Tighter standards, better ways to measure progress, increased accountability and an easier regulatory environment are what acting N.J. Department of Education chief Christopher Cerf says he has planned for the state’s charter schools as a way to encourage growth and educational quality.
“These are exciting times for charter schools,” said Cerf, speaking Monday at the New Jersey Charter School Association conference at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino. “It’s also a time for change, and it’s a time when we have to live with an increasingly vocal and organized opposition.” [emphasis mine]
Life would be so much simpler if people would just stop looking at the facts about charters and just accept them coming into their communities whether they are want them or need them. Like those pesky plebes in Cherry Hill and Voorhees! It’s just so annoying that they want control of their schools and their tax dollars! Don’t they understand we’re doing all this maneuvering behind their backs for their own good?
Cerf told several hundred charter school teachers, board members, parents and students that the Christie administration strongly supports the schools as an alternative to traditional public schools.
“I absolutely expect an increasingly friendly, lighter touch, regulatory environment,” Cerf said.
However, Cerf said, he plans to enact stronger standards for granting charter school applications and enhancing accountability for those charter schools that are failing standards.
Yes, we’re going to be tougher, but we’re going to be less tough. Got it?
(Kafka and Orwell would love writing about the NJ DOE.)
Association President Carlos Perez said in opening remarks that charter school students also are public school students and they should get the same level of funding. Currently, charter schools do not receive money toward facilities and must pay for housing the school and other building-related expenses out of their operating budget.
Which is why school like Regis Academy are opening in the first place: to help their founders pay off their mortgages. And if Perez really thinks charters should get the same amount of funding, then he should agree that charters should serve the same student population as the public schools; if they don’t, why should they get equal funding?
By the way: does this sound like data-driven public policy to you?