Is the NJEA waking up?

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon
NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer
NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer

The struggle to save public schools from private, profit-making scams could well be lost. It will be lost–if it already hasn’t been lost–unless those groups  with experience in organizing, resources for getting their message out,  a history of lobbying, and a willingness to use the courts, grow some courage and take some risks. Yes, in this state, that means the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).
Continue reading

No $ for Newark kids, lots for Cami pals

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon
Cami feels for her friends and pays them well
Cami feels for her friends and pays them well

A third of Newark’s public school teachers face layoffs.  The contracts of seven  employee unions, including nurses, cafeteria workers, and laborers, have expired and the administration  of state superintendent Cami Anderson refuses to settle. Counselors were laid off. Public schools have been stripped of  assets  and  allowed to crumble. Cami drove the district into a $40 million budget hole but, despite all that, she has given hefty raises to the district’s top administrators, according to a Newark Public Schools document this site obtained.  Just as Gov. Chris Christie takes care of his friends, Anderson’s loyal pals, from New York, New Orleans, Teach for America, and charter schools, make big bucks in the city school administration at the expense of Newark’s school children.
Continue reading

GUEST BLOG: No TFA for me

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon
Melissa Katz
Melissa Katz

By Melissa Katz

My name is Melissa Katz and I am 18 years old. I am a freshman at The College of New Jersey studying urban education. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Why do you want to go into education? Why do you want to be a teacher? Don’t you know how much more money you could be making in another profession?”
Continue reading

Wanted: More public school heroes

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon
Deborah Gregory Smith opens rally yesterday in Trenton with Mildred Crump, the president of the Newark City Council.
Deborah Gregory Smith opens rally yesterday in Trenton with Mildred Crump, the president of the Newark City Council.

It was all there yesterday in Trenton. Frustration with  20 years of failed state education policy. The invigorating idealism of young people who haven’t yet learned to accept the lies of dissembling politicians. The justified anger at the disrespect behind Chris Christie’s attitude toward  Newark,  Paterson, Jersey City, and Camden—the idea that, because he believes black and brown men and women cannot be trusted, aren’t smart enough,  to govern themselves and their schools, Christie will have to let his rich white friends do it.
Continue reading

Ban all charters. Now.

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon

MARCH27It’s time to change the narrative. Let’s begin tomorrow at noon in Trenton. Let’s begin telling the truth about charter schools.

Those who would exploit public education both to reap profits from its annual revenues of more than $500 billion annually and to advance  a low-tax agenda for the wealthy have already seized much of the high ground.  They are telling the story. Invoking the failure of urban education, they call for reform that promises to improve schooling by sweeping away outdated work rules, countering the alleged selfishness of union-represented teachers, and creating new sorts of schools freed of decades of bureaucratic controls. It is an alluring story that allows Trojan horse Democrats like Cory Booker to speak of how school choice is the “civil rights issue of our time.” But it is a false story and it must be countered at every possible opportunity—and, tomorrow in Trenton, is an important opportunity.
Continue reading

Cami’s bad week

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon
Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan

US Education Secretary Arne Duncan met last Saturday with Cami Anderson, the state-appointed superintendent of Newark schools, and suggested she might be moving too fast to privatize the city’s schools with her “One Newark” plan. To which, according to sources at the meeting, Cami told Duncan he was wrong. A  few days later, just hours after anti-Cami demonstrators twice closed down the city’s central business district during rush hour, she was hosted at a dinner where she was told by a number of old friends, including former state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf and former Mayor Cory Booker,  that she was moving too fast.
Continue reading

Big pushback against Christie, Cami

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon
A protester holds an anti-Anderson sign at Broad and Market.
A protester holds an anti-Anderson sign at Broad and Market.

Several hundred protesters yesterday shut down  Newark’s central business district in a rush-hour demonstration aimed at showing the growing strength of the organized opposition to the Christie Administration’s “One Newark”  plan that would close neighborhood public schools, expand charter school enrollment, and lay off experienced city teachers despite seniority.
Continue reading

Christie breaks the law. Again.

FacebookTwitterEmailLinkedInGoogle+StumbleUpon
Christie mug shot on the cover of Time
Christie mug shot on the cover of Time

Kids get busted for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Motorists are given tickets for burned-out brake lights. Small-time stuff, not even real crimes, but the municipal courts are jammed with it. Now, how about a governor—like, say Chris Christie–who consistently flouts the law, keeping as much as $5 billion from the public schools? What happens to him? He gets re-elected and thinks he can be President.
Continue reading