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 July 2, 2018

DeVos Is Stripping Away Civil Rights Protections for Students With Special Needs

I’m detecting a trend. Recently, The Atlantic ran a piece that catalogues the Trump administration’s disregard of civil rights protections…

By Laura Waters

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Posted May 31, 2018

My Sister’s Battle With Severe Mental Illness Taught Me Never to Stand for Pretense

My parents, Jerry and Emily, had three daughters. I’m the oldest, followed by Carla two years later, and then my…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Mar. 16, 2018

What Happens When Even the ‘Best’ Neighborhood School Treats Its Students With Disabilities Horribly?

The New York Post recently profiled Wesley Clark, a 9-year-old fourth-grader at PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights. The article describes a “supposedly progressive Brooklyn…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Mar. 8, 2018

Coffee Break: Why Mark Rynone Left Corporate to Help Kids With Special Needs

Mark Rynone considers his passion for education as an outgrowth of family values. After all, his mother, brother and a…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Dec. 12, 2017

New Jersey Skated by for Years on Misleading Graduation Rates, But Now It’s Closing the ‘Honesty Gap’

Does it seem odd to you that we’re celebrating the fact that half of New Jersey’s third-graders are at or…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Nov. 9, 2017

The Votes Are In: New Jersey’s Teachers Union Really Blew It

The leaders of New Jersey’s primary teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), have egg on their faces. In…

By Laura Waters

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Posted July 5, 2017

It’s Going to Be a Lot Harder to Shade Newark Public Schools With These Graduation Rates

It’s easy to be skeptical about improvements to Newark Public Schools (NPS), given its sordid history of corruption, desultory oversight,…

By Laura Waters

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Posted June 13, 2017

Jared’s Got Something Special and KIPP’s ‘Pathways’ Is Helping Him Show It

Eight-year-old Jared Teel-Drayton hops into the room, hands flapping, eyes darting, smile alight. He’s been painting—his class went to the…

By Laura Waters

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Posted June 2, 2017

The Woman Behind the Miracle on Cooper Street in Camden

Point A: A young girl born in Puerto Rico in 1962 spends her childhood traveling up and down the Eastern…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Mar. 24, 2017

Here Are Some ‘Choice’ Highlights From Eva’s Interview With Chalkbeat

This whole district public school vs. charter public school—I don’t think parents think of it that way. I think they…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Aug. 13, 2018

This School Year, Let’s Show What Happens When Parents and Teachers Work as a Team

A parent is a child’s first teacher. It is through a parent’s teaching that children first learn to speak and say “Mama” and “Dada.” It…

By Monica Lewis

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Posted Aug. 9, 2018

How Pedro Martinez Is Innovating With the San Antonio Community to Create New Schools

This is the second in a series stemming from a Chiefs for Change panel discussion at the National Charter Schools Conference hosted by the National…

By Leila Walsh

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Posted Aug. 10, 2018

My Son Was Not Going to Be a Victim of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

My son Jadon loved everything about school, until he didn’t. He was eager to learn, read, write and make friends. At 5, he had already…

By Kelisa Wing

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