This is the latest chapter in the tale of the Broad Foundation infestation of the NJDOE. But the audacity, scope, and secrecy behind this plan still stunned many observers. How could the NJDOE justify developing such a radical proposal behind closed doors with private monies and no public input?
Simple: pretend the proposal had already been made public.
Yeah, that last sentence is awkward. But it's obvious to me that what the reporter means to say is that the NJDOE is claiming that much of the turnaround proposal is to be found in the state's NCLB waiver application. New Jersey applied for a waiver from the law this past year, and received the waiver later in the spring. The application is a large document full of plans for "reforming" New Jersey's schools through current and proposed regulation and law.
Well, here's the waiver application; I went back and took another look. No where could I find:
- Any proposal for an "Achievement School District" similar to such districts in Louisiana, allowing the state to take over individual schools separately from their home district.
- Any proposal for "freeing" a school from its collective bargaining agreement; to the contrary, much is made in the NCLB waiver application about honoring such agreements until they expire.
- Any mention of pending legislation that would create an "Achievement School District."
So, no Ms. Morgan: the most controversial parts of this plan were not in the NCLB waiver. And it's totally disingenuous for you to imply that they were.
Try as they might to deny it, the NJDOE has become a shadow operation; they will keep their secrets as long as they can. And like all good clandestine operators, when their schemes are revealed, they'll deny they were ever secret in the first place.
Barbara Morgan, NJDOE spokesperson (artist's conception)