Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Newark charters lift statewide averages, while advantages not necessarily shown elsewhere
Public school or charter school? New Jersey’s ongoing debate about whether traditional public schools or charters do a better job educating students got some provocative new data yesterday, courtesy of a study from Stanford University that came down on the side of the charters -- particularly in Newark's embattled school district. According to Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), charter school students overall made larger learning gains than their peers in traditional schools on state tests from 2007-2011. What's more, a third of the charters showed higher achievement levels than the other public schools in their districts, with a fifth doing significantly worse, the report said. But the details of the long-…
Saturday, April 14, 2012
In highly watched case, Cerf sides with school districts battling boutique charter
Monday, April 9, 2012
Despite questions over funding, enrollments pour in for K-10 virtual classrooms.
New Jersey’s first comprehensive charter school to hold all of its classes online is beginning to enroll students from across the state for next fall, even as questions persist to how exactly the new breed of schools will operate and be funded. The New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School (NJVACS), operating under contract with the for-profit online education company, K12 Inc., has begun advertising its New Jersey program through traditional press releases, email blasts and informational events. After just a week of accepting names, it had enrolled more than 300 students, said school officials, who did not rule out that demand could outnumber seats and a lottery may be needed. The school seeks to enroll 850 for its first year, …
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Assembly passes a bill requiring local approval for charters, but the measure goes nowhere in the Senate.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Bill calls for local referendum on any school that wants to be granted a charter in a NJ district.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
As Christie administration decides on new charters, debate continues about how to fix 15-year-old law.
The Christie administration is preparing to announce a new round of charter schools this week, but a big question remains: What is the state going to do about a charter law that even supporters are calling one of the nation's weakest? The latest criticism came from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which in its annual report released yesterday placed New Jersey's law 31st out of 42nd overall. It cited the lack of strong accountability measures tied to performance, weak funding, and limited approval and review process. Charter supporters and critics alike agree that the current law, not to mention the state's capacity to enforce it, has grown increasingly inadequate. Among the variety of bills to strengthen it is one that …
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The rally is opposing the Mandarin-immersion charter school that would draw students from South Orange, Maplewood and West Orange.
With the latest application by the Hua Mei in the process, some Maplewood, West Orange and South Orange residents are joining together to fight it. On Friday, January 6 at 4:30 p.m.,residents will be meeting at the Maplewood Community Center in DeHart Park to protest the application. More than 1,500 residents have already signed a petition that asks Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf to reject Hua Mei’s application, something that has happened before. In September, Hua Mei was not one of the charter school applications accepted by the New Jersey Board of Education. The group came back with an amended application that removed Millburn and Livingston as districts to be served. The previous application had met with substantial …
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Mother Crusader: With all of the holiday hubbub this segment almost escaped me.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Editor's Note: Darcie Cimarusti, founder of Speak Up Highland Park, writes a blog called "Mother Crusader" to exemplify some of the big education reform debate swirling around our state and our country. She says: "Never intended to become a parent advocate until I watched the great schools in my little town come under attack. The more I learned about what was happening the more I read. The more I read the more I saw how what is happening here is tied to towns across not only New Jersey, but the country. And now I'm in the thick of it, and I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing." You can read more of her blog at "Mother Crusader" here. This is an excerpt from her latest blog: Is the suburban charter school battle Christie's Waterloo…
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sen. Gill: Community representatives and traditional school educators conspicuously absent.
Editor's Note: New Jersey's charter school office is in the process of reviewing 42 new applications, among them Hua Mei, a Mandarin immersion charter school in South Orange/Maplewood, which was denied in the last round of applications when it included Millburn and Livingston. Also under review is Quest Academy Charter High School in Montclair, which is trying for approval for the fifth time. An examination of the Open Public Records Act shows who is reviewing the applications. Here is an excerpt from John Mooney's story in the NJ Spotlight: Over the past year, the Christie administration employed an array of national and state charter school experts, educators, officials, and other advocates to help review applications for new charters, …
Friday, November 11, 2011
Teaneck's oversize bill for a proposed charter points out problems and loopholes in current law.
With two virtual charter schools approved in New Jersey and a third proposed, legislators and advocates are pressing the state to bring its laws up to date with the technology. The latest development involves questions as to how the schools are to be funded -- and by how much, given the potential savings in brick-and-mortar costs. The district of Teaneck would like to see both questions resolved ASAP. It received notice from the state this week that it should set aside more than $15 million to pay for up to 1,000 students who would attend the proposed Garden State Virtual Charter School housed in that community. If the school is ultimately approved, the district would likely never have to pay anywhere near that much, since the school aims …