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 June 8, 2021

EXPLAINED: What Are Standardized Tests and Why Do We Need Them?

Few education topics get parents, teachers, and school leaders more riled up than discussions about using results from student tests…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Apr. 10, 2021

EXPLAINED: The American Rescue Plan Gives a Huge Boost to School Funding

What is the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021? You may have heard it as the “second big COVID stimulus,”…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Feb. 24, 2021

Meet Newark’s Own Amanda Gorman, Seventh Grade Poet Makayla Brown

A month ago, as Amanda Gorman shared her beautiful prose during President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration, students at…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Feb. 1, 2021

As a Mom of a Son With Multiple Disabilities, I Have the Receipts on Remote Instruction

Here at brightbeam, our North Star is “How Are The Children?” As parents look back over the last nine months…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Jan. 20, 2021

Amanda Gorman Is Climbing That Hill. Now if Only The Rest of Us Would Join Her.

Today at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman stole the show. Lady Gaga? J-Lo? Garth…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Jan. 8, 2021

Was DeVos Really the ‘Worst Secretary of Education Ever’?

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned last night, citing Wednesday’s putsch at the Capitol, Trump’s incitement of violence, and her concern…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Dec. 22, 2020

Will Biden’s Pick for Education Secretary Work for All Kids?

“We want to support you so that you can get to the great work of helping kids. You have to…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Dec. 10, 2020

Good Luck Finding an Education Secretary Who Can Help Kids and Make Unions Happy, Mr. President-Elect

President-Elect Joe Biden may be setting himself up for a confrontation between two of his top advisors. Perched on one…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Nov. 24, 2020

Civil Rights Groups Insist on Testing: ‘You Cannot Improve What You Do Not Measure.’

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. In this case, the clock is soon-to-be-Ex-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos,…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Oct. 28, 2020

Q&A: Chris Cerf on Fighting COVID Learning Loss With Great Teaching

Last March schools across the country closed and typical live instruction morphed into erratic meetings on Zoom. Many of us…

By Laura Waters

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OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted June 17, 2021

We Celebrate Juneteenth Whether It’s a Federal Holiday or Not, Now Give Us Something Tangible

This making Juneteenth a federal holiday is some gaslighting shit if I’ve ever seen it. And I can feel some of y’all reading this and…

By Tanesha Peeples

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Posted June 17, 2021

Juneteenth Should Serve As a Reminder That Anti-Blackness Is Still Alive in Our Schools

As a Black man, I want to start by saying that it’s refreshing to see that Juneteenth is now a federal holiday!  For my people,…

By Kwame Sarfo-Mensah

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Posted June 17, 2021

This Black Father Is Making a Difference for Students With Special Needs at School and at Home

There is a unique bond between fathers and sons, especially when they each must navigate an educational system where they are both equally and extremely underrepresented.…

By Danielle A. Stewart

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