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 …

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 …