Make it stop! Make it stop!
Q: There has been some criticism that it is bringing in more private interests and privatization of public schools.
A [Tom Kean, former NJ Governor]: I have never been for private school vouchers. I have always felt public money should be in public schools, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have good charter schools, which are public schools, or that you shouldn’t have good public school choice.
It doesn’t mean that money doesn’t matter, but it needs to be targeted money and targeted reform. More money into a failing system is just a more expensive failing system. I used to call it educational child abuse, and I think Chris Cerf and the governor are open to what needs to be done.
Q: But Christie is pressing ahead with private school voucher program, at least through a proposed pilot. Your son, state Sen. Thomas Kean Jr., is behind it, too.
A: I think pilots are fine. I have never been for private school vouchers, but I think small experiments to see if something works, it is hard to be against that. I am very pragmatic on education these days. It’s not ideology; it’s what works, what’s going to help the African-American or Hispanic kids in the middle of Newark or Paterson or Camden and feels trapped in a system that doesn’t work. [emphasis mine]
See, Tom Kean is against school vouchers! Except for when he is for them! You know, just to see if they work! But Kean’s still against them regardless! Except maybe he’s not… it’s confusing…
By the way, Governor: a “pilot program” for vouchers would pretty much be useless in terms of demonstrating anything about whether a large-scale program would work. But I think we all know that’s really not what the NJ voucher bills have been about, don’t we? (Hint: Why do the OSA bills always include Lakewood?)
This is the intellectual rigor I suppose we can expect from JerseyCAN.
JerseyCAN Board of Directors
ADDING: More of the wisdom of Tom Kean:
Q: What about those saying this is an issue of poverty, and we need to get to the root causes?
A: To me, that’s an excuse. I have headed the national committee against teen pregnancy for years — one of the causes, and yes, we have to get at that. We do have to work at the various causes, no question about that, but to say that people are poor and therefore they can’t learn, that’s an excuse I’ve never accepted.
So, poverty is “an excuse” – but it’s still “one of the causes” of differing educational outcomes. See, poverty is a real factor in education – but the best thing to do is ignore it.
Give the man credit: it’s not easy to contradict yourself within a few sentences…