Jersey Jazzman notes that Chris Christie will soon leave office as the most unpopular governor in the nation. He loved to ridicule those who disagreed with him, and one of his favorite targets was the state’s public schools and teachers, most especially their union. He never acknowled that the state is one of the three top-performing states on national tests (NAEP), the other two being Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Christie has cemented his rotten reputation as a greedy, crude bully with his latest escapade. The state was in a budget impasse, and many state beaches were closed on this past weekend. But Christie and his family went to the governor’s beach house and enjoyed the sun and an empty beach, while the public was excluded.

What really bothers JJ about Christie is his callow hypocrisy. He sends his own kids to private schools that are well funded while underfunding the state’s public schools.

His idea of “reform” does not translate into reduced class sizes or other necessities. A true “reformer,” he offers charters and vouchers instead of funding.

JJ writes:

“To be clear: I really don’t have a problem with Christie, or anyone else, sending their children to elite private schools, or to wealthy suburban public schools. What I find so disturbing is when some of those same people then turn around and declare how important education is for purposes of social equity, but refuse to support policies that adequately and equitably fund schools.

“Even worse is when these people substitute funding reform for “reforminess.” They claim that things like charter schools, gutting teacher workplace rights, expanded testing, test-based teacher evaluation, curricular changes, “personalized learning,” and school vouchers can serve as substitutes for adequately and equitably funding schools.

“But they then turn around and put their own children in elite private schools that spend far more per pupil than public schools — especially urban public schools. And again: these schools enroll very few children with special needs, keeping their costs relatively low.

“You will often hear these reformsters acknowledge that factors such as economic inequality and segregation negatively impact educational outcomes; however, in the same breath, they will gravely intone, “We can’t wait to fix poverty!”

“And so, their thinking goes, we have to expand charter schools no matter the negative consequences, or expand testing and its unvalidated uses no matter the negative consequences, or put more unproven digital stuff into schools no matter the possible negative consequences, and so on. And we have to do all this right now.

“It seems to me, however, that we now have more than enough evidence that school funding matters. It matters a lot. I mean, funding really matters. It does.

“Maybe we can’t solve poverty and segregation quickly; we could, however start getting more resources into schools that need it today. But getting adequate funding to schools — a necessary pre-condition for educational success — isn’t so much a problem of a lack of resources as it is a matter of political will.

“We’ve got plenty of money in this country (even if it is distributed extraordinarily unequally). There’s very little evidence we’re overspending on schooling relative to the rest of the world. We could drive more resources into the schools that enroll our least advantaged students much more quickly than we could expand private schools using vouchers or expand properly regulated charter schools.

“But we don’t. Instead, our leaders keep pushing reformy schemes based on outlier “successes” rather than funding reform, a policy that would quickly provide improvements across the K-12 education system. Worse, many of these same leaders then refuse to subject their own children to their designs, opting instead to enroll them in highly resourced schools.

“Chris Christie will be gone in a few months, and New Jersey might then begin to have a serious conversation about education funding. Sadly, many of our nation’s leaders, Republican and Democrat alike, are following Christie’s example. They refuse to address the issue of inadequate and inequitable school funding head on.

“Fortunately, even conservatives are starting to realize that effective schools and other government services come at a price. Let’s hope the era of Chris Christie and his ilk — and era where unproven reformy nonsense has replaced a commitment to getting schools the resources they need — will soon come to an end.

“If I had to pick one…

“ADDING: In the very earliest days of this blog — April, 2010 — I said that where Chris Christie sent his own kids to school was no one’s business.

“I was wrong.

“Of course, this was before Christie repeatedly underfunded the public schools, even after the Great Recession. This was before the lies of Chapter 78. This was before Christie tried to slash funding to the urban districts with his cruel “Fairness Formula.” This was before Christie showed repeatedly he never took education policy seriously. This was even before Christie unloaded some of his worst invective at the NJEA and teachers around the state.

“But I still should have known better. Anyone who is against the adequate and equitable funding of public schools yet sends their own children to a well-resourced private or public school is a massive hypocrite.

“They should be called so in no uncertain terms.”