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Re: Board of Education elections
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Posted on: 11/28 18:10
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Ricardson had Ethics training prior to breaking the rules he was well aware of all in his first year. Yes, you are correct he missed the key BoE meeting and intently took unilateral action as a board member. That is just plain wrong and inexcusable.

Posted on: 11/7 17:18
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Quote:

bryler wrote:
Which candidates has Fulop endorsed for the BOE?



Endorced by Team Fulop:
Amy DeGise 1J
Yousef Saleh 2J
Matthew Schapiro 3J
David Miranda 6J

Posted on: 11/7 6:27
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Which candidates has Fulop endorsed for the BOE?

Posted on: 11/6 23:16
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Rather than edit I am going to modify my statement above. Saying the State DOE wanted Lyles all along is too strong a statement. When it came down to her and the other finalists, she was the clearly expressed preference of the state. If the state could have installed someone by fiat it probably would have been someone else. But commissioner Cerf knew Lyles, was comfortable with her, and was not shy in having the board know that, particularly if they wanted to take the next steps toward local control.

Posted on: 11/6 22:46
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Re: Board of Education elections
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I have had my issues with Richardson, but I find the ethics charges against him to be vindictive. I say that even though the state has given the go ahead to investigate them.

Lyles's contract was renewed by default because the board could not get a quorum to vote on it. Richardson joined the JCEA and other residents in filing an administrative complaint saying that the renewal process was improper and asked the state to force the board to hold an actual vote. That complaint was ultimately dismissed, as it was found that the law required default renewal of the super's contract.

The decision upholding the ethics complaint says that Richardson was acting against the interests of the board, and acting in a way that did not represent the board. This rationale is bizarre. Essentially, if a board member feels that he or she is being deprived of her right as a board member, this decision says he or she has no recourse. If action were taken in violation of the open public meetings requirement, this decision says that a dissenting board member could not file a complaint and say "no, you have to do it the right way."

This, by the way, is another problem with P4P. They routinely tried to quash dissent or disagreement by invoking of the ethics code. Want to raise a complaint that you have heard in hundreds of emails to parents? Don't you dare raise it at a board meeting, ethics requires you privately raise it with Dr. Lyles. Have a suggestion for curriculum or policy not proposed by the superintendent? Don't you dare raise it at a board meeting. That is "administration" and you may only humbly and privately suggest it to Dear Dr. Lyles. The code of ethics does not require that, but it was repeatedly used as a threat against other board members.

Let me make clear. Richardson was wrong on the merits when he challenged the renewal without a vote. It came across as particularly hypocritical since he was one of the absent board members at the key meeting. He also can be overly confrontational towards others. But you don't try to ruin someone by invoking ethics charges over disagreement over the renewal of the superintendent, which is the most important thing a board does. And I stand by that even though the Christie run Department of Education (which wanted Lyles in all along) ruled against Richardson.

Posted on: 11/6 21:52
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Richardson also had ethics charges filed agaist him while on the board. Just google his name and notice the first few links that come up prominatelty above all else.

As for B4k and Shelley Skinner, they are big promoters of charter schools which many wrongly equate with being anti union (as well as incorrectly thinking they are private schools). The fact is, there are many, if not all charter schools in Jersey City which are unionized, including the school Ms Skinners kids attended while she was on that charter school's board.

Posted on: 11/6 19:09
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Re: Board of Education elections
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That’s about what I expected. The union’s negotiating tactics had a lot to do with the protracted nature of that process. And “they advocated for vouchers and charter expansion to the detriment of the public school system” is the overblown boogeyman argument, not to mention open to debate as for efficacy.

And although you didn’t address them - I wouldn’t think you’d believe Valentin and Richardson to be suitable school board members.

Posted on: 11/6 18:40
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Quote:

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JPhurst wrote:
Dr. Lyles simply did not turn the district around herself, or just with the help of the mommy mafia.


I didn't suggest that it was Dr. Lyles alone. Let's be honest though - the union has brought us retrograde candidates such as Angel Valentin and Lorenzo Richardson, the latter of whom should have been locked up for the terroristic stunts he pulled at board meetings prior to his election.

