The off-handedness of the “home-school” reference in this AP piece on the New Jersey’s gubernatorial race caught my eye. More promises that increasing educational standards will lead to a quality education and a “home-school program” is in the mix.
CAMDEN, N.J. – As it usually does, education is emerging as a key issue in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race.
But in 2009, there’s a twist , as seen by the candidates’ appearances Monday.
Republican Chris Christie was in Camden, the state’s poorest city, addressing a graduation ceremony for students who said with pride that they’d grown up in “the ‘hood.” Meanwhile incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine appeared in a suburb with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Typically, a New Jersey Republican would play to suburban audiences, while a Democrat would focus on inner cities. But in this case, the venues mirror where the candidates’ key education policies play best.
Christie has been talking about failures of many urban school districts, while Corzine is promoting the state’s overall school system as among the nation’s best. In many ways, national data on school quality support both positions.
Christie is promoting state-funded vouchers that students in failing schools could use to pay tuition at private schools or at public schools in other communities. He also wants more charter schools to open in the cities.
“These kids are trapped in what everyone would agree is a failed school district,” Christie said after the ceremony at the Camden Educational Resource Network, which recognized about 200 students who had completed a home-school program. Most of the students previously had gone to Camden public schools.