Well, Tom Moran just hung up on me after asking me to return his call for a technical snag he had in posting, and after calling me a bunch of not-nice things. He thinks we’ve called him racist, which we have not, so I imagine he thinks we have some insults coming to us. More on that later. The post he so strongly objects to is An Open Letter to Star-Ledger Editorial Board Director Tom Moran by Marie Corfield, Ani McHugh & Jersey Jazzman and posted here, and at their 3 sites and at Diane Ravitch’s. Meanwhile, no matter what he says, we’re glad he posted what he has to say here. He’s always invited back. – Rosi
I was struck by the open letter to me as Star-Ledger editorial page editor after my recent column on Cami Anderson. The letter is below. My column is here.
I don’t have time to answer every one of these criticisms. Times are tough in my industry these days. But a few thoughts:
What’s with the Rush Limbaugh tone of this site? Can we have an honest disagreement with the personal insults? “ill-informed” “reckless” “shame on you” “ridicuous” “shredded your integrity” and so on. I was not the least bit to see the go-to attack of people who have weak arguments: I’m a racist.
Geez. All that’s from the first few paragraphs of a long-winded diatribe. I’m surprised my dog can even stand me.
Maybe you folks should take a pill, and engage people who disagree with you in a civil manner. You might find that I’m not as evil as you think. Who knows.
As for my alleged refusal to consider these arguments, please. I have spoken at length about these issues with Diane Ravitch, and Ras Baraka, and a ton of other Cami critics to hear them out. I have visited several schools, attended board meetings, read extensively. So give me a break. I engage with a lot of smart people who disagree with me on this. I never call them racist or rely on personal insults to make my point. It’s amateur.
And by the way, I included a sharp critique of Cami’s failure to consult the community sufficiently. Did you guys even read the damn column? Did you read Bob Curvin’s quote?
As for the substance, let’s start with charters. Newark parents want charters. Thousands are on wait lists, and when given the choice this year, charters were picked overwhelmingly. You suggest these parents have been tricked. And I’m condescending? Please.
As for the dark profit motive, that is just ideological blather. Yes, companies make money selling products and services to schools. But they make that money selling to charters or conventional districts. The hedge fund philanthropists who gave money to Team Academy are not making money. Dave Tepper, a hedge fund guy who spends a lot on ed reform, made $2 billion in a single year on Wall Street. What is the logic of his trying to find a way to siphon money from the public schools? How would that work? That’s crazy talk.
I understand that charters don’t have as many kids who are free lunch, special ed, and ESL. I have spoken to Bruce Baker at length about this, and examined his data.
So what do we do about that? Close the charters are parents are pounding on the door to get in? I say no.
One of two solutions: Universal enrollment, with a thumb on the scale to ensure charters take more of these kids. That’s Cami’s solution. Or allow charters to give preference to these kids in their lotteries. That’s illegal how, but I will be arguing this week for a change in the law.
The point is most charters, not all, want a demographic mix that matches the city.
I am afraid One Newark is going to have a rough start. I think Cami has flaws as a leader, and has lost too much standing in Newark.
But I dont’ regard her as evil. And I will never use the sort of sophomoric language in attacking her that you folks used in attacking me.
Finally, my resignation note from this site: I answered this entry because it was so over the top. But I’m done with this nonsense. If you call me a racist, that crosses a line. You don’t know me, and I don’t want to talk to you again if that’s the way you engage in dialogue.
Reminds me of Rush Limbaugh, who relies on demonizing his opponents as his go-to tactic. I thought better of the left.