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, …

Is Hoboken Superintendent Guilt-Tripping Parents During COVID To Salvage State Aid?

Hoboken Superintendent Christine Johnson just sent out an email to all Hoboken public school parents (full copy below) regarding the district’s reopening plans. Unlike many New Jersey districts offering hybrid plans –a blend of in-person and remote instruction (barring this proposed Assembly bill)—Hoboken students must choose between entirely in-school instruction and entirely remote instruction. And this is serious: parents have to sign a “Declaration of Intent” by August 7th. Superintendent Johnson seems really worried that …

Marigna: Braven’s Career Booster Boot Camp Is Teaching College Grads How To Land Strong Jobs

Vincent Marigna is Executive Director of Braven, a career and leadership development accelerator focused on supporting first-generation, low-income college students with securing a strong first job out of college. He is the father of a 3-year old and lives with his partner in West Orange, New Jersey. We often tell students, whether in the first grade or twelfth, that education is the path to a brighter future. We promise them that a college degree will …

Dear Joe Biden: Rethink Your Stance on Charter Schools.

This is an excerpt from a statement from Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, in response to the House Appropriations Committee cutting $40 million from federal charter school funding and the recommendations from the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force recommendations for K-12 schools. This week, we are also disappointed by the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force recommendations on K-12 education which are harmful to charter schools. I encourage Mr. Biden …

For White Teachers of Black Children.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for thirteen years. For Mark’s other posts, see here, here, here, here, and here. Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. – James Baldwin I’ve been lucky to see Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade speak a few times. I actually have one of his talks from 7 years …

At A Loss For Words, Knowing I Need to Speak

This is a guest post by Patrick Riccards, executive director of Best in the World Teachers. Riccards, a resident of West Windsor, NJ, previously served as chief of staff to the National Reading Panel and as director of the federal Partnership for Reading Collaborative. He is the author of Why Kids Can’t Read: Continuing to Challenge the Status Quo in Education. This first appeared on brightbeam’s Project Forever Free. I’m at a complete loss for …

West Windsor-Plainsboro Parents Say Racist Videos Represent How Their Kids Are Treated Every Day

Five years ago the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District made the New York Times for a rift between white and Asian-American parents after Superintendent David Aderhold expressed concerns that “students were overburdened and stressed out, juggling too much work and too many demands.”  While the white parents largely agreed, the East Asian parents largely didn’t. One said, “what is happening here reflects a national anti-intellectual trend that will not prepare our children for the future.” Five …

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 …

Half of Teacher Prep Programs In New Jersey Get “F’s.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), as part its recent Teacher Prep Review,  just evaluated a total of 2,506 undergraduate and graduate elementary, secondary, and special education programs offered by education schools in 1,120 public and private institutions of higher education. Fifty percent of teacher prep programs across America received “A” or “B” grades, compared to only 35% in 2013. Great right? Especially since we’re owning up to what many call a crisis in …

Is Newark Superintendent Leon Taking His Cues From Teacher Union President Who Approves of Blackface and Demeans Students on Facebook?

Last Tuesday a group of players on the junior varsity basketball team at Newark’s Malcolm Shabazz High School instigated a “violent attack” on their coach, punching and kicking until officials intervened.  Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon responded with a long racist harangue on Facebook (since deleted but no worries: I saved it) that garnered 83 “thumbs up” emojis, 37 “love” emojis, and 157 shares. The rant is worth a look because it opens a …