Category: Education

Newark trying to force educators to talk parents out of special education programs

Turnamian: So wrong about so many things
Turnamian: So wrong about so many things

Newark school administrators now working for newly appointed state superintendent Christopher Cerf are trying to force the city’s special education teachers and specialists to persuade the parents of the neediest of the city’s children to buy into a special “pathway” that could rob the students of much needed services.
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Charter schools: Give us public money but not public scrutiny

The twins of school destruction
The twins of charter school expansion

Gov. Chris Christie and his powerful Democratic allies–most notably US Sen. Cory Booker and South Jersey political boss George Norcross–promote charter and voucher schools as a way of avoiding the two most pressing problems facing urban public education: Chronic underfunding of the state school aid formula and oppressive racial isolation. By favoring charter schools that can help a few students, Christie, Booker, and Norcross never have to face the problem of providing all children with the constitutionally required level of schooling that is their birthright.
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Cerf about to throw school workers into the streets

Cerf and Christie--bad for Newark school employees
Cerf and Christie–bad for Newark school employees

This is a nation that doesn’t simply tolerate felonious behavior by its wealthiest entrepreneurs–it rewards it.  If you are rich enough and powerful enough, you can get away with nearly sinking the American economy and be forgiven–and even given a raise. However, if you are poor, if you are just holding on to a low wage job, you can be thrown into the streets–and the powerful among us will call it accountability.  Consider the 91 Newark school employees who will be among those laid off this year to help the state reduce the $60 million deficit its mismanagement created.
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The state spits in Newark’s face

Christopher Cerf--the new Newark superintendent
Christopher Cerf–the new Newark superintendent

 

(Editor’s Note: I was unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting of the state school board and asked Melissa Katz, a well-known student activist and supporter of public education, to cover the meeting for me. Her report is complete and comprehensive and will give the most thorough  account of what happened at the meeting I have yet seen).
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Has Christie divided Newark opposition to Cerf and state control?

BARAKACHRISTIEThe chairman of the legislative committee overseeing the Newark schools has called on the state Board of Education to reject Gov. Chris Christie’s choice of Christopher Cerf as the city’s schools superintendent.  State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex),  chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Schools, told the board that putting Cerf, a former state education commissioner, in charge of the state’s largest district would be like “putting the fox in charge of the chickens.”  Rice provided each member of the 10-member state panel with more than 50 pages of documents outlining what he called Cerf’s “questionable activities and relationships.”
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Christie speech mocks the American Dream, wounds people of color

Is the American Dream running from black neighbors?
Is the American Dream running from black neighbors?

The family histories of so many in this nation include escape from religious persecution, wars and revolution, political oppression, famine,  unbearable hardship, pogroms and the Holocaust. We are who we are because the oppressed faced the unknown and came here to start a new life. It was so jarring for Chris Christie to talk yesterday about his American Dream story as an escape from a neighborhood, Vailsburg, that was becoming integrated.
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NJ state school board won’t allow Cerf criticism

John Abeigon--NTU president not allowed to speak to state boarsd
John Abeigon–NTU president not allowed to speak to state board

The New Jersey State Board of Education will not allow public testimony on its apparently predetermined decision to impose Christopher Cerf, former state education commissioner and private business entrepreneur,  on the people of Newark as the city’s next school superintendent. The president-elect of the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) said he was warned that, if he tried to speak at next Wednesday’s meeting in Trenton, he would be forcibly ejected from the meeting room.
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