Five Facts About A Request to Intervene In a Lawsuit Seeking to Deny School Choice to Low-Income New Jersey Families.

Yesterday a group of New Jersey public charter school parents, a Jersey City charter school, and the NJ Charter School Association (NJCSA) filed a motion to intervene in a May 2018 lawsuit filed by the New Jersey Coalition for Diverse and Inclusive Schools and litigated by Education Law Center and a law firm called Pashman Stein. The ELC/Pashman Stein lawsuit (let’s just call it ELC) charges that former Education Commissioner David Hespe’s 2016 approval of …

“Dear Mark”: A Veteran Teacher Gives Himself Ten Pieces of Advice As Another School Year Begins.

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. For Mark’s other posts, see here, here, and here. Dear Mark, You called out sick today (Thursday, September 6, 2007). Only your third day of school — ever! — and you lied about having a family emergency in Rhode Island. I know, you’re scared; not of the kids but of the …

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 …

A Pro’s Advice to New Teachers: When You’re Honest About Yourself, You Give Students Permission to Be Honest Too.

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.  I like to say that kids have the best bullshit detectors in the world. They can tell when you’re faking and they can tell when it’s real. My usual prescription to teachers against the inevitable bullshit is — be authentic, be you. However, I think that the word authentic has …

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 …

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 …

Newark Students Deserve Education Champions Who Keep Their Promises

This is a guest post by Tommy Luna who is currently entering his 10th year as an eighth grade math teacher at Newark’s Rise Academy. He is also co-chair for the grass-roots group Newark for Educational Equity and Diversity (NEED). This first appeared at Education Post. It’s no secret that education in the city of Newark has had a tumultuous history. It’s a history with a complex narrative—going from a distinguished district to a state …

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 …

Education Law Center and NJEA Are Not Celebrating National Charter Schools Week. Here’s Why.

School choice and equity supporters are celebrating National Charter Schools Week and in New Jersey we have an extra reason to celebrate. Last week a NJ Appellate Court upheld a 2016 decision by then-Education Commissioner David Hespe to allow seven Newark charter schools to expand. Who’s not celebrating? Education Law Center, which challenged the decision, as well as NJ’s primary union NJEA, which largely funds ELC and whose former and current Executive Directors sit on …

What Happens When Traditional Schools and Charter Schools Are Located in the Same Building? Answers from a Newark Mom.

April Peele is a Newark mother of a daughter who attends KIPP Seek Academy. I want to be completely honest with you: I don’t understand parents who say they don’t care what school their child goes to or what type of experience they have while they’re there. What parent in their right mind would say that? Certainly not me! When choosing a school for my daughter, I did my research. When I found KIPP I …