Notes from the New Jersey Charter School Association Convention (And Snaps To Repollet for Showing Up).

I got back yesterday  from the 11th annual New Jersey Charter School Association Convention, which celebrates the  school leaders and teachers who serve 55,000 students in alternative public schools. As NJCSA President Harry Lee noted, “public charter schools are knocking it out of the park in the Garden State and should be held up as a model for the rest of the public school community in New Jersey.” Here are a few highlights. Informal poll  …

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 a law firm called Pashman Stein. The Pashman Stein lawsuit charges that former Education Commissioner David Hespe’s 2016 approval of expansions in seven (now six) Newark charter schools should …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Just How Good Is Your Local School District? You Won’t Find Out By Browsing Ratings Sites. Spotlight on Princeton, Montclair, and Newark.

Over the weekend the Star-Ledger published a list of high schools with “surprisingly low scores” on school quality. Unlike the algorithms used by sites like the U.S. News and World Report ratings, which are limited to overall averages on tests like the SAT, New Jersey, like many other states, evaluates schools in a more granular manner (per federal education law), using a combination of student growth on standardized tests, graduation rates, and chronic absenteeism, the latter an indication …

Is Integration Your Silver Bullet? Time to Get Real.

Last week I wrote a post about a report on N.J.’s segregated schools by Professor Gary Orfield et. al. which I found vacuous and flawed, particularly its conclusion that charter schools increase segregation because they cluster in districts that serve children of color. I noted that  “the reasons why more Black families are enthusiastic about charter school culture is beyond the scope of my blog post.” (Also, I’m not Black and, therefore, not an authentic …

How Do We Foster Integration and Inclusion in New Jersey?

(This is a guest post by Aggie Sung, a certified early education teacher whose passion is in children’s books that teach young learners to express themselves through art, words, and motion. Her books include “Mommy Duck.” She resides in Princeton, N.J.) Historically, the American education system has been shaped for the concept of inclusion, which means accepted without condition. Aligned with the beliefs of the ostracized Christians who settled the 13 colonies, education in America …

Is Randi Weingarten Correct that School Choice is A Form of Jim Crow?

Two weeks ago AFT President Randi Weingarten highlighted a new policy brief that showed how school vouchers were used during Jim Crow to segregate school systems. From EdWeek: In a fiery speech, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, condemned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ school choice proposals, calling them “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.”   She told teachers at the AFT Teach Conference in Washington that the country is facing …