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 — …

Irony Alert: A New “Statewide Effort” Against Corruption Is, Well, Corrupt.

Oh, this is rich. WNYC reports today on a meeting Saturday of “New Jersey activists” called “Take Back NJ” who want the Legislature to pass “an ethics package…that takes aim at what they call ‘soft corruption’ –the ways the activists say money, patronage and the layout of the ballot undermines democracy.” Who are the leaders of this “statewide effort” referred to in the article? None other than New Jersey Working Families and people like Rutgers Professor …

Parent Voices: This District Calls the Police When a 6-Year-Old with Down Syndrome Points a Finger But Ignores Beatdowns.

This guest post was written by blogger Pattye Benson, who lives in the Tredyffrin/Easttown (T/E) school district in Chester County, Pennsylvania. It is a follow-up to last week’s post, written by the mom of a kindergartner with Down Syndrome. The earlier post describes how the six-year-old pointed her finger at a teacher and said “I shoot you;” the district reacted by making a formal police report, which will remain on Margot’s permanent record. Here is …

Is Newark Superintendent Leon Taking His Cues From Teacher Union President Who Approves of Blackface and Demeans Students on Facebook?

Last Tuesday a group of players on the junior varsity basketball team at Newark’s Malcolm Shabazz High School instigated a “violent attack” on their coach, punching and kicking until officials intervened.  Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon responded with a long racist harangue on Facebook (since deleted but no worries: I saved it) that garnered 83 “thumbs up” emojis, 37 “love” emojis, and 157 shares. The rant is worth a look because it opens a …

Repollet Is On The Short List For President of Kean University.

Last June I reported, ” I have heard now from four sources that Repollet has a specific reason for leaving. He will take over the presidency at Kean College at a salary northward of $300,000 plus an array of benefits.” Nothing came of it. Last September I speculated that New Jersey Commissioner Lamont Repollet was biding his time until the deal came through. Here’s part of my mock interview: Laura: Yes, we were ranked number #1 …

Is Phil Murphy Spending Too Much Time in the Italian Sun? How Else To Explain His Veto?

Maybe Phil Murphy needs to vacation in cooler climes in order to make fair decisions on school funding for New Jersey residents, already taxed to the teeth. Yet he deserves a degree of sympathy: Just how much cognitive dissonance is generated by positioning oneself as a man of the common people while sending your kids to elite boarding schools and vacationing at your 23-room mansion in Italy? Because I don’t know how else to explain …

Three Cheers for NJ DOE Commissioner Lamont Repollet!

Boy, I bet you didn’t expect to see that headline from me. I just can’t help myself: After Newark Superintendent Roger Leon —with no guidance from his School Board–demanded that Comm. Repollet close down four charter schools and “deny any and all requests for new charter schools and charter renewals unless the applicant shows that it would serve a specific educational need,” the answer appears to be “no.” Or close to that: Of the three …

Newark Superintendent Wants to Build That Wall. Will The DOE Stop Him?

Newark may have problems but one of them isn’t the production of drama. Recent example: Superintendent Roger Leon declared last month, ““I believe families should make decisions where their child should go [to school] and I don’t think anyone should change that.” Then last week  he took the unprecedented step of writing a (boiler-plate, error-ridden) letter to the New Jersey Department of Education demanding that four Newark charter schools be shut down. From all accounts, …