Category: Education

Do the people of Newark matter?

Christie to Newark: You don't matter
Christie to Newark: You don’t matter

What the residents of Newark and other cities understandably do not wish to accept is a harsh, basic fact of political life in New Jersey: They do not matter. While Cami Anderson, the much-hated, state-appointed superintendent of city schools, insists her plans to close neighborhood schools and open new charters are supported by all but a vocal minority, that is clearly an artifice she has promoted as a public relations strategy.  Slothful, clueless, and, in the case of The Star-Ledger and NJTV, fawning, media representatives go along with the lie and make it seem real.
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Newark school board votes to block Cami’s salary–but will it work?

 

Newark student leader Kristin Towkaniuk, whose arm was broken in an anti-Anderson protest, testified at last night's board meeting.
Newark student leader Kristin Towkaniuk, whose arm was broken in an anti-Anderson protest, testified at last night’s board meeting.

 

The Newark school board Tuesday night voted unanimously to freeze the salary of state-imposed superintendent Cami Anderson. It also passed a resolution making it more difficult for her to boycott board meetings. Finally, in what might be the only resolution to have an impact, the board rejected an effort by Anderson to spend $1 million in private funds to evaluate the labor contract she reached with the Newark Teachers Union.
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Lying with numbers in Newark

The only audience that matters to Cami
The only audience that matters to Cami

Here’s the core of the problem in Newark schools: Cami Anderson, Gov. Chris Christie’s agent in Newark, has the numbers that reveal how well or how poorly she is doing. No one else, including the city’s elected school board, has them. So she can make outrageous statements–like the first day of school had 90 percent attendance, as she said Tuesday night, and all the school buses ran on time–and, while everyone else believes she’s either lying or demented, or both, they have no way of disproving her.
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How the media help spread Cami’s lies

Cami AndersonYou have to hand this to Cami Anderson–she knows how to control the main-stream media. And not just her besotted swain at The Star-Ledger who often acts as if she were the Lady Guinevere and he was Sir Lancelot galloping to save her from burning at the stake. On NJTV, the Adubato/Christie television enterprise that won’t even talk about how The Star-Ledger has left Newark, Anderson is treated like a Mel Brooks version of an oracle whose evasive answers cannot be challenged. “How many parents stayed home from school the first day?” the anchor asked. Cami  answered a different question and the anchor obediently never brought the question up again.
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In Newark–finally, some heroes, some risk-takers

Students hold the line against efforts by mounted policeman to break through
Students hold the line against efforts by mounted policeman to break through

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Kristin Towkaniuk, the leader of the Newark Students Union, was injured last night when police tried to forcibly remove chains she had used to link herself with other students during a protest of Christie administration school policies in the states largest city.
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Our leaders, the kids

Students rally around the statue of Lincoln outside the Essex County Courthouse
Students rally around the statue of Lincoln outside the Essex County Courthouse

Newark’s political and organizational leaders will, I know, scoff at this but, right now, the leaders of the struggle against “One Newark” and the privatization of public education are the hundreds of high school students who early this morning marched from three high schools to Military Park and who, tomorrow, are expected to take even bolder action against the policies of Cami Anderson, her puppet master Chris Christie and Christie’s privatization guru, Cory Booker.
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The Illusionist

Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, aschool board member, recrods data on empty buses on the first day of school
Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, a school board member, records data on empty buses on the first day of school

Cami Anderson, Chris Christie’s overseer of the Newark schools, spent a good part of the first day of school traveling to schools she knew would be orderly, stopping along the way to give impromptu news conferences in which she praised her “One Newark” plan. She apparently missed the scores of empty buses roaming the streets in search of children, the anxious parents still trying to find placement for their kids, and the complete lack of transportation for special education students. Cami was doing her illusionist’s trick.
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BETRAYAL

NTU President Joe Del Grosso--"Say it ain't so, Joe!"
NTU President Joe Del Grosso–”Say it ain’t so, Joe!”

On Labor Day, the day we celebrate working men and women and their unions, the Newark Teachers Union said this to the anxious parents of New Jersey’s largest city: “We cannot be seen as aiding or abetting anything that would disrupt the operation of the Newark Public Schools. ”
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