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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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Bill Bennett: Trump, DeVos get it right — Feds’ role in your child’s education is shrinking. Finally!

Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the Department of Education


By William J. Bennett

Published May 11, 2017
Fox News

Students of history know that governments rarely give up power without a fight. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, those who have been intoxicated with power never willingly abandon it. Yet, last year, the federal government passed a new education law which returns a significant amount of power and decision-making authority to states, districts and schools.

The bi-partisan passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act creates a unique and exciting opportunity for improving American education. The law explicitly bars the Department of Education from dictating or influencing standards or curricula at the federal level, and states and districts have a wide range of new liberties when it comes to developing accountability systems, testing and content.

But with this newfound freedom from Washington comes a newfound responsibility for excellence at the state and district level. We cannot confuse local control with laissez faire. State and local leaders must embrace this opportunity and lift expectations, not relax them.

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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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GOP Gubernatorial candidate Joseph R. Rullo Pushes School Choice

Rullo 12 news
April 22,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, GOP Gubernatorial candidate Joseph R. Rullo gave us some thoughts on public education policy ,”The NJ Abbott school districts need to be held accountable for wasteful spending and all districts need to work together to reduce cost. This will reduce the impact of inevitable changes in funding formulas with state aid. After all school districts cut wasteful spending, we need to implement fair funding formulas for property tax relief.  One example is all school districts can drastically reduce costs by combined purchasing power. Another example is drastically reducing the number of Superintendents and redundant assistant Superintendents.  High cost business administrators should also be reduced.”

Rullo , went on ,”Since the start of No Child Left Behind and continued under Race to the Top, NJ parents and students have been saddled with the Common Core Standards. Parents feel like they can’t help their children with their homework because it is something they have never learned before and the children are left floundering in schools with too many children and not enough teachers to explain things to them. The State then decided to force the PARCC (Partnership for Readiness for College and Careers) test on our children. This has resulted in schools and teachers focusing their teaching efforts, not on learning, but on test results. This is wrong and only hurts our children who deserve a comprehensive learning program not a regimen of tests.”

Rullo said as Governor I will end PARCC testing completely and direct the Department of Education to draw up new, independent education standards that will return NJ to the top of the best educated Students in the Country.

With the Trump budget increasing spending on school choice and the Secretary of Education pushing choice as well as local control Rullo is a big supporter of school choice and home schooling.

Rulo added , “Students come out of High School and don’t know how to balance a checkbook, write a resume or know anything about personal credit. Common Core needs to become Common Sense. Teachers need to be allowed to teach and not recite facts mandated from Washington, or some Corporation making money from our tax dollars. We need to provide better opportunities for students who decide to enter the workforce directly from high school with expanded vocational schools. The future of New Jersey depends on it!”

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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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Those who obstruct choice are more interested in protecting their special interests than in protecting the interests of all children to access a quality education

Ruthven Haneef Auguste

Earlier this week I was in Trenton with other public charter school parents to meet with legislators, advocate for the opportunity to choose a school that best fits the needs of our children, and commit to a year of action supporting education equality for all. Whether you’re a charter, district, or private school parent, we can all agree we want the best for our kids no matter where you choose to send them to school.

The opposition to school choice has regularly used certain words for parents in New Jersey’s worst-performing school districts when they have the audacity to choose to send their kids to public charter schools — “pawn” and “parasite” come to mind. However, in no area of life is less choice good, and it is upsetting that these adults, many who presumably have children of their own, seem determined to take away opportunity and choice from parents like me.  I don’t presume to think I have enough information to form an opinion of how schools should be run in their towns and would guess things are vastly different in Newark where I work and live. We have amazing schools, terrible schools, and everything in the middle, which is why I wanted to be able to make the choice of where my children go to school.

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What will Trump’s push for ‘school choice’ mean for N.J. students?

School Choice by ArtChick

file photo by ArtChick

Updated March 06, 2017
Posted March 06, 2017

By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for

Calling education the “civil rights issue of our time,” President Donald Trump used his address before Congress last week to highlight one of his top issues – school choice.

Echoing a campaign promise, Trump vowed to push for students in poor school districts to be able to use public funds to attend a charter, private or religious school.

“I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children,” Trump said. “These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.”

Trump did not say what form his school choice program would take. But he did give a few hints of what a federal push for school choice might look like in New Jersey and around the country.


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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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Reader says Teachers’ unions are 100 percent motivated to advance the interests of their tenutred members

Ridgewood Teachers Rally Against School Choice for Childern n

The truth will out. Teachers’ unions are 100 percent motivated to advance the interests of their tenutred members. When push comes to shove, the unions ALWAYS reveal their contempt for public school students. New laws are needed to stop this nonsense in its tracks. Teachers’ unions, bulletproof tenure, and foolish “last in first out” teacher hiring/firing rules HAVE TO GO. Take what the municipality chooses to give you or quit.