Category: Education

Christmas spirit at a Newark charter school–the children will “suffer”

And a Merry Christmas to you! As long as you pay for a ticker, participate, attend and find a way home.
And a Merry Christmas to you! As long as you pay for a ticket, participate, attend and find a way home.

The Gray Charter School in Newark has warned its students they face punishment, including  reductions in their academic grades, if they do not attend and participate in a  school-sponsored holiday program scheduled off-campus at night and bring at least one adult who must purchase a $25 ticket and provide transportation after the show ends.


Shavar Jeffries--applauding Betsy De Vos's views on privatized public schools.
Shavar Jeffries–applauding Betsy De Vos’s views on privatized public schools.

The people who run Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), a national, pro-school-privatization  organization with roots in Newark, can’t quite figure out what to do about an incoming national administration that promises to give the group just what it wants–billions for privatized public schools. Of course, the Trump administration also brings racism and white supremacy to the highest levels of government–a fact that can hardly escape the notice of DFER’s, president, an African-American law professor from Newark.

Anger over election turns to action, chants and tears in Newark

Nenseh Koneh, a Temple University student from Newark, speaks to anti-Trump demonstrators at City Hall
Nenseh Koneh, a Temple University student from Newark, speaks to anti-Trump demonstrators at City Hall

About 100 demonstrators, mostly young women of color, marched and chanted their way through the streets of downtown Newark Saturday afternoon, part of a spreading movement against the presidency of Donald Trump. They staged two sit-down protests in four hours, closing McCarter Highway and occupying the concourse of Newark Penn Station.

GUEST: The arts are basic skills

childasartistBy NORM KNIGHT

At election time, New Jersey homeowners make a plea:  “reduce or at least stabilize my local property taxes.”

 Municipal candidates usually claim to be cost effective with a sharp eye and pencil on the local budget.    Some may even duck and refer to the community’s education budget.

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BRIDGEGATE TRIAL: The stunning lies told to keep New Jersey stupid–and who told them

Port Authority director Patrick Foye
Port Authority director Patrick Foye

Today was the day of lies at the Bridgegate trial.

Lies told—maybe—out of fear or to cover other lies. Lies told and lies condoned by public officials who apparently viewed their responsibility to tell the truth as optional, not required. Mark Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee,  admitted he lied when he wrote a statement that Gov. Chris Christie hadn’t shaken him down for an endorsement. Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, admitted he “didn’t mind” that two underlings put out a false statement claiming access to the George Washington Bridge was shut down because of a traffic study.

Why does the Newark Teachers Union need charity?

NTU's Abeigon
NTU’s Abeigon

The other day a friend told me that a mutual acquaintance, a private school teacher, had fallen seriously ill. The teacher’s friends and colleagues, he said,  were raising money for her through GoFundMe, the online site for charitable giving,  because the expenses she faced were almost as daunting as her illness.  A few days later, I learned the Newark Teachers Union (NTU), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO,  also had opened a GoFundMe site to raise money for itself and members.  It too, apparently, faces a daunting fate.

Newark’s shameful response to Cerf’s charms and lies.

PULSE's Sharon Smith demanding answers.
PULSE’s Sharon Smith demanding answers.

There was a time–just a year ago–when the way a parent activist like Sharon Smith was treated at Tuesday night’s Newark school board would have caused a storm of protest. But that was before the city’s mayor, Ras Baraka, cut a deal with the governor to allow a national advocate of privately-operated charter schools to become the city’s state-appointed school superintendent. Now Smith–and many others–have been silenced through the charms and lies of one man, Christopher Cerf. Silenced and marginalized.