Remember the Hans Christian Anderson story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes?” A vain king hires two swindlers who swear to him that they can sew for him the finest suit of clothes that to wise men will be beautiful but to fools will be invisible. The whole court, fearful of appearing foolish, gush over the ostensibly gorgeous garment. But during a parade a young boy shouts out, “The Emperor has no clothes!” and the pretense of royalty explodes.
This is a parable of New Jersey suburban school districts, where many families are certain that their public schools are arrayed in cashmere and silk. Why should they think otherwise? We pay $19,211 per student per year, the second highest cost per pupil in the country. The state union blasts out messages like, “New Jersey schools lead the country in education!” and blame low scores on new standardized PARCC tests to “drastic changes.”Read the rest here.