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, …

NJ’s Head of Special Education on Home Instruction for Students with Disabilities: “I’m Not Trying To Sugarcoat This in Any Way.”

If you’re a parent of a child with disabilities, you might have panicked when you read this yesterday: As part of [U.S.] Congress’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has proposed to include a provision in the pending stimulus bill that would give the Secretary of Education authority to approve state waiver requests for any statutory and/or regulatory requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for 1 year and extensions …

Leaked NJ DOE Email: “I’ve Been Forced Into Early Retirement by Assistant Commissioner Linda Eno.”

[Update: Yesterday Asst. Comm. Eno announced to staff that she is leaving the Department of Education in June.] This is an email sent Friday by a 20-year staff member of the New Jersey Department of Education who must take an early retirement due to unreasonable strictures imposed by Assistant Commissioner Linda Eno. This employee works on Whole School Reform in one of the state’s four Learning Resource Centers which provide free or low-cost onsite support …

Repollet Welcomes His Fraternity Bros to Their New Place of Employment!

On Friday, reporting on Asbury Public School District’s recent State Audit, I noted, “Word on the ground is that friends of the superintendent are quickly promoted to administrative levels, a trend that began with [current Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet, former Asbury Park superintendent] and continues under [current Asbury Park superintendent Sasha] Gray.” Some habits die hard. Sources report that many new hires at the Department of Education are Repollet’s fraternity brothers from the Phi Beta …

Murphy Talks Budget and Lakewood Gets Cash.

This morning the Lakewood Board of Education held a meeting in the high school auditorium for representatives from 127 private ultra-Orthodox Jewish day schools to learn about an unexpected boon: A little-noticed bill signed by Governor Murphy last year allots $5 million to pay public school STEM teachers (STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to earn extra money — more than they’d get per hour for extra duties in their traditional or charter schools —to teach in …

Leaked Memo From NJ Department of Education Offends Staff Members

A MESSAGE ON BEHALF OF CHIEF OF STAFF KELLIE LEDET Dear NJDOE Employees: This Sunday, February 23rd at 11:00 a.m. Commissioner Repollet will be speaking at Saint James AME Church in Newark as part of a special Greek/Pan-Hellenic Sunday program. Congregation members who are also members of the “Divine 9” have been invited to attend the service wearing their Greek paraphernalia, and they have encouraged us to extend this invitation to members of the NJDOE …

Repollet Is On The Short List For President of Kean University.

Last June I reported, ” I have heard now from four sources that Repollet has a specific reason for leaving. He will take over the presidency at Kean College at a salary northward of $300,000 plus an array of benefits.” Nothing came of it. Last September I speculated that New Jersey Commissioner Lamont Repollet was biding his time until the deal came through. Here’s part of my mock interview: Laura: Yes, we were ranked number #1 …

Is Phil Murphy Spending Too Much Time in the Italian Sun? How Else To Explain His Veto?

Maybe Phil Murphy needs to vacation in cooler climes in order to make fair decisions on school funding for New Jersey residents, already taxed to the teeth. Yet he deserves a degree of sympathy: Just how much cognitive dissonance is generated by positioning oneself as a man of the common people while sending your kids to elite boarding schools and vacationing at your 23-room mansion in Italy? Because I don’t know how else to explain …

Three Cheers for NJ DOE Commissioner Lamont Repollet!

Boy, I bet you didn’t expect to see that headline from me. I just can’t help myself: After Newark Superintendent Roger Leon —with no guidance from his School Board–demanded that Comm. Repollet close down four charter schools and “deny any and all requests for new charter schools and charter renewals unless the applicant shows that it would serve a specific educational need,” the answer appears to be “no.” Or close to that: Of the three …

Charter Skeptics, Look at the Facts: The Majority of Newark Parents Say Charters Are Their First Choice as They Watch Their Children Thrive.

This is a guest post by Kyle Rosenkrans, founder and executive director of the New Jersey Children’s Foundation. Its mission is to invest in people, programs, and partnerships that will improve public education systems by putting the interests of children first. It first ran in the Star-Ledger. Facts, science, and truth matter more today than ever, as the public swims in a polluted ocean of “fake news” and stealthy misinformation campaigns to sway their opinion. …