My parents (may their memories be a blessing) would have loved Blue Jersey, that unabashedly 60’s-ish website that drapes itself in bellbottoms and peace signs. I kind of love it too and I look at it every day for insights into that peculiar sphere of partisan politics. Here, for example, is Blue Jersey’s coverage of the N.J. Senate vote yesterday that overwhelmingly approved amendments to the Urban Hope Act, which allows private companies to construct buildings for school board-approved non-profit charter schools in Newark, Camden, and Trenton.
[T]he school districts of Camden and other cities..are being destroyed by an right-wing ideological agenda lubricated by corporations interested in cashing in on public education funds. This debate, and the bill in question, is not really about charter schools. It is about the destruction of one of the significant pillars of our democracy – public school education. The old Democratic Party knew that the education of the young had to be in the hands of the people and not corporations. Republi-Crates have abandoned this belief and replaced it with the dubious idea that corporations should be trusted to educate our future leaders. Let’s be clear, corporations are interested in educating consumers and followers.
Damn those Republi-Crates who favor urban school choice for students confined to low-achieving districts! In fact, Camden Public Schools is on a roll, partnering with a few of the best charter organizations in the country and reordering and upgrading traditional district schools. As befits such a nobly democratic website, Blue Jersey publishes readers’ comments who, in this case, offer a little more nuance and little less acid:
What are you joining together for? To save the Camden and Newark school districts? Where you been for 30 years??? Are YOU going to come up with any new ideas or just do your regular complaining? Are you ” joining together” to fight the ” evil” Norcross machine that has at the very least tried to do more for Camden then you and your pack of whiners has ever done.
The Bill passed because 32 state senators today felt this was an idea worth trying.Sorry, but it appears to me that there was no opposition from anywhere on this Bill ( a vote of 32 -1 tells it all).
For other coverage of yesterday’s vote, see NJ Spotlight and the Star-Ledger.