And you love to say "hedge funders" over and over and paint B4K as the boogeyman - but what is it that they did in Jersey City that hurt students or made education worse? Answer that as a parent of two children in the JC public schools and not a labor union attorney...


They advocated policies that included vouchers and expansion of charters to the detriment of the public school system. They were not effective enough to implement these policies, but that was due to pushback.

The board was unable to reach a contract so that the teachers went working on an expired contract for multiple years.

They reflexively said "I support Dr. Lyles" to the point where those votes were close to a rubber stamp without oversight.

And on a more granular level, I found the people who supported P4P constantly trying to stick their nose into school business. Plenty of involved parents do that, and overdo it, sometimes. But they definitely had the attitude that they should influence or have say in things like which teacher replaced who, etc.

"It's all for the children" after all.

Posted on: 11/6 17:29
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
Dr. Lyles simply did not turn the district around herself, or just with the help of the mommy mafia.


I didn't suggest that it was Dr. Lyles alone. Let's be honest though - the union has brought us retrograde candidates such as Angel Valentin and Lorenzo Richardson, the latter of whom should have been locked up for the terroristic stunts he pulled at board meetings prior to his election.

And you love to say "hedge funders" over and over and paint B4K as the boogeyman - but what is it that they did in Jersey City that hurt students or made education worse? Answer that as a parent of two children in the JC public schools and not a labor union attorney...

Posted on: 11/6 17:20
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Re: Board of Education elections
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is there a positions statement somewhere from each of the candidates...this would be helpful

Posted on: 11/6 15:45
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Thanks to you both for your thoughtful, reasonable endorsements of our campaign and/or my candidacy. That's not to paper over the several disagreements I have within Mr. Parkhurst's recounting but those can wait until after the election. For now please accept my genuine appreciation.

Posted on: 11/5 14:57
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Re: Board of Education elections
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jimbehrle wrote:
Nah. I'm voting for Ali. I was gonna vote for you, too. But I find this post a little heavy-handed. I'll vote for de geise, Saleh and Lyons.


You probably lack the history to understand that the things Matt points out understate the danger posed by JCEA’s control of the board. There was a brief window at the beginning of the decade when activists like Matt helped get people like Ellen Simon and Sangeeta Ranade elected to the board. They were parents who were faced with a failing public school system, long ago taken over by the state and viewed by the local political establishment as a jobs bank for supporters and a piggy bank from which to offer fat contracts to their coroporate donors. They loved their community and didn’t want to have to leave Jersey City order for their kids to get a decent education - as many had before them.

Real progress was made in a short period of time - a new superintendent was brought in to implement needed improvements, test scores and graduation rates begin to rise, accompanied by optimism that the school district had turned the corner. However, progress came at a steep price. The old guard fought reform every step of the way - board meetings would escalate to near riots on a fairly regular basis.

Unfortunately, that promising chapter ended a couple years ago when a reinvigorated JCEA, flush with cash from the NJEA and heavy local political support, tipped the scales back to the prior status quo. No one with any interest in Jersey City should want to see our schools continue to retreat. Matt Schapiro has worked tirelessly for many years to help get dedicated, intelligent, progressive candidates elected to the board and has more knowledge of what goes on at the board than any two other candidates. I am proud to call Matt a friend and will eagerly vote for him, David and Yousef on Tuesday.


It was also the decision of that group to start taking money from B4KNJ, an education advocacy group funded by hedge fund interests.

Let's back up a bit. The first year of this, Fulop basically ran the slate and cross endorsed with the union (2 of 3 seats). Fulop stepped back a bit the next year, and allowed a committee of people that included Candice Osborne to direct the process. The union, without being that involved (it was Favia's last year) endorsed it too.

The next year, when Sangeeta ran with Vidya Gangadin and Marilyn Roman, Fulop endorsed but was not really involved. Ellen Simon was the head of what was called "Parents For Progress" and it was under her that the group made the decision to start taking B4KNJ's money. Former Fulop supporter Shelly Skinner was now with B4K, and told at least one parent advocate that the aim was to destroy the teacher''s union.

