Bob Braun does his usual stellar job reporting on the rest of the meeting; John Mooney at NJ Spotlight also has a good account of the fracas. And now the video of Anderson's swift departure from the meeting is up:
Golly, where have I seen this indignation before?
(0:43) "I, as governor, am responsible for every child in this state, not just my own. And the decisions that I make are to try to improve the educational opportunities of every child in this state. So with all due respect, Gail, it's none of your business."
You can always count on Chris Christie for a good tantrum. And how about the reformy mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel:
Rahm's kids go to the Chicago Lab School, a unionized private school whose director has explicitly rejected the use of testing in teacher evaluations and other reformy nonsense Emanuel has pushed.
But Emanuel is hardly alone in this hypocrisy. Michelle Rhee's daughter goes to an elite, private, Tennessee school; but Rhee has never left in a huff after being questioned on this because she avoids any forum where she may be asked a difficult question.
Bill Gates sends his children to Seattle's toniest, most expensive private school, even as he travels the country telling us we simply can't afford to spend more on education.
Meryl Tisch, New York's reigning queen of standardized testing, sends her children to a private school where school leaders openly question the value of such tests.
Reformy John King, NY Education Commissioner, sends his kids to a private Montessori school, even as he imposes policies that would make Maria Montessori spin in her grave.
Mike Bloomberg sent his daughters to the exclusive Spence School in Manhattan, even as he called for firing half of NYC's teachers and doubling class sizes.
President Barack Obama cheered on Race To The Top last night, but his own daughters go to a school that would never allow standardized test-based teacher evaluations.
What binds all these folks, and others I could add to the list, is that the prescriptions for "reform" they espouse do not include the things they clearly desire for their own children: well-resourced schools with a rich curriculum, staffed by respected, well-paid teachers, free of onerous and useless standardized tests, with beautiful facilities and copious opportunities in athletics and the arts.
But there's another layer to this: every one of these people is happy to get in front of a microphone or a reporter's notepad every chance they get and tell you how much they really, truly care about children:
[Senator Cory] Booker described Anderson as a "get-it-done" manager who brings a "level of love" to her work.
"When something happens to one of her kids — and she’s one of the strongest people I know — I’ve seen her show weakness," said Booker, adding that he has been friends with Anderson for 20 years. "She will weep for a child who’s not her own."Anderson was one of Booker's chief advisors at the start of his political career. And, like all politically savvy players, Anderson knows a personal backstory is how one sells oneself these days:
Folks, does this seem like a person who is reluctant to discuss her family in a public forum?
Maybe Cami Anderson was truly offended last night when a Newark parent brought up her own family; if so, she is astoundingly obtuse. Did she really think people wouldn't ask if One Newark-style reform is something she would want for her own child? Did she really think the parents of a state-run district, which has disenfranchised its citizens, wouldn't make the case that they should have the same rights as a parent like Anderson?
Parents like Newark's Natasha Allen have every right to ask Cami Anderson -- and, for that matter, Chris Christie -- if they would want a plan like One Newark for their own children.
No wait, scratch that...
Parents have a duty to ask reformy education "leaders" if they are willing to have their children attend schools that operate under the policies they espouse.
And if the answer to that question is nothing but self-righteous indignation... well, that speaks for itself, doesn't it?
Two peas in a pod.