Another gem from Stan Karp and the people at Education Law Center and Rethinking Schools where intelligence, research and facts still live and breathe.

"I began my career as a high school history teacher, and I can honestly say that I never worked harder or felt more rewarded than I did during those four years. We as a state should make sure that we celebrate outstanding educators every day for their work with our children and for developing the next generation of leaders.”
--Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf in his Teacher Appreciation Week message.

Dear Mr. Cerf,

If teaching was so great and you never worked harder or felt more rewarded, exactly why did you leave the classroom? Too bad for the teachers and the students you are leaving behind. Hope you're not working too hard these days - and something tells me that there are other rewards in your new job dismantling New Jersey's poorest and most vulnerable school districts. Afterall, voucher, charters and evaluating teachers on test scores seems like a lot of hard work - afterall destroying a democratic 200-year old public education system is quite a task, how do you do it all?

Balancing the budget on the backs of schoolchilren, teachers, working people in New Jersey and reducing the state deficit is going to help get our fiscal state in order. However, increasing the taxes on the wealthiest people in the state who send their children to private schools wouldn't be fair, now would it. Why should they help fund education for the kids on the other side of the tracks. 

Equitable funding is a cornerstone of New Jersey's stellar education system and the teachers, students, principals and anyone with a concience know who the real bullies are and it isn't the NJEA.

Perhaps the NJ Supreme Court will help out like they did last year by restoring $500 million in funding.

Judy Rabin
Save Our Schools NJ


Now for the facts, truth, you know, those minor inconveniences:

The Christie Administration has “celebrated” NJ educators by underfunding the school funding formula by $3.6 billionreducing pension and health benefits, proposing to eliminate tenure and seniority, mandating test-based teacher evaluation, imposing large cuts in higher education and college tuition aideliminating afterschool programscutting back on early childhood programs and contributing to a 14% increase in child poverty.

Acting Commissioner Cerf’s career as a high school history teacher spanned four years at the Cincinnati Country Day Upper School. Some highlights from the school’s website:

Full-time faculty:                  79
Part-time faculty:                 16
Full-time staff:     36
Part-time staff:     5
Faculty/staff with advanced degrees: 82% of Upper School; 59% All-School

Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Lower School:      6:1 for younger children, 9:1 for older children
Middle School:    9:1
Upper School:                        8:1
Average Class Size:             15

College Placement
100% attend four-year colleges
Private Institutions:            70%
Public Institutions:              30%

Lower School:      27 youth sports teams
Middle School:    18 sports
Upper School:                       24 varsity sports
88% US students compete in athletic programs

62-acre campus
6 buildings
Outdoor education area
Greenhouse and perennial garden
2 gymnasiums
6-lane swimming pool
7 athletic playing fields
Climbing wall
Tennis courts
535-seat theater
State-of-the art science laboratories and telescope
Video conference room
Art studio and loft
Photography darkroom
Early Childhood House
Wireless campus with spacious classrooms

Tuition & Fees
Upper School Academic Programs
Grade 9 (8:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.) $21,100
Grades 10-12 (8:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.)              $21,920
Tuition for Grades 9 - 12 includes lunch and most activities, but does not include books, supplies, testing fees, trip fees, or the tablet PC.