Why Are Medically-Compromised Students Going Back to School in a Week? They’re Following State Guidelines.

We are not a hospital. We are not a summer camp. We are not a test for the thousands of students hoping to return to public school in September. I am extremely concerned that our governor does not seem to understand that ESY programs cannot be viewed as day camps and that they are a continuation of the school year for our students with special needs. If I accidentally infected a student and something were …

Donald Trump and Diane Ravitch Are Anti-Testing Soulmates

In these times of high anxiety it’s a boost to one’s spirits to discover a bit of serendipity. That moment came to me when, after reading about Trump’s Tulsa rally, I realized that he has a kindred spirit in none other than Diane Ravitch, foe of accountability, parent autonomy, and activists who are sick and tired of waiting for failed government institutions to equitably educate marginalized students.  Hold your fire! Let me explain. In Tulsa, …

Op-Ed: New Jersey Schools Must Fully Open in September

This is a guest post by Sam Cole,a life-long resident of New Jersey.  He is the Co-Founder and a Managing Principal of Stonecutter Ventures LLC.  He is also the Chairman of the NYC Governing Board of Trustees of Success Academy Charter Schools.  The views expressed above are entirely his own and do not reflect those of NJLB. In less than two months, schools across New Jersey should be opening, but you’d never know it given the silence from …

Murphy’s School Reopening Plan Will Open Pandora’s Box, Say New Jersey Superintendents

Last week Governor Murphy and Education Commissioner Repollet gave New Jersey school districts permission to open schools on July 6th for summer programming for students with disabilities as long as they follow the guidance given for opening summer day camps. (See here for detail.) Most NJ superintendents rejected the state guidance and will keep schools closed, relying on remote instruction for Extended School Year (ESY). After all, these school leaders said, traditional school — indoors …

New Jersey Superintendents Decry the State’s “Lazy,” “Incomplete,” and “Contradictory” Guidance To Reopening Schools

The pattern was already there: New Jersey’s Department of Education, when faced complex issues, punts instead. We’ve seen this with the moribund “Charter School Act Review,” which promised clear guidance on charter school expansions and approvals; the report was never released. We’ve seen this in the DOE’s desultory attitude towards the digital divide that, three months into school closures, continues to exclude 100,000 students from accessing home instruction; Commissioner Repollet says, “we have been putting …

NJ Senate Education Committee Rips DOE’s Digital Divide Failures

“I’m so angry right now that I’m trying to contain myself,” Ruiz, D-Essex, told state Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet during an Education Committee hearing. “If we don’t see 100% of families connected before September, I gotta tell you I don’t even know what is going to come out of my mouth.” This was the scene at yesterday’s Senate Education Committee hearing as Repollet informed members that the State Department of Education had made no progress …

New Jersey DOE Adds Anal Sex to Its Learning Standards for Eighth-Graders

Yesterday the New Jersey State Board of Education approved new Student Learning Standards, a practice that occurs every five years. Typically these exercises are pro forma: Standards, after all, align with what we used to call Common Core and votes are traditionally unanimous.. Not this time. Instead, Board members were split and the final vote was 8-4. Why? According to Vice President Andrew Mulvihill, there was some consternation about the 65-page section on Comprehensive Health …

Repollet (Finally!) Will Be Appointed as President of Kean University.

When did I first hear this rumor, widely circulated among staff member of the New Jersey Department of Education? Actually in June 2019 I wrote, Sometimes timing is everything, not just for blog posts but for soft landings. Before we get to the new appointments (one in particular), I have heard now from four sources that Repollet has a specific reason for leaving at the end of June: He will take over the presidency at …

100,000 Students in New Jersey Are Cut Off From Remote Instruction: Murphy and Repollet Say “Let Them Eat Cake.”

In mid-March President Trump told a group of governors they were on their own in searching for respirators to help those stricken with the coronavirus. “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves. We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself. This reminds me of the 90,000-100,000 New Jersey students — disproportionately low-income and of color—who …

Asbury Park Residents Decry School District’s High Spending and “Top-Heavy Administration.”

On Wednesday night the Asbury Park Board of Education held its monthly public meeting. Sort of. While other districts are finding creative ways to include residents in public meetings while maintaining social-distancing — people in my district, for example, can choose among GoogleMeet, live-streaming, and phoning into a conference line — these options were too cumbersome for Asbury Park. Instead, there was only a listen-only telephone number and an opportunity to email questions.  And this …