MURPHY RIGHT TO REMOVE PAULA WHITE; LEDGER COVERAGE, A DISGRACE

Gov. Phil Murphy (photo WHYY)

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.
(more…)

Watchung Hills High, once focus of PARCC controversy, now faces cheating scandal

Elizabeth Jewett, Watchung Hills superintendent

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.
(more…)

A cruel afternoon at the Motor Vehicle Commission

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…)

A different kind of American–a real one–looks at Haiti and sees love

Megan Coffee

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…)

A year later, RU super computer may be fully on-line. Or, maybe not.

The overheated Caliburn

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.
(more…)

THE LONG SLOW GOOD-BYE: Cerf says transition to local control will take 2 years.

Cerf: Bye-bye –but not for a while yet

Under the Christopher Cerf plan, full autonomy won’t be granted to the elected Newark school board until a two year transition is completed. A transition in which many consultants will get rich and high paid administrators, appointed by Cerf, will continue to earn their six-figure salaries and follow the pro-charter, anti-public, union-shredding school plans for Newark. That will make it official–the state will have controlled the city schools for 25 years–a quarter century.
(more…)

Newark’s Cerf expected to quit, may stay on as consultant–Gregory new schools chief

Newark Superintendent Cerf and Christie

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…)