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

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy "Where's Cerf's Charter Report?" Day!

It's the one year anniversary of ACTING NJ DOE Commissioner Cerf's promise to produce a report on charter school effectiveness "as quickly as is humanly possible"!
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. [emphasis mine]
That "interim report" did not take into account the different student populations for charter schools that "succeed," which means it wasn't even worth the paper it wasn't printed on. If Cerf had the evidence that charters can really "beat the odds," he would have shouted it from the top of the capitol dome. But, of course, he did not.

What I'm really looking forward to today are the many local pundits and editorialists who will undoubtedly take ACTING Commissioner Cerf to the woodshed for making a promise he clearly has no intention of keeping. I'm sure Tom Moran has an editorial all teed up excoriating Cerf for breaking his word. I'm sure all the papers are ready to note this sad anniversary. Let the barrage of opprobrium begin!

Any second now... I'm sure it's coming... just got to wait a little...


Save a piece of "Where's Cerf's Charter Report? Day" cake for the guv!


Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

a better question is "Where is Cerf?"