Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Disputing Letter-Writers’ Assertions on New Jersey

February 01, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In their letter to the editor, Brenda Liss, Alan Sadovnik, and Paul Tractenberg write that “despite a state constitutional provision prohibiting school segregation, New Jersey’s schools remain some of the most segregated in the nation” (“N.J. School Choice Debate Lays Out Issues, Divisions,” Jan. 12, 2005.)

This statement is not accurate. There is no school district called New Jersey. There are 597 school districts within the state of New Jersey.

Segregation within a school district is illegal. For two decades, these singular districts have been required to desegregate. Their plans are monitored by state and county superintendents.

However, N.J. students living in districts where desegregation is impossible because of racial or linguistic concentration have no constitutional right to enroll in another district. A Camden student is not constitutionally eligible to attend school in Cherry Hill. A Newark student may not enroll in Millburn Township.

The writers correctly identify a voluntary state program in which some districts at some grade levels have agreed to enroll some students. This is a local district board of education’s choice.

All districts have policies permitting out-of-district students to apply for enrollment and pay tuition. But districts determine who is permitted into specific grades or programs.

The writers wish to define issues and debate. They ask others to abstain from rhetoric. Yet their point, in this instance, is an assertion and a desire. It is not a constitutionally adjudicated finding.

The writer is a retired N.J. school administrator with 15 years in the state department of education and 15 years running a district.

New York, N.Y.

The writer is a retired N.J. school administrator with 15 years in the state department of education and 15 years running a district.

A version of this article appeared in the February 02, 2005 edition of Education Week as Disputing Letter-Writers’ Assertions on New Jersey

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Leveraging Student Voice for Teacher Retention & Development
Join our webinar on using student feedback to improve teacher performance, retention & student achievement.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week