Headlines were generated nationwide last week when Greg Richmond, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and New Jersey's own Commissioner Cerf teamed up at a press conference in DC to announce the "One Million Lives" campaign.
|The happy couple|
Most of the headlines about the roll out of the campaign seemed to focus on a promise to close underperforming charters. For example, Joy Resmovitz of the Huffington Post titled her piece
The real message of the campaign seemed to escape most reporters. But one Indiana radio station got it and nailed the headline.
That's it right there. That's all really all you need to know. That's the goal.
Closing charters is nothing more than subterfuge for the ultimate goal of opening A LOT MORE CHARTERS!
Indeed, the press release for the campaign makes the goal pretty simple.
NACSA today launched its “One Million Lives” advocacy campaign, designed to provide better schools to one million children by opening more good charter schools and closing more failing charter schools.Just imagine how many charters need to open in order to close the ones that are 'failing', replace them with new ones (to stay at the same number of seats) and end with a net gain of one million seats!
Churn, baby, churn!
The campaign seems to be a continuation of the Richmond/Cerf bromance we first got a glimpse of when Richmond wrote an opinion piece for NJ Spotlight. Richmond lauded Cerf and his NJDOE for their authorizing accumen (*cough* REGIS *cough*) and more specifically the roll out of the Performance Framework, the yardstick Cerf will use to determine which charters will stay and which will go.
But if you really read Richmond's opinion piece, the main message is about adding LOTS more charter seats in New Jersey. About 20,000 to be exact.
Even as nine new public charter schools prepare to open in September to serve families in predominantly low-income communities, there continues to be overwhelming demand for charter schools. Indeed, 20,000 New Jersey students are still on waiting lists for public charter schools. These students -- and every student across the state -- deserve access to high-quality public school options of all types.Richmond's headline was about the Performance Framework, but the real story was about how with NACSA's help, Cerf can grow New Jersey's charter 'sector', not shrink it.
Just remember, when you hear the likes of Richmond and Cerf talk about performance, standards, accountability or closures, what you should be hearing is growth, growth, growth and GROWTH!
Less is the new more! And not just a few more. Think Andy Smarick more. Think district takeover more.
Don't be fooled. Don't let them lie to you. Because that's what they're doing.
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