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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Once Again, Tom Moran Doesn't Do His Job

I have tried - no, really, I have - to back off of Tom Moran and the editorial pages of the Star-Ledger. But I just can't let this one pass:

In a typically insouciant editorial about the problems with one of Chris Christie's "reform" schemes, the S-L writes:
But it’s not just school buildings that are needed. The instructional programs in the Camden schools are disastrous failures, too.
At Camden Street Elementary, just 10 percent of third-graders read at grade level. At Camden High School, fewer than 17 percent of juniors are proficient in math. [emphasis mine]
Here's the problem: Camden Street Elementary is not in Camden. As the Camden City Public Schools website shows, there isn't a school even remotely named Camden Street Elementary. (It took me all of 30 seconds to find this through Google, Tom).

I happen to know that Camden Street Elementary is in Newark. Why? Because I wrote about how the school that was bad-mouthed by a child advocate group and the superintendent of Newark's schools, Cami Anderson. And then Bruce Baker shared some further graphs about Camden Street Elementary, which really got me angry about how the staff was being treated publicly.

You see, Tom, Camden Street Elementary is a school whose specific mission is to serve children who have autism, cognitive disabilities, and behavioral disabilities:

Branch Brook Elementary is the highest-performing elementary school in Newark; is it any wonder why Camden Street's wonderful and deserving children don't do as well as Branch Brook's in standardized tests? 

Camden [Street Elementary]'s special needs program houses approximately two hundred students. These students live throughout the City of Newark, and are transported to Camden by bus. Opportunities for integrating classified students into a least restrictive environment are accomplished through inclusion and mainstreaming. Our goal is to meet the various needs of all. To accomplish this task, we provide students with whole group and individual learning experiences. 
Academic success is the mission of Camden Street Elementary School’s staff. The strategy used to achieve this goal is through high expectations and realistic goals. High expectations are communicated to the students by the teachers letting them know specifically what they are expected to learn, and that they can learn. [emphasis mine]
So let's review:
  • Tom Moran wrote that Camden Street Elementary was in Camden; it is in Newark.
  • Tom Moran bemoaned the poor showing of Camden Street's third graders on standardized tests.
  • Tom Moran showed no sign of knowing that Camden Street serves special needs students.
This is lazy, indifferent, who-gives-a-s*** journalism that demeans the difficult work that both the educators in the City of Camden and the educators at Camden Street Elementary in Newark do every day.

Moran owes them all an immediate correction.


Deb said...

It probably should no longer surprise me, and yet it does. Thank you Duke for being diligent, careful and responsible. Your students are lucky to have you - as well as the rest of us. Let's see how long it takes him to respond....

Duke said...

Thx Deb. If I were a betting man, I'd place my money on Moran's response time as "never."

loubrew said...

Moran's opening line is also disingenuous: "Imagine approaching a line of starving people with a bullhorn, telling them they must wait for food while you wrangle over whether it’s delivered by the government or a private nonprofit." What he leaves out is that it's the current administration taking money away from the government agency tasked with delivering the "food" to everyone who needs it and giving it to a "nonprofit (?)" agency that will only take the people it deems worthy to receive it, leaving the rest to starve!

Anonymous said...

He knows the big lie is back in vogue...

walt sautter said...

May I post this article with commentary at my blog:

My email is : wsautter@optonline.net

Walt S.

Duke said...

Lou: Nice analogy.

Anon: word.

Walt: Of course. Just provide a link, please. Thx.

Unknown said...

Would referring to Tom Moran as a corporate shill be gratuitous name calling or simply clarification of his job description?

Ronal dino said...

Opportunities for the integration of students classified in the least restrictive environment is achieved through the inclusion and integration. Our goal is to meet the diverse needs of all. To carry out this task, students with the whole group and individual learning experiences.

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