Hand Me The Barf Bag: I Agree With Trump Jr. On School Choice.

It is unacceptable that too many African American and Hispanic American children are stuck in bad schools, just because of their ZIP code. Agree or disagree? Personally I find this sentiment in line with my own values about educational equity. Certainly my friends and colleagues at brightbeam would sign onto this statement in a jiffy and, most likely, many of you too. So hold onto your hats: The statement above was uttered by Donald Trump, …

What Can Districts Learn From Top Public Charters on Remote Instruction? Highlights From a New Report.

Yesterday I posted a letter (read it here) from the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association to the Democratic National Committee. The 65 signatories express grave disappointment at the DNC’s anti-charter  stance, which the signatories call “especially egregious” in light of powerful support from Black and Latino parents. Today the Fordham Institute published a report called “Schooling Covid-19: Lessons from Leading Charter networks from Their Transition to Remote Learning.” Here, Gregg Vanourek examines the successful …

NJ Charter School Staff Call Out DNC For “Egregious” Attacks on Schools Favored By Black and Latino Families

Ten days ago the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association, on behalf of 65 signatories, sent a letter to the Democratic Platform Committee expressing their “deep disapppointment” with the Committee’s language on education because it is “harmful to charter schools, and the students and families we are honored to serve. They write, Mr. Biden should be careful not to turn his back on the Black, Brown and working-class families in New Jersey who support him, …

How The DNC Platform “Falls Flat” When It Comes To Charter Schools.

Here is a release from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers called “Myth-Busting the Democratic National Party Platform: The Role of Charter School Authorizing.” This week the Democratic Party is set to adopt its 2020 party platform at its virtual convention. NACSA commends the platform for its strong support of public education, with calls to increase Title I funding and fully fund IDEA obligations for the first time in history. These are admirable positions that ensure equitable access to education.   …

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Must Rise: Thoughts on Last Night’s Convention.

True confession: I didn’t watch the Democratic virtual convention last night. Currently I’m maintaining my mental health by mainlining “The West Wing,” sort of like Tom Hanks clinging to his volleyball while castaway for four years on a deserted island. But I did read media coverage this morning and listened to Bruce Springsteen’s anthem “The Rising,” first composed after the 9-11 attack in 2001 and repurposed for the convention. The video of the song that …

Newark Charters Pledge to Exceed Health and Academic Standards During COVID

Today thirteen public charter schools in Newark signed the “COVID-19 Compact” that represents a commitment to common standards for the new school year. These standards promise Newark’s charter school families that schools will reopen responsibly, ensure high safety standards for students and staff, maintain the high-quality instruction both in buildings and at home, and support children’s social-emotional learning needs.  The Compact was created by all school leaders with support from the New Jersey Children’s Foundation. …

Newark’s Newest Charter School Leader Is Well Equipped to Manage School Reopenings Amidst a Pandemic

“The key is a great team of committed professionals — even in the midst of a pandemic, even in the midst of uncertainty— so that our scholars thrive and succeed.” That’s Dr. Christy Oliver-Hawley, the new Head of Schools for Newark’s University Heights Charter School (UHCS) as she takes over three schools with 926 pre-K-8th grade students in the Central Ward. Her recent appointment is a culmination of both UHCS’s national search for a leader …

“A Legacy Shattered”: Parents of Jersey City Charter School Protest Board’s Removal of Principal

This is a press release written by parents from The Ethical Community Charter School (TECCS) after a virtual school board meeting where the 150 parents participating were told that Principal Marta Bergamini will not return. Jersey City, NJ – Last night parents and staff of The Ethical Community Charter School attended the monthly Board of Trustees meeting with hope of news on the return of Principal Marta Bergamaini. After waiting three weeks for an update, …

For New NJ Teacher Union Group, Politics Trumps Safe School Reopenings

I’m all for safety. As the mom of four young adults (and the mother-in-law of two more), I worry about any of them contracting COVID-19, not to mention my husband, myself, and all our loved ones. While I’m desperate (really, you have no idea) for the day when our youngest can return to his day program, we’re stoically resigned to the reality that this won’t happen any time soon. This has nothing to do with …

New Report: 75% of Newark’s Public Charter Schools Beat The Odds.

Earlier this month, Margrady Research released a study called “Resilience: Will Urban Schools that Beat the Odds Continue to Do So During the COVID-19 Pandemic?” Analysts Jesse Margolis and Eli Groves started the project before coronavirus hit and so the report is divided into two parts. The first part updates 2015 data from the Center For Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), which calculated the percentage of students in 50 large U.S. cities that attend “beat the …