The governor has a right to name his own choices to the state Board of Education. And he has done just that, and they are expected to be sworn in today. One pick, Claire Chamberlain Eckert, is a former Goldman Sachs vice president and a member of the state Republican Committee. She helped launch a charter school in the 1990s. She also served on the board of the Peck School in Morristown. During legislative committee questioning, she revealed she never heard the term Abbott. That should have been a deal-breaker, but it was not.
Another pick for the state board served on the board of a national pro-voucher group. Jack Fornaro, another Christie pick, is a former police officer and prosecutor’s detective. He now works for Republican state Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Demarest. And, finally, a real estate developer fills out the list. He claims to be "intimately familiar with the skill sets required for recent graduates to succeed." Good for him.
Clearly, we are troubled that none of the above comes with a résumé chocka block with public education experience. We do not want to discourage smart, capable people from public service. But we do not want to encourage the idea du jour that if only non-educators from the private sector were in charge of public education that it would somehow magically improve. If the governor’s long-range goal is to dismantle public education, fund private schools with public money and blame teachers for the failure of a small percentage of public schools, he is going to have a battle on his hands.Good for the Herald News.