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

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cerf Charter Report Hostage Crisis: Day 350

We're only a little more than two weeks away from the one-year anniversary of ACTING Commissioner Chris Cerf's big promise (from March of 2011 - emphasis mine):
Vowing to create "more transparency," acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf today said the state will ask an outside agency to analyze why some charter schools out-perform traditional public schools.
Speaking at a meeting of the state Board of Education, Cerf said "we stand by" controversial data about charter school performance released in January, but acknowledged that "deeper analysis" is necessary.
That data showed that 79 percent of charter schools outperformed district schools on math exams in the state’s poorest districts, and that 69 percent outperformed their home districts in language arts. Critics assailed the numbers, saying charter school test scores may have been higher than traditional public school scores in part because charters have fewer very poor students.
"They are what they are," Cerf said of the January data. "They are not what you might call nuanced."
Cerf said an independent analysis will be conducted "as quickly as is humanly possible." He also released an "interim report" on charter schools that he said "dispels the notion" that charter schools don’t serve special needs kids. And he presented data showing that there are poor children in charter schools.
That "interim report" was a joke. So said Matt DiCarlo. So said Bruce Baker. So said Bob Braun. So said yours truly.

Now, if charters are so friggin' wonderful, it should be easy to put us all in our place. And you would think Cerf would love nothing more than to take down all of his critics in one fell swoop. So why hasn't he released this report yet? Why are we approaching a year since he made the promise to set us all dead to rights? Could it possibly be that a real report would, in fact, contradict his claims about charter superiority?

You'd think such a "data-driven" fellow would like to know, wouldn't you?

There should be a moratorium on all new charter schools in New Jersey until the Cerf report is released and thoroughly vetted.



1 comment:

Rita McClellan said...

I guess the delay is because the DoE is “teaching” the charters how to manipulate their data to make the report look good.

Considering the DoE's "my way or the highway" actions over the last several years, if they ever release the report, I wouldn’t believe it anyway.