Dear Gov. Murphy: As a Teacher, I Think We’re Reopening Schools Too Soon.

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, here, and here. I desperately want to return to school in the fall and be with my kids. In the most non-melodramatic, non-trivial way possible, I am lost without them. I imagine it’s somewhat similar to how Christopher McCandless felt towards the end of Into the Wild when …

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 …

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 …

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 …

New Jersey’s Charter Schools Share What’s Working and What’s Not During Remote Instruction

This is a guest post by Harry Lee, president and CEO of the New Jersey Public Charter School Association. It first appeared in NJ Spotlight. School districts across New Jersey are nearing the end of the state’s first foray into remote learning, due to COVID-19 school closures. As we reach the end of the school year, and begin planning for an upcoming year that looks increasingly uncertain, the state’s educational and policy leaders should take …

Teacher Union Leaders Should Look in the Mirror as They Demand Policies That Unveil Police Misconduct.

This post was originally published on Project Forever Free by its chief editor, my pal and colleague Erika Sanzi. Erika also blogs at Good School Hunting. She is a former educator and school board member, as well as the mother of three school-aged sons who currently attend a district school, a charter school, and a private school. This week, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and subsequent outcry over police brutality, the National Education Association …

At A Loss For Words, Knowing I Need to Speak

This is a guest post by Patrick Riccards, executive director of Best in the World Teachers. Riccards, a resident of West Windsor, NJ, previously served as chief of staff to the National Reading Panel and as director of the federal Partnership for Reading Collaborative. He is the author of Why Kids Can’t Read: Continuing to Challenge the Status Quo in Education. This first appeared on brightbeam’s Project Forever Free. I’m at a complete loss for …

My Son Is A Hero At His Micro-School, Even During Coronavirus Closures

This is a guest post by Jeremy Gartner, the loving father of two wonderful little explorers who attend Acton Academy of Bergen County. Jeremy has been a judge for the last three years at F.I.R.S.T Robotics Competitions and is currently excited to mentor the Robotics Teams at Acton Academy. Our son is eight years old. Last year, he was in a public school in first grade and did not find joy with the learning process. …

Why Aren’t Teachers Freaking Out Over Biden and Bernie’s Education Task Force?

This is a guest post by Chris Stewart, the Chief Executive Officer of brightbeam. He was named CEO in April 2019, after formerly serving as chief executive of Wayfinder Foundation. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, put together an advisory council to help his state “reimagine” public education. Fearing Cuomo and his partner, the Gates Foundation, will produce a plan that creates accountability and expectations in their public school pension farm, the NYC teacher types pounced. “There’s no …

My Child with Dyslexia Won’t Be Your Statistic

Marilyn Muller is the mother of a 12 year-old child with dyslexia. She is a retired SmithBarney Financial Advisor turned full-time mom and accidental volunteer activist. Through her daily efforts she advocates for evidence-based literacy practices in public school classrooms for the equitable benefit of each vulnerable child. I didn’t lay in a hospital bed for 51 days to lose my only biological child to illiteracy. Yet I almost did. This isn’t supposed to happen because …