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

Friday, November 14, 2014

New NJ Spotlight Column: Reactions to Our Charter School Report

My latest column for NJ Spotlight is out; the subject this time is the reaction from the NJ charter sector to my new report:
So why the fuss? I can only guess, but I think our report is highlighting a problem with charter school expansion as a strategy for broader reform of urban education -- a problem even the most ardent charter supporters have acknowledged.
In 2011, NJ Spotlight sponsored a roundtable on charter schools. Former Education Commissioner Chris Cerf, one of the nation’s foremost champions of charters, acknowledged their limitations:
“Nobody thinks charter schools are THE solution, or that we should ignore throwing all of our effort into doing what we can to reform and improve other public schools,” said Cerf.
In other words: charter schools were never designed to fully supplant public district schools. Charter school supporters believe, instead, that charters should be part of a “portfolio” of school choices that include district schools. Many regularly express their desire to work with hosting school districts, as in Newark and Camden, to share best practices and develop universal enrollment systems. 
Those are laudable goals, but they don’t address the fundamental issue with school “choice”: families are likely to “choose” to send their children to schools that enroll other children like their own.
Read the whole thing, and check out the charter report for yourself here. Try not to come down with the vapors...

Data?! Mercy!

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