Chronic Absenteeism and Suspension Issue

  The State of New Jersey, Department of Education Performance Report Card defines an absence as being ‘not present’ and includes both excused and unexcused absences.  Looking at these numbers we noticed that suspensions and chronic absenteeism is correlated in some schools, while in others the numbers

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Rosie’s Hello Message

Welcome to the 2013/14 school year!  I love new beginnings.  When I was in school I remember my 4th grade teacher telling me that everybody starts the new school year with an “A”.  What a great way to set us on our educational journey! I wish all

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When to Go to Trenton

I’ve gone to Trenton many times over my career with PEF. It has always been to advocate for Paterson’s children. I’ll be going again in February to discuss Pateson Reads as a model for other communities to improve early learning. Ar Wednesday night’s school board meeting, when  I

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Our Amazing Young Women

Today I read about the continuing fight of Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old Pakistani girl, shot in the head for promoting girl’s education. Hard to imagine that you risk death for wanting an education, isn’t it? There are no Taliban here to threaten our girls with

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How suspensions hurt our kids and our schools

On last Saturday, we joined PEOC in bringing light to a national crisis: pushing our kids out of school by suspending them. It’s not just a national problem. It hurts us here in Paterson, too. In 2010-11, Paterson schools suspended over 4,000 of our children. The numbers

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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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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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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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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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