School board president David Deutsch penned an op-ed in the Montclair times yesterday. We wanted to riff a bit on it and were hoping to link to it, but we’ve gotten tired of waiting for it to be posted online, so we’ll update with a link when it is.
First, we’re glad to see him reaching and talking about his priorities and where he stands on the issues – and where he doesn’t. We think that’s a good move for quieting some of the ridiculous rumors and scaremongering that have too-often dominated the discourse here around the schools. While the Superintendent’s role is different than his, given the amount of demonization she’s been subjected to, it might make sense for her to do similar things.
Secondly – and more substantively – we want to register our agreement for what Deutsch is saying here. We’re supporters of educational progress here in Montclair, and we’re firm believes that that can be done within our existing magnet model. That doesn’t mean change isn’t necessary, but we don’t believe that charter schools are the appropriate solution here, as we’ve said before. We think that there are places where charters are probably a great fit, and other places (i.e. here) where we don’t see them actually adding much. To the extent that we’ve heard rumors about charters in Montclair, we’ve mostly chalked them up to efforts by the MCAS/MEA/Michelle Fine camp to try to stoke the flames and fuel controversy where none really exists. We don’t think that anyone is seriously talking about charters in Montclair, and it’s not something we’d support either, and we appreciate the district’s leadership taking a strong stance on this to try and put these rumors to rest.