I’ve had root canals. I’ve had gum surgery. But, when I went to get my driver’s license renewed recently, I knew real pain.
I had no choice but to appear in person. The letter I received from the state Motor Vehicle Commission contained a number of “skip the trip” urgings but they were countermanded by a contradictory warning superimposed on the renewal form: If you want your license, you had to do this thing live. (more…)
Eight years ago today, an earthquake struck Haiti and killed more than 200,000 people. I was sent there twice by The Star-Ledger to write about what happened. While there, I renewed my acquaintance with Dr. Megan Coffee from Maplewood, who, 12 years earlier, had been named a Star-Ledger Scholar, a program I helped run to recognize the brightest New Jersey high school graduates. Instead of pursuing a career that would make her wealthy, she became a healer in the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere. It seems especially appropriate now, on this anniversary, with this national leadership, with the sickening language we’ve heard and read in the last 24 hours, to recall there are Americans who look at Haiti and see love. Here is an article I wrote about Dr. Coffee for The Star-Ledger in the summer of 2010: (more…)
Newark’s state-appointed school superintendent Christopher Cerf, Gov. Chris Christie’s long-term enforcer of the plan to turn Newark into the “charter school capital of the state,” is expected to resign–perhaps as soon as today–and turn temporary control of New Jersey’s largest school district over to his hand-picked choice, Robert Gregory, a deputy superintendent. (more…)
David Hespe, the former New Jersey education commissioner responsible for many of the worst excesses of state control of the Newark public school district, has a new source of employment–the Newark public school district. (more…)
Jordan Thomas made his way to his parents’ car parked outside Gate 4 of Yankee Stadium in The Bronx Saturday. In a stadium suite, the Rhodes Trust had just completed the final interviews of the students vying for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. Jordan carried with him life-changing news–a good sort of life-changing news–that he could barely contain. (more…)
Just when the leaders of the state’s largest teachers’ union desperately needed help, who–of all people–becomes their unwitting savior? None other than the chief editorial writer for The Star-Ledger–a man who has spent a good part of his career bashing the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). (more…)
An email exchange between Christopher Cerf, the state-appointed Newark schools chief, and John Abeigon, the president of the Newark Teachers Union. Abeigon’s email is at the bottom–it was sent to city officials, local school board members, state school board members, the mayor’s office and others. Abeigon offers his congratulations on the return of local control and asks for a role in the transition. (more…)
A state-appointed arbitrator has ruled the Newark school district–under the control of Gov. Chris Christie–consistently violated major provisions of a labor contract that was trumpeted nationally as a major educational reform.
A prominent Newark clergyman raised the spectre of disorder in the city’s streets unless Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo acts quickly to restore the academic independence of Essex County College , plug a budget shortfall at the school, and help the two-year college remain open and fully accredited. (more…)