Voices From the Parent Summit: Shayvonne Anderson Overcomes Personal Tragedy and Explains How Newark Got Beyond The “Charter vs. Traditional” School Mindset.

Shayvonne Anderson,  a lifelong Newark resident and mother of ten children, was elected this year to the Newark School Board as part of the Unity Slate. I interviewed her during the New Jersey Parent Summit (see here for an overview).  For other interviews with attendees, here are Ruthven Haneef Auguste and Jabbar Wilkins. In some cases I’ve added links and editorial comments to add context. Laura: Shayvonne, will you tell me a little about yourself …

Voices From the Parent Summit: An Interview with Jabbar Wilkins.

During this past weekend at the New Jersey Parent Summit (see here for an overview) I chatted with many parents. During the next two weeks I’m posting some of the interviews: See the first one here. In some cases I’ve added links and editorial comments to add context. Here’s Jabbar Wilkins, father of seven (three biological children and four step-children) who grew up and still lives in Camden. Laura: Jabbar, would you tell me about …

Is Restorative Justice Working? According to Teachers, Not So Much. Focus on Asbury Park.

I was chatting with a teacher from Asbury Park High School, who wishes to remain anonymous. We were talking about the impact of the then-Asbury Park Superintendent, now-Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet’s decision to create a system, “The 64 Floor,” that makes it impossible for students to fail a course. (Repollet owned up to this practice during a New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing and justified it by claiming that “teachers weaponize grades.”) Now …

Voices From the Parent Summit: An Interview with Ruthven Haneef Auguste.

During this past weekend at the New Jersey Parent Summit (see here for an overview) I chatted with many parents. Over the next two weeks I’ll post some of the interviews. In some I’ve added links and editorial comments to add context. Here’s Newark dad Ruthven Haneef Auguste, who told me about his own school experiences and how he has fought for better outcomes for his three daughters. Laura: Haneef, can you tell me a …

New Jersey Parents Celebrate “The Power of Us” at the Fourth Annual Summit.

“I didn’t run through my obstacles. I jumped over them. And I remember where I came from.” Shayvonne Anderson “If we don’t collaborate, our kids won’t be successful.” Tafshier Cosby Thomas “ Most successful students have bought-in parents.”  Troy Still  “I am the example of exercising parent autonomy.” Nicole Harris “It’s more than just a school. We all know each other and lean on each other. It’s a community. “ Ruthven Haneef Auguste “A lot …

The Flogging Will Continue Until Morale Improves: Jersey City Residents Get Cheated Out of the Democratic Process.

The farce that is the Jersey City Board of Education continues unabated. I’ve written before about the ethical lapses by Board President Sudhan Thomas and  Board member Lorenzo Richardson, as well as  the Board’s habit of deferring to the local teacher union, including during contract negotiations. The lone holdout for moral propriety has been Board member Matt Schapiro. He tried his best to achieve at least a small degree of transparency with Jersey City residents …

Ten Ways to Be All In Like Jon Snow This Year.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for ten years.  (Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. But like from Season 6, so no excuses; play like a champion.) There is shot in the penultimate episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones in which Jon Snow is about to battle the army of Ramsay Bolton on the grounds of Winterfell in order to …

NJEA and Education Law Center, Listen Up: New Jersey Charter Schools Have No Impact on Segregation.

[T]here are several states where charters appear to have little or no effect on segregation, such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Oregon. That’s one of the results of a new national study called “Charter School Effects on School Integration” (for a short version, see here) about the impact of charter schools on racial segregation across the country. This data-based analysis, say researchers Tomas Monarrez, Brian Kisida and Matthew M. Chingos, “shows that critics …

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 …