Not-So-"Empirical" Report on Newark Public Schools

Jersey Jazzman, who writes a spirited anti-school reform blog (my favorite post is entitled “Zombies Eat Laura Waters’ Brain!”) has just been outed. He’s Mark Weber, a doctoral student who studies with Dr. Bruce Baker, the well-known school finance professor at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers.

Weber’s anonymity ended on Friday when he and Baker released a report that is harshly critical of Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s One Newark Plan. One Newark intends to create a universal enrollment system among Newark residents, offering all families a menu of school choices that include both traditional and charter public schools. Also, Anderson intends to close down under-utilized school buildings.

I’ve only had a chance to look at the Executive Summary of the Weber/Baker report, but there’s a number of politically-slanted assumptions  that seem odd for a report that claims to be an “empirical critique.”For example, Baker and Weber write:
Anyway, congratulations to Mr. Weber for his achievements, although I think either the student or the teacher should investigate the definition of "empirical."