Parent Connections

Welcome to Parent Connections!

Our nation’s future depends on the quality of the education that our children receive today.

While we all appreciate the importance of a great public education system, many people don’t understand how the public policy decisions made by state and federal lawmakers affect our schools—both positively and negatively.

Parent Connections is a resource that enables parents to be better informed on educational policy debates such as school funding, testing, school choice, and others. It also focuses on school district governance—a subject that is rarely discussed but is of equal importance. Parent Connections explains "who does what" in public education.

If you cannot find information about an educational issue or school governance matter on this webpage, please submit a question by using the box in the upper left-hand corner.

What Will Impact Your Child’s Education in 2016

A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Public Education in New Jersey
A joint program open to all parents and sponsored by NJPTA and NJSBA.

Saturday, December 5, 2015
9-11:50 a.m. (registration and breakfast begin at 8:15 a.m.)
Jackson Liberty High School, Jackson, N.J.

Educational decisions that impact your child aren’t just made within the four walls of the school. Whether it involves decisions made by state leaders on standards and assessments, such as Common Core and PARCC, decisions made by the local board of education and superintendent, or even the impact that the Internet and social media have on your child’s education, parents need to stay informed.

Please join us for a timely program featuring the information you need to know to help your child.

Featured topics include:

  • How Schools are Run Locally In New Jersey each local district has its own school board and superintendent. What is the role of each and how does it impact your child? (Ray Pinney and Theresa Lewis, NJSBA)
  • State Standards and Assessment New Jersey has historically had rigorous state standards as well as statewide testing. Currently we use PARCC as our statewide assessment, and the Common Core State Standards are under review. Get an overview of standards and assessments plus what parents should know about the PARCC results from New Jersey Department of Education officials. (Kimberley Harrington, NJDOE Assistant Commissioner, chief academic officer)
  • Social Media and Your Child’s Digital Footprint Social media is here to stay and so is your child’s digital footprint (and yours, too). What is a digital footprint and how can you manage it? What can your child (or even you) do to become a good digital citizen? (Michael Parent, principal at Passaic County Institute of Technology)

There is no charge for this event, but registration is required.


The Role of the Local Board Member

Most parents know that their schools are governed by a board of education. But they may not understand some of the basics of school board governance—in particular, why community members volunteer their time to serve on the school board. Hear New Jersey board members talk about board service and what it means to them in this short video.

Featured Video

Latest Parent Connection Blog

New Jersey Education: Where the Perception is Incomplete

June 5th, 2015


Ray Pinney

Have you ever traveled to another state and noticed that when you tell some people you are from New Jersey, without saying a word, they convey the idea that they almost pity you?

Even we New Jerseyans seem to spend most of our time complaining about our state’s high taxes, high cost-of-living and our traffic.  Reality TV does not help much, and in general, our state political leaders only seem to make national headlines when there is a scandal. Part of this is that news coverage is almost always built on the negative.  Even something that New Jersey takes pride in like our beaches can be tainted by a repulsive reality TV show, Jersey Shore.

Education in New Jersey sometimes gets caught up in this negative New Jersey spin, both in and out of the state. We focus so much on our negatives, such as the high cost of our education system, that we sometimes forget that as a whole, New Jersey schools are always ranked if not the best in the nation, among the best. We also forget that Read the rest of this entry »

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