The Wall Street Journal reports that “a foundation launched with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million grant to Newark public schools announced its aim Tuesday to boost achievement by helping the city’s babies and toddlers get high-quality child care.”
From the Star Ledger: “Newark’s religious leaders issued a scathing rebuke of Superintendent Cami Anderson last week. It comes just months after they were seriously considering weighing in on her behalf, and is only the latest evidence that the politics around her school reform effort have become untenable.”Also see coverage at NJ Spotlight, which notes that Anderson’s postponement of school assignments under the One Newark plan could indicate that she recognizes the need to slow down.
As the mayoral race between Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries continues to heat up, PolitickerNJ reports that Newark One, Jeffries’ independent expenditure group, issued this statement: “While Newark laid off more than 1,000 workers, Baraka took a salary increase, put his brother on his office’s payroll and charged the people of the city for pricey out-of-state trips. Yet the public has not seen the full line-by-line spending records from his office. It’s time for Councilman Baraka to come clean and give a full accounting of how our money was spent.”
NJ Spotlight examines the fiscal dysfunction of Lakewood Public Schools, which is controlled by the Orthodox Jewish community. The Asbury Park Press reports that “the township school district could fail to make its payroll next month if the state Department of Education does not grant it a loan, according to a letter from district leaders to state education officials.” The FBI is also investigating.
Camden Public Schools is preparing for necessary staff resizing — for example, currently there are 4 students for every administrator. The Courier Post reports that “the total number of positions in the Central Office will decrease from 378 to 205 – a 45 percent cut – through a mix of vacancies, transfers, and eliminations. About 35 percent of the layoffs include staff making more than $100,000 a year.”
“Nearly 700 people have signed onto a Facebook group called “Opt-Out of State Standardized Tests — New Jersey,” reflecting the mounting criticism to the increased reliance on standardized testing not just in New Jersey but nationwide.” (NJ Spotlight)
Hoboken School District is suing a charter school.
The South Jersey Times opines on a few “misguided legislators” who want to eliminate the superintendent salary cap:
[T]his policy hasn’t had sufficient time to separate the salary climbers from the dedicated administrators. And removing the cap entirely? Do they think we taxpayers are printing money in our (still flooded) basements?
Of course, the big problem in New Jersey is not that some district superintendents hover around $200,000, it’s that so many do. And it’s a salary that’s way too high for being in charge of just a few hundred kids.
This is one reason that consolidating some of those 601 districts is necessary. In the meantime, New Jersey can’t afford hundreds of superintendents with unlimited salaries, benefits and perks.
William Potter asks, “what kind of president would Christie make?”
More than any governor in modern history Christie has centralized authority within the Trenton version of the Oval Office, where he and a tight circle of loyalists dictate virtually every policy move throughout state government, and demand strict obedience from appointees. And woe be to any cabinet officer who steps out of line or merely crosses an invisible one.
Christie’s rough treatment of his first education commissioner, former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler, set the precedent. In his first year in office, Christie fired Schundler allegedly for missing a Race to the Top filing deadline that cost the state millions in federal education aid. But more likely, Schundler was shown the door because he negotiated an agreement with the dreaded teachers union, which Christie likes to pummel in town hall meetings.