Mike Lilley and Jersey Jazzman Go At it: Are NJ Teachers Really Underpaid?

Two weeks ago Mike Lilley of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey skewered the scholarship of Mark Weber, aka Jersey Jazzman, in an analysis called “More Shoddy Research from Jersey Jazzman and New Jersey Policy Perspective.” In Weber’s paper,“New Jersey’s Shrinking Pool of Teacher Candidates,” Lilley shows how Weber cherry-picks data, uses unsupported premises, and confuses correlation with causation. For example, in order to show a “wage gap” between public school teachers and credentialed professionals, …

Dear New Jersey Teachers: You’re Getting a Raw Deal From NJEA and NEA.

Mike Lilley of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey has a new report out, “New Jersey Teachers’ Dues: Why Are They the Highest in the Nation and What Are They Paying For?” Here, he analyzes NJ teachers’ “raw deal”: Doing the math, NJ Education Association (NJEA), the state union, keeps a higher percentage of teacher dues than any other state teacher union in the nation, depriving local branches — “those with the most direct connection …

Okay, Boomer: Why Mark Weber’s Argument Won’t Convince Millennials and Gen Z’ers To Become Teachers.

Mark Weber, aka Jersey Jazzman, just published a paper at New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), a sequel to a paper he published in September. The theme of both is that New Jersey is in grave danger of not having enough high-quality teachers to fill classrooms. Why? Prospective employees are shunning careers as educators because salaries are too low, our pension system is shaky, and teachers don’t get enough respect.  I agree with all of that: …

The NJEA and Its Allies Are the Main Funders of Sean Spiller’s Mayoral Campaign

This is a guest post by Michael Lilley, Founder and President of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, which seeks to educate residents on the way NJEA “uses their tax dollars against their own interests, secures benefits for the few over the many, and blocks needed reforms.” This was originally published on SPCNJ’s website. As detailed in SPCNJ’s previous report, New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Vice President Sean Spiller is the most famous graduate of …

NJEA’S Palace Intrigue: A New Report Shines Light on The Mayoral Candidacy of Sean Spiller.

Three weeks ago a reader asked me an intriguing question: Is Sean Spiller, candidate for Mayor of Montclair and NJEA Vice President, actually running for the “Montclair Ideal” (as his campaign literature claims) or for the “NJEA ideal”? If Spiller wins the mayoral election, he would not only be Chair of the Montclair Board of School Estimates (which approves the district’s budget) but he would also appoint the members of the Montclair Board of Education. …

Irony Alert: A New “Statewide Effort” Against Corruption Is, Well, Corrupt.

Oh, this is rich. WNYC reports today on a meeting Saturday of “New Jersey activists” called “Take Back NJ” who want the Legislature to pass “an ethics package…that takes aim at what they call ‘soft corruption’ –the ways the activists say money, patronage and the layout of the ballot undermines democracy.” Who are the leaders of this “statewide effort” referred to in the article? None other than New Jersey Working Families and people like Rutgers Professor …

NJEA’s “Spider Web of Political Power”: A New Report Examines NJEA’s Ring Through Murphy’s Nose

Last Friday Mike Lilley of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey published a lengthy report called “A Spider Web of Political Power and Influence: How A Vast Network of Allies Helps the NJEA Dominate New Jersey Politics.” Don’t be put off by the length: While 87 pages, the last 57 are indices and other documentary material and it’s worth reading in its entirety. For me, Lilley’s carefully sourced analysis validates a topic I’ve covered …

New Jersey Working Families Alliance Doesn’t Care About Work or Families: It Cares About Advancing NJEA’s Agenda.

This is a guest post by Michael Lilley, Founder and President of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, which seeks to educate residents on the way NJEA “uses their tax dollars against their own interests, secures benefits for the few over the many, and blocks needed reforms.” Recent news headlines have been ablaze with stories about the forced removal of Working Families Alliance State Director Sue Altman from a state Senate hearing on New Jersey’s …