The New Jersey Education Association just revived its call for a freeze on the growth of charter schools, a declaration of war from a muscular union that spends more on lobbying and campaigns than any other special interest group in the state, by far.
So, this is a serious threat, especially in Newark, where families are competing against tough odds to win a spot in the booming charter sector. One in three kids in Newark now attends a charter school, but many more want in, drawn by high test scores, high graduation rates, and a glide-path to college.
The verdict from Newark families is in. When offered a choice, they consistently prefer charters, whose students are overwhelmingly black and brown, and low-income. The resistance is coming from the unions, from strong suburban districts that don’t really need charters, and from orthodox liberals like our governor, who relies on the NJEA for political support.