School Budget Confusion?

A colleague asked me today “How are you dealing with all this confusion around the school budget?” My response was that I’m not confused.  I’m crystal clear about what has happened, is happening and will keep on happening if nothing is done to correct the harm and

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Paterson Schools Have Come a Long Way!

Yesterday I attended the State Board of Education special meeting to listen to the State Operated Districts report. The Paterson report was encouraging.  Dr. Evans shared the Bright Futures Strategic plan for 2009 through 2014 and gave updates for each of the goals. He reported that the District

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Gamechanging decisions require consensus

Changing the school board election from April to November will make a dramatic shift in who runs for school board and how much it will cost a candidate to run.  Moving to a November election will essentially give control of the school board to the county chair

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Ask Me!

On Wednesday June 13  at the Paterson School Board meeting, parents will once again come out to voice their dissatisfaction with  the school transformation plan.  At last week’s school board workshop, School 15 and New Roberto Clemente parents joined the discussion. They want more information about the details of

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Twenty years and counting

We’ve past a milestone that I hoped we’d never see. August 7 was the 20th anniversary of state takeover of the Paterson Public Schools.  Will we ever return?  We could. NJ QSAC [Quality Single Accountability Continuum] finally provided the roadmap. Our state superintendents, yes several, and our Board of

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“Democracy isn’t just for rich people”

“Democracy isn’t just for rich people,” said Julia Sass Rubin in Bob Braun’s column about waning support for charters. Our suburban neighbors are proposing that charter schools should have to be approved by the local community. Dr. Rubin leads a coalition called Save Our Schools NJ who has

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Looking for the Money, not Just Following it

“Follow the Money” is a workshop about understanding school budgets that I’ve been offering for years. Because all NJ school districts use the same formats and regualtions, the materials I’ve developed about the Paterson budget can be used for any NJ community. However, Paterson remains my major

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Change and Continuity

I am traveling to Trenton today to hear the State Board of Education receive Dr. Evans’ report on the Paterson Public Schools.  I want to gauge the amount of support our new Commissioner and Board members show to him as he reports on the changes he has

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Unspeakable truths and takeover

Last Sunday, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, my Children’s Chapel children and I talked about justice. As I listened to them wrestle their experiences, I was reminded that Paterson participated in racist/segregationist policies for its school children. We adults don’t talk about it very often.  And when we

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Don’t pop the cork, local control still distant

The newly released QSAC [Quality Single Accountability Contiuum] scores suggest that Paterson Public Schools will regain governance, personnel and operations.  But don’t pop that celebratory cork yet. Acting Commissioner Hendrick’s letter doesn’t give a firm timeline for next steps.  It does say that a confirming decision will depend upon

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