Archive for the School reform strategies Category

Save Our Schools!

 Linda and I had an exhilarating experience at the Save Our Schools March in Washington DC this Saturday!  5,000 people gathered at the Ellipse Park behind the White House and rallied for more resources for public schools. Rally speakers included Diane Ravitch, Jonathan Kozol, Pedro Noguera and

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A picture worth 1,000 words

I received this four color, four page glossy brochure in Friday’s mail.  Did you?   The leadership of this organization is traveling the state asserting its concern for urban kids. But I wonder… What does this picture say to you? Sure doesn’t look like my granddaughter or most

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Public Schools Should Go Away

“Public schools should go away.” I’ve always thought that such charges were just rhetorical, part of the rant in debate. But no, Monday’s Star Ledger features a Bob Braun column that turns my blood cold.  “Public schools should go away,” emails Teri Adams of the Independence Hall

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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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You are not alone if you organize

I’ll tell you a secret.  At some point, every parent feels like they are the only one with the problem. You are angry, maybe embarassed.  You don’t know what to do. It feels too big to tackle. You get angry at your kid for causing the problem,

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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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Lies, damned lies and statistics, II

All our children need good schools. Nobody disagrees with that. So why can’t we have a civil, rational discussion about how to reach the goal for all kids? Why do we end up twisting statistics in a semantic duel? The latest bad example is chronicled in Bob

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Late to the party: beyond outrage

“Why aren’t you outraged? You should be outraged!”say our newest education reformers. Where have they been? Not paying attention, I guess. I’ve had plenty of outrage at the terrible things done to our kids.  I’ve spent countless hours talking to bureaucrats in Trenton about abuses by the leadership

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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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Noah’s Ark and “Opportunity Scholarships”

Each time we talk about vouchers, even lightly disguised as “Opportunity Scholarships”, I think of Noah’s Ark. You know the story. God sends a flood to destroy the evil people, but gives Noah a chance to save two of each kind of animal to repopulate a new earth by building the

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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.