“Dear Commissioner Repollet”: NJ Children’s Foundation Fends Off Newark Superintendent’s “Ideology and Factual Misstatements” Against Charter Schools.

Below is a letter sent late yesterday from the New Jersey Children’s Foundation expressing the non-profit’s “vehement disagreement with the four letters submitted by the Newark school district last week opposing the renewal applications submitted by four Newark charter schools.” For my coverage of Newark Superintendent Roger Leon’s attempt to cancel parent voices, see here. January 6, 2020 Dr. Lamont Repollet, CommissionerNew Jersey Department of EducationP.O. Box 500Trenton, NJ 08625-0500 RE: Newark Charter Renewal Applications …

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 …

Four Corrections to a Context And Fact-Free Article Called “The Democrats’ School Choice Problem.”

On New Year’s Eve The Nation published an analysis by Jennifer Berkshire called “The Democrats’ School Choice Problem.” Her piece is instructive because it illustrates a strategy commonly employed by those who regard themselves as warriors against craven privatizing shysters intent on expanding charter schools and/or voucher programs. This is how it works: Ignore context. Ignore math. Ignore inconvenient facts. And hustle together a specious argument that plays to those who —perhaps responding to the …

Great News For Newark Families: The Board of Education Just Renewed the City’s Universal Enrollment System!

Last night the Newark Board of Education renewed its collaboration with the city’s charter school sector by committing to continue the district’s universal enrollment system called Newark Enrolls. While there have been some challenges during the last seven years, the Board consensus is a win for district parents and children. “I believe families make decisions where their child should go,” Newark Superintendent Roger Leon said, “and I don’t think anyone should change that.” Kyle Rosenkrans, …

How Are The Children? Sue Altman Doesn’t Care.

This week the Star-Ledger featured an interview with Sue Altman,  the head of NJ Working Families Alliance and much in the news for her performance at a New Jersey State Legislative hearing about possible abuses of a tax incentive program in Camden. Altman is enraged by these tax incentives because she hates George Norcross. She’s not the only one: NJEA/Phil Murphy don’t care for him either, and the convoluted mess that is New Jersey Democratic politics …

Wait: Is This a Democratic Presidential Candidate “Public Education Forum” or a Circle-Jerk?

“At last,” I exulted, as I peered at a Slack message from a colleague. The Democratic presidential candidates are going to finally discuss America’s public schools! We’ll witness (it’s live-streamed) a robust conversation about their plans to improve school quality, how they’ll ensure that children know how to read by third grade, how they’ll hold schools accountable for student growth, whether they’re committed to giving parents (especially those in long-struggling districts) the right to have …

Newark Students “Show The Rest of the State What is Possible”: A New Analysis Reveals Four Straight Years of Citywide Improvements for Children.

The bottom line is that a larger share of Newark kids are reading and doing math on grade level again this year, and in so doing, they show the rest of the state and the country what’s possible.  That’s Kyle Rosenkrans, Executive Director of the New Jersey Children’s Foundation (NJCF), responding to his non-profit’s citywide analysis of Newark students’ outcomes in math and reading. The analysis, based on student performance on state standardized tests, shows …

Top Democratic Candidates’ Disrespect for Parents of Color Has Me Wondering If I Fit Into This Party Anymore.

Politico reports today that Elizabeth Warren’s support among Democratic and left-leaning Independent primary voters “plunged 50 percent over the past month, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.”  The article speculates her “plummet” may be due to her “Medicare for All” plan, but, in a fit of wishful thinking — educational equity advocates should have such sway! — I wonder if Warren’s loss of support is at least partially due to last Friday’s news that …

Searching for Progressivism: Do You Look for Sue Altman or Sarah Carpenter?

On Monday the New Jersey Working Families protested at a New Jersey State Legislative hearing about tax breaks in cities like Camden. NJ Spotlight described the skirmish as the result of “heavy criticism from Gov. Phil Murphy and progressive activists who make up his base and have called for major reform” of the tax breaks. This same group also objects to public charter schools, particularly in Camden. Click here for a blog post by NJWF’s leader, …

I Spit Out My Coffee When I Read Cory Booker’s Op-Ed: Nine Theories That Explain His Change of Heart.

I gasped as I opened the op-ed section of the New York Times this morning and read Senator Cory Booker’s column repudiating his regressive stance on public charter schools. Until he entered the Democratic presidential nominating contest Booker was one of the nation’s most eloquent supporters for school choice, with his hometown of Newark the proofpoint for the impact of a high-quality charter sector on a struggling school system. But when he entered the primary …