As I reported last week, a group of wealthy Californians and Coloradans - many affiliated with Rocketship Education, a charter management company - poured a ton of money into the Perth Amboy, NJ school board race. How they decided on Perth Amboy, a district 3,000 miles away, remains a mystery.
The tens of thousands of dollars they spent got them one seat in the small city, even though they backed four candidates on the "Better Schools Now!" ticket. Another seat was won by a member of the rival "New Vision, New Voices" slate; the other two seats were retained by incumbents.
Incumbent board president Samuel Lebreault, however, lost his seat. Lebreault was one of the chief critics of the controversial superintendent Janine Caffrey; whether the new board will chose to allow her to finish out her contract remains to be seen.
So the wealthy corporate reformers gained one seat but lost three others: not a very impressive showing. And at the "Better Schools Now!" Facebook page, we get a taste of the new attitude Perth Amboy's schools will soon be enjoying:
How nice for the kids to have such great role models...
And so a new chapter in the reformy soap opera that is the Perth Amboy schools begins. I'll be watching.