Five Facts About A Request to Intervene In a Lawsuit Seeking to Deny School Choice to Low-Income New Jersey Families.

Yesterday a group of New Jersey public charter school parents, a Jersey City charter school, and the NJ Charter School Association (NJCSA) filed a motion to intervene in a May 2018 lawsuit filed by the New Jersey Coalition for Diverse and Inclusive Schools and litigated by Education Law Center and a law firm called Pashman Stein. The ELC/Pashman Stein lawsuit (let’s just call it ELC) charges that former Education Commissioner David Hespe’s 2016 approval of …

“Dear Mark”: A Veteran Teacher Gives Himself Ten Pieces of Advice As Another School Year Begins.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for ten years. For Mark’s other posts, see here, here, and here. Dear Mark, You called out sick today (Thursday, September 6, 2007). Only your third day of school — ever! — and you lied about having a family emergency in Rhode Island. I know, you’re scared; not of the kids but of the …

Voices From the NJ Parent Summit: Nicole Harris Says Parents Have The Right To Choose the Best Schools in Their Community — and That Choice May Be Different for Each Child.

During the first weekend in August, Project Ready hosted the New Jersey Parent Summit (see here for an overview). I chatted with many parents and this is the last of the posted interviews: See earlier ones here, here, here, here, and here.  In some cases I’ve added links and editorial comments to add context. This interview is with Nicole Harris, a mother of three who runs an afterschool program for 1,000 New Jersey students. Laura: Can you tell me a bit about …

Voices from the Parent Summit: Tafshier Cosby-Thomas on Charter School Wars, a Pact With Her Sisters, and Helping Parents Become Education Advocates.

Last year I interviewed Tafshier Cosby-Thomas about her educational experiences in Newark, both as a student and a parent. At the time of that interview, the New Jersey Department of Education was in the midst of its Charter School Act Review and soliciting input from lobbyists and, more importantly, parents. Tafshier was one of those parents. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for a video of her addressing  the DOE and Commissioner Repollet).When I …

Charter Schools Must Be Part of the Solution for Desegregation.

This is a guest post by Sonia Park, Executive Director of Diverse Charter Schools Coalition. She has has over 18 years of experience in school start-up, support, accountability, and development. This essay, which first appeared at Education Post, is particularly relevant to New Jersey given a current lawsuit that claims, all evidence to the contrary, that NJ’s charter sector increases school segregation. For my take on the lawsuit, see here and here. America is more …

Voices From the Parent Summit: Shayvonne Anderson Overcomes Personal Tragedy and Explains How Newark Got Beyond The “Charter vs. Traditional” School Mindset.

Shayvonne Anderson,  a lifelong Newark resident and mother of ten children, was elected this year to the Newark School Board as part of the Unity Slate. I interviewed her during the New Jersey Parent Summit (see here for an overview).  For other interviews with attendees, here are Ruthven Haneef Auguste and Jabbar Wilkins. In some cases I’ve added links and editorial comments to add context. Laura: Shayvonne, will you tell me a little about yourself …

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 …

Voices From the Parent Summit: An Interview with Ruthven Haneef Auguste.

During this past weekend at the New Jersey Parent Summit (see here for an overview) I chatted with many parents. Over the next two weeks I’ll post some of the interviews. In some I’ve added links and editorial comments to add context. Here’s Newark dad Ruthven Haneef Auguste, who told me about his own school experiences and how he has fought for better outcomes for his three daughters. Laura: Haneef, can you tell me a …

Ten Ways to Be All In Like Jon Snow This Year.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for ten years.  (Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. But like from Season 6, so no excuses; play like a champion.) There is shot in the penultimate episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones in which Jon Snow is about to battle the army of Ramsay Bolton on the grounds of Winterfell in order to …

NJEA and Education Law Center, Listen Up: New Jersey Charter Schools Have No Impact on Segregation.

[T]here are several states where charters appear to have little or no effect on segregation, such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Oregon. That’s one of the results of a new national study called “Charter School Effects on School Integration” (for a short version, see here) about the impact of charter schools on racial segregation across the country. This data-based analysis, say researchers Tomas Monarrez, Brian Kisida and Matthew M. Chingos, “shows that critics …