Watching the news lately? Seeing/hearing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie yell at a teacher and say all teachers want is more money? NJ school spending has increased, he argues. She then writes to him on a blog, “You have portrayed us as greedy, lazy, money-draining public servants that do nothing. I invite you to come do my job for one week, Governor Christie.” He had previously referred to some schools as “failure factories.”
So who else will respond to Governor Christie?
The facts themselves are in much dispute. Standardized test scores (if you think they mean anything) are, in New Jersey, some of the highest in the country, with some of the racial gaps narrowing — though of course scores are lower in poor areas. And spending? Christie’s administration lumps all education spending together, including construction, old debt, pensions, to get an extremely high number — $18,047 per pupil in 2011-12. But when the categories are separated, the 2012-13 classroom-focused amount was only $8,564. And the range of spending between districts was — like everywhere else in the nation — striking — $25,938 per child in the richest district vs $13,317 in the poorest (again, these totals include much beyond the classroom). Here’s the Wall St. Journal’s report on the controversy over how to count the funds.
So who else will respond to Governor Christie? And how do we help people understand the real story of our classrooms?
Teacher advocacy, Teacher Voice
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