With Kids at Home, Parents Are Overwhelmed. Here Are Resources That Can Help.

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague Erika Sanzi. Erika is a former educator and elected school committee member and the chief editor of Project Forever Free, where this piece first appeared. I wish my kids loved to read. But they don’t. They don’t even like it very much. And this may present a challenge as we move forward into a pandemic that will likely have our kids out of school for …

Camden Councilwoman: “I Believe in the Transformation that is Taking Place in the City of my Birth,” Including Five Straight Years of Academic Improvement in Camden Schools.

This is a guest post by Felisha Reyes Morton who is a Camden Councilwoman (and first Latina to represent the 4th Ward since redistricting), co-founding member of the North Camden Little League, and former Camden School District Advisory Board Vice President. Years ago, the small city that I was born in, grew up in and went to school in was left for dead. Growing up in Camden’s Parkside neighborhood, I got to watch Diane Sawyer come …

Parent Voices: This District Calls the Police When a 6-Year-Old with Down Syndrome Points a Finger But Ignores Beatdowns.

This guest post was written by blogger Pattye Benson, who lives in the Tredyffrin/Easttown (T/E) school district in Chester County, Pennsylvania. It is a follow-up to last week’s post, written by the mom of a kindergartner with Down Syndrome. The earlier post describes how the six-year-old pointed her finger at a teacher and said “I shoot you;” the district reacted by making a formal police report, which will remain on Margot’s permanent record. Here is …

School Officials File Police Report on Kindergartner with Down Syndrome.

This post was originally published on Project Forever Free by its chief editor, my pal Erika Sanzi. Erika also blogs at Good School Hunting. She is a former educator and school board member and the mother of three school aged sons who currently attend a district school, a charter school, and a private school. We have all heard of school districts where discretion and common sense seem non-existent and poorly drafted policies end up being …

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 …

Cancel Culture in Newark: Superintendent Ignores Parent Voices and Demands Closure of Charters.

Last week Newark Superintendent Roger Leon wrote a letter to New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet demanding that Repollet, NJ’s sole charter authorizer, not renew four Newark 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.”  Leon’s “request” is bewildering — not to mention arrogant — as he tries to cancel the voices of Newark parents who …

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 …

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 …

The Annual NJEA Convention, Starting Today, Is SO Old-School. What If We Did Things Differently?

Today New Jersey parents woke up to their annual smack in the face: All public schools are closed today and tomorrow, the first Thursday and Friday in November, so that NJEA can host its convention in Atlantic City. That’s on top of school closures on Monday for Veteran’s Day, making this a delightful five-day weekend. That’s on top of student conferences, which some NJ schools hold in November, closing schools for several consecutive half-days. That’s …

Camden Parents Celebrate Their Power as All Schools Rise.

For the very first time more than 250 families who call Camden home joined together on October 19th for what will become an annual event: the Camden Parent Power Summit. Sponsored by Parents for Great Camden Schools, the event featured leadership training, workshops, networking opportunities, a local business expo, and a “Kids Fun Day.” The point was to train parents in educational advocacy, raise their comfort level with school involvement, and celebrate the academic gains …