Darcie Cimarusti–aka Mother Crusader–has become a scourge to the New Jersey State Education Department. She has taught herself to be a sleuth. And she has mastered the Open Public Records Act to dig for information and connect the dots.

This post is a good example of a parent doing the job of an investigative journalist.

She tracks down the emails between State Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf and an old friend from Edison days who now runs charter schools.

She learns how the state decided to award the friend a grant of $150,000 to plan a charter or cluster of charters in Paterson.

She notes that the state feels no obligation to solicit comment from anyone who lives in Paterson.

Maybe that’s what state control means in New Jersey. Paterson has been without democratic control for 21 years. Cerf can do whatever he wants and needs no one’s participation or consent.

A perfect setup for corporate reformers. While they are putting children first, they can’t wait. Democratic deliberation is a bother.