On Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm in Judge Doyne’s courtroom, we will once again listen for the sounds of justice as the judge hears closing arguments in the SFRA remand trial.

What are the sounds of justice? For me, it is to hear that ALL the children have access to the high quality education. That is the bar the NJ Supreme Court set in the long line of Abbott decisions. It is not enough to educate the easily educatable, to meet the needs of most of the children. Educational justice for all means educating the children with needs, whether the needs are material like food or pedalogical like learning disabilities or social like counseling.

We cannot ignore the obvious. It is no surprise that children with higher socio-economic status achieve more academically, they have fewer barriers to success. Those children start school assured of housing, food, clothing and security.  Poor children are not certain of any of those things. If we want all children to reach high standards and be productive, we are going to have to provide more for those who have less.

Maslow’s hierarchy of need expresses it best. Poor kids start at the bottom of the triangle; wealthier kids start off at the third level. If our schools ignore the needs of children for the basic requirements of living, we will never get them to high quality learning.

I am listening for the sounds of justice. How about you?

Irene