During Covid-19, Are Charter Schools Leading the Way?

On Monday I looked at the stark disparities in the quality of online instruction offered to children during the COVID-19 school closures, comparing Princeton Regional Public Schools with Trenton City Public Schools. This is one data point, although representative of New Jersey’s two separate and unequal school systems, an exemplary one for the wealthy (disproportionately white and Asian) students and an inferior one for the poor (disproportionately black and brown) students. These inequities are exacerbated …

How Did College Achieve Public Charter Schools Pull Together Online Learning So Quickly and Effectively? Answers From the Founder.

This is a guest post by Mike Piscal, founder of College Achieve Public Schools in New Jersey, which operates six public charter schools in New Jersey. A week ago, we thought we were probably going to have to close our schools for a couple of weeks.  We started to plan.  Our network – College Achieve Public Schools (CAPS) – operates seven charter schools on six campuses in Paterson, Plainfield, North Plainfield, Neptune, and Asbury Park, …

Listen Up, New Jersey: It’s Time to Respect Parent Choice and Fairly Fund Public Charter School Facilities.

This is a guest post by Harry Lee, president of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association, and Patricia Morgan, executive director of JerseyCAN. Every student in New Jersey deserves to go to school in a safe, secure, and healthy school building. Since the 1980’s (when the New Jersey Supreme Court established a constitutional mandate that the state provide funding to low-income school districts), the state of New Jersey has spent roughly $15 billion on …

For Progressives, Solidarity with the Black Community Comes with Conditions

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. Progressives seem to have a problem when it comes to their claim of solidarity with the black community—it turns out that their solidarity comes with …

Four Corrections to an Anti-Choice Op-Ed By the Head of the Newark NAACP.

Yesterday the Star-Ledger ran an op-ed by Deborah Smith Gregory, the president of Newark NAACP and chairperson of Alliance for Newark Public Schools, entitled, “Let’s pause the charter school experiment in Newark.”  As a public service, here are four corrections to this error-ridden attack on the public schools most popular with Black parents in Newark and across the country. Does it seem strange that the venerable and virtuous NAACP would fight against the interests of …

In the Charter-Schools-Cause-Segregation Lawsuit, Will A Bogus Argument Win Over Truth?

The notice at the bottom of this post was sent yesterday to all districts, charter schools, and hybrid renaissance schools by the Superior Court of New Jersey. The content is about the lawsuit pressed by the Latino Action Network that charges that New Jersey’s schools are unconstitutionally segregated and that charter schools are the primary cause for this injustice. Here, Judge Mary Jacobson fulfills her promise last month: All schools — not just charters — …

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 …

Charter Skeptics, Look at the Facts: The Majority of Newark Parents Say Charters Are Their First Choice as They Watch Their Children Thrive.

This is a guest post by Kyle Rosenkrans, founder and executive director of the New Jersey Children’s Foundation. Its mission is to invest in people, programs, and partnerships that will improve public education systems by putting the interests of children first. It first ran in the Star-Ledger. Facts, science, and truth matter more today than ever, as the public swims in a polluted ocean of “fake news” and stealthy misinformation campaigns to sway their opinion. …

What Happens When a Beloved Newark Charter School Is Threatened with Eviction? Ask Emma and Her Mom.

(This was originally published at Education Post.) Imagine that your 15-year-old daughter is enrolled in a public high school that you both chose for its affirmative culture and impressive academics. Your daughter—let’s call her Emma—struggled in middle school, yet midway through her sophomore year (finally!) she is flourishing, with a lovely group of friends, supportive teachers and a fierce determination to be the first in her family to go to college. But this afternoon she …

On Charters, a New Report Shows That White Democrats Are Getting It Wrong. (Listen Up, Bernie/Liz/Joe!)

Judging by the harsh turn that some politicians have taken against charter schools, voters might well imagine that the data look darker than they did when President Barack Obama championed them. That is simply not the case: studies still affirm that charters provide a substantial academic benefit for low-income students of color, benefit children who remain in traditional public schools, and provide the taxpayer with a far greater return on investment. Whatever is driving the …