30 Issues: New Jersey Education

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's Education Week on the Brian Lehrer Show's election series "30 Issues in 30 Days." See the full 30 Issues schedule and archive here.

Today: Education policy in New Jersey, from Cory Booker's Newark record to Chris Christie's relationship with teacher's unions. Nancy Solomon, New Jersey Public Radio managing editor, and John Mooney, founding editor of, discuss education in the gubernatorial and U.S. senate races in New Jersey.



John Mooney and Nancy Solomon

Comments [11]

@ BK from Hoboken " If a charter opens and enrolls students previously enrolled in the public system, than the public system has fewer students to educate and therefore needs less money." Charter schools cherry pick and demand expectation. When these expectations are not met the student gets kicked out. If this occurs after late October, the money that followed the student to the charter stays in the charter. Then the student returns to public schools where the public schools then have to educate that child for free. So two things are happening here. You are segregating children who have supportive families that help guide from children who do not. Then you are draining the system that provides for those children (the most vulnerable) who do not have support. FIX PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND COME WITH SOME REAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

Sep. 26 2013 10:39 PM

Public Schools are usually even better ways to steal tax money than charter schools. Why? Because they don't exist to educate students as their primary mission: that's too often secondary or tertiary to their true functions: 1. to provide make work salaried positions for municipal party hacks and relatives; 2. to provide feel good programs for local communities ranging from sports to public festivals and continuing ed programs to allow municipal leaders to run year-round for perpetual re-election. And the parents insist on complete funding and school board (community) control of these local pork projects as a quid pro quo for not attacking the teachers and administrators trying to teach and help their children. The teachers want more job security because they know that they are secondary to the purpose of their institutions, and are wary of the politicized administrations' attempts to "manage by helicopter" with new testing standardization, etc. all the while that minimal classroom supplies are not forthcoming. The state wants overall test scores to rise and Abbott funding to go away, but can't survive the likely Federal insisting on school busing to distant locations in the event that that happens. The media is whip-sawed by fluent teacher remonstrations against encroachment on their professional disciplines and by community activists decrying professional or remote (Trenton) control of their project money, almost all of which is devoted to something other than education.

The entire charter school debate is a canard. Test scores won't change, nor will any results except moderate and temporary decrease in per student spending to be followed by another wave of mutual recrimination and nonsense. Schools are schools. They have to have the power to keep their classrooms safe and drug free and they can't do that in too many urban districts given the law. The underlying problem is a lack of racial and cultural integration due to massive ghetto-ization of New Jersey's black, latino and other immigrant communities reinforced by the proliferation of small municipalities whose only purpose is to deny change, and whose real effect is to double the cost of government (and consequently, of property taxes).

New Jersey is a cesspool of concealed racism just as it has been since the copperheads called it home-base. New York City grew up somewhat after Ocean-Hill Brownsville despite problems with the UFT and implosion in the South Bronx. Northern Jersey has been hiding from the truth since the riots and has no broad consensus yet that promotes a more efficient and more equitable state: there is no civic pride amongst the citizens for New Jersey per se, just chauvinism for their municipalities and regions regardless of the cost to taxpayers and children.

Sep. 25 2013 02:25 PM
Mike from Tribeca

gary from queens: Andrew C. McCarthy? Why should anyone take the author of a sensationalist screed entitled "The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America" seriously?

Sep. 25 2013 11:32 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Edward -- "New Jersey? Who cares."

New Jerseyans maybe?

Sep. 25 2013 11:26 AM
gary from queens

The hallmark of a failed policy or law is the need to carve out exceptions to said policy or law. Or for the elites in society ignoring the policy, law, or what they promote for us peons.

We see it with climate change, in which elites burn carbon 1000 times more than us peons.

We see it clearly with obamacare law, with the hundreds of exemptions granted for companies and unions that supported Obamacare legislation.

We see it with Obama's foreign policy. make no mistake about it. This exemption to this law means that Obama (and neocons in both parties) is admitting he is arming al qaeda terrorists:

And we see it with elites sending their kids to private elite schools, and not public schools.

Sep. 25 2013 11:26 AM
Bo from in town

The Republican candidate has has facts all wrong on Common Core. It was not a program of the federal government. The states came up with the idea and educators came up with the particulars. The federal government gave a little money later on, but this is NOT the federal government's doing. Just more GOP fear-mongering, looks like.

Sep. 25 2013 11:24 AM
BK from Hoboken

Edward- get a life. You must have a lot of time that you can sit and listen to this and post "who cares" about it. Go away.

As for NJ education, why does the narrative always say that charter schools take money from public schools? If a charter opens and enrolls students previously enrolled in the public system, than the public system has fewer students to educate and therefore needs less money. Unfortunately, most BOEs in NJ are places for patronage jobs and overpaid administrators. Hoboken spends $24k per student with poor results. Obviously more money is not always the answer.

Sep. 25 2013 11:14 AM

I'd like to know if the state's infrastructure plan is wise
The governor stopped a plan to save commuters time and money crossing the Hudson (at the same time the Nj turnpike is being expanded down south (for the farmers and cows?) )
When the tunnel is finally built by the next generation it will be twice as expensive and we still have to sit in traffic today.

Sep. 25 2013 11:09 AM
Josh Karan from Washington Heights

When will you discuss New York funding, specifically the unfunded Campaign For Fiscal Equity settlement, and the philosophy this entails.

Invite Michael Rebell, lead attorney for CFE.

Students who face all the difficulties that a life of poverty thrusts on them, combined with a lack of commitment of our society to provide the resources for Comprehensive Educational Opportunity (CEO) are the central educational issues.

Charter schools, which enroll 10% of the students, teacher evaluation, testing are all secondary, which by themselves will not create educational excellence for all students. The absence of these before NCLB has shown that to be so, and their elimination will neither without adopting the program that some have termed CEO, others a Bolder, Broader Approach.

Sep. 25 2013 11:09 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

New Jersey?

Who cares.

Saul Steinberg said it best about New Jersey.

Sep. 25 2013 11:06 AM
James from NYC

Sounds like Governor Christie is getting into skimming education money with the lie of offering better choice.

I like it, he sounds convincing.

There is a fortune to be robbed from urban schools, Private equity is salivating for a chance to get that money.

I bet he is getting some serious cash. And Democrats are getting that money too, so its a matter of time before that cash comes to wall street.

Charter school are a great way to steal money from the public school.

Sep. 25 2013 11:06 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.