Take school funding. Most of the anger aimed at the court belongs at the feet of the legislators and governors who have monstrously failed to make the most of our education dollars. The court did not demand excessive salaries, or overweight bureaucracies, or swimming pools. Nor did it block innovations like merit pay for teachers.It’s true. The Court is not to blame for subsequent government corruption. But Moran’s next claim is baffling:
What the court demanded was equal rights for poor kids. And despite the stumbles, New Jersey is closing the racial achievement gap faster than any other state.Mr. Moran should have looked more closely at the data from the test scores he’s referring to, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation's Report Card. We’ll do it for him.
In 2009, Hispanic students had an average score that was 25 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 2003 (28 points). .In 2009, students who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of low income, had an average score that was 27 points lower than that of students who were not eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 2003 (30 points).8th grade math paints a grimmer picture. The achievement gap between White and Black students in 2009 (34 points) “was not statistically different than that in 1990” (38 points). Hispanic children in 2009 “had an average score that was 30 points lower than that of White students. This performance gap was not significantly different than that in 1990 (37 points).” And for 8th graders eligible for free/reduced lunch, the gap was 30 points lower in 2009, “not significantly different than that in 2003 (34 points).”