Guess Who’s Coming to Next Weekend’s NJ Parent Summit?

I’ve been eagerly anticipating next weekend’s New Jersey Parent Summit,  an annual conference organized by the Newark-based non-profit Project Ready. Now I’m even more excited because the organizers announced today that veteran White House correspondent April Ryan, named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2017, will be the keynote speaker. She’ll talk about the importance of voting, fighting voter suppression, empowering parents, and organizing urban communities ahead of the …

In 2015 Lakewood Tried to Economize Busing But The Yeshivas Scotched the Plan.

Look below you’ll see a clip from a June 2015 Lakewood Board of Education meeting. At this meeting, State Fiscal Monitor Michael Azzara announced that, due to pushback from the Mosdos, which represent Lakewood yeshivas, the district will no longer provide courtesy busing to any Lakewood student, public or private. Why? The previous year the Mosdos agreed to a small pilot program that sought to cut transportation costs, which last year ran to about $30 …

A Request from Lakewood’s Michael Inzelbuch and Some Musings.

This morning I got a call from Lakewood Public Schools attorney Michael Inzelbuch. He asked that I clarify an article in the Asbury Park Press, since corrected, that discusses how a Shared Services agreement between the Township and the district fell apart. The original deal said that the Township would take over the duties of the now-defunct Lakewood Transportation Student Authority (LTSA), which ended the year $3 million in the red despite parents of non-public …

Gov. Murphy Appointed Cory Booker’s Big Brother Cary to a Top DOE Post. “Binge Nepotism” or SOP?

“New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s older brother, Cary Booker, has made headlines recently after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, hired him for a top education job in the Garden State. That’s the focus of a new Education Week article that details the recent selection by Gov. Phil Murphy, approved by Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet, of Cary Booker to head the Division of Early Childhood Development at a cool $150K per year. “Cary’s commitment …

Michael Inzelbuch and I Have Another Email Exchange: A Lakewood Update.

On Friday I wrote a post that described Lakewood Board of Education’s July 1st meeting when the Board shut down the school district because the State Legislature eliminated Phil Murphy’s $30 million gift to Lakewood. Later that day the Board re-opened the schools upon news that Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet magically found $36 million in the DOE budget to make Lakewood whole. I also printed two emails between myself and Board attorney Michael Inzelbuch because …

This Is What You Need To Know About Lakewood Public Schools.

3 out of 4 third-graders at Ella Clarke Elementary School don’t meet state expectations for reading. Zero percent of 8th graders at Lakewood Middle School meet state expectations in math. Zero percent of 10th graders at Lakewood High School meet state expectations in reading or algebra.  Of the 7 AP courses offered at Lakewood High School, 2.6% of students got a 3 or higher on the end-of-course exam, considered a passing grade. 35% of Lakewood …

What Does Your New VP of the New Jersey State Board of Education Think About Testing and Accountability? Let Him Tell You Himself.

Last week Andrew Mulvihill was elected Vice President of the New Jersey State Board of Education, with Kathy Goldenberg as President. He shared with me his remarks upon his election, prefacing them by noting that he is “looking forward to a fresh, new approach to how the board operates. With what limited power we do have I plan on pursuing an agenda that focuses on standards and accountability because that’s what’s best for New Jersey …

Paymon Rouhanifard and Cami Anderson Discuss the “Staggering Lack of Efficiency and Accountability” In the Schools Development Authority. Your Taxes at Work, Folks.

On Sunday TapintoNewark ran a piece that describes how over the last ten years “the state agency responsible for building schools in 31 former Abbott districts has spent more than $263 million to build five schools in Newark at a cost that far exceeded the limits set by the Legislature.” This agency is, of course, the scandal-ridden Schools Development Authority which is responsible for building and renovating school buildings in New Jersey’s Abbott districts. In …

New Credo Study on Camden Proves That “You Can Provide More High Quality Choices for Families” and Improve Outcomes for “Students Who Have Been Most Underserved.”

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University (CREDO) has almost completed  its City Studies Project with the aim “to provide the public with periodic reports of academic performance for public K-12 schools in selected cities across the United State.” Eleven urban school districts are included (and the only one not posted yet is Oakland). One of those cities is Camden, New Jersey and yesterday CREDO released its findings, which indicate both good …

As Goes Lakewood, So Goes New Jersey? Lakewood As a Microcosm of the Garden State.

On Monday night the Lakewood Board of Education held a public meeting that, per tradition, didn’t lack for theatrics. When Governor Phil Murphy handed his 592-page budget to the State Legislature in March, tucked into page 171 was a 63.66% increase in the form of  “provisional stabilization aid” a category that applies solely to Lakewood, far more than the funding formula allows, as well as Lakewood-only increases in special education and transportation aid. The Lakewood …