New Report Dispels Myths and Proves That Attending Newark Charter Schools Is Good for Children

Today the Manhattan Institute published a data analysis by senior fellow Marcus Winters called “Charter Schools in Newark: The Effect on Student Test Scores.” Unsurprisingly– a number of other reports have confirmed this (see here, here, here, here) — Newark charter school students outperform traditional school district students when assessed for proficiency in reading and math. What makes Winters’ analysis different is that he is able to control for a number of issues that often …

“Dear Commissioner Repollet”: NJ Children’s Foundation Fends Off Newark Superintendent’s “Ideology and Factual Misstatements” Against Charter Schools.

Below is a letter sent late yesterday from the New Jersey Children’s Foundation expressing the non-profit’s “vehement disagreement with the four letters submitted by the Newark school district last week opposing the renewal applications submitted by four Newark charter schools.” For my coverage of Newark Superintendent Roger Leon’s attempt to cancel parent voices, see here. January 6, 2020 Dr. Lamont Repollet, CommissionerNew Jersey Department of EducationP.O. Box 500Trenton, NJ 08625-0500 RE: Newark Charter Renewal Applications …

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, …

Top Democratic Candidates’ Disrespect for Parents of Color Has Me Wondering If I Fit Into This Party Anymore.

Politico reports today that Elizabeth Warren’s support among Democratic and left-leaning Independent primary voters “plunged 50 percent over the past month, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.”  The article speculates her “plummet” may be due to her “Medicare for All” plan, but, in a fit of wishful thinking — educational equity advocates should have such sway! — I wonder if Warren’s loss of support is at least partially due to last Friday’s news that …

At KIPP Seek Academy in Newark, It’s A Different Kind of Halloween!

 Today’s no ordinary day at KIPP Seek Academy in Newark. Instead of the traditional Halloween parades, students there are attending school today dressed in outfits that represent their hopes and dreams for the future. Oh, there is a parade, but instead of ghosts and Spiderman, students will dress as doctors, teachers, computer programmers, police officers, and even Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and astronaut Mae Jemison! After the parade, Seek students will participate in a …

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 …

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 …

What Does Your New VP of the New Jersey State Board of Education Think About Testing and Accountability? Let Him Tell You Himself.

Last week Andrew Mulvihill was elected Vice President of the New Jersey State Board of Education, with Kathy Goldenberg as President. He shared with me his remarks upon his election, prefacing them by noting that he is “looking forward to a fresh, new approach to how the board operates. With what limited power we do have I plan on pursuing an agenda that focuses on standards and accountability because that’s what’s best for New Jersey …

Paymon Rouhanifard and Cami Anderson Discuss the “Staggering Lack of Efficiency and Accountability” In the Schools Development Authority. Your Taxes at Work, Folks.

On Sunday TapintoNewark ran a piece that describes how over the last ten years “the state agency responsible for building schools in 31 former Abbott districts has spent more than $263 million to build five schools in Newark at a cost that far exceeded the limits set by the Legislature.” This agency is, of course, the scandal-ridden Schools Development Authority which is responsible for building and renovating school buildings in New Jersey’s Abbott districts. In …

People’s Prep Celebrates! Founder Jess Rooney Explains Her Work With Students Who Enter Years Behind Grade Level.

Last week I interviewed Jess Rooney, founder of People’s Prep, the only charter school in Newark without a “feeder,” i.e., an elementary and/or middle school that prepares students for rigorous high school academics. The reason for this interview is People’s Prep’s first celebration honoring the Class of 2019 and their families. But these honorees aren’t high school seniors: They’re college graduates. That’s because People’s Prep’s mission is to give students the tools to graduate from …