Braun: School reform effort between Christie, Booker is against the law
Star Ledger 3/7/11
Newark residents want reform but they also want a say — all parents do. When decisions about their children are made behind closed doors by billionaires who believe they know what’s best for them, they have a right to be concerned. They also have a right to rely on the law.
Meeting about Newark superintendent search turns into shouting match over charter schools
Star Ledger, 3/5/11
A community forum to update parents on the search for Newark’s next superintendent devolved into a screaming match over the efficacy of charter schools and a leaked proposal to consolidate some of the city’s failing schools.
Acting state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf called the unintended release of the planning document a "highly regrettable" mistake. A consulting firm incorporated by Cerf was paid $500,000 to audit the district and draft the plan. Cerf, who is no longer associated with the firm, has said repeatedly he played no part in writing the proposal
In Newark, Cerf apologizes for leak - and meets skepticism
NJ Politicker 3/7/11
Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf received an early earful of jeers this morning at Louise Spencer Elementary School when he attempted a mea culpa over the leak of but didn't publicly address the fact that a company that hatched ideas for Newark schools reform formerly belonged to him.
Newark's Angry Parents
NJ Spotlight 3/7/11
And for all the rancor, one common thread prevailed: the city’s continued resentments over the state’s ongoing control – and the community’s lack of it -- in New Jersey’s largest school system, now 16 years old.
A parent leader in the back of the auditorium summed up the sentiment that pervaded the room.“Through all these distractions, the real problem is what is going on with the schools, what is going on with the budget, and why weren’t we involved from the very beginning," said Sharon Smith, a parent of five children in both traditional and charter schools. Wilhemina Holder, a long-time activist, put it more bluntly: “The secrecy is why we are in this room today.”
The leaked Newark School Consolidation report prepared by Global Education Advisors