yesterday's Gannet papers ran a special section on school choice focusing on NJ's Interdistrict Public School Choice Program. Contributers were NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer; Paul Trachtenberg of the Education Law Center and Rutgers; Valarie Smith, Director of the Interdistrict School Choice Association; and me. Here's mine:
Many New Jerseyans get prickly about school choice. Those lucky enough to reside in one of New Jersey’s many high-performing districts (a form of school choice usually available only to families of means) look askance at threats to our cherished school boundaries. Out-of-the-box (or out of the ZIP code) educational options like charter schools or voucher schemes incite cries of craven capitalism and fear of competition.
Except for the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program, which gains participants and credibility each year. Or at least it did until this past October when the state Department of Education defied the law and arbitrarily capped increases in the number of children who benefit from this rare opportunity to cross district boundaries.
Read the rest here.