Laura Waters

Laura Waters is the founder and managing editor of New Jersey Education Report, formerly a senior writer/editor with brightbeam. Laura 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.

Posts By Laura Waters


Here's How We Can Fix the Teacher Shortage and Raise Teacher Quality

The American teacher shortage is headlining news stories and infiltrating social media, although there’s little consensus on whether this shortage is new or if it even exists. My Twitter feed is...

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Charter Schools

'Doing Less Was Not an Option.' How One New Jersey Charter School Kept Kids Learning No Matter What.

When COVID-19 hit New Jersey in March 2020, Efe Odeleye, the co-director of Achievers Early College Prep Charter School, was faced with a moral imperative: in order to best serve the public charter’s...

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Q&A With Penny Schwinn: We Need Career Preparation, But We Also Need Academic Success

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee appointed Penny Schwinn the state’s education commissioner in January 2019, one year before COVID-19 threw schools into disarray. But the pandemic isn’t slowing her down. She...

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American Students Have a Math Problem We Already Know How to Solve

When brand-new kindergartners arrive at any Uncommon elementary school, one of the first chants they learn is, “I love math and math loves me! It’s as easy as 1,2,3! Just watch and you will see!”...

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School Funding

With Omicron, Students Fell Behind in Math Even Though Schools Were Open

Imagine that you go in for your annual medical bloodwork and something alarming turns up: say, your platelets are through the roof, a possible indicator of cancer. Does your doctor say, “Let’s wait...

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opportunity gap

Schools Now Have Tons of Money. What Are They Doing With It?

I live in Lawrence, New Jersey—a middle-class, diverse town, halfway between Princeton and Trenton. For years I was on the school board and was very active in local governance, but over the years...

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