10 Ways Chris Christie Is Supporting the Privatization of Public Education

At a rowdy community forum in Jersey City last night, parent and community activists challenged NJ education commissioner Chris Cerf over administration policies that promote the privatization of public education. Cerf said the charge is 'palpable, absolute nonsense,' but the record says otherwise.

Cerf says talk of privatizing New Jersey public schools is 'palpable, absolute nonsense'


"The notion that there is some group of corporate, you know, kingpins out there who are lurking in an effort to conspire to take over ... is just nonsense," Cerf said. "It is palpable, ridiculous nonsense that someone has sold you." Cerf added: "I am embarrassed to the degree to which that has taken hold ... it is just not so."

Ten Ways Christie/Cerf have promoted privatization in NJ public education

1. Expansion of publicly funded but privately run charter schools

2. Proposals to allow for-profit education management organizations to run public schools

3. Private funding of public policy functions and agency services at NJDOE

4. Support of for-profit virtual charters

5. Support for vouchers, using public funds to pay private tuition.

6. Urban Hope Act to allow private firms to build and manage public schools

7. NCLB waiver proposal for commissioner takeover of individual schools with option for private management

8. Contracting out review of NJ charter applications to pro-charter advocates

9. Massive deregulation of NJ education code, including elimination of class size limits, equity mandates and increased deregulation of private schools.

10. Expanding the use of private funds to hire consultants and fund merit pay proposals in state takeover districts.

The policy context for privatization

N.J. hedge fund leaders create group to financially back education reforms supported by Gov. Christie

Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools
Joanne Barkan, Dissent

How billionaire donors harm public education
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

Private firms eyeing profits from U.S. public schools

Traditionally, public education has been a tough market for private firms to break into -- fraught with politics, tangled in bureaucracy and fragmented into tens of thousands of individual schools and school districts from coast to coast. Now investors are signaling optimism that a golden moment has arrived. They're pouring private equity and venture capital into scores of companies that aim to profit by taking over broad swaths of public education.

This comes from our friend Stan Karp of the Education Law Center;

Go to NJ State Page
origin Blog: 
origin Author: 
Comments Count: 
Showing 0 comments