Category: Education

BRIDGEGATE TRIAL: The stunning lies told to keep New Jersey stupid–and who told them

Port Authority director Patrick Foye
Port Authority director Patrick Foye

Today was the day of lies at the Bridgegate trial.

Lies told—maybe—out of fear or to cover other lies. Lies told and lies condoned by public officials who apparently viewed their responsibility to tell the truth as optional, not required. Mark Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee,  admitted he lied when he wrote a statement that Gov. Chris Christie hadn’t shaken him down for an endorsement. Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, admitted he “didn’t mind” that two underlings put out a false statement claiming access to the George Washington Bridge was shut down because of a traffic study.
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Why does the Newark Teachers Union need charity?

NTU's Abeigon
NTU’s Abeigon

The other day a friend told me that a mutual acquaintance, a private school teacher, had fallen seriously ill. The teacher’s friends and colleagues, he said,  were raising money for her through GoFundMe, the online site for charitable giving,  because the expenses she faced were almost as daunting as her illness.  A few days later, I learned the Newark Teachers Union (NTU), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO,  also had opened a GoFundMe site to raise money for itself and members.  It too, apparently, faces a daunting fate.
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Newark’s shameful response to Cerf’s charms and lies.

PULSE's Sharon Smith demanding answers.
PULSE’s Sharon Smith demanding answers.

There was a time–just a year ago–when the way a parent activist like Sharon Smith was treated at Tuesday night’s Newark school board would have caused a storm of protest. But that was before the city’s mayor, Ras Baraka, cut a deal with the governor to allow a national advocate of privately-operated charter schools to become the city’s state-appointed school superintendent. Now Smith–and many others–have been silenced through the charms and lies of one man, Christopher Cerf. Silenced and marginalized.
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In the Newark schools, the second most powerful employee isn’t even an employee. Go figure.

Wright: Who pays him?
Wright: Who pays him?

Christopher Cerf, Gov. Chris Christie’s man in Newark, apparently thinks the city residents are stupid and do not deserve to know how or why or by whom his chief aide, De’Shawn Wright, is paid. That really is all anyone needs to know about why Cerf should not be the schools chief in New Jersey’s largest city–but, apparently, Cerf’s contempt for the city residents is just fine for most school board members and his ally, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
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Call it a racism tax: NJ pays a premium to keep schools segregated

The Education Law Center's David Sciarra
The Education Law Center’s David Sciarra

What’s crazier? Maintaining a patently inefficient system of public education that has more school districts per capita than probably any other state? Or, believing that the white citizens of New Jersey will get over their fear of black and brown children long enough to end racial segregation that is so bad it has been depicted by experts as a form of “apartheid”—the formal separation of races that was the law in South Africa before the era of Nelson Mandela’s leadership.
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Newark’s school chief Cerf to consolidate power–local control is still far away

BRADHAGGERTY
Brad Haggerty–the new power in Cerf’s public schools–is trading in Anderson’s hatchet for Cerf’s.

Christopher Cerf, the state bureaucrat, private business entrepreneur, and charter school advocate who was supposed to bring local autonomy to the Newark public schools, isn’t acting like someone about to give up state control of New Jersey’s largest school district. In fact, he is about to announce a sweeping reorganization of the system that only entrenches his–and the state’s– power.
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“Stabbed in the back”–How Newark public schools were betrayed by “friends”

Johnnie Lattner at the school board meeting
Johnnie Lattner at the school board meeting

The head of a grass-roots organization that forced the federal government to intervene in the Newark schools has charged that supporters of the city’s public schools have been “stabbed in the back” by the very political leaders who promised widespread change once the former state-appointed superintendent, Cami Anderson, was removed from office.
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When “doing God’s work” means firing half a school’s teachers

Is this the future of Newark schools?

Marion P. Thomas Charter School--out with the old.
Marion P. Thomas Charter School–teachers are to blame for poor PARCC test scores.

The administrators of the Newark charter school that fired half of its teaching staff have blamed the instructors they hired for poor test scores and all but told worried parents to butt out of their decision-making–even when, as they concede, the decisions are “painful” and “drastic.”
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