Sunday Leftovers

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Asbury-Park Press Votes “No” on Preschools:

Corzine’s determination to go ahead with a preschool expansion is “unconscionable in this economic climate” and Davy’s excitement is derided as “positively giddy.” Here’s the full editorial, which gets the illogic right but misses the real agenda of the preschool initiative, which is undermine the necessity of the Abbott districts.

Nicholas Kristof Gives Some Love to Michelle Rhee:

Yesterday’s New York Times features a Kristof op-ed in which he quotes the D.C. education reformer:

“Public education is supposed to be the great equalizer in this country,” Ms. Rhee said, adding, “That’s not the reality we have in D.C.” Instead, she said, children who grow up in Georgetown and those who grow up in the poor, mostly black neighborhood of Anacostia “get two wildly different educational experiences. There’s a lot of data showing that we’re utterly failing our children in this district.”

Hmmm. Rhee could be talking about the educational opportunities offered to children who grow up in Short Hills Montgomery or Mountain Lakes compared to those who grow up in the poor, mostly black neighborhood of, say, Newark or Paterson or Trenton.

Federal Stimulus Education Dollars:

Some Rich Districts Get Richer as Aid is Rushed to Schools,” in today’s New York Times, profiles two districts in Wyoming, where the one that already supplies laptops to all fourth-graders gets more cash per student than the one that struggles with basic supplies.

Ugly Accusations Fly at Hamilton Board Meeting:

In Mercer County’s Hamilton school district, charges of nepotism disrupted a recent board meeting. See this Trenton Times piece.

The Cost of Home Rule, Police Department Division:

The New York Times’ Peter Coyne reports
on the growing financial drag on local towns:

The union that represents about three-quarters of the state’s law enforcement officers disagrees. “Overall, I don’t see the mass number of awards or people getting these awards that shows it’s a problem,” said James Ryan, spokesman for the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association. “One of the things I worry about with these economic conditions is that, the way we’re set up in New Jersey, with so many small towns, the biggest expense in any municipal budget is typically going to be your police department, so it’s very easy to pick on.”

New DOE Program Makes Teachers Out of Unemployed Math and Science Whizzes:

The Times of Trenton lauds the DOE’s new Alternative Route Program, which allows non-teachers with expertise in math and science to fast-track themselves to public school teaching positions. Too bad it’s a pilot program with only 25 slots, but it’s a step in the right direction.

And Paul Mulshine Has a Field Day With the Costs of Public Education in NJ:

I think everyone in the audience [at a Republican meeting in Morristown] knew instinctively what I know from mathematical study: Public education is an economic failure and would go out of business if it were in the private sector.

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