Voices From the Parent Summit: An Interview with Jabbar Wilkins.

During this past weekend at the New Jersey Parent Summit (see here for an overview) I chatted with many parents. During the next two weeks I’m posting some of the interviews: See the first one here. In some cases I’ve added links and editorial comments to add context. Here’s Jabbar Wilkins, father of seven (three biological children and four step-children) who grew up and still lives in Camden. Laura: Jabbar, would you tell me about …

Guess Who’s Coming to Next Weekend’s NJ Parent Summit?

I’ve been eagerly anticipating next weekend’s New Jersey Parent Summit,  an annual conference organized by the Newark-based non-profit Project Ready. Now I’m even more excited because the organizers announced today that veteran White House correspondent April Ryan, named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2017, will be the keynote speaker. She’ll talk about the importance of voting, fighting voter suppression, empowering parents, and organizing urban communities ahead of the …

Is NJEA the Ventriloquist and Governor Murphy the Dummy?

Once upon a time the New Jersey Education Association was about education and professional development for teachers. But NJ’s primary teachers’ union has undergone a shift and, according to a new report out by Michael Lilley, “today’s NJEA is all politics.” This shift ties directly to the current shenanigans at the NJ Department of Education, which I’ve been covering for about nine months (complete NJ DOE Watch series here) and recent confirmation that  NJEA “contributed …

What Happens When Traditional Schools and Charter Schools Are Located in the Same Building? Answers from a Newark Mom.

April Peele is a Newark mother of a daughter who attends KIPP Seek Academy. I want to be completely honest with you: I don’t understand parents who say they don’t care what school their child goes to or what type of experience they have while they’re there. What parent in their right mind would say that? Certainly not me! When choosing a school for my daughter, I did my research. When I found KIPP I …

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 …

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 …

Stacey Abrams Will Give the Democratic Response to Trump’s SOTU. Here’s What She Should Know About What Parents Really Want.

This is a guest post from my friend and colleague Erika Sanzi, who blogs at Good School Hunting. She is a mother of three sons and taught in public schools in Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island. She is currently a Fordham senior visiting fellow. Stacey Abrams became something of a household name in the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterms and tonight she will give the Democrat response to the President’s State of the …

Citing Turnout, This Camden Parent Leader Salutes November School Board Elections

Bryan Morton is Executive Director of Parents for Great Camden Schools, which seeks to “empower, mobilize and strengthen the voice of every Camden parent to advocate for all children to receive a high quality education.”  It is a very exciting time to be a Camden parent! Our schools are making progress at a rate that was previously unheard of, quality options are available in almost every corner of the city, and most recently the community …

You Want An Authentic Charter School Review? New Jersey Has One Now! Parents Brave the Cold To Speak Truth to Comm. Repollet

Yesterday I stood outside State Department of Education in Trenton and watched dozens of parents deliver 2,000 postcards, carefully stacked in boxes, each pleading with DOE Commissioner Lamont Repollet to end the charter school moratorium. One by one, on frigid Riverside Plaza, parents approached the microphone and voiced support for public school choice in New Jersey. “Parents are standing strong, and we have a clear message for our leaders: we love our public charter schools …

Voices from the NJ Parent Summit: Erica Explains It All!

Meet Erica Beverett of Lumberton, New Jersey. A Head Start teacher in Trenton, Erica is attending the NJ Parent Summit this weekend for the Leadership Track, which prepares parents to engage other parents in becoming strong advocates for their children. Erica didn’t use to live in Lumberton (Burlington County). She and her two children, now fourteen and thirteen, lived in Willingboro, about fifteen minutes away. On a personal note, I used to cover Willingboro on …