Commentary, Courier News, 4/15/16
Are the public schools serving New Jersey’s middle-class students performing well? Lots of parents think so. They believe that student performance problems are limited to low-income areas in the inner city — in places like Newark or Camden. But many suburban public schools serving middle-class New Jersey students are not performing as well as parents think, according to a new study from the Pacific Research Institute.
Despite these troubling proficiency rates on a respected national exam, many middle-class New Jersey parents believe that their local public schools are doing fine. Part of the reason is that New Jersey’s own state exams have, until recently, been easy to pass. The PRI study found that there were very few predominantly middle-class public schools where half or more of the students in at least one grade level failed to achieve math or English proficiency on the less-than-rigorous 2014 state exams.
Remember the Hans Christian Anderson story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes?” A vain king hires two swindlers who swear to him that they can sew for him the finest suit of clothes that to wise men will be beautiful but to fools will be invisible. The whole court, fearful of appearing foolish, gush over the ostensibly gorgeous garment. But during… Read more →
Gov. Chris Christie is admittedly an easy target as he slavishly plods in Trump’s footsteps, but he could learn quite a bit about how to elevate course standards from the parents in Boonton, New Jersey. You’ll recall that in his first educational iteration, Christie was a big fan of the state-led Common Core State Standards (“We are doing Common Core… Read more →
The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board is in denial. While they gleefully — and expertly — dissect the dysfunction in low-income urban schools like Lakewood the Board is aghast at a new report called “Not As Good as You Think Why Middle-Class Parents in New Jersey Should be Concerned About Their Local Public Schools.” After all, it’s one thing to… Read more →
FOX’s first G.O.P. debate is a month from now and Republican presidential candidates, with the exception of Jeb Bush, can’t disavow college- and career-ready standards and assessments fast enough. So it’s up to the Democratic Party to stand up for low-income students who continue to get short shrift in the nation’s public schools. Andy Rotherham of Bellwether (and Eduwonk) is… Read more →