“One Newark” plan faces legislative investigation

State Sen. Ronald Rice
State Sen. Ronald Rice

The co-chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Schools last night said he would pursue an investigation into possible abuses tied to state control of the Newark schools. State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex), who already is pursuing legislation aimed at blocking the closing of neighborhood schools in the state’s largest city, said he would seek subpoena power if state officials continue to refuse to provide him with information.

Cami to Newark parents: Don’t worry, we know best.

Cami Anderson:  You don't need to know
Cami Anderson: You don’t need to know

Pity the parents of Newark’s public school children. Many are unsure where their children will attend school in the fall. They’ve had to fill out application forms and hope they get their first choices in an ever-changing program called “One Newark.” For many, if their first choice was a neighborhood public school, they’re out of luck. Now comes a new insult—if they want to know how their children were  picked for this school or that, they can just forget it. That’s secret information. They’re not allowed to know.

Newark voters will decide–either Ras Baraka or Christie’s plan to close city’s public schools

Ras Baraka outside Weequahic HS. A real school choice
Ras Baraka outside Weequahic HS. A real school choice

Newark’s voters  won’t be able to stop Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to close and sell off the city’s neighborhood public schools and expand charters  unless they elect Ras Baraka mayor. That is not an endorsement. That’s not even an opinion.  That’s a fact.  Baraka has turned the election into a referendum on Christie’s privatization policies and, if Baraka loses, the governor and his agent in Newark, Cami  Anderson, will use his loss as a powerful argument to continue to bulldoze public schools in the city. Even if Baraka wins, it will just be the beginning of the effort to stop selling and closing Newark schools.

It pays to be a friend and neighbor of Chris Christie

Brian Zychowski, flanked by Christie and Cerf
Brian Zychowski, flanked by Christie and Cerf

Brian Zychowski, the North Brunswick schools superintendent,  is considered a leading candidate to replace state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf who is leaving at the end of the month. Gov. Chris Christie has appointed Zychowski to a number of important state commissions.  The governor and Zychowski are Mendham neighbors and friends and Zychowski coached Christie’s daughter, a member of a local basketball team. And, finally, Christie apparently has overlooked Zychowski’s salary which goes far beyond the state caps imposed with both anger and some fanfare by the governor.

Did Cerf help generate Newark schools business for the company that hired him?

A product from Cerf's new employer
A product from Cerf’s new employer

This is a brief memo to the United States Attorney for New Jersey, Paul Fishman.  Mr. Fishman: I am pleased you are finally looking into the behavior of members of the administration of Chris Christie,  the governor of the State of New Jersey and your predecessor as United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.  Your inquiry is, from press reports, limited to the circumstances involving the closing of lanes leading to an interstate crossing, the George Washington Bridge, a possible attempted shakedown of the mayor of Hoboken, and the misspending of federal storm relief aid made available to victims of Superstorm Sandy but apparently used for campaign ads for the governor. I hope you also will look into the Christie Administration’s involvement in spending on schools.

Star-Ledger to Cami Anderson: Be mine, Valentine!

 

blogvalentineThe Star-Ledger’s passionate, public love affair with Cami Anderson is now sliding into political porn. The newspaper’s latest editorial is a gushing, embarrassing, big wet kiss for Chris Christie’s agent in Newark. “She needs help!” cries out the knight errant editorial writer who boldly and proudly wears her scarf as he plunges into battle, a Lancelot who also was busy today apologizing for endorsing Christie. “She cannot do it alone,” he trumpets. Huzzah!

So just who is Tiffany Hardrick? And why did she leave New Orleans?

Tiffany Hardrick
Tiffany Hardrick

Daryn Martin, the leader of the parent-teacher organization at Ivy Hill School, may go to jail because of a criminal complaint filed by Tiffany Hardrick, an assistant superintendent of schools in Newark who co-founded a New Orleans charter school.  So it’s a good time to ask just who this Dr. Hardrick is, why is she in Newark, and why she left New Orleans. The answer is–she is another one of Cami Anderson’s misguided appointments of an educator with a, well, unusual past.