From Washington to Trenton to Newark, political leaders from both parties–including President Barack Obama and Gov. Chris Christie–are promoting charter schools as an answer to perceived public school failure, says NJ.com. And the privately run but publicly funded schools receive support from some of the wealthiest and most famous people on the planet. But a few activists based in Princeton, some charter school parents, and a Rutgers researcher want their voices heard above the cheerleading. They warn charters are not panaceas.

“We are not against charter schools,” says Julia Sass Rubin of Princeton, whose daughter attends one. She is part of an organization called Save Our Schools-New Jersey (SOS-NJ). “But we have serious concerns about cost and accountability.”

Bruce Baker, a faculty member at Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education, issues research reports on the relative success of charters and traditional schools. He also writes a blog, “School Finance 101,” where he posts his research…

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