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, May 13, 2013

What's REALLY Happening In Newark's Schools?

I've already written about Tom Moran's pig-headed view of Newark's charter schools, as demonstrated in his op-ed piece in Sunday's Star-Ledger.

Let me address something else from the article:
This council has a long history of crazy behavior. It pays itself the highest council salaries in the state, and each member is entitled to a free car, as well. One councilman compared the charter school movement to the Tuskegee experiments when black men were secretly infected with syphilis to study the progress of the disease. When a council meeting last year broke down in chaos, police had to spray mace to restore order. [emphases mine]
First of all, black men were NOT secretly infected with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment; they already had syphilis, and were left untreated. This is a myth that has been repeated by prominent people many times.

The idea that "police had to spray mace to restore order" is not something everyone at the meeting would agree with. That aside, Moran doesn't mention why some council members were upset: they felt Mayor Cory Booker was pulling a fast one in a literal back-room deal. I'm no expert on Newark's politics, so I'm not about to say Booker was in the wrong. But the notion that things only get heated in Newark politics because everyone involved, save Booker, is "crazy" strikes me as more than a little paternalistic.

There is a common notion floating around the punditocracy that the state of New Jersey has been forced to act and take over Newark's schools because the city is dysfunctional. No one seems to notice, however, that the state has now run the district for nearly two decades. Just what are the results of this takeover?
Is it any wonder that people in Newark are angry? Does Tom Moran or anyone else think white suburban parents would sit by quietly while these injustices were visited upon their schools?

New Jersey may well have been right to step into Newark back in 1995. But they also should have implemented a plan to move Newark back to local control, just like the affluent suburban districts. The fact that Newark remains under the thumb of the state is a testament to the failure of state control.

It's not "crazy" to be angry about the state's long-term occupation of Newark's schools; in fact, I'd say it's crazy to not to be angry.

It doesn't bother me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As always, you're the best! The people of Newark deserve so much better.