It is difficult to overstate the findings from CREDO’s just-released study of charter schools in New Jersey. The stakes could not have been higher, and the results could not have been better, especially in Newark.
Charter opponents will find these results impossible to dismiss.
But first, consider the forces aligned against the charter sector in the Garden State. Charter schools are frequently under attack across the nation, but the aggression has been particularly acute in New Jersey of late.
Critics of reform in Newark accuse charter supporters of trying to “privatize” education and worse. Nearly as fierce has been the assault from anti-charter forces in the suburbs.
Then there are the many powerful establishment organizations—membership associations and so forth—that oppose charters to the hilt.
I seriously, if unwittingly, raised the stakes in recent days. I pointed out the predictably dismal turnaround results from the federal SIG program, arguing that a charter new-start and replication/explanation strategy was far likelier to lead to more high-performing seats.
Then I wrote a piece for the NY Daily News, in which I put the Newark school district on notice, arguing that...