Asbury Park Spends $42K per Student and Still Can’t Get the Job Done: Highlights from the Recent State Audit.

Once again it’s time to take a look at Asbury Park Public School District, which spends more per pupil ($42,382 total a year) than almost any other district and is the former post of Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet. This past November the New Jersey State Legislature’s Office of the State Auditor completed an analysis of the district’s functioning that spans from July 2016 (when Repollet was still superintendent) to December 2018. The auditor, Stephen M. …

New Jersey’s School Funding Formula Unfairly Privileges Some Not-So-Poor “Abbott” Districts.

This is a guest post by @stateaidguy who blogs at New Jersey Education Aid, where this piece was first published in slightly different form. Over the last 35 years, New Jersey’s 31 Abbott districts — which, by order of a series of State Supreme Court rulings, receive high levels of funding — have become increasingly disparate. If New Jersey’s school funding formula (SFRA) was anchored in reality, many of these districts would no longer be …

Murphy Talks Budget and Lakewood Gets Cash.

This morning the Lakewood Board of Education held a meeting in the high school auditorium for representatives from 127 private ultra-Orthodox Jewish day schools to learn about an unexpected boon: A little-noticed bill signed by Governor Murphy last year allots $5 million to pay public school STEM teachers (STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to earn extra money — more than they’d get per hour for extra duties in their traditional or charter schools —to teach in …

Half of Teacher Prep Programs In New Jersey Get “F’s.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), as part its recent Teacher Prep Review,  just evaluated a total of 2,506 undergraduate and graduate elementary, secondary, and special education programs offered by education schools in 1,120 public and private institutions of higher education. Fifty percent of teacher prep programs across America received “A” or “B” grades, compared to only 35% in 2013. Great right? Especially since we’re owning up to what many call a crisis in …

Leaked Memo From NJ Department of Education Offends Staff Members

A MESSAGE ON BEHALF OF CHIEF OF STAFF KELLIE LEDET Dear NJDOE Employees: This Sunday, February 23rd at 11:00 a.m. Commissioner Repollet will be speaking at Saint James AME Church in Newark as part of a special Greek/Pan-Hellenic Sunday program. Congregation members who are also members of the “Divine 9” have been invited to attend the service wearing their Greek paraphernalia, and they have encouraged us to extend this invitation to members of the NJDOE …

Camden Councilwoman: “I Believe in the Transformation that is Taking Place in the City of my Birth,” Including Five Straight Years of Academic Improvement in Camden Schools.

This is a guest post by Felisha Reyes Morton who is a Camden Councilwoman (and first Latina to represent the 4th Ward since redistricting), co-founding member of the North Camden Little League, and former Camden School District Advisory Board Vice President. Years ago, the small city that I was born in, grew up in and went to school in was left for dead. Growing up in Camden’s Parkside neighborhood, I got to watch Diane Sawyer come …

New Survey: NJ Public Charter and Renaissance Schools Need $900 Million for Critical School Construction

Today, the New Jersey Charter Schools Association (NJCSA) and JerseyCAN released a report titled, Include All Public Schools In Facilities Funding: $900 million needed to address public charter and renaissance school facilities concerns. The report included a survey that found that public charter and renaissance schools are in need of $900 million in construction, renovation, or capital improvement funds over the next decade to provide safe and secure school buildings for students.  The survey indicated …

Four Corrections to an Anti-Choice Op-Ed By the Head of the Newark NAACP.

Yesterday the Star-Ledger ran an op-ed by Deborah Smith Gregory, the president of Newark NAACP and chairperson of Alliance for Newark Public Schools, entitled, “Let’s pause the charter school experiment in Newark.”  As a public service, here are four corrections to this error-ridden attack on the public schools most popular with Black parents in Newark and across the country. Does it seem strange that the venerable and virtuous NAACP would fight against the interests of …

Braven + Rutgers-Newark=”The American Dream.”

Braven, a nonprofit founded in 2013 with a mission to empower first-generation college students, particularly low-income students of color, has something to celebrate. According to its new 2020 Newark Jobs Report, in 2019, 130 Braven Fellows graduated from Rutgers-Newark University and 75% of graduates have had “strong job attainment” within six months of graduation, compared to 46% of their peers. That’s the point of Braven: Its Fellows receive personalized support, experience in the workplace, and …

In the Charter-Schools-Cause-Segregation Lawsuit, Will A Bogus Argument Win Over Truth?

The notice at the bottom of this post was sent yesterday to all districts, charter schools, and hybrid renaissance schools by the Superior Court of New Jersey. The content is about the lawsuit pressed by the Latino Action Network that charges that New Jersey’s schools are unconstitutionally segregated and that charter schools are the primary cause for this injustice. Here, Judge Mary Jacobson fulfills her promise last month: All schools — not just charters — …