Cancel Culture in Newark: Superintendent Ignores Parent Voices and Demands Closure of Charters.

Last week Newark Superintendent Roger Leon wrote a letter to New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet demanding that Repollet, NJ’s sole charter authorizer, not renew four Newark 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.”  Leon’s “request” is bewildering — not to mention arrogant — as he tries to cancel the voices of Newark parents who …

Four Corrections to a Context And Fact-Free Article Called “The Democrats’ School Choice Problem.”

On New Year’s Eve The Nation published an analysis by Jennifer Berkshire called “The Democrats’ School Choice Problem.” Her piece is instructive because it illustrates a strategy commonly employed by those who regard themselves as warriors against craven privatizing shysters intent on expanding charter schools and/or voucher programs. This is how it works: Ignore context. Ignore math. Ignore inconvenient facts. And hustle together a specious argument that plays to those who —perhaps responding to the …

Month-By-Month Tally of NJLB’s Top Posts in 2019!

Happy New Year, dear readers. As we close out 2019 (phew!) here are NJLB’s top posts, month by month. I’ve tried to balance the most popular posts with those I see as most pertinent in exploring the state of public education in New Jersey. Do you have other choices? Put them in the comments section! January: Phil Murphy hearts NJEA. This is not how Murphy’s triumph was supposed to unfold. He’s blowing it, riding a …

NJEA Execs Demand Continuation of $700/Hour Acupuncture Sessions — On Your Dime.

Say NO to pension and benefit attacks! Legislation recently introduced by Senate President Steve Sweeney threatens the pensions and health benefits of NJEA members and other public employees. Instead of finding ways for the state to meet its obligations to working families, starting with a millionaires tax to restore tax fairness to New Jersey, Sen. Sweeney wants to slash benefits and make it even harder for school employees to support their families. It would be …

Great News for Camden Families as Camden Education Fund Steps Up!

This week Camden City welcomed a brand-new organization called the Camden Education Fund (CEF), a non-profit focused on talent, equity, engagement, and instructional quality with the end-goal of accelerating the academic progress of Camden City students who attend district, charter, and renaissance schools. CEF intends to create partnerships with experts (examples: the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning and the New Jersey Special Education Collaborative); address the lack of diverse teacher pipelines; offer grants …

Here’s A (Hot Off The Press) Letter From 8 Charter Schools Correcting Education Law Center’s False Assertions.

Last week I wrote about Education Law Center’s attempt to close down preschool programs for low-income children run by charter schools in Abbott districts. Today the eight charter schools, as well as New Jersey Charter School Association and New Jersey Children’s Foundation, sent the following letter to Cary Booker, the Department of Education’s Assistant Commissioner for Early Childhood, correcting misinformation provided by ELC Executive Director David Sciarra. December 18, 2019  Cary Booker, Assistant Commissioner – …

Great News For Newark Families: The Board of Education Just Renewed the City’s Universal Enrollment System!

Last night the Newark Board of Education renewed its collaboration with the city’s charter school sector by committing to continue the district’s universal enrollment system called Newark Enrolls. While there have been some challenges during the last seven years, the Board consensus is a win for district parents and children. “I believe families make decisions where their child should go,” Newark Superintendent Roger Leon said, “and I don’t think anyone should change that.” Kyle Rosenkrans, …

Dear Gov. Murphy/Comm. Repollet/NJEA: Look at This School and Tell Us Again Why You Want to Water Down High School Testing.

Last week I wrote about the dilemma facing the New Jersey State Board of Education: To accept a low-ball standardized testing proposal from accountability-averse Commissioner Lamont Repollet (ELA 10, Algebra 1, and Geometry, all taken in 11th grade) or gamble on the Legislature passing a bill that would permit the state to test high school students when they finish a course. (See here for more background.) In a 12-1 vote the Board played it safe …

Here’s What Happened Yesterday When AFT and NEA Locked Out Black and Brown Parents from a Candidate Forum.

Yesterday the AFT/NEA sponsored a “Public Education Forum” in Pittsburgh. There, hand-selected union members heard from seven Democratic presidential candidates as one by one they pledged their troth, promising to starve alternative public schools and increase funding for traditional schools in exchange for teacher union money and endorsement. At the same time as the candidates were courting union lobbyists, over 250 parents, mostly Black and Brown mothers and grandmothers, gathered in a hotel down the …

Education Law Center’s New Lawsuit For Abbott District Construction Is Based On A Reality That Is 40 Years Old.

This is a guest post by Jeffrey Bennett, who blogs at New Jersey Education Aid. It originally appeared in ROI. Nearly 40 years ago, in February 1981, the Education Law Center launched on behalf of poor, urban districts statewide what would become the most educationally and budgetarily consequential lawsuits in New Jersey history: Abbott v. Burke. Although former Education Commissioner Fred G. Burke is long departed, and the close identification of “poor” with “urban” has ceased to …