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 …

With Repetition and Consistency, This Special Education Teacher Is Keeping Her Students on Track

As New Jersey enters its fourth month of school closures due to COVID-19, students on the margins are predictably suffering the most, especially those with disabilities.  The learning loss is often exacerbated if a special needs student’s family is poor. “Special education looks so different for a privileged family than it does in other places,” said Jessica Bacon, a professor of teaching and learning at Montclair State University. “I think this is going to reveal …

At A Loss For Words, Knowing I Need to Speak

This is a guest post by Patrick Riccards, executive director of Best in the World Teachers. Riccards, a resident of West Windsor, NJ, previously served as chief of staff to the National Reading Panel and as director of the federal Partnership for Reading Collaborative. He is the author of Why Kids Can’t Read: Continuing to Challenge the Status Quo in Education. This first appeared on brightbeam’s Project Forever Free. I’m at a complete loss for …

West Windsor-Plainsboro Parents Say Racist Videos Represent How Their Kids Are Treated Every Day

Five years ago the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District made the New York Times for a rift between white and Asian-American parents after Superintendent David Aderhold expressed concerns that “students were overburdened and stressed out, juggling too much work and too many demands.”  While the white parents largely agreed, the East Asian parents largely didn’t. One said, “what is happening here reflects a national anti-intellectual trend that will not prepare our children for the future.” Five …

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 …

How the New Jersey Department of Education Went From Technology Leader to Technology Laggard

On Monday I wrote about Paterson Public Schools’ poor implementation of home instruction during this pandemic, hindered largely by the lack of one-on-one devices for students as well as teachers’ unfamiliarity with technology. This scenario isn’t limited to Paterson: Here’s Trenton’s form of remote learning, which is less a strategy than an abdication of responsibility. The consequences for students in these districts, already high-risk, will be enormous. Chris Minnich, head of NWEA, predicts that “students …

A Tale of Two Cities: Remote Instruction in Princeton and Trenton

We’re about 5 weeks into our coronavirus lock-down in New Jersey, about a month since much of America has embarked on a national experiment of remote instruction that likely will continue for the duration of the school year.  In New Jersey this means 555 school districts are independently creating remote learning plans, coming up with laptop distribution strategies, figuring out meal delivery for low-income kids, and setting expectations for students. On the face of it, …

Free Internet Access For Low-Income Families Must Be A Fundamental Right During COVID-19.

This is a post by my friend and colleague Zachary Wright, a national finalist for the United States Department of Education’s School Ambassador Fellowship. Zach is an assistant professor of practice at Relay Graduate School of Education serving Philadelphia and Camden. Prior to that, he was the 12th-grade world literature and AP literature teacher at Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Campus. This was originally published on Education Post. Access to public education is now a fundamental right. …

Will This Pandemic Force Us To Boldly Address the Inequities in Our Schools?

I live right off Route 206, a mostly two-lane road that begins in the Pinelands of southern New Jersey, winds 130 miles north to Stokes State Forest, and ends in Dingman Township, Pennsylvania. One twelve-mile stretch of 206 connects Princeton, Lawrence Township (where I live), and Trenton, the state capitol.  As COVID-19 affects, well, everything —here, we’re currently in something close to a lockdown, with a 158% jump in confirmed cases during the last three …

Welcome to Montclair, Where “Progressivism” Turns Into the “Epitome of Black Oppression”

I know this will be controversial but I don’t  have a problem if a teacher is found to be racist, as long as it doesn’t interrupt instruction.* I feel comfortable around black people because I grew up on a dairy farm where my family employed four black families. Who’s that? Why, it’s Nathan Parker,  the superintendent of the “progressive” suburban school district of Montclair, New Jersey where the average price for a home is $662,000 and …