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 …

Project Ready Delivers Over 1,000 Care Packages To All Newark High School Graduates Embarking on College or the Military!

“Whether they’re attending college or joining our military, we want to support the next generation of Newark leaders by providing these graduating seniors with some essentials for their next chapter in life.One of those essentials is a voter registration form, because elections matter to our community and we want to empower our young leaders to use their voice to vote not just in the upcoming presidential election, but in all local races as well.” That’s …

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 …

New Community Advocacy Group Project Ready, Hosts “1,000 Newarkers Vote By Mail” Luncheon

I go to education-related events all the time but I’ve rarely been as inspired as I was Saturday in Newark. There, Shennell McCloud’s new community organization, Project Ready NJ, hosted a celebration of its successful first initiative: to get 1,000 Newarkers, mostly women of color, to register to vote by mail. Why? Because Shennell and her enthusiastic team believe voting is a critical issue of access and equity, as well as a key part of …

As Newark Changes, We Can’t Leave Our Children Behind

This is a guest post by A. Robert Gregory, Superintendent/CEO of the Marion P. Thomas Charter School network and fromer Interim Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. He’s part of the annual Future Chiefs leadership program by Chiefs for Change, a national nonprofit organization.  I remember it like yesterday, driving up Springfield Avenue from Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark with my grandmother, Juanita Gregory, more than 30 years ago. She was a first-generation Newarker who loved and …

Just How Good Is Your Local School District? You Won’t Find Out By Browsing Ratings Sites. Spotlight on Princeton, Montclair, and Newark.

Over the weekend the Star-Ledger published a list of high schools with “surprisingly low scores” on school quality. Unlike the algorithms used by sites like the U.S. News and World Report ratings, which are limited to overall averages on tests like the SAT, New Jersey, like many other states, evaluates schools in a more granular manner (per federal education law), using a combination of student growth on standardized tests, graduation rates, and chronic absenteeism, the latter an indication …

I Want To Raise My Children In A World Where People of Color Are Empowered To Vote: Here’s How We Get It Done!

Shennell McCloud is the Executive Director of Project Ready, an organization which seeks to engage more Newark, NJ families in decision-making. She is the mother of a two-year-old and one-year-old and lives with her husband in Newark. While watching Stacey Abrams deliver a passionate, articulate, and fiery response to the State of the Union, all I could think was “how could this woman possibly lose the election for governor of her state?” The real reason …