Stephen Danley, a professor at Rutgers University, here describes the game that Camden’ state-appointed superintendent is paying on residents.

He touted the virtues of the Urban Hope Act for new school construction, not the School Development Authority, because the former is funded. But the only schools it offers are charter schools! Neat trick!

Danley writes:

“I don’t know where that leaves Camden residents (or what they should choose given such frustrating choices). I do know that this type of false choice disenfranchises them. There can be all the public meetings in the world, but if the decisions are stacked by legislation (district schools and no repairs, or charters in new or refurbished buildings), do they really have choice? One would think the architects of policies expounding on the benefits of school choice would have a little more insight into the nature of choosing.

“And that is what is sad about this current plan. It had the potential to focus on things that the community could rally around; universal pre-K, school repairs, school dinners, safe corridors. Instead, those (positive) steps are being used to sweeten a bitter pill; the announcement of school takeovers that comes next week and will turn Camden into Newark into New Orleans.

“Parents are being given a devil of a choice: a status quo in which they are punished by state legislation, or money that is linked to the erasing of their history and community.

“Those who manufactured a crisis should not get credit for fixing it.”