Can ALL children learn at high levels?

“Can All children learn at high levels?” I believe they can.  But I know lots of people don’t believe it. I can tell they don’t believe it when they make an argument for vouchers or charters saying, “At least we’ll help some children.” I believe in the

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Is it REALLY for the poor kids?

When you object to some of the new school reform agenda, people accuse you of being against the kids. “Even if our ideas aren’t perfect, some children will get educated,” they argue. I wish that was true. But the evidence is piling up that charters do not perform

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Out of the mouths of babes…

Last night the Paterson Board of Education and the community members wrestled with the latest version of Paterson’s school transformation plan. Of the more than three hours of comment and debate, the contribution of the children stands out for me. Faced with the proposed moving of the upper

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Is ALEC in our future?

Hello, ALEC. No, not a person.  A conservative think tank whose legislative agenda for education includes vouchers, the expansion of charters, tax breaks for home-schoolers and private companies building and running schools. Want to know more about ALEC? Here’s the link to the Sunday Star Ledger story.  Knowing

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Read your minutes!

Last night we shared PEF’s latest edition of the Educated Voters Guide to the School Board Elections with the School Board members. As usual, the Commissioners immediately turned to our report on their attendance. And as usual, they were surprised by the report. It looks different in

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Focus on outcomes for children

I agree with Acting Commissioner Cerf on education funding, it’s not just about the money.  After that, we part company. For me the question is: how do we get all our children to graduation with skills to make a good life for themselves and contribute to our

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Would twice as much income make an educational difference?

Do you know that families with children made nearly twice as much  income in Passaic County than in Paterson? The new census shows that the median income [the mid point: half make more; half make less] for a Paterson family with children was $29,500; the median for Passaic County was

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How many NJ kids in private schools? Check this map.

There is so much debate on education issues, sometimes an interesting tool gets lost.  Take today’s story on NJ Spotlight about private school participation in NJ. It’s lost behind the stories about charters and teacher tenure. Click here to go to the story and the interactive map.

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New year, old issue: vouchers

Happy New Year! I wish the best for you as 2012 begins. I also wish that we would stop trying to “fix” our Paterson schools with smoke and mirrors. There are all sorts of reasons to oppose the voucher legislation known as the “Opportunity Scholarship Act” from

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Call to Action: Paterson Reads!

Do you know that children who do not read on grade level by the end of third grade are likely to drop out? As early as 9 years old, some kids are on a path to a life of poverty and hardship. But it doesn’t have to be that

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Paterson Education Fund (PEF)

PEF activates students, parents, community members, and schools to adopt winning strategies for teaching and learning. PEF’s critical investments expand educators’ and families’ vision of what Paterson children can do.