Ten Lies That Parents Of Special Needs Kids Often Hear: Know Your Rights!

When I speak to parents of children with disabilities, I often hear reports of Child Study Teams (those responsible, along with parents, for creating Individualized Education Plans or IEP’s) who pass along false information or undermine the critical role parents have in deciding on necessary services and appropriate placements.  I hear these reports from Latinx parents — some not completely comfortable with the English language and/or concerned about their immigration status — in low-income districts …

Is Andrew Yang the Only One Brave Enough to Speak the Truth About Our Public Schools?

This is a guest post by my fellow education reform warriior (and close friend) Erika Sanzi who blogs about education in Rhode Island and New England at Good School Hunting. Erika is a mother of three sons and taught in public schools in Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island. This was originally published at Education Post. Education voters—people for whom education is the issue that determines their vote— have been banging our heads against the wall forever during …

The NJ DOE Is Desperate to Lower Standards. Here is Why This Approach Will Make State Tests More Stressful For Students.

This is an guest post by Patricia Morgan, Executive Director of JerseyCAN and Shelley Skinner, Executive Director of Better Education for Kids. It first appeared in NJ Spotlight. If we can all agree that the goal of student assessments should be to maximize the value and timeliness of the data received and minimize the amount of stress we put on students, then the latest proposal from Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet and the state Department of …

Notes from the New Jersey Charter School Association Convention (And Snaps To Repollet for Showing Up).

I got back yesterday  from the 11th annual New Jersey Charter School Association Convention, which celebrates the  school leaders and teachers who serve 55,000 students in alternative public schools. As NJCSA President Harry Lee noted, “public charter schools are knocking it out of the park in the Garden State and should be held up as a model for the rest of the public school community in New Jersey.” Here are a few highlights. Informal poll  …

NJCSA Takes a Stand Against For-Profit Charter School Operators at Annual Convention.

This is a press release from the New Jersey Charter School Association. Atlantic City, NJ- On October 14th and 15th, the New Jersey Charter Schools Association hosted its annual conference, “Excellence, Equity and Innovation” where more than 500 charter school professionals, advocates, and policymakers from across the state gathered together to examine a wide variety of topics surrounding public charter schools. During Tuesday’s keynote address, Harry Lee, President of the New Jersey Charter School Association, …

NJ DOE Watch: How Deep Does the Nepotism Go? A Peek Behind the Curtains At Repollet’s Chief of Staff.

We all know about nepotism at the Schools Development Authority where chief Lizette Delgado-Polanco, appointed by Gov. Murphy, inflated her credentials at an Assembly hearing, fired longtime employees, and hired about three dozen friends, family, many of whom were placed in jobs paying more than $100,000 annually even though they lacked the requisite qualifications. It’s not quite as bad at the NJ Department of Education, despite insider reports of Commissioner Lamont Repollet’s “book of resumes” …

Lessons Learned From Camden As All Schools Rise.

Camden City Public Schools just announced that, for the fourth year in a row, students in both traditional and renaissance schools are improving their academic skills. In 2014-15, based on state standardized tests, 4.3% of students were proficient in math; last Spring 15% met or exceeded expectations. In 2014-15, 7% of students were proficient in English Language Arts (ELA); now 21% are. Question: How did this turnaround occur in what was once New Jersey’s worst …

Who Is in the Driver’s Seat: NJEA Leaders or Phil Murphy?

Two weeks ago Governor Phil Murphy was the guest speaker at Rider University’s Rebovich Institute for Politics’ “Governing New Jersey” series.* As reported by always-reliable journalist Lea Kahn, Murphy listed three educational priorities: 1)“fully funding the pension system;” 2)”bringing health care costs down — particularly, the percentage that teachers must contribute toward their health insurance premium;”  and 3) reversing “the shocking diminution in the number of future teachers in the pipeline” while making NJ “number …

Ed Richardson (Very Quietly) Out as NJEA Executive Director.

This is a guest post by Michael Lilley, Founder and President of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, which seeks to educate residents on the way NJEA “uses their tax dollars against their own interests, secures benefits for the few over the many, and blocks needed reforms.” This was originally published on SPCNJ’s website. This month’s NJEA Review revealed that Ed Richardson is no longer the executive director of the NJEA, having been replaced by another long-time …

Repollet Demands the State BOE Take The 64 Floor Statewide and Reveals His Inner Trump.

Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet is angry. Yesterday the State Board of Education postponed a vote to approve his plan to take his Asbury Park 64 Floor statewide by lowering standards and lying to families about student academic progress. Now he’s threatening to ignore the Board’s oversight. Next, I suppose, he’ll accuse the Board of treason, invent derogatory names for them, and tweet profane insults. The Commissioner’s behavior is short of Trumpian but still reeks of …