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Monday, October 1, 2012

Charter School Miracle?

Some in the charter school business are
praying to be recognized as a miracle
Newark New Jersey - Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, filed a petition with the Catholic Church urging that charter schools be deemed "miracles." "Charter schools are a blessing from God. The work they do is truly extraordinary," said an enthusiastic Booker on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The petition is an unusual one for the mayor. "Well, I've been kissing their asses for so long, this was just the next natural step," commented Booker in a rare moment of political candor.  

The designation of "miracle" is not one easily given. The Church has a very specific definition for miracles and the investigative process is a tough one which can take years. "We have to determine if God had a hand in it or not," advised Newark's Archbishop John J. Myers. "It is not something we do lightly."

Charter School founders had mixed reactions. Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, welcomed the investigation. "Bring it on. Despite my own religious persuasion, I've been saying for years that I should be canonized so it just follows that what I do is miraculous." Conversely, Vahan Gureghian, whose Pennsylvania-located Chester Community Charter School is under investigation for possible cheating on state exams, was unavailable for formal comment. However, people close to Mr. Gureghian report that he is concerned about the scrutiny.  

The arduous approval process is not the only thing standing in the way of charter schools being designated as "miracles." Public school teachers have also come out against the title. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) all issued statements opposing the nomination. CTU president Karen Lewis' statement read in part, "While we agree that schools and their teachers make extraordinary contributions to the lives of children, we do not believe that charter schools do anything that rises to the level of miracle and we have the data to prove it." She then read a litany of statistics that she claimed showed charter schools were at best mediocre education providers. Michael Mulgrew of New York City's UFT began his press conference by saying, "I know Eva Moskowitz and Eva Moskowitz is no Mother Theresa." He also recited statistics proving charter school performance is unremarkable but reporters were distracted when Kim Kardashian tweeted that she and Kanye had broken up.

The ghost of famed antitheist, author and journalist Christopher Hitchens also issued a statement against the designation which read, "Are you fucking kidding me?"

Reality Alert: 
Interested in how we came to write this? Read Still Searching for Miracle Schools and Superguy and Miracle Schools: Where Are They Now?