Marigna: Braven’s Career Booster Boot Camp Is Teaching College Grads How To Land Strong Jobs

Vincent Marigna is Executive Director of Braven, a career and leadership development accelerator focused on supporting first-generation, low-income college students with securing a strong first job out of college. He is the father of a 3-year old and lives with his partner in West Orange, New Jersey. We often tell students, whether in the first grade or twelfth, that education is the path to a brighter future. We promise them that a college degree will …

Braven + Rutgers-Newark=”The American Dream.”

Braven, a nonprofit founded in 2013 with a mission to empower first-generation college students, particularly low-income students of color, has something to celebrate. According to its new 2020 Newark Jobs Report, in 2019, 130 Braven Fellows graduated from Rutgers-Newark University and 75% of graduates have had “strong job attainment” within six months of graduation, compared to 46% of their peers. That’s the point of Braven: Its Fellows receive personalized support, experience in the workplace, and …

Murphy and Repollet Want to Unlock Career Doors for NJ Students But They’re Getting Two Things Wrong.

Yesterday New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet sent out a tweet celebrating the state’s new jobs initiative, “Jobs NJ: Developing Talent to Grow Business in the Garden State,” which will “ensure all New Jerseyans have the education & training necessary to access high quality employment.” A press release from the Governor’s Office adds, “Here in New Jersey, we’re creating new pathways for success after high school,” said Dr. Lamont O. Repollet, Commissioner of Education. “Schools …

NJ’s Standardized Test Mess Is a Solution in Search of a Problem: We Raise NJ Is Happy to Help.

We Raise New Jersey just issued a statement about a critical decision facing the State Board of Education: Does the Board defer to Gov. Murphy and Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet’s deal with NJEA to create a statewide 64 Floor by eliminating meaningful assessments for high school students? Or should the Board press the State Legislature (not sure how this works, but somehow it does) to pass Assembly Bill 4957 which “eliminate[s] requirements that graduation proficiency …

Bloomfield College Inaugurates a New President: Meet Dr. Marcheta Evans, A Woman With Big Plans.

Last week I spoke with Dr. Marcheta P. Evans, the new president of Bloomfield College, whose inauguration is today. Dr. Evans was most recently the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, and has spent her life in education. As a Black woman in the largely white and male-dominated field of academic leadership, she has a history of overcoming obstacles and anticipates turning Bloomfield College, …

If Murphy and Repollet Were Really “Progressive,” They’d Care About the Prospects of Students in Districts Like Newark.

Two weeks ago New Jersey’s NAEP scores came out and they weren’t pretty. These national tests, often referred to as the “gold standard” and “The Nation’s Report Card,” showed that our fourth-graders’ reading proficiency dropped more than any other state in the country, that eighth-graders saw significant declines as well, and that we’ve made no progress in closing achievement gaps. At about the same time as the NAEP score release, Chalkbeat reported that Education Law …

State Board of Education Caves to Murphy and Repollet’s Regressive Demands: Can the Assembly Save Our Kids?

Yesterday the State Board of Education (with the exception of bold Vice President Andy Mulvihill) folded to pressure and voted 12-1 to eliminate the 10th grade standardized assessments that offer guidance to families, teachers, and schools on students’ academic strengths and weaknesses. Think of this as a domino effect: NJEA leaders own Governor Murphy, who accepted an early endorsement in exchange for a promise to eliminate PARCC “Day 1.” Murphy owns Lamont Repollet (who, to …

Voices from the Parent Summit: Tafshier Cosby-Thomas on Charter School Wars, a Pact With Her Sisters, and Helping Parents Become Education Advocates.

Last year I interviewed Tafshier Cosby-Thomas about her educational experiences in Newark, both as a student and a parent. At the time of that interview, the New Jersey Department of Education was in the midst of its Charter School Act Review and soliciting input from lobbyists and, more importantly, parents. Tafshier was one of those parents. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for a video of her addressing  the DOE and Commissioner Repollet).When I …

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 …

The Big Reveal: KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy Graduates Are Ready for College!

On June 6th KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy (NCA) students had one of the biggest nights of their lives as 125 seniors publicly announced where they will attend college! The big reveal took place at Montclair State University with friends, families, high school faculty, the KIPP NCA junior class, and the KIPP Through College Team (KTC) in full attendance. As each senior mounted the stage, banners, tee-shirts, and hats announced their destinations. The evening concluded with …