"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chris "Rush" Christie's Corrupt Administration and the Taking of Citizen Hostages

The morbidly-obese Gov. Chris Christie loves to throw his weight around while demonstrating an utter disdain for the people who have dedicated their working lives to making New Jersey first in the nation as measured by the Nation's Report Card, NAEP, an accomplishment that Christie's previous Education Commissioner for NJ dismissed as irrelevant.

After that one was fired for screwing up the RTTT application, thus costing NJ hundreds of millions, NJ has another Acting Commish, this one as decidedly corrupt as the last one was ignorant.  And while the new Commish, Mr. Cerf, figures out ways to siphon his cut from privatizing New Jersey's urban schools, the Gov works on ways to divide and conquer the citizens who foolishly elected him to lead them into the ditch. From Bloomberg News"New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is holding homeowner tax credits hostage until he gets state unions and their legislative allies to give up some benefits as part of his $29.4 billion budget for fiscal 2012."

This compilation of stories on the lucrative exploits of Mr. Cerf compiled by Stan Karp:
Acting N.J. education chief founded consulting firm hired to overhaul failing Newark schools

A consulting firm hired by Newark’s mayor to overhaul the city’s failing schools was founded a few months ago by Christopher D. Cerf, the state’s acting education commissioner, and still lists his Montclair home as its New Jersey address….

Educational leaders in Newark were also swift to react, saying such a detailed plan should have drawn input from a wider swath of community leaders before it was ever assembled.

"I received it this morning after a member of the press sent it to me," complained school advisory board chairman Shavar Jeffries on Tuesday. "I find that ridiculous and I find it offensive."

Crowds protest plan to close Newark schools, replace them with charters

Droves of parents and community members at tonight's Newark school board meeting expressed vociferous outrage about a plan to close and consolidate failing Newark schools in an effort to clear space for charter schools. The meeting became so raucous and hostile at moments that Advisory Board President Shavar Jeffries threatened to remove audience members or stop the meeting. About 300 people attended the meeting at the 15th Avenue School, one of the facilities slated for consolidation.

The complex proposal was written by an outside consulting firm and distributed to a group of Newark school principals Friday. Several struggling public schools, including Quitman Street School and Martin Luther King Jr. School could be phased out and have their students sent to other schools under the plan.

Five members of the school board expressed disbelief about the lack of transparency surrounding the new plan, which makes recommendations about the district's lowest performing schools.

Acting N.J. education chief Cerf revises account of ties to mysterious firm
“The acting commissioner gave a revised account of his ties to the firm — acknowledging he had been more involved than he first indicated earlier this week. Cerf had first maintained he had done little more than lend his address for the incorporation papers.”

N.J. education chief Cerf: 'My very short involvement occurred when I was a civilian'

“A story in The Star-Ledger Wednesday revealed that Newark Mayor Cory Booker hired a consulting company founded by acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf to help overhaul Newark public schools. The company, Global Education Advisors, used Cerf’s home address as its New Jersey address. Cerf gave an extended e-mail interview yesterday to Star-Ledger columnist Bob Braun.”

A valuable lesson: Newark shouldn't leave the public out of the school reform process
“What was promised here was public engagement, and it should start with transparency in major decisions about the use of that funding. The public should be informed of every step in the process.”

1 comment:

  1. But wait, there's more!

    "NEWARK — New Jersey's acting education commissioner has said he was a founder of a group that produced a report calling for some Newark schools to be closed to make way for charter schools...

    "The newspaper [Star-Ledger] has since reported that the study was funded by a $500,000 grant from the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles..."