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, June 7, 2012

Here Come the Flunkies

Well, old Eli did it: for less than half-a-mil, he bought the New Jersey school system. Now all he has to do is fill it with his flunkies:
With little discussion in public session, the state Board of Education today accepted donations totalling more than $600,000 from two private foundations.
After the Newark-based Education Law Center wrote a letter to the board requesting that they defer accepting the funds, citing the "need for transparency, accountability and public confidence," the board asked the state Attorney General's Office if their objections had any merit, board members said.
The matter was discussed in closed session, citing the "legal letter." But board member Ron Butcher said "in their (the AG's) mind, there are no issues."
Gosh, I'm so amazed that Chris Christie's AG didn't have a problem with this secretive grant from an out-of-state billionaire. I mean, Christie's would never allow the AG's office to be used for political purposes; he learned his judicial ethics under US Attorney General Karl Rove...

(That's a joke, trolls. Get it?)
The board voted unanimously to accept a donation of $430,000 from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and $200,000 from Startup: Education, the foundation created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf said he considered the ELC's objection "baseless" and "utterly without substance," and several board members said they were glad to have the funds to put toward department programs.
Oh, my goodness, someone is implying that Chris Cerf might not always be prone to doing things out in the sunshine. Whatever would give them that idea? Quick, get the ACTING Commissioner a fainting coach!

The $430,000 Broad grant will go to training and professional development for Regional Achievement Centers, that will work with failing schools; and to "retain consultation" and improve the state Office of Charter Schools.
Hey, considering the scratch they ponied up before, I'd love to get "retained"! $2500 a day? Sign me up, baby!

What's that? Did I attend the Broad Academy? You mean that unaccredited program in California? No, I got a real degree in education. Oh... oh, I see... looks like I don't have the right pedigree...

Well, I'm sure I'll be able to get an interview at one of these Regional Achievement Centers. They sound awesome! What training will I get to help turn around a school?
Are you ready for one of the greatest professional challenges of your career?
  • World-class training led by national experts:
    • Three week RAC Summer Academy
    • Monthly professional development sessions
  • Regular constructive feedback and clear paths for career progression
WOW! Three whole weeks! And a "clear path for career progression"! I assume that path is away from teaching, but whatever...

This is the sort of arrogant, lazy-ass nonsense that could only come out of a place that views spending six weekends over ten months as an "academy." It is dismissive of the hard work and lifetime commitment of veteran educators. It is dismissive of teachers who enroll in serious academic programs at real colleges and universities and work hard to earn advanced degrees.

I hope I turn out to be completely wrong. I hope serious, committed, veteran educators staff these RAC's. I hope they bring a lifetime of experience serving children to this program. But I know exactly what's going to happen - and so does the NJ BOE...

The flunkies are coming.

The Broadies have already infested the NJDOE, and, just as Diane Ravitch predicted, they are spreading out around the state, via these RACs. The state BOE knows this; they welcome it. For them, cronyism is as much a part of New Jersey's heritage as salt water taffy.

We've been able to keep this crap out of schools - until now. But between Eli Broad's buying of the state education system, and the gutting of tenure, we are perilously close to a tipping point. Our schools are about to become the Tammany Halls of the 21st Century.

My kids are getting out just in time; we're blessed. They got to attend New Jersey's great schools just before they were destroyed by billionaires from out-of-state. Lord help the poor children who will have to endure this travesty in the years to come.


KR said...

Up here in Jersey City there's a "Town Hall" meeting with both Superintendent candidates on Friday June 15 at 6pm at P.S. 11. The candidates will only take questions provided to the BOE beforehand. If you want to see some fireworks come on up.

Deb said...

KR - thanks for posting this - we all need to share this kind of info and fill every room, every time! I will post it on Save Our Schools NJ too - are you a member? Find us on facebook!

Unknown said...

The Broadies have made the meaning of 'expert' meaningless.