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 …

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 …

White Progressives Have a Lot of Work To Do And I’m Not Here To Help.

This is a guest post by my boss and colleague Chris Stewart, the Chief Executive Officer of brightbeam. He is a lifelong activist and 20-year supporter of nonprofit and education-related causes. When I ran for school board it was former Minneapolis mayor who was the first elected official to endorse me. She asked me a lot of questions, offered some straight talk about the political system, and spoke very clearly about what it takes to win …

Why Aren’t Teachers Freaking Out Over Biden and Bernie’s Education Task Force?

This is a guest post by Chris Stewart, the Chief Executive Officer of brightbeam. He was named CEO in April 2019, after formerly serving as chief executive of Wayfinder Foundation. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, put together an advisory council to help his state “reimagine” public education. Fearing Cuomo and his partner, the Gates Foundation, will produce a plan that creates accountability and expectations in their public school pension farm, the NYC teacher types pounced. “There’s no …

Just Say No to Vagina Voting

This just in from Politico: a group of “women leaders” is demanding that presumed-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden base his choice of his running mate on whether that person has a penis or a vagina. Rule #1: No penises allowed. That’s right. Randi Weingarten explained that she and some friends were having dinner last Thursday after Elizabeth Warren dropped out and “there was just a melancholy…And so by the end of the dinner, we thought …

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 …

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 …

After Seven Years of Broadly-Supported School Choice, How Are Camden Students Faring?

This is a guest post by David Osborne and Tressa Pankovits. Osbourne  leads the K-12 education work of the Progressive Policy Institute. Pankovits is associate director of PPI’s Reinventing America’s Schools Project. This first appeared in The 74. With 55 percent of its students in chartered public schools or renaissance schools — neighborhood schools operated by charter organizations — Camden, New Jersey, has implemented one of the most ambitious portfolio strategies in the nation in …

“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 …