I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bring Democracy To Jersey City

Hey, Jersey City! If you're good, maybe ACTING Lord High Executioner Cerf will give you a hint about who he will install to run your schools:
Some 40 people were stuck on the outside looking in for more than an hour on Dec. 22 when acting state education commissioner Christopher Cerf met with the school board in a closed session to discuss the ongoing superintendent search.
Cerf and board members conferred at a special meeting in the board’s central office on Claremont Avenue. The closed session received mostly negative reviews from the citizens present, a group made up of primarily parents and community activists. Some criticized the board for not allowing residents the chance to address the commissioner — the public-comment portion of the meeting was scheduled for after Cerf’s appearance.
And Cerf, accompanied by his chief of staff David Hespe, declined to stay to take comments from the public. He did address two questions from JCI before he and Hespe cut the session short and left.
I guess mayoral candidate Steve Fulop asked the ACTING Commissioner to come in for a personal pep talk to to get his guys and gals on the school board in line. Or maybe Cerf wanted to give a heads up to the BOE as to whom Eli Broad in Los Angeles has decided gets the job:

The article continues:
The focus of the meeting stemmed from a controversial Dec. 2 email Cerf sent Waterman in which he claimed the board was ignoring his efforts to offer input in helping find a successor to departing superintendent Charles Epps.
Cerf also wrote in his email that the board needs to act in a way which assures the next superintendent will bring “transformational change” to the state’s second largest school system. In an email sent before the meeting, Cerf’s spokesman Justin Barra declined to elaborate on what the acting commissioner meant specifically, telling JCI he would do so in the closed session.
“The commissioner is meeting with the board tonight to discuss his thoughts,” was all Barra would say.
Further, Cerf wrote in the email that it is his “obligation to explore all the options the law empowers me with” to defend the interests of city schoolchildren. This statement has caused some to fear the commissioner might be looking into trying to reassert the state’s authority by retaking full control of the school system. While the state retains its power over approving personnel and curriculum matters, the board has regained control of governance issues. The latter allows it to search for its own superintendent.
Listen JC - you have to prove to the ACTING Lord High Executioner that you are worthy to run your own schools. Newark hasn't quite lived up to his demanding standards, you see. And he may not have been able to place his good friend Cami Anderson into the job there if she had to answer to a locally run school system. And then who would be around to beat down on principals who run schools for kids with autism that can't pass bubble tests?

So wise up, JC, and get with the new, reformy program. Stop worrying about local control and just embrace the superintendent that will be selected for you. It's not as if Cerf cares what you think:
When he was told that some residents felt he deliberately wanted to avoid hearing them, the acting commissioner seemed unconcerned, saying, “If that’s their opinion, then go ahead and report it.”
Nice. Remember JC - you don't want to get on the ACTING Lord High Executioner's List:


Ken Houghton said...

But didn't former Mayor Brett Schundler make JC schools perfectly during his multiple terms there?

Surely, that is why he was Governor GoDown's selection to run the DoE.

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