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School Choice by ArtChick

photo by ArtChick


In the eight years the governor has headed up state government, charter school enrollment has more than doubled

When Gov. Chris Christie leaves office in six months, one of his clear legacies will be the growth of charter schools in New Jersey, with school enrollment more than doubling in his eight years in office.

Yesterday, his administration finished the job, announcing the final approval of five more schools to open this fall. That brings to 89 the number of charters that will be open when Christie steps down in January.

That number isn’t that big an increase from the 70 in place in 2010 at the start of Christie’s tenure, a number that jumped to over 90 in his first year. But his administration ultimately closed nearly 20 charter schools as well.

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NJEA Blasts Prieto-Sweeney Deal on School Funding

Ridgewood Teachers

By Salvador Rizzo • 06/14/17 10:59pm

Hours after Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced a deal to revamp New Jersey’s school funding formula, the state’s largest teachers union called it a “senseless and cruel” way to punish some students.

The leaders of the New Jersey Education Association issued statements Wednesday night blasting the deal unveiled by Prieto (D-Hudson) and Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who had sparred for months over their competing school funding proposals.

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Baraka and Pro-Charter Slate Sweeps Newark School Board Elections Again

School Choice by ArtChick

file photo by ArtChick

By Alyana Alfaro • 04/26/17 2:07pm

The Newark Unity Slate—a compromise ticket designed by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, the city’s influential North Ward, and charter-school advocates—swept the city’s school board elections Tuesday night.

Of the 15 candidates on the ballot, the top vote-getter was Josephine Garcia. She brought in 3,566 votes, according to preliminary results by the Essex County Clerk’s Office.

Garcia was the North Ward candidate, aligned with Councilman Anibal Ramos. Reginald Bledsoe—Baraka’s pick— won 3,382 votes. The candidate backed by pro-charter advocates, Floshina Johnson, won 2,717 votes.

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Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the Department of Education


The issue is school choice. The opposition is the teachers unions

Shortly after Betsy DeVos was sworn into office as U.S. Secretary of Education, I was invited, as a trustee of Excellent Education for Everyone (E3), to meet with her at the Department of Education. I accepted the invitation with pleasure.

When I posted a picture of myself with DeVos on Facebook, it got some likes from conservative friends and some acerbic comments from others, including my sister, who asked me, “When did you start drinking the Kook-Aid?” I replied to her that I’ve supported school choice for decades and was the only member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to vote for the first school-choice floor amendment in 1994.

Dick Zimmer and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

I am a product of New Jersey public schools, K–12, as are my parents and my children, but ever since I read Milton Friedman’s proposal for school vouchers in “Capitalism and Freedom” as a college freshman, I have been convinced that parents should be allowed to have the government pay for the school they choose for their children, whether it be traditional public, public charter, private, or religious.

There is no reason why all parents shouldn’t be given this choice, but the stakes are particularly high for the poorest families in the inner cities, including those in New Jersey where, despite tens of billions of dollars of supplemental state funding, traditional public schools have abjectly failed to prepare several generations of children for college or a career.

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Newark schools superintendent: Why charters succeed | Opinion

School Choice by ArtChick

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 9:15 AM


By Chris Cerf

I serve as superintendent of the Newark Public Schools and previously served as the state commissioner of education. In both capacities, I have defined my goal in precisely the same way: to do everything possible to assure that every child, regardless of birth circumstances, has access to a free, high-quality public education that launches him or her into adulthood prepared for success.

The most striking aspect of Charles Wowkanech’s opinion article in The Star-Ledger (“Charter schools threaten diversity”) is that he is indifferent to this basic and, in my view, inarguable goal. Stuck in the same ideological quagmire that has consumed so many others, his view is that public charter schools are bad and traditional public schools are inherently good. In service of that argument, he then proceeds to misstate a rather remarkable array of objectively provable facts about public education in New Jersey.

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Charter school tracker: Which N.J. schools are closing, expanding

School Choice by ArtChick

file photo by ArtChick

By Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for
on March 06, 2017 at 11:40 AM

TRENTON — The Christie administration last week announced its decisions on more than two dozen applications to expand, renew or open new charter schools.

While four schools were ordered to close at the end of this school year, the state approved more than 6,000 new charter school seats through the expansion of existing schools, a significant increase in school choice.

The state Department of Education also gave 21 schools a five-year renewal of their charter. Here’s the rundown of the decisions:

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When it comes to my grandchildren, I don’t play. That’s why I’ll be in Trenton today

School Choice by ArtChick

file photo by ArtChick

Posted on February 27, 2017 at 7:11 AM

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist

By Barbara Harris

I’m headed to Trenton this morning because I need legislators to know what my grandsons’ public charter school means to them.

I’m raising two African American boys in Newark and we all know in this country what can happen to African American men, especially if they drop out of school.

Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy is providing my grandchildren with an education like nothing that I experienced for myself or for my own children.

When I hear my elected representatives speaking negatively about charter schools, I want to ask them if they have ever visited North Star Academy. If they did, they would quickly see how well it is serving my grandchildren and the other kids who attend.

There are too many lawmakers who have never stepped foot in North Star Academy, or a school like it. They have never come for morning circle. They have not met with our wonderful teachers. They have not seen how well our children are doing in class.

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With N.J. charter schools under attack, supporters plan counteroffensive

School Choice by ArtChick

photo by ArtChick

By Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for
on February 24, 2017 at 12:33 PM

TRENTON — Supporters of New Jersey’s charter schools are planning a major lobbying effort in the state capital next week as controversy and criticism surrounding the schools continues to mount.

A group of nearly 200 charter school supporters, mostly parents, will gather at the state house to deliver the message that charter schools are changing lives, adding value to children’s education and creating opportunities for students, according to the New Jersey Charter Schools Association.

“I wanted something better for my children and couldn’t afford to move or pay for private school,” said Haneef Auguste, whose four children attend KIPP New Jersey Schools in Newark. “No one should stand in the way of any child’s chance at a better life, especially when the circumstances in some of our communities are so dire.”

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Jersey City Takes Center Stage at School Funding Hearing

Mayor Steven Fulop

file photo Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop

Mayor Fulop addressed the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness

By Alyana Alfaro • 02/22/17 4:01pm

NEWARK – Advocates of changing New Jersey’s school funding formula often cite the booming Hudson County municipality of Jersey City as a school district they feel receives outsized state funding due to old school funding policies that do not take into account the economic growth of the past few years.

Fulop said he does not feel Jersey City should be penalized for funding schools according to current regulations. Alyana Alfaro for Observer

However, according to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, such arguments only take into account the affluent waterfront section of the city and ignore primarily minority portions of the Jersey City that are significantly less well off. On Wednesday, Fulop addressed the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness with concerns about the dangers of reducing school funding.

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America’s kids got more stupid in reading, math and science while Team Obama was in charge


By Todd Starnes

Published February 09, 2017

American school kids became more stupid under the Obama administration, according to rankings released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

They recently released the results of a worldwide exam administered every three years to 15-year-olds in 72 countries. The exam monitors reading, math and science knowledge.

Based on their findings, the United States saw an 11-point drop in math scores and nearly flat levels for reading and science.

The Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, fell below the OECD average – and failed to crack the top ten in all three categories.

In other words, thanks to the Obama administration’s education policies, kids in the Slovac Republic are more proficient in multiplication.