Mashea Ashton Talks Newark, Cory Booker, and the Challenges of Launching Her Own School

This is a guest post by my friend and Colleague Maureen Kelleher. a senior writer and editor at Education Post where this piece first appeared. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. Mashea Ashton tells the truth, even when it’s hard. Almost three years ago, when she moved to Washington, D.C. to be closer to family, she initially rejected the idea of opening her own …

What I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Teaching at Newark’s KIPP Rise Academy

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. It was first published at Education Post. I am currently in my 12th year of teaching. I spent my first two years in The Bronx at P.S. 211 and have spent these past 10 years in Newark at Rise Academy. What follows is a series of recommendations to myself—the first, what …

Why Young Men in Newark Make Me Infinitely Hopeful for the Future of Our City

This is a guest post by Antwann Brown who is in his second year working at KIPP NJ Rise Academy where he serves as the Assistant Dean of Students for 5th and 6thgrade. Before joining KIPP New Jersey, he worked at the Children’s Defense Fund where he focused on building language arts and literacy skills to underprivileged youth in Columbia, South Carolina. Brown has spent his life living in Irvington, NJ and is a graduate of …

A New Parent Advocacy Group Called “Project Ready” Launches in Newark: “It’s Time To Raise Our Voices,” says Leader Shennell McCloud

I first met Shennell McCloud, a tireless activist for the children and families of Newark, when she worked for KIPP New Jersey serving as Director of Recruitment and then as Director of Advocacy. We bonded personally over shared stories of our experiences with big-city public education (she in Newark, me in New York City) and having two children very close together. We’ve worked together professionally through her annual NJ Parent Summit and other Newark-based education-informed …

Tafshier Cosby-Thomas: “Parents are Making Choices for Their Children. Why Would Anyone Get in the Way of That?”

Last week I had the opportunity to interview long-time Newark resident Tafshier Cosby-Thomas on her experiences with the city’s public schools: traditional, magnet, and charter. While Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet, under instructions from Governor Phil Murphy, takes a “pause” on authorizing charter expansion in order to conduct his “review,” let’s pierce the smog of special interests and politicking around this hot-button issue and actually talk to parents whose children’s educational trajectory rides on decisions made …

Just Picture These Scholars Tomorrow! KIPP Joins with District Schools To Celebrate Future Heroes

Yesterday KIPP Seek Academy students enjoyed a Halloween parade with children from two district schools, George Washington Carver Elementary and Bruce Street School. But this was not your typical Halloween celebration! Instead of ghosts and goblins, 1,100 children dressed in costumes that represented their hopes and dreams for the future. According to KIPP, spectators caught a glimpse of “our future police officers, doctors, teachers and even Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Astronaut Mae Jemison.” After the …

When School Supply Lists Give Rise to Bullying (and Worse). Here’s What’s Missing from those “Back to School” Stories.

Kei-Sygh Thomas is a freelance writer and a former editorial fellow at The 74, as well as a KIPPNJ alumna. Find her on Twitter: @KeiSyghThomas. This post was originally published at The Grade. The return to school filled my household with anxiety – not because of nervousness about the new teacher or new kids, but because we couldn’t afford the expense. A free and public education isn’t free when there are backpacks to be filled with …

This School Year Let’s Treat Our Teachers Like Celebrities.

This is a guest post by Ryan Hill, the founder and chief executive officer of KIPP New Jersey (formerly TEAM Schools), a network of public charter schools in Newark and Camden, New Jersey. KIPP New Jersey is part of the nationally recognized “Knowledge Is Power Program” network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. This first ran at Education Post. My father was …

During KIPP’s “Summer Jump,” Kids with Disabilities Learn With Typical Kids. How Does This Work?

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicolina Abruzzese, Assistant Principal of Special Education at KIPP Bold Academy, a charter middle school in Newark that is part of the KIPP New Jersey charter school network. This is Nicolina’s fourth year with KIPPNJ and tenth year in education. She has worked as a Special Education coordinator, department chair and coach of special education teachers and  paraprofessionals, co-chair of the Child Study Team, and as a special education teacher in her …

Camden Families Beg To Differ With NJEA and Education Law Center: Pass That Bill!

Alert! Alert! A new bill in the New Jersey Legislature intends to infest Camden’s traditional school system with a malignancy disguised as a minor legislative tweak. This new bill, an adjustment to the 2012 Urban Hope Act, threatens to decimate the district by siphoning resources from real public schools in order to dramatically expand the reach of fake public schools, also known as “renaissance” schools, which are run by craven privatizers. In addition, the bill …