Cory Booker on Teachers’ Unions

Mickey Kaus of Slate is attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and reports back that he attended an event called “The Ed Challenge for Change,” fully expecting to hear all those buzzwords like “change” and “accountability” without reference to what he calls “the elephant in the room, namely the teachers’ unions.” To his surprise, there was a strong anti-union sentiment there. Reports Kaus, Then Cory Booker of Newark attacked teachers unions specifically–and there was …

Large Nuts

Today’s Jersey section of the New York Times reviews the current excitement over the few NJ public school superintendents who are due to receive inordinately high salaries and retirement packages, and the lawsuit by the NJASA (New Jersey Association of School Administrators) against the Education Commissioner, Lucille Davy. The suit claims that limits on school boards to set compensation packages arbitrarily denies administrators of their constitutional rights of equal treatment and due process. Lost in …

Casting Call for Crash Dummies

Local school boards and DOE mandates continue to collide as the Jersey papers wax on about limits on superintendent perks and, the latest, administrators who get hefty pay raises by listing degrees from diploma mills on their resumes. So we have stories this week like the Star-Ledger’s update on James Wasser, Superintendent of Freehold Schools, who got a $2,500 raise after buying a Ph.D. from Breyer State University. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of the unaccredited school: …

NJ on the Short Bus

The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities reports that a Federal District judge refused to dismiss a case filed by the Education Law Center, the Arc of New Jersey, the Statewide Parents Advocacy Network, et. al. against the NJ Department of Education. The suit alleges that the DOE has failed to implement broad systemic reforms to address the high rates of segregation of students with disabilities, often placing them in either disabled-only classrooms or out-of-district …

Home Rule Goes to School

The local Jersey papers continue to feed ravenously on the “scandal” regarding superintendent compensation packages. The Times of Trenton headline today reads “Many School Administrators in Jersey due Six-Figure Deals.” And, boy, is the public outraged – check out the indignant comments attached to some of these articles. Scroll down for yourself at the end of this Star-Ledger piece. Lost in the lather is that the job responsibilities of a superintendent are comparable to running …

Paging Norman Rockwell

The papers and local radio stations are splattered with stories today on some new data issued by the State regarding retirement packages for school superintendents. It’s practically a Jackson Pollock painting out there, from the Star-Ledger from to the Courier-Post to the Press of Atlantic City to the North Jersey Record. Here’s the Star-Ledger’s lede: More than 30 New Jersey school administrators could be due six-figure retirement packages at a time the state is trying …

Down on Skid Row

The Trenton Times reports today on the trial of Priscilla Dawson, a Trenton Central High School principal accused of altering transcripts of 126 students who attended an annex of the school, one of the many scandals that have rocked this rock-bottom district over the last few years. Also implicated in this particular case, currently before the Office of Administrative Law, is James Lytle, the former Superintendent in Trenton who cut and ran last year to …

What’s Wrong with New Jersey Education?

New Jersey public schools are broken. Want to talk about fiscal inefficiency in a state that’s going broke? We spend more per student on education — $14,630 – than any state but New York. Why? For starters, our history of home rule has rendered our 603 school districts massively inefficient, yet the last time there was any consolidation was in 1952 when Vineland Boro and Landis Township merged to form the city of Vineland. State …