Searching For Consistency in the Charter School Wars

New Jersey Left Behind:

Both NJ Spotlight and PolitickerNJ are reporting on Gov. Christie’s speech at the Iowa Education Summit hosted by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad. According to Spotlight,

[Christie] promoted the idea of charter schools, but added they may not be the answer in all school districts, a clear response to the suburban backlash that has been felt in New Jersey.”They are not needed in every district in New Jersey and wouldn’t add much to the education offered there,” he said.

The “suburban backlash” alluded to is spearheaded by the group Save Our Schools-NJ, which is lobbying for a set of charter school bills that would subject any new charter to a community vote, require every child in surrounding districts to be entered into a lottery, regardless of interest, and severely curtail the growth of new charters. SOS-NJ makes a number of fair points: some charter schools tend to accept fewer kids with disabilities and fewer kids who are English Language Learners. They “cream off” high-achieving students and are a money suck for local districts who pay tuition and must educate anyone who walks in the door.