Yesterday, I wrote about a New Jersey lawsuit aimed at letting parents with children in failing public schools take their children, and their share of public education funding, and send them to any institution they want, public or private. It’s a new twist on educational equity suits all over the country that have produced a ton of new funding for supposedly poor districts, but little by way of academic success.
At the end of yesterday’s post, I wondered aloud whether long-time supporters of old-style equity remedies would get behind litigation intended to empower parents, or if they would only support suits that would shower more money on “the public school establishment.” I mentioned specifically the Education Law Center, which has been the driving force behind old-school equity cases in New Jersey for decades.
This morning, in a story about the disastrous Camden, NJ, public schools, I’m afraid I got my answer:
Camden schools – despite their ongoing problems – have taken positive steps by offering preschool programs, reducing class size and other efforts, said David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center.
“It’s easy to criticize and have some silver-bullet solution that’s untested and unproven,” Sciarra said. “There’s a positive agenda that we need everyone, including the school-choice activists, to get behind.”
I suppose I could hope that when Sciarra attacked a “silver-bullet solution that’s untested and unproven” he was referring to pouring more and more money into improvement-invulnerable public schools, but that’s been tested repeatedly…and constantly found to be a failure. Unfortunately, I guess that means I have my answer.