Newark’s state-appointed schools chief Christopher Cerf has spent a lot of time lately praising the Christie Administration for increasing Newark’s state aid–“The first time in years we haven’t had flat funding,” he told the board meeting Tuesday night. Several members of the audience yelled out, “Liar!” and they were right. The extra money is part of the big Cerf/Baraka sell-out of public schools–and it is not going to the city’s public schools. It is going to charters, the favorite educational children of Christie, Cerf, and now, sadly, Mayor Ras Baraka.
Newark’s state-appointed school superintendent Christopher Cerf set out last night to smear–and maybe destroy–the Newark Teachers Union (NTU), contending its leaders had “taken the fifth” to keep information away from a judge. The lawyer representing the union immediately denounced what Cerf said, contending his statement was “absolutely, utterly and, probably, knowingly, false.”
Years of resistance to the state masters of Newark’s schools collapsed last night in a stunning show of the political power of the new alliance between state-appointed superintendent Christopher Cerf and Ras Baraka, the mayor whose election was due almost solely to his opposition to state control and his support from employee unions. The elected school board voted 6-2 to approve Cerf’s giveaway to the city of millions of dollars in school property–a plan endorsed by the mayor.
Newark’s state-appointed superintendent Christopher Cerf has reached a deal with city officials to turn over 12 school district properties worth millions of dollars to the Newark Housing Authority–for nothing.
In 2013, a time when the state-operated Newark public schools suffered from one of the highest truancy rates in the state–if not the nation–its state-appointed superintendent fired all of its attendance officers. Now, three years later, with the district experiencing an even worse absenteeism problem, an administrative law judge has ruled the system acted “in bad faith” and broke New Jersey’s truancy law.
The future of health benefits for 4,000 Newark teachers and their families is still precarious despite a recent court ruling that stopped the state from unilaterally changing prescription drug providers. Although both the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) and the state-appointed schools superintendent claimed victory after a Jan. 29 court hearing, the truth is the issue is still unresolved.
Much has been written about the inability of some to be able to foresee the potential downsides of a decision. Psychology and business publications abound with examples of cognitive dissonance preventing us from truly looking at all possible implications of a decision. What I am exploring is somewhat more specific to decisions made in education. More specifically, it is about how a decision affects those who are NOT the target of the particular decision.
Chris Christie’s political persona lived by the smirk–and, this past week in New Hampshire, it died by the smirk. His relentless attack on Marco Rubio on what was, after all, a meaningless point, more than just damaged the Florida senator’s standing, it put an inglorious end to Christie’s hopeless crusade.