anxiety it’s a boost to one’s spirits to discover a bit of serendipity. That moment came to me when, after reading about Trump’s Tulsa rally, I realized that he has a kindred spirit in none other than Diane Ravitch, foe of accountability, parent autonomy, and activists who are sick and tired of waiting for failed government institutions to equitably educate marginalized students.  Hold your fire! Let me explain. In Tulsa, …

Op-Ed: New Jersey Schools Must Fully Open in September

This is a guest post by Sam Cole,a life-long resident of New Jersey.  He is the Co-Founder and a Managing Principal of Stonecutter Ventures LLC.  He is also the Chairman of the NYC Governing Board of Trustees of Success Academy Charter Schools.  The views expressed above are entirely his own and do not reflect those of NJLB. In less than two months, schools across New Jersey should be opening, but you’d never know it given the silence from …