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John Mooney in NJ Spotlight describes the Senate Education Committee hearing yesterday on two controversial charter school bills where the “vocal opposition” came not from poor urban areas but “almost entirely from suburban districts,” mainly through the lobbying efforts of Save Our Schools-NJ:

While more than half of all of New Jersey’s charter schools operate in its poorest cities, there was nobody from places like Paterson, Trenton, and Camden. They weren’t entirely without representation, to be sure, as various advocates stepped up to speak, but New Jersey’s fierce debate over charter schools has had a distinctly suburban feel of late.

Sen. Shirley Turner noted that “she rarely hears complaints from her constituents in Trenton about the growth of charters there, even as some of the charters have been forced to close. ‘I don’t think they have a problem with it so much’ she said. ‘They can’t argue about the quality of their schools. Look at the test scores, and they say well, if there is an alternative and another way to help our students, let’s buy it.'”

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  • kallikak, October 15, 2011 @ 1:46 pm Reply

    Please read John Mooney's story and the attendant readers' comments in their entirety.

    Question for the house: is “Reform1” someone near-and-dear to this blog?

  • darcie, October 16, 2011 @ 3:27 pm Reply

    The first time I commented on one of your blog posts it was when you were incorrectly slamming the Assembly version of this Bill, 3852. Remember? You said that the Bill was unfair to the residents of Camden because they don't come out to vote. Of course the bill doesn't require the voters of Camden to come out and vote, but that was a pesky detail you overlooked…

    What is FASCINATING is that now you are blaming Save Our Schools NJ because there weren't any urban parents testifying with us before the Senate Education Committee! Ms. Water's, when you don't expect the voters in Camden to show up at the polls, can you in all fairness blame Save Our Schools NJ if no one from an urban area attends a Senate Education Committee Hearing in Trenton? We really do seem to be taking the brunt of your scorn for this legislation, don't you think?

    And not for nothing, did you not understand the quote from Senator Turner? She is saying that some parents in Trenton are so desperate to get out of the traditional pubic schools that they are willing to try ANYTHING to get out. This is not exactly a rousing endorsement of charters…

    And did you miss the part of the paragraph you quote where Mr. Mooney said they (meaning the poorest cities) “weren't entirely without representation, to be sure…”

    I was at the hearing, and Senator Turner had plenty of questions for the DOE regarding the lack of oversight and transparency in regard to charters, especially as it pertains to the reviewers of applications and the two charter closures in Trenton this fall. But they were unable to comment due to pending legislation – AGAINST the DOE. Ms. Turner is one of the sponsors of 2243 for goodness sake!

    Senator Rice from Newark actually called on the Education Committee to STOP charters from opening all together until the DOE can get a handle on what's going on in Newark and other communities.

    Once again, your need to pit the suburban areas against the urban areas is puzzling. Senator Rice and Turner are not working against Save Our Schools NJ. Why are you? You may want to reach out to the Senators and find out what you are missing. They ACTUALLY represent the people of Newark and Trenton as their Seantor. How exactly do you represent the people of Camden as the President of the Lawrence School Board???

    The new round of applications is coming on Monday. I hope for your sake an application doesn't include Lawrence, because if it does, you are going to be in some serious hot water. You may find your dual roles as anti local control blogger and president of the school board of a VERY suburban district collide.

  • NJ Left Behind, October 16, 2011 @ 3:47 pm Reply

    Kalliak: I have no idea who “Reform1” is.
    Darcie: This post was just a quote. I made no commentary.

  • darcie, October 16, 2011 @ 7:43 pm Reply

    I beg to differ:

    …where the “vocal opposition” came not from poor urban areas but “almost entirely from suburban districts,” mainly through the lobbying efforts of Save Our Schools-NJ…

    You then go on to contradict this commentary with one of the quotes you chose. Pretending you are just presenting a quote from Mr. Mooney is simply laughable.

    Care to respond regarding your qualifications to represent Camden as the President of the Lawrence School Board? Or why Senators Turner and Rice who actually represent poor districts don't share your view of Save Our Schools NJ? Or care to explain how you will handle a charter application that may include Lawrence?

  • kallikak, October 16, 2011 @ 11:44 pm Reply

    Once again, it's Kalli-k-ak.


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