As KendalJames points out, OSA, on the legislature’s plate this month as a side dish to lame duck with gravy, sounds harmless. He tells it:
Opportunity! Scholarships! Action! All of these things sound awesome, and even moreso when you string them together – “Opportunity Scholarship Act” – it just rolls off the tongue, like “Madoff Investment Securities,” or “House Un-American Activities Committee.”
It’s the old thing its own track record tells us doesn’t work – vouchers – repackaged all shiny by clever people who hope you don’t read the research. Nevertheless, some influential non-electeds go big for it. And this week, rallies both against, and for, vouchers.
But where do you stand?
Somebody actually wants to know. Democratic State Chair Asm John Wisniewski wants to hear what you think about education. Honestly, I don’t know if the votes are already aligned for some of the ed ‘reform’ we’ve heard is coming in lame duck. History teaches me to be as wary of Democrats in this issue as the GOP (not Wiz). But if I’m being honest, I don’t remember anyone of his standing asking for this kind of input, either. It’s good.
I’m told responses are pouring in. Parents. Teachers. School Board members. Activists. Education experts. People without kids in the schools. What they’re writing about is broad – not just about charters, or vouchers, but suggestions on parent involvement, what kids are learning, etc. Of course, the test for me will be whether how all this info will get out of the NJDSC HQ on West State Street and across the street to the legislators who will be voting. And of course, the degree to which they take it in. We’ll see.
As the debate over New Jersey’s education system continues across our state, your ideas and input are needed now, more than ever.
Recently, I hosted representatives of New Jersey’s education community for a roundtable discussion on the state of public education in New Jersey.
The event, held at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in New Brunswick, examined education initiatives and issues expected to be part of the upcoming legislative debate. Representatives of various constituencies involved in and/or affected by the state’s education policies, along with members of the general public were invited to participate in and observe the roundtable discussion. You can see a short video featuring some of the discussion here.
Prior to the discussion, participants heard from Dr. David Driscoll, Chairman of the President’s National Assessment Governing Board, past president of the Council of Chief State School Officers and former Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts. Dr. Driscoll discussed his experience in Massachusetts when that state implemented its landmark education reform law. You can see Dr. Driscoll’s remarks here.
What we need now is input from you! I am asking for your suggestions on what needs to be considered as we move forward in this debate over our children’s future. Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
We need to ensure this process isn’t about ideology, but rather about making education better and your feedback is crucial to crafting a plan that works. There are a variety of opinions and it’s essential that we bring everyone to the table in order to develop the best solutions.
Thank you for everything you do. I look forward to your suggestions.
Video from the Education Roundtable that inspired Wisniewski’s outreach efforts – below the fold.