Newark Teacher Decodes Path to Success

Allison Cuttler’s computer-science students had 100% passing rate on Advanced Placement exam last spring

Read this post as it originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal. (Subscription required.)


Allison Cuttler, a computer-science teacher in Newark, tries to boil hard concepts down to things that her students relate to. Like how to order a McChicken sandwich.

“When you go to McDonald’s, you’re not supposed to go behind the stand and make your own,’’ explains one of her students, Bren’et Muldrow, a 17-year-old senior. In other words, writing code is like telling an invisible cook how to do something complex through basic instructions. Continue reading


Students at largest charter school network in New Jersey reverse the achievement gap

Students attending Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy Charter School have reversed the education achievement gap with their higher income counterparts in New Jersey, according to PARCC scores released recently by the state Department of Education.

Students at North Star closed the achievement gap.

Students at North Star Academy reversed the achievement gap with their higher-income counterparts in New Jersey.

Continue reading

Now Accepting Applications!

North Star Academy is now accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year! To submit an application or learn more about tours and events for prospective parents, please visit us at We look forward to meeting you and your scholar, and hope to be a part of their journey to college!

North Star Academy’s New Building is Approved!

City Planning MeetingNorth Star Academy has been approved to build our next elementary, middle and high school at the former site of Newark’s Star Ledger! The approval came during a recent city-wide planning board meeting, where more than 400 North Star parents, scholars and even alumni addressed the 9 member board. Parents were passionate as they spoke to the board about the quality of education their children receive at North Star, and students lined up to tell the board about their own experiences. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2016, with completion planned for 2018.


Not a Moment, but a Movement!


Black History Month is a time for North Star Scholars to creatively share their understanding of the sacrifices, break-thoroughs and achievements of black Americans. Whether it is by decorating their classroom doors, writing poems of gratitude, or performing tributes to honor black American pioneers, North Star values the struggle and the progress.  We know that the opportunity to affect change in this world, is not limited to a moment, or a single month, but instead it is a movement. Each day we come to school ready to learn, and give our best, is another day we work to continue the legacy of a rich heritage.

It’s the 100th Day of School!

100th_Day_Of_School_WPESNorth Star scholars are 100 days smarter, and that’s something to celebrate! We have reached the midpoint of our school year, and the growth is evident. With a strong focus on counting, and learning about the number 100, our elementary scholars enjoyed the day sporting fun glasses, crowns, receiving pencils and even cupcakes.  At North Star, it is cool to be smart, and we know that with hard work, smart is something that you become. Since August, we’ve been working hard and the results are clear – we are squarely on the road to college.

This is the last week to submit your application for the 2015-16 school year. Don’t miss the opportunity to apply, and ensure that your child has a chance for a life-changing education.

Experiencing North Star

North Star Academy PhotoHave you ever experienced something so incredible, that you struggled to give it words? You tried to tell a friend – to describe the event and make it come back to life, but you just couldn’t do it justice? Many prospective parents who’ve attended our recent school tours, expressed this same feeling. “You just have to see it!” one recently shared.

Whether you’ve heard about “Morning Circle“, Brain Breakfast, or “Cold Calling,” seeing truly is believing. If your child will start school for the first time, or if you’re looking for a stronger educational option, the joy, focus and excitement in our schools is palpable. We have just one tour left – next Tuesday (Feb 3) at Vailsburg Elementary. Give yourself an opportunity to experience North Star before this year’s application window closes. Click here to reserve your spot, and remember to submit your application by February 6th. We look forward to seeing you there!


The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King

This week across North Star Academy we reflect on the legacy, the life and the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His commitment to justice and equality for all people inspire us as educators. Our aim is to ensure that all children receive a high-quality education, the preparation to enter and graduate from college, and the ability to pursue a life of their choosing. It is, we believe, a human right.

As you reflect this week on the legacy of Dr. King, how far our society has come, and how far we have to go, know that a great education opens and unlocks doors. In Newark, now is the time to choose a school that will open doors for your child, and set them on the path to realize their dreams. We invite you to apply to North Star Academy before the February 6th deadline. To learn more, take a tour, or submit your application, visit us online.

North Star Parents Are Proud!

North_Star_Parent_Facebook_PostNorth Star parents know that now is the time for Newark families to apply for a high-quality education. As supporters of school choice, parents recognize the impact a great education can have on their child, their family and the community. We’re spreading the word and want all of Newark to have an opportunity for an award winning education – it will literally change their life. To learn more about North Star or submit your application today, visit