Monday, December 19, 2011

Charter School Bill "Thoroughly Misguided"

Neil Brown, Chief Academic Officer for RISE, which is designing a charter school for homeless kids and children of incarcerated parents, has a measured editorial in the Star-Ledger that explains why Assembly Bill 3582 is a mistake. The bill would require voter approval in order for a proposed charter school to get a green light by the DOE. This bill, Brown argues, is “ thoroughly misguided and symptomatic of a disappointing trend in how we view charter schools and the role they play in addressing the horrible inequities in our state.”

The original intent of charter schools, Brown reminds us, is not to compete with traditional public schools but to have the freedom to experiment with non-traditional ways of educating kids. Certainly, oversight must be “more scrupulous and rigorous,” but requiring a public vote is “absolutely the wrong way to go.”


kallikak said...

Mr. Brown must acknowledge that the supposed original intent of charter schools has been subverted into a parallel system of publicly-funded schools effectively outside the control of local school boards and (derivatively) the public.

A-3582 is a very straightforward remedy to this situation, however much it may discommode some of the players.

darciecima said...

Note to Mr. Brown and Ms. Waters. The rules of the game have changed! Innovation was SO 1995. You're playing with the corporate big boys now...

The New Jersey Charter School Association, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools are ALL funded by the Walton Foundation whose goal is clear: Our core strategy is to infuse competitive pressure into America’s K-12 education system... reform

At least they are honest about it I guess. The mission of the charter Mr. Brown is proposing sounds worthwhile and I commend him for his work. But why aren't those services offered to ALL students that need them, in all districts, not just the lucky few that win a lottery to attend?

All three of these Walton funded groups are fighting against the same legislation you are fighting against Ms. Waters. This is really the side you want to take? The side of the corporate ed reformers looking to take all and any decision making power away from communities?

When is your next school board election? I think the voters of Lawrence should know that you don't think they are smart enough to make decisions for themselves. Interesting stance for a publicly elected official...