Laura Waters

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,” but the actual name is…

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 KIPP Rise Academy in Newark had…

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 of COVID-related school disruptions and…

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 Brooks? No contest. This 22-year-old…

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 that “impressionable children are watching…

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 shoulder will be Dr. Anthony…

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, who has told states that…

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 assumed this was a short-term…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Oct. 26, 2020

I Thought Vouchers Were Wrong, But Now I Realize They Helped My Son

Recently I wrote that a residency hearing with two children, Kayla and Tasha, represented to me our deeply-embedded structural inequities in education that decades of initiatives,…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Oct. 23, 2020

Khaliah Fitchett on Going From Handcuffs to Running for Congress

One afternoon in March 2010, Khaliah Fitchette, a 16-year-old student at Newark’s University High School, was riding home on a NJ Transit bus with her…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Apr. 19, 2021

We Can’t Protect Our Students From Racism, But We Can Prepare Them to Combat and Reject It

On January 6, when an angry mob stormed the Capitol, I was in the middle of teaching my 7th grade English language arts students about…

By Travon Jefferson

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Posted Apr. 16, 2021

The Pandemic Is Exactly Why We Need Standardized Testing

In the next few weeks, nearly all school districts in the U.S. will offer at least some in-person instruction. The worst of the pandemic school…

By Evan Stone

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Posted Apr. 13, 2021

Meet Two Teachers Learning to Center Their Students’ Identities Without Losing Sight of Their Own

Lindsay Singer and Ashley McCall are both third grade teachers at Cesar Chavez Multicultural Academic Center in Chicago. Lindsay teaches mathematics and inquiry. And Ashley…

By Ikhlas Saleem

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