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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pesky Democracy Stopping Charters!

When are you people going to stop exercising your rights and just take what's good for you?
Tighter standards, better ways to measure progress, increased accountability and an easier regulatory environment are what acting N.J. Department of Education chief Christopher Cerf says he has planned for the state’s charter schools as a way to encourage growth and educational quality.
“These are exciting times for charter schools,” said Cerf, speaking Monday at the New Jersey Charter School Association conference at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino. “It’s also a time for change, and it’s a time when we have to live with an increasingly vocal and organized opposition.” [emphasis mine]
Life would be so much simpler if people would just stop looking at the facts about charters and just accept them coming into their communities whether they are want them or need them. Like those pesky plebes in Cherry Hill and Voorhees! It's just so annoying that they want control of their schools and their tax dollars! Don't they understand we're doing all this maneuvering behind their backs for their own good?
Cerf told several hundred charter school teachers, board members, parents and students that the Christie administration strongly supports the schools as an alternative to traditional public schools.
“I absolutely expect an increasingly friendly, lighter touch, regulatory environment,” Cerf said.
However, Cerf said, he plans to enact stronger standards for granting charter school applications and enhancing accountability for those charter schools that are failing standards.
Yes, we're going to be tougher, but we're going to be less tough. Got it?

(Kafka and Orwell would love writing about the NJ DOE.)

Association President Carlos Perez said in opening remarks that charter school students also are public school students and they should get the same level of funding. Currently, charter schools do not receive money toward facilities and must pay for housing the school and other building-related expenses out of their operating budget. 
Which is why school like Regis Academy are opening in the first place: to help their founders pay off their mortgages. And if Perez really thinks charters should get the same amount of funding, then he should agree that charters should serve the same student population as the public schools; if they don't, why should they get equal funding?

By the way: does this sound like data-driven public policy to you?


darciecima said...

Remember when the Governor told those kids in Trenton that if their teacher's cared about them they wouldn't take off for Atlantic City in the middle of the school year to have a "party?"

So we will just sit back and wait for the Governor to condemn the charter school folks for not have their convention in Atlantic City too, and not having it over the summer...




(Duke, that page was taken down from the Trentonian site! You still have some of it in a post somewhere, right?)

jfm14 said...

If Cerf and Christie stopped talking and found a moment of quiet and solitude, they may come to a very logical conclusion . . .

Stop opening charters at the moment and focus on the ones that are already here and the public schools that have been the cornerstone of NJ for so many years. Take the innovation and positives from the charters, if any, and work to implement them for all NJ children in ALL NJ schools. If it is time to innovate, start innovating instead of bleeding the public schools dry by giving their money to charters.

Teachers and staff cannot innovate without flexibilty and funding. It is time to focus on education and the root problems instead of setting fires and trying to put them out. If they took a moment to actually THINK, they might come to this realization.

If funds continue to be siphoned from the public schools, teachers, staff and children will be left with nothing. Teachers will only be innovators out of appalling necessity because they won't have books and supplies for their kids.

None of us - the state, the schools, the parents - has a money tree out back so we need to work within our budgets and work to innovate for the good of all NJ's children.

Duke said...

Darcie: spot on!

Anonymous said...

And if the Charter Schools need equal funding for facilities, does this mean the taxpayers will own those facilities after the Charter school goes belly up? We paid the mortgage after all.