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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Jersey's Poorest Schools Literally Crumbling

There's a battle brewing between David Sciarra of the Education Law Center and Governor Christie in New Jersey . It looks like when it comes to emergency repairs in poor school districts, the Christie administration needs improvement, has not made adequately yearly progress and has failed the most vulnerable children of his state.

The Abbott districts identified 700 emergent conditions in need of repair but the state only sees 300 of those as meeting the criteria. In a letter to the DOE office, ELC identifies hundreds of EMERGENCY projects that have not been fixed.

Politifact of the Newark Star Ledger says Sciarra, a civil rights attorney, has "crossed the line" because he said "nothing has been done" when in fact, a few projects left over from former Governor Corzine's term have been completed and a "few emergent" projects were completed over the past two years.

Politifact: Now, let’s mention some specific projects in Newark and Camden.
In Newark, construction was substantially completed in 2011 on nine SDA-managed emergent projects, according to Steve Morlino, executive director of facilities management for Newark Public Schools.

Those projects included roofing work at BRICK Avon Academy; Dr. William H. Horton School; and South Street School, according to a list provided by Morlino.

Wendy Kunz, Director of Abbott Facilities Construction for the Camden school district, also pointed to a few emergent projects completed during the past two years, including replacing the roof and Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning units in 2011 at R.C. Molina Elementary School.

But those and other former Abbott districts have not received approval for hundreds of other proposed emergency repairs. Newark school officials proposed work on more than 130 emergent conditions, but they have not been approved yet to go to construction, Morlino said.

Following site visits, state officials are reviewing 300 emergent conditions identified by the former Abbott districts, Pasquine said. The districts identified more than 700 emergent conditions, but 400 of them were preliminarily rejected by the state Department of Education for not meeting the established criteria, she said.

You're doing a heckuva job Christie!

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