This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
Saturday, June 02, 2012
New Jersey's Cerfdom Brings Treasure to Corporate Broadies
Below is an email I received from a former NJ DOE employee whose moral fatigue forced her from a good paying job with the State. Read it and then you will know why the Eli Broad calls his kind of philanthropy investments rather than grants.
I am a former NJ DOE employee who resigned recently because I could no longer be a part of the extortion and fraud that is taking part there under the Broad Administration of Chris Cerf, Penny MacCormack, Peter Shulman, Bing Howell, ad nauseum.
Cerf first tried to get rid of the County Exec Superintendents offices, but was stopped when the legislature reminded him that they were created by statute. How inconvenient! So he hired a Broad Intern (for $90,000 named Rochelle Sinclair) who came up with the idea to overlay the state with 7 Regional Achievement Centers (RACs) staffed with "Education Rockstars" from around the country (read Broad Academy grads) who would go in to schools that were failing, assess them, replace the principals and hire new teachers (Teacher 4 America, anyone?). The problem was the cost.
Enter Arne Duncan and the NCLB waiver, plus the Race to the Top funding. Now Penny MacCormack is trying to divert the SES money we still have ($56 million)., to pay for the RACs. Oh, and we have thrown out the NCLB report cards and replaced them with our own in-house "measures of proficiency" which is a lot of speculative data manipulated by another bunch of Broad interns since none of the in-house data people would go along with this scheme. They have all been "rubber roomed" in other departments for not being "team players."
So far, so good. Now, armed with his new proficiency data, Cerf has swooped down on a bunch of "underperforming" charter schools, presenting them with two options: we pull your charter, close you down, and your kids are on the street OR you select from this DOE-approved list of Charter Management Organizations (more Broad buddies) who will TAKE OVER YOUR CHARTER. This is extortion. The first to fall will be Paul Robeson Charter in Trenton which has a fund balance of $1.6 million. They are even forcing them to change the name of the school to Scholars Academy!!!
Save us from the pirates of education reform. I know you guys are not really fond of charters, but Cerf is after the public schools, too. (See Newark, Paterson, Jersey City, and Camden). First he comes for the charters, then he comes for the public schools.