Meanwhile Paterson, New Jersey Still Horrible Place to Learn

Despite the Abbott school adequacy lawsuit, universal pre-k, state intervention, and a $15,000 + per-pupil investment, Paterson district still failing in every way. The 28,000-student Paterson district, which has been under state control since 1991 because of fiscal mismanagement and poor academics, failed to show satisfactory progress over the last year in any of the five main areas being evaluated: instruction and programs, school board operations, personnel, building maintenance and school safety, and budgetary issues. Paterson is really a poster child for everything we know at Reason Foundation: state takeovers of school districts seldom help; more money does not guarantee performance; universal preschool is no panacea; and last but not least you need competition and choice to create more capacity for quality schools–vis-a-vis New Orleans.