I Spit Out My Coffee When I Read Cory Booker’s Op-Ed: Nine Theories That Explain His Change of Heart.

I gasped as I opened the op-ed section of the New York Times this morning and read Senator Cory Booker’s column repudiating his regressive stance on public charter schools. Until he entered the Democratic presidential nominating contest Booker was one of the nation’s most eloquent supporters for school choice, with his hometown of Newark the proofpoint for the impact of a high-quality charter sector on a struggling school system. But when he entered the primary …

Education Law Center’s Footprint Shrinks as It Ignores the Needs of Charter School Students.

Ah, Education Law Center. Some things never change. The organization, largely funded by NJEA, is back in court demanding money for construction for an obsolete list of 31 “Abbott” school districts that were once impoverished. Some of them still are, like Newark and Camden and Trenton. Some of them never were, like Burlington City and Pemberton. And some were once poor but now boast multi-million dollar luxury co-ops, like Hoboken and Jersey City.  But here’s …

New Report From the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools: How Does Enrollment of Students with Disabilities Vary Between the Sectors?

The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS), a non-profit started in 2013 to address the challenges associated of providing high-quality access and supports to students with disabilities enrolled in charters, has a new report that went live this morning. “Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools: A Secondary Analysis of the Civil Rights Data Collection” examines the last five years for trends on enrollment, discipline, inclusion, and placement with a particular focus …

Spare Me The Tulips: Fragile X Syndrome, A New Drug Trial, and A Few Reflections

It’s hard work being a parent. In a family like mine that values intellectual pursuits, I think it’s that much harder when your child has cognitive deficits. I confess that even now, 24 years after my son’s birth and 22 years after his diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome, I still, on occasion, find myself indulging in fantasies that my son is magically rendered neuro-typical like his three siblings.  I know that’s not very “woke” of …

If Murphy and Repollet Were Really “Progressive,” They’d Care About the Prospects of Students in Districts Like Newark.

Two weeks ago New Jersey’s NAEP scores came out and they weren’t pretty. These national tests, often referred to as the “gold standard” and “The Nation’s Report Card,” showed that our fourth-graders’ reading proficiency dropped more than any other state in the country, that eighth-graders saw significant declines as well, and that we’ve made no progress in closing achievement gaps. At about the same time as the NAEP score release, Chalkbeat reported that Education Law …

The Annual NJEA Convention, Starting Today, Is SO Old-School. What If We Did Things Differently?

Today New Jersey parents woke up to their annual smack in the face: All public schools are closed today and tomorrow, the first Thursday and Friday in November, so that NJEA can host its convention in Atlantic City. That’s on top of school closures on Monday for Veteran’s Day, making this a delightful five-day weekend. That’s on top of student conferences, which some NJ schools hold in November, closing schools for several consecutive half-days. That’s …

Get Ready, New Jersey: If Shennell Has Her Way, Newark Will #CloseTheGap!

Yesterday I chatted with the Shennell McCloud, Newark’s indefatigable activist for educational equity and  parent empowerment. As Executive Director of Project Ready, she has already achieved the non-profit’s first goal of registering 1,000+ Newarkers to vote by mail, as well as hosted the annual New Jersey Parent Summit. Now Project Ready is embarking on an even more ambitious endeavor called #CloseTheGap Campaign, which kicked off yesterday, Election Day, by celebrating local advocacy. Shennell’s long-term goal …

Murphy Just Announced That He’s Replicating An Education Initiative That Failed in New York City.

Gov. Phil Murphy just announced a statewide “Computer Science for All” plan that allocates  $2 million in state grants “to help schools establish advanced, high-quality computer science programs.” According to the Governor’s Office, the plan includes five “key goals,” including adopting “rigorous computer science standards” K-12; delivering professional development for teachers; establishing alternative pathways to increase the number of computer science teachers; “leverag[ing] partnerships” with families, educators, and school boards; and “establishing a data-driven decision-making …

At KIPP Seek Academy in Newark, It’s A Different Kind of Halloween!

 Today’s no ordinary day at KIPP Seek Academy in Newark. Instead of the traditional Halloween parades, students there are attending school today dressed in outfits that represent their hopes and dreams for the future. Oh, there is a parade, but instead of ghosts and Spiderman, students will dress as doctors, teachers, computer programmers, police officers, and even Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and astronaut Mae Jemison! After the parade, Seek students will participate in a …

For Teachers Looking For An Alternative to Traditional Education Associations, Here’s a Real Find.

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Liz Parlett Butcher, New Jersey’s Regional Membership Director of the Association of American Educators. Liz was born and raised in Atlantic County, where she lives with her husband and four children, two of whom have special needs. Where appropriate I’ve added links.  Laura: Liz, I confess that I don’t know much about the Association of American Educators (AAE). Can you fill me in? Liz: Of course. AAE …