Laura Waters

Blogger

Blogger, Parent, School Board Member

Lawrence Township, New Jersey

Laura Waters writes about New Jersey and New York education policy and politics. As the daughter of New York City educators and parent of a son with special needs, she writes frequently about the need to listen to families and ensure access to good public school options for all.

She is based in New Jersey, where she and her husband have raised four children. She recently finished serving 12 years on her local school board in Lawrence, New Jersey, where she was president for nine of those years. Early in her career, she taught writing to low-income students of color at SUNY Binghamton through an Educational Opportunity Program.

Laura blogs about education in New Jersey at NJ Left Behind and New York at New York School Talk.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Jan. 27, 2020

What Happens When a Good Public Charter School Can’t Get a Building

Imagine that your 15-year-old daughter is enrolled in a public high school that you both chose for its affirmative culture…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Jan. 6, 2020

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This Piece in ‘The Nation.’ Here Are My Top 4.

On New Year’s Eve “The Nation” published an analysis by Jennifer Berkshire called “The Democrats’ School Choice Problem.” Her piece is instructive…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Dec. 15, 2019

Here’s What Happened Yesterday When AFT and NEA Locked Out Black and Brown Parents from a Candidate Forum

Yesterday the AFT/NEA sponsored a “Public Education Forum” in Pittsburgh. There, hand-selected union members heard from seven Democratic presidential candidates…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Dec. 11, 2019

I’m Waiting for Democrats to Stop Using Progressive Talking Points and Start Listening to Parents

When eight Democratic presidential candidates appear on stage in Pittsburgh this Saturday, most—if not all—will echo teachers unions’ animus towards…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Dec. 6, 2019

If You’re Looking for a Robust Democratic Debate About Education, This Ain’t It

“At last,” I exulted, as I peered at a Slack message from a colleague. The Democratic presidential candidates are going…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Dec. 2, 2019

Don’t Take Us Back to the Days When Our Children With Disabilities Could Be Denied an Education

We barely survived my son Jonah’s adolescence. One evening in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station he pushed me so hard I…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Nov. 27, 2019

Top Democratic Candidates’ Disrespect for Parents of Color Has Me Wondering If I Fit Into This Party Anymore.

Politico reports today that Elizabeth Warren’s support among Democratic and left-leaning Independent primary voters “plunged 50% over the past month, according…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Nov. 25, 2019

I Spit Out My Coffee When I Read Cory Booker’s Op-Ed: Nine Theories That Explain His Change of Heart.

I gasped as I opened the op-ed section of the New York Times and read Senator Cory Booker’s column repudiating his regressive…

By Laura Waters

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Posted July 25, 2019

‘I Want to Talk About Better Academic and Life Outcomes for Black and Brown Kids. Period.’

If we have really well-prepared young people who are going to the exact college they want to go to, who…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Apr. 30, 2019

I’m Celebrating Teachers But I’m Not Celebrating Their Unions

When I was a teenager, the greatest honor my dad bestowed was the chance to help him grade multiple-choice questions.…

By Laura Waters

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Featured Posts

Posted Feb. 11, 2020

Real Reformers Keep Pushing for Better Outcomes Even When There Are No Easy Answers

A few nights ago the CEO for Baltimore Public Schools joined my colleagues on the 8 Black Hands podcast to discuss her efforts to improve…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Feb. 13, 2020

My Daughter Has Autism and She Isn’t Just Learning Black History, She’s Ready to Teach It

Almost everyone in my family is a quick talker and quick answer-er. In fact, we hardly ever have a family discussion where people can complete…

By ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson

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Posted Feb. 10, 2020

When Cops Outweigh Counselors, Schools Set Students Up to Fail

Black Lives Matter. This statement has sparked inspiration, fear and anger across this nation, but this has always been the message that Black people in…

By Kelisa Wing

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How does the federal government support our public schools? Find out the ABC’s of ESEA, ESSA and No Child Left Behind →

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