I’ve taught journalism at a variety of colleges in New Jersey and I can’t resist offering lessons in the craft now that I have my own blog. Today’s lesson is how to deal with claims of objectivity, especially from main stream media.
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.
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.
The torching of Ras Baraka’s campaign bus is yet even more evidence of how ugly the mayoralty race will be in Newark for the next three months. Stories planted in main-stream media about Baraka’s alleged support for a gang member were just the beginning of what promises to be a bare-knuckles fight for City Hall in New Jersey’s largest city.
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.
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.
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.
By Becca Field
Chris Cerf may be leaving as education commissioner but the toxins he brought to the state education department remain—as will his Broad-financed flunkies who will obediently carry out the policies that will help companies like his and Joe Klein’s Amplify prosper.
The 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!
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.