The New Jersey Department of Education has approved six new charter schools to open this fall, and what a motley lot they are!

Jersey Jazzman, with his habitual research skills, has assembled the cast of characters, and it is alarming, even by New Jersey’s low standards for charter authorizing.

One, as described in a post by Mother Crusader, will be run by a man who was a major participant in a spectacular charter failure in Missouri. Another will be owned by a man who was the biggest campaign contributor to the governor of Pennsylvania and whose charter bankrupted its host district. Another has enrolled more Asian students than all other schools in the district combined. Another is a Gulen school.

And if that is not enough, state commissioner Chris Cerf is lobbying hard to bring the for-profit virtual charter corporation K12 to the Garden State. K12 is known for high attrition rates, low test scores, low graduation rates, but also for astute political campaign contributions and snazzy advertising. It is guaranteed to drain funding away from public schools, causing class sizes to rise and programs to be cut. It is very profitable for investors, but where public education is concerned, it’s a bloodsucker.