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. …

During Covid-19, Are Charter Schools Leading the Way?

On Monday I looked at the stark disparities in the quality of online instruction offered to children during the COVID-19 school closures, comparing Princeton Regional Public Schools with Trenton City Public Schools. This is one data point, although representative of New Jersey’s two separate and unequal school systems, an exemplary one for the wealthy (disproportionately white and Asian) students and an inferior one for the poor (disproportionately black and brown) students. These inequities are exacerbated …

How Did College Achieve Public Charter Schools Pull Together Online Learning So Quickly and Effectively? Answers From the Founder.

This is a guest post by Mike Piscal, founder of College Achieve Public Schools in New Jersey, which operates six public charter schools in New Jersey. A week ago, we thought we were probably going to have to close our schools for a couple of weeks.  We started to plan.  Our network – College Achieve Public Schools (CAPS) – operates seven charter schools on six campuses in Paterson, Plainfield, North Plainfield, Neptune, and Asbury Park, …

On Charters, a New Report Shows That White Democrats Are Getting It Wrong. (Listen Up, Bernie/Liz/Joe!)

Judging by the harsh turn that some politicians have taken against charter schools, voters might well imagine that the data look darker than they did when President Barack Obama championed them. That is simply not the case: studies still affirm that charters provide a substantial academic benefit for low-income students of color, benefit children who remain in traditional public schools, and provide the taxpayer with a far greater return on investment. Whatever is driving the …

If Phil Murphy Were Really “Progressive,” He’d Chuck the Marketing Ploys and Focus on Children.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice. That’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous 1963 letter from the Birmingham jail. Fifty-seven years later I think that Dr. King would have changed the phrase “white moderate” to “white progressive.” …

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 …

Dear Gov. Murphy/Comm. Repollet/NJEA: Look at This School and Tell Us Again Why You Want to Water Down High School Testing.

Last week I wrote about the dilemma facing the New Jersey State Board of Education: To accept a low-ball standardized testing proposal from accountability-averse Commissioner Lamont Repollet (ELA 10, Algebra 1, and Geometry, all taken in 11th grade) or gamble on the Legislature passing a bill that would permit the state to test high school students when they finish a course. (See here for more background.) In a 12-1 vote the Board played it safe …

Here’s What Happened Yesterday When AFT and NEA Locked Out Black and Brown Parents from a Candidate Forum.

Yesterday the AFT/NEA sponsored a “Public Education Forum” in Pittsburgh. There, hand-selected union members heard from seven Democratic presidential candidates as one by one they pledged their troth, promising to starve alternative public schools and increase funding for traditional schools in exchange for teacher union money and endorsement. At the same time as the candidates were courting union lobbyists, over 250 parents, mostly Black and Brown mothers and grandmothers, gathered in a hotel down the …

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, …

Wait: Is This a Democratic Presidential Candidate “Public Education Forum” or a Circle-Jerk?

“At last,” I exulted, as I peered at a Slack message from a colleague. The Democratic presidential candidates are going to finally discuss America’s public schools! We’ll witness (it’s live-streamed) a robust conversation about their plans to improve school quality, how they’ll ensure that children know how to read by third grade, how they’ll hold schools accountable for student growth, whether they’re committed to giving parents (especially those in long-struggling districts) the right to have …