NJ DOE Watch: How Deep Does the Nepotism Go? A Peek Behind the Curtains At Repollet’s Chief of Staff.

We all know about nepotism at the Schools Development Authority where chief Lizette Delgado-Polanco, appointed by Gov. Murphy, inflated her credentials at an Assembly hearing, fired longtime employees, and hired about three dozen friends, family, many of whom were placed in jobs paying more than $100,000 annually even though they lacked the requisite qualifications. It’s not quite as bad at the NJ Department of Education, despite insider reports of Commissioner Lamont Repollet’s “book of resumes” …

Repollet Demands the State BOE Take The 64 Floor Statewide and Reveals His Inner Trump.

Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet is angry. Yesterday the State Board of Education postponed a vote to approve his plan to take his Asbury Park 64 Floor statewide by lowering standards and lying to families about student academic progress. Now he’s threatening to ignore the Board’s oversight. Next, I suppose, he’ll accuse the Board of treason, invent derogatory names for them, and tweet profane insults. The Commissioner’s behavior is short of Trumpian but still reeks of …

Murphy Manages To Deliver What Nobody Wants.

Governor Phil Murphy loves to talk about how he’s moving New Jersey forward but in the world of K-12 education he’s intent on moving us back ten years. Remember the days of the High School Proficiency Assessments (HSPA), those basic skills tests that former Education Commissioner Lucille Davy, who served under Jon Corzine, deemed “8th grade level”? The assessments so easy to pass that our graduation rate was sky-high and first-year college students, deceived by …

“It’s Good To Be The King!” A (Sort of Fake) Interview with Lamont Repollet Where I Get To Ask the Questions.

Last week NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney  interviewed Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet on NJTV. (Here’s his write-up, which includes a link to the full video.) I confess to a bit of jealousy: With all the turmoil roiling around the Commissioner and the Department of Education, I have a few questions myself.  And so, as a sort of wish-fulfillment exercise, I decided to ask my own questions here which include requests for elaboration on some of Repollet’s …

And…Repollet Takes “The 64 Floor” Statewide.

For those of you following along, while both principal at Carteret High School and as superintendent of Asbury Park Public Schools, Lamont Repollet instituted a practice called “The 64 Floor.” As I explain here (and Repollet confirmed before legislators here), when high school teachers enter grades into the database at Asbury Park, an A+ is a 97,  an A is a 94, and so on. Now here is where it gets interesting. A D is …

Dear Dr. Repollet (and Gov. Murphy and NJEA): School Spending Is NOT a Proxy for Educational Equity.

Subject: A message from Dr. Repollet September 6, 2019 Dear Fellow NJDOE Employees, The start of a new school year is always a joyous occasion, but this year in particular we have a great reason to celebrate: New Jersey schools rank number one in the nation, thanks in part to our commitment to funding education and to our push for educational equity for all students. This is the first paragraph of an email Commissioner Lamont …

New Jersey Students Are #1! Too Bad Murphy/NJEA/Repollet Are Working On a Regression Plan. Bonus: Internal DOE Email.

Education Week’s Research Center  just issued the final portion of its 2019 Quality Counts annual report, which rates each state’s education system. Guess what? New Jersey rocked it, for the first time beating Massachusetts, long-heralded for its high-achieving schools, and achieving #1 status as the top-performing school system in the nation. Two points jump out at me, one on our upswing in student proficiency in math and reading and the other on school spending and …

PARCC Part 2: Why, For the First Time in Five Years, Did Student Growth Stall?

Yesterday I reacted to the news, revealed during Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting, that student achievement, as measured by standardized tests, flat-lined after four consecutive years of growth. I also discussed Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet’s proposal — already in progress despite Board members’ admonitions to Repollet last Spring to not lower standards — to, well, lower standards by creating easier tests in fewer grades. I noted that I didn’t have the data on achievement …

With New Student Test Results Released, Repollet Tries to Turn New Jersey Public Schools into One Big Asbury Park.

Yesterday Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet presented the State Board of Education with last Spring’s standardized test scores. NJ Spotlight describes the results as “leveling off of gains under the old PARCC tests, with only about half the students passing the math and language-arts exams.” The Star-Ledger concluded, “many New Jersey students are still struggling to make the grade, and statewide gains in test scores are starting to level off.”  In our fifth year of testing …

“It’s Embarrassing to Work For the NJ DOE These Days and Pretend That the Emperor Has Brains and Clothes!”: Staff Take Umbrage at “Employee Appreciation Week”

Last week, New Jersey Department of Education’s staff members’ inboxes filled up with cheery reminders from their supervisors regarding “NJ DOE Employee Appreciation Week.” An outsider would assume that these missives would be welcome. They weren’t. Instead, I heard from a number of demoralized staff members who regarded the many activities planned — golfing, picnics, biking, racing, food trucks, contests, entertainment — as just so much bluster from an Administration focused not on education but …