Why isn't it surprising that Cami Anderson, the newly appointed superintendent of Newark's failing school system, got a Cathie Black-style reception -- boos and heckling -- from parents at her first public appearance?
Not to mention a warning by the head of the local teachers union that "there's going to be no honeymoon" if she tries to implement New York-style reforms.
Last week, Gov. Chris Christie appointed her to run the public schools in New Jersey's largest city -- a system that has been under state supervision since 1995, after decades of abysmal performance.Listen, you ingrates, you can't expect the state to give you results after SIXTEEN YEARS of running your schools. Lord knows it would be much, much worse if you were left to run them yourselves. Because... well, you know...
Indeed, Christie noted that his parents left Newark when he was 5 because of the schools: "I don't think I'd be governor if I went to school here in Newark."Oh, that's why your folks left - "the schools"? What, Shabazz HS didn't offer Latin?
White flight has been a feature of American cities for decades. It's a serious issue and it deserves a serious discussion. But that would mean taking a hard look at the endemic poverty of our cities and the racism that accompanies it. It would also require that the governor stop using schools as an excuse for the larger problems our society faces. Think that's going to happen?
In any case, guv, when your parents moved you to Livingston "for the schools," they enrolled you in a district where they would get to have a say in the way the schools were run. They would get to vote for the school board that hired your superintendent; they would hold that board accountable for the use of their tax dollars. Do you think they would have been happy to move you to a district where the state came in and told them it knew better than they did how to run your school?
But from the moment of her appointment, she was targeted for criticism andderision -- not, like Black, because she lacked a record, but because she isn't from Newark. And, as the head of one local advocacy group told The New York Times, because she's white.
[Warning: intense sarcasm ahead.]That last point is appalling, but unsurprising. Many of Anderson's critics just want a return to the kind of race-driven "community control" policies that roiled New York's school system for decades.
As we all know by now - thanks, in large part, to the courageous "reporting" of Murdoch's many fine "news" organs (Fox, WSJ, NY Post, etc.) - the real racists in our society are minorities. It's blatantly racist to insist on local control of your schools when live in the inner city. And anyone who doesn't implicitly trust rich, white outsiders to come into their community and tell them how to run their schools may as well just wear a white sheet over their heads.
Yes, because look how well the last decade and a half of state control has worked out...And as for coming from "the outside" -- well, if local educators had produced better results, Newark's schools wouldn't be well into their second decade of supervision by Trenton.
US Education Secretary Arne Duncan is optimistic that Anderson has the kind of "bold vision" needed to ensure Newark's kids get "a high-quality public education." And she'll be aided by an injection of up to $200 million, courtesy of a matching grant from Facebook's CEO.
Look, Newark parents, I know you care about your kids and all that, but let's get our priorities straight, OK? A very rich white guy has come in and given a fraction of his wealth to your schools. Sure, he doesn't know jack about education, and yeah, Corey Booker and Chris Cerf and all these other elites have been making secret plans to push "solutions" on to you that research shows won't work...Bringing in someone who's not part of the status quo helps ensure that the money -- one-fifth of the total schools budget -- won't simply vanish.
... but it's not like you have a lot of skin in the game. Zuckerberg gave MONEY! His investment has to be protected. And the only thing you have invested in the schools are your kids.
So, just do what the Post tells you to do: STFU.
Hey, Newark parents: like Rupert says, STFU.