Keansburg update

The Asbury Park Press reports today that the DOE’s case against the Keansburg superintendent, who is due to receive $184,586 in unused sick days and vacation time and another $556,290 in severance pay, has been sent to State Superior Court in Monmouth. The DOE’s case is against both former superintendent Barbara A. Trzeszkowski and the Keansburg Board of Education, and seeks to revoke the severance pay. The Attorney General’s brief explains: For a school board …

Poached Eggs

The Star-Ledger reported yesterday that three Freehold Regional School administrators were ordered to strip the “Ph.D” from their titles after news broke that they received raises because of doctorates received from an unaccredited diploma mill called Breyer State University. This edict came down from the NJ Commission on Higher Education, which sent “cease and desist” letters to the egg-faced administrators. (No joke. The Asbury Park Press reported the following anecdote back in July: Wasser has …

Booker and Friends

The Los Angeles Times has an op ed co-written by John Doerr, partner in a venture capital firm, Ted Mitchell, chief executive of NewSchools Venture Fund and president of the California Board of Education, and our very own Cory Booker, mayor of Newark. Booker, a rising star in politics, attended a meeting last week at the Democratic convention where he reminisced ruefully about fierce blowback from NJEA when he advocated school choice. In the LA …

Union Fist-Bump

A piece in the Star Ledger today delves into a bill that never got signed. In June, the NJ Legislature voted to scale back pension benefits for school teachers beginning this school year. However, after the teachers’ union, NJEA, complained that they didn’t have time to notify the teachers of the changes over the summer, Corzine didn’t sign the bill. The Star-Ledger explains, The reforms, adopted over heated opposition from the state’s most influential public …

Doomsday for 6A

New Jersey School Boards Association has a piece by Ray Pinney today, whose title at NJSBA is “Grassroots Coordinator and Lobbyist.” Pinney, in “Regionalization: Is the Wrong Solution Better Than No Solution,” recounts a conversation with a Warren County School Board member who tried to explain to a family member why consolidating NJ school districts would raise taxes. The family member’s response was something along the lines of “I believe your math but I still …

And the Next Pitch…

The frenzy over superintendent compensation packages continues unabated. By far the loudest chorus is from those who bewail this financial fraud perpetrated on the backs on New Jersey tax payers by overpaid and unscrupulous district superintendents. Several local papers (The Bridgeton News, Today’s Sunbeam ,Warren County News) reported today on new legislation to be proposed in September by Patrick Diegnan, Jr., an Democratic Assemblyman from Middlesex. This bill would standardize superintendent contracts by having the …

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: …