Montclair Families, “Devastated” By Remote Instruction, Demand To Be Treated As “Equal Shareholders”

This is a petition circulating among Montclair parents who oppose the district’s decision to begin the school year remotely, despite 70% of parents voting for an “in-person hybrid model.” At the bottom of the petition, signatories ask that district personnel, not MEA (Montclair Education Association, the teachers union) fulfill requests under the Open Records Act “in order to ensur[e] transparency.” This request suggests a concern that MEA may be less than forthright in supplying public …

Stop Trying To Indoctrinate My Kids.

My pal and colleague Erika Sanzi is chief editor of Project Forever Free, where this post first appeared. She is the mother of three school-aged sons who currently attend a district school, a charter school, and a private school—in 3 different zip codes. I really don’t need activists trying to indoctrinate my children under the guise of classroom teaching. If they are up to the challenge of providing background information, a variety of perspectives and …

I Nearly Broke My Back But My Kid’s In A Program

Dear readers, my writing is sparse this week and here’s why: On Tuesday morning, for the first time in six months since programs for adults with disabilities shut down due to Covid-19, our son Jonah had access to a structured activity run by a program in a different county: 90 minutes a day on Zoom. He was a nervous wreck on Monday but Tuesday he was thoroughly engaged (doesn’t hurt that his best friend is …

New Study: Almost 40% of Parents Have Disenrolled Their Children —At Least Until It’s Safe.

Civis Analytics has been doing national research (with deep dives in Florida, Washington, Texas, Ohio, and New York) on the social, economic, and educational effects of COVID-19 in America. The research was funded by the Gates Foundation. Below are the educational results. 39.7% of parents of K-12 students across the US say that they have disenrolled their children from the school they were originally supposed to attend this year, in response to school reopening plans. …

NJ Parent: The Department of Education’s Reopening Plan “Says Nothing!”

A New Jersey parent emailed NJLB to express her thoughts on the New Jersey Department of Education’s management of school reopenings. At her request, this post is anonymous. A Road Back to where? In a state that touts diversity, not one document by the New Jersey Department of Education has been translated into any other language. So these high-level documents like the DOE’s reopening plan, Restart and Recovery: The Road Back, (that truly says nothing …

At A Loss For Words, Knowing I Need to Speak

This is a guest post by Patrick Riccards, executive director of Best in the World Teachers. Riccards, a resident of West Windsor, NJ, previously served as chief of staff to the National Reading Panel and as director of the federal Partnership for Reading Collaborative. He is the author of Why Kids Can’t Read: Continuing to Challenge the Status Quo in Education. This first appeared on brightbeam’s Project Forever Free. I’m at a complete loss for …

My Son Is A Hero At His Micro-School, Even During Coronavirus Closures

This is a guest post by Jeremy Gartner, the loving father of two wonderful little explorers who attend Acton Academy of Bergen County. Jeremy has been a judge for the last three years at F.I.R.S.T Robotics Competitions and is currently excited to mentor the Robotics Teams at Acton Academy. Our son is eight years old. Last year, he was in a public school in first grade and did not find joy with the learning process. …

Why Aren’t Teachers Freaking Out Over Biden and Bernie’s Education Task Force?

This is a guest post by Chris Stewart, the Chief Executive Officer of brightbeam. He was named CEO in April 2019, after formerly serving as chief executive of Wayfinder Foundation. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, put together an advisory council to help his state “reimagine” public education. Fearing Cuomo and his partner, the Gates Foundation, will produce a plan that creates accountability and expectations in their public school pension farm, the NYC teacher types pounced. “There’s no …

My Child with Dyslexia Won’t Be Your Statistic

Marilyn Muller is the mother of a 12 year-old child with dyslexia. She is a retired SmithBarney Financial Advisor turned full-time mom and accidental volunteer activist. Through her daily efforts she advocates for evidence-based literacy practices in public school classrooms for the equitable benefit of each vulnerable child. I didn’t lay in a hospital bed for 51 days to lose my only biological child to illiteracy. Yet I almost did. This isn’t supposed to happen because …

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 …