Murphy versus Ciattarelli: The state of education

NJ Decides 2021: Election Conversations

NJ Spotlight News this week hosted the first in a series of online forums — titled “NJ Decides 2021: Election Conversations” — focusing on the big issues facing voters in the upcoming gubernatorial and state legislative elections.

The lead-off of five such conversations, Tuesday’s hour-long talk centered on public education and brought together a mix of individuals both in and outside New Jersey schools to discuss what’s at stake.

Joining NJ Spotlight News’ Founding Editor John Mooney and Correspondent Joanna Gagis were former state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf, Pleasantville Superintendent Nataki Chestnut-Lee and Gaëtane Jean-Marie, dean of education at Rowan University.

The wide-ranging discussion included the state’s response and responsibilities in schools around the COVID-19 pandemic, Trenton’s role in funding New Jersey’s public education system, and the state’s learning standards and testing programs.

You can watch the discussion by clicking the start arrow on the image above.

The conversations in the series are leading up to the Oct. 12 gubernatorial debate hosted by NJ Spotlight News, NJ PBS and Rowan University. The other conversations in the series are:

  • COVID & Health Care: Thursday, Sept. 23, starting at noon
  • Budget & Taxes: Tuesday, Sept. 28, noon
  • Social Justice & Immigration: Wednesday, Oct. 6, noon
  • Climate Change & Clean Energy: Thursday, Oct. 7, noon



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