Murphy: Without Money From Washington We Cannot Support Our Schools.

Yesterday Governor Phil Murphy gave a coronavirus press conference and made several references to school openings. If you recall (if not, click here), on Monday Murphy announced that, contrary to the guidance issued by the state Department of Education, all New Jersey parents will have the option of keeping their children home for the entire 2020-2021 school year, with access to remote instruction from their district. Since then, the state education community has been waiting for …

Mike Lilley and Jersey Jazzman Go At it: Are NJ Teachers Really Underpaid?

Two weeks ago Mike Lilley of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey skewered the scholarship of Mark Weber, aka Jersey Jazzman, in an analysis called “More Shoddy Research from Jersey Jazzman and New Jersey Policy Perspective.” In Weber’s paper,“New Jersey’s Shrinking Pool of Teacher Candidates,” Lilley shows how Weber cherry-picks data, uses unsupported premises, and confuses correlation with causation. For example, in order to show a “wage gap” between public school teachers and credentialed professionals, …

As September Approaches, “Do We Have Any Business Returning Anyone To School?”

NJLB has been hearing much from parents, teachers, and administrators regarding the risk/benefit ratio of opening schools for in-person instruction in spite of coronavirus; the potential loss of learning and widening of achievement gaps if schools stay closed, particularly for low-income students; the challenges of navigating this stricken landscape with only the most cursory guidance from the New Jersey Department of Education. (Also see here and here.) Here are the thoughts of Laura Beverage of …

What Are the Risks of Catching the Coronavirus in Schools? Two Experts Weigh In.

Here are the risk-levels of contracting COVID-19 in schools, according to Gerba and Stephanie A. N. Silvera, epidemiologist and professor at Montclair State University. (This first appeared in Advance Media.) Walking in the hallway – Moderate to higher risk Hallways typically don’t have windows so ventilation is poor. Plus they tend to be densely packed with people, which increases risks. “Requiring face coverings to be worn while walking in the hallway would reduce the risk …

With Repollet Gone, Murphy Fesses Up to the Vastness of NJ’s Digital Divide

When Lamont Repollet was New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education and schools closed in mid-March, he told districts to “get creative” about closing the digital divide and fund their own technology. He claimed that “only” 89,000 students (out of 1.4 million K-12 enrollment) lacked either a one-on-one device like a laptop or iPad, and/or access to broadband internet Gov. Phil Murphy uttered not a peep. Yet at last Murphy is coming clean about the real numbers. …

Murphy Reverses DOE School Reopening Guidance: Parents Can Choose All-Remote Instruction.

Developing Story: Governor Murphy just announced that all New Jersey parents will have the option of keeping their children home for the entire 2020-2021 school year, with access to remote instruction from their district. Twenty minutes ago he tweeted this: This is a change from the guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Education earlier this month and approved by the State Board of Education. According to “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery,” “[d]istricts’ …

Dear Gov. Murphy: As a Teacher, I Think We’re Reopening Schools Too Soon.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for thirteen years. For Mark’s other posts, see here, here, here, here, here, and here. I desperately want to return to school in the fall and be with my kids. In the most non-melodramatic, non-trivial way possible, I am lost without them. I imagine it’s somewhat similar to how Christopher McCandless felt towards the end of Into the Wild when …

Lakewood Follies: Inzelbuch Lawyers Up (At District Expense)

The agenda for Wednesday evening’s Lakewood Board of Education meeting included two items, both involving BOE attorney Michael Inzelbuch, well-known for his $750,000 annual salary and complete dominance over district matters. These agenda items may be clues to his and the Board’s concerns over pending litigation that alleges the districts retaliated against an employee who was, in effect, a whistleblower. It’s not that complicated. Here are agenda items 38 and 39 (page 3): 38. The …

New Report: 75% of Newark’s Public Charter Schools Beat The Odds.

Earlier this month, Margrady Research released a study called “Resilience: Will Urban Schools that Beat the Odds Continue to Do So During the COVID-19 Pandemic?” Analysts Jesse Margolis and Eli Groves started the project before coronavirus hit and so the report is divided into two parts. The first part updates 2015 data from the Center For Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), which calculated the percentage of students in 50 large U.S. cities that attend “beat the …

Murphy Releases “Three -Pronged Plan” To Bridge Digital Divide During School Closures

This afternoon Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference in Irvington to announce a plan to supply New Jersey K-12 students with access to one-on-one devices and broadband internet. This project comes after community and legislative outcries of unfairness because up to 240,000 students were affected by lack of access when schools closed in mid-March. According to the press release from the Governor’s Office (see below) the NJ Economic Authority will issue today “a Request …