And the fact is, they are being a bit disingenuous when you read about their school board president … she is a paid activist for charter organizations. I feel that the school would not be as attractive [to others] if they did more recruiting from the Housing Authority [residents, as she pledged to do].
Eleven officials … backed the HoLa expansion. And it was a really interesting combination of people who really don’t like each other … [They] showed a complete disregard for public education in Hoboken.
By [his education commissioner] granting [charter] school extensions, he is increasing the segregatory effect of charter schools, while raiding our budget. So I put this directly at the feet of Christie … In terms of the health of the public school system, it’s Christie all the way. (emphasis mine)
Asked about Gold’s arguments, a Christie spokesperson referred Salon to Education Department spokesperson Michael Yaple, who cited a letter from HoLa president Barbara Martinez, which Yaple said explains “the school’s aggressive outreach efforts and how the school’s demographics reflect the neighborhood.” (“I myself have knocked on doors in public housing” to offer info to parents, Martinez said elsewhere.) Yaple also cited “aninsightful piece” backing the HoLa expansion by the Newark Star-Ledger editorial board, and said that his agency considers factors including “a review of performance data, academic trends, financial reports, and information gleaned from site visits, classroom observations, and interviews with stakeholders.”
So, Michael Yaple, where is that assessment? Hmmmm, I think I just thought of something else to OPRA...On an annual basis, the Commissioner shall assess the student composition of a charter school and the segregative effect that the loss of the students may have on its district of residence. The assessment shall be based on the enrollment from the initial recruitment period pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:11-4.4(b)(emphasis mine)
This is some of the most glaring evidence I've seen that this Department of Education, under Governor Christie, is driven by ideology, relying predominantly on voices within their own echo chamber, no matter how conflicted or uniformed those voices may be.
|Moran, Martinez and Yaple, oh my!|
That may be good enough for the Star-Ledger Editorial Board and the NJDOE, but it's not good enough for the children in Hoboken whose schools are being gutted.
It's just not.