|photo by Bobby Bank/Getty|
Having now moved on to hire a more polished corporate leech to attempt to dismantle New Jersey's public schools, the current Commissioner Cerf and his Wall Street team are attempting to create their own crisis to justify a complete charterization of public schools in New Jersey, while removing all regulations on charters and protections for teachers (such as tenure rights for charter school teachers) that might hinder the benefits to the hedge funders who are lined up behind this corporate reform schooler plan.
The core goal of a state public education system is to assure that all children—regardless of background or economic circumstances—graduate from high school ready for college and career. New Jersey’s educators should take great pride in our track record of success against this measure, especially relative to that of other states.At the same time, a substantial distance remains to be travelled. Most notably, while New Jersey’s students perform at higher levels than their peers in virtually every other state, this aggregate figure masks several discouraging realities. To a startling and unacceptable degree, “zip code is destiny” in New Jersey. While the State ranks second in reading nationally, only three states have a larger achievement gap between economically disadvantaged children and their wealthier peers. Tens of thousands of children attend schools where only a minority of students meets basic levels of proficiency in reading and math, and hundreds of thousands of children overall perform below these minimal standards.