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State Senate Education Committee 09/21/15 Hearing

On September 21, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz called a hearing to discuss early childhood education and the progress being made within New Jersey. More than 150 people from across New Jersey—including representatives from numerous advocate organizations, education officials, community representatives, business leaders, law enforcement, providers and others—came out to hear the testimonies on why we need expanded pre-k access now.

At least 21 individuals testified, including three of Pre-K Our Way’s Leadership Group members—Brian Maher, Cecilia Zalkind of Advocates for Children of New Jersey and Lynda Anderson-Towns, recently retired Superintendent and Principal of the Woodbine School District in Cape May County. Additional testimony came from Ruth Lopez Piatt, a Vineland private-provider of New Jersey’s high-quality preschool program and Pre-K Our Way panelist and supporter; Steven Barnett, Ph.D. from National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University; Superintendent of Schools Rocco Tomazic and Kindergarten Teacher Randee Mandelbaum from Freehold Boro; Janellen Duffy from Pre-K Our Way Advocate organization JerseyCAN; Chief of Police James Abbott representing West Orange and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids; and other advocates in support of pre-k. Additionally, Pre-K Our Way’s advocate organization and United Way Alliance member United Way of Northern New Jersey provided testimony. The submitted copies of these testimonies and others are below; view them to see how different people and organizations in New Jersey want to bring pre-k their way.

 

Brian Maher

Brian is a member of the Pre-K Our Way Leadership Group. He is also the former Chairman and CEO of Maher Terminals in Port Elizabeth.

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Lynda Anderson-Towns

Lynda is a member of the Pre-K Our Way Leadership Group. She is also the retired Superintendent and Principal of Woodbine School District in Cape May County, New Jersey.

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Ruth Piatt

Ruth is the owner of Little Lamb Preschool-Keener Kids, Inc. She is a private-provider of New Jersey's preschool program in Vineland, NJ.

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Cecilia Zalkind

Cecilia is a member of the Pre-K Our Way Leadership Group. She is also the Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New Jersey.

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Steven Barnett, Ph.D.

Dr. Barnett is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. This two-page document presents the APPLES research information used in Dr. Barnett's testimony.

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Steven Barnett, Ph.D.

Dr. Barnett is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. This link is to the PowerPoint used in Dr. Barnett's testimony.

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Rocco Tomazic and Randee Mandelbaum

Rocco Tomazic is the Superintendent of Schools of Freehold Borough, and Randee Mandelbaum is a Kindergarten teacher in Freehold Borough.

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Randee Mandelbaum

Randee Mandelbaum is a Kindergarten teacher in Monmouth County dedicated to ensuring her kids are ready for academic success, and she knows it begins with pre-k. She shared her story with other advocates to inspire them to bring pre-k their way.

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James Abbott

Chief Abbott represents West Orange, as well as Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

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Ellen Wolock

Ellen Wolock represents the New Jersey Department of Education

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Vincent Costanza, Ed.D.

Vincent is the Executive Director of Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge and Director of the Office of Primary Education.

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Janellen Duffy

Janellen is the Executive Director of JerseyCAN

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