I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, September 18, 2011


A couple of "choice" stories from the Garden State. Let's start with some chartery goodness:
The school spent $10,000 on hotel fees for a staff junket to Atlantic City, $5,600 on a year-end staff party at KatManDu restaurant, and $38,000 on flower boxes and campus landscaping. Visiting DOE staff also found "a weak educational program, lacking in rigor and not meeting the goals set forth in the school's charter," a spokesman said.
After a period of probation, the school was finally pressured to give up its charter in May, and the New Jersey State Police opened an investigation into school spending practices.
It wasn't the first charter school failure in New Jersey, or in Trenton. Forty charter schools have seen their licenses revoked, denied or surrendered since the much vaunted alternative education program began more than a decade ago. This year both Capital Prep and Trenton Community Charter were targeted for closure by the DOE.
In the case of Trenton Community, the DOE found students simply were not making sufficient academic progress and concluded school officials had not come up with an acceptable turnaround plan.
Don't these kids understand that this is the market in action? That "choice" makes everything so much better? For every one of these failing schools, I'm sure there's quite possibly maybe another school that could be performing on average - or maybe (perhaps)  better!

In the market, there are losers and winners. These kids lost. But their schools before were bad, so it's not like they did any worse. We just have to keep opening and closing charters over and over and over again until we find the magic formula for the right charters. It's certainly a better plan than taxing rich people and using the money to build up both their schools and their communities, right?


Meanwhile, in sports:
Under the program, instituted this year by the New Jersey Department of Education, students may choose to enroll in a public school outside their district. The students still attend their new school for free; sending districts must cover the cost for the receiving district.
Several South Jersey high schools have joined the choice program as receiving schools. They include Audubon and Sterling, along with Paulsboro, Lindenwold and Gateway – that's five Colonial schools right there – as well as Hammonton, Ocean City, and Glassboro, among others.
Let's be clear: I'm not suggesting that Audubon did anything wrong in welcoming Chisolm to its school district. And I am not suggesting that Chisolm and his family decided he would attend Audubon so he could run for touchdowns for the Green Wave.
But that's apparently going to be a pretty regular byproduct of the decision. Chisolm has burst, vision, and a willingness to lower his shoulder and power inside for extra yards.
"The sky's the limit for him," Koehl said of Chisolm, a Lindenwold resident who is attending Audubon under the school-choice program after spending his freshman year at Camden Catholic.
Let's bring those NCAA values down to the high school level, shall we? By why stop there? I hear there's this awesome 3rd grade kickball stud in Asbury Park. If Cherry Hill can make a few calls...

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