Gov. Philip Murphy’s rejection of the appointment of Paula White as assistant state education commissioner was the right decision for the public schools of New Jersey. She is an avowed proponent of school privatization, the former head of an organization that promotes charter schools. She was named to a top position in a department already overloaded with ideological partisans of charter and voucher schools who flocked to New Jersey during the eight years of former Gov. Chris Christie’s misrule.
“I can’t process that we are allowing this to happen!”
Words. The recorded minutes of a faculty meeting at Watchung Hills Regional High School contain a jumble of words and not all of them made sense, printed on pages of paper. Yet something was clear:
A bright, popular high school senior–headed for an Ivy League university–ran a profitable cheating ring at the prestigious Watchung Hills Regional High School for at least two years before the scam was uncovered by a suspicious teacher a few months ago.
Watchung Hills Regional High School in Somerset County’s Warren Township–one of New Jersey’s academically strongest public high schools–is embroiled in an extensive student cheating scandal that could involve, according to one teacher, “hundreds” of students who obtained testing and other materials from a website and elsewhere.
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:
Rutgers’ officials now promise that the $10 million “supercomputer” that was destined to “revolutionize” computing at the state university–and throughout New Jersey– will be available to all users next month, a year after a coolant leak forced it to shut down only weeks after it was inaugurated with considerable public fanfare.
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.
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.
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.