New Newsworks column: Don’t Blame Charters For Trenton Public Schools’ Budget Woes

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It starts here:

Last Friday Janice Williams, Grievance Chair of the Trenton Education Association, did us all a favor and cut through the political pantomime of the anti-charter school army. In response to the Trenton Public Schools’ announcement of impending lay-offs caused by a $17.3-million budget shortfall for the 2015-16 school year, Williams gave a clear answer to The Trentonian, 

“Kids are leaving and going charter schools. We’re going to be working very hard to put together a PR campaign to let our parents and city and community residents know why they should choose the Trenton Public School system.” 

Here, Ms. Williams expresses a malignant plank of those opposed to charter schools: in this fear-based construct, school choice is a zero-sum game. If families get to choose among different forms of public schools, then adherents to traditional models must engage in public relations campaigns to protect market share. It’s about adult job security, not student well-being. It’s about money, not kids. It’s the negative politics of resentment, not collaborative efforts to educate students. 

Read the rest here.

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