The response from P4P members was "It doesn't matter, we know we can't be bought. We're doing this for the children." That last sentence became a common sanctimonious refrain whenever anyone questioned anything that they did. It was at this point that the union split with the group. Partly from the decidedly anti-union message that comes part and parcel with B4K, and partly because JCEA became more feisty with Favia being replaced by Ronnie Greco.

The next election was the first one after Fulop's election. Ellen Simon stepped down from P4P. And, surprise, the new leadership of P4P endorsed....Ellen Simon for Board of Education! Of course, they insisted, that there was no favoritism involved and that each candidate was evaluated on their merits. They made their decision "for the children." Don't you dare question it.

The union had a favored slate of candidates but did not endorse. With contract negotiations going on, there was the threat of any union endorsed member being disqualified from voting. P4P again took the hedge fund money. Despite this, they had an awful lot of trouble. Two of their candidates won relatively handily because they were listed under the Democratic candidates in the partisan elections (this was the first year of November school board elections, and the ballot was not well designed). But Ellen Simon, the most prominent member of the ticket, barely scraped past Lorenzo Richardson.


At this point P4P dominated the board, and Dr. Lyles and her staff treated the union, and for that matter any dissenters, with contempt. P4P's selection process became far more insular and dominated by the downtown moms, as opposed to the diverse constituencies that were the case under Fulop.

Finally JCEA said "enough is enough" and heavily backed the candidates in 2014. Even with hedge fund money, P4P's candidates got smoked. P4P disbanded thereafter, because it was always a house of cards. Without Fulop's support, they were not able to generate significant grassroots support to replace it. The hedge fund money could only take them so far.

The above is only a summary. I will have to disagree with my good friend and neighbor T-Bird on the trajectory of the Board of Ed and the School District. Dr. Lyles simply did not turn the district around herself, or just with the help of the mommy mafia. Work had been done years before that started to bear fruit. Dr. Lyles has done some good things, and continues to do some good things. Her inability to communicate with anyone she perceives as adversarial is problematic but she does have plenty of skills. So do the teachers and principals and administrators that have contributed to the turnaround. And the JCEA endorsed candidates are not, despite what people say, JCEA controlled candidates. But yeah, working with a group that has pledged to destroy them will PROBABLY lead to them seeking another candidate.

Anyway, I think the best way to approach this Board of Education election is to filter all the inside politics out, despite the fact that former P4P leadership desperately try to make themselves relevant by bad mouthing other board members, trying to retrieve court records of private matters to smear other board members, and otherwise trying to relive glory days that were never really theirs.

As John points out, Matt helped the P4P candidates. I was on the other side from him in last year's board election, but I will give him tremendous credit for putting together a credible slate more or less on his own. Yes, they did get the hedge fund support (as independent expenditures), but they ran a good race, and are running a good race this year.

I will probably split my ticket, although the sanctimony and negativity of former P4P has really tempted me to vote straight union out of spite. But at the end of the day, spite is not a good reason to vote. So even though some people supporting him have acted like complete assholes, I won't hold that against Matt.

I will add that I really like Mussab Ali for the 1 year term. He ran with another recent graduate last year, with no institutional support, and impressed supporters and opponents alike with his smarts and his class.

Posted on: 11/4 22:55
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Quote:

jimbehrle wrote:
Nah. I'm voting for Ali. I was gonna vote for you, too. But I find this post a little heavy-handed. I'll vote for de geise, Saleh and Lyons.


You probably lack the history to understand that the things Matt points out understate the danger posed by JCEA’s control of the board. There was a brief window at the beginning of the decade when activists like Matt helped get people like Ellen Simon and Sangeeta Ranade elected to the board. They were parents who were faced with a failing public school system, long ago taken over by the state and viewed by the local political establishment as a jobs bank for supporters and a piggy bank from which to offer fat contracts to their coroporate donors. They loved their community and didn’t want to have to leave Jersey City order for their kids to get a decent education - as many had before them.

Real progress was made in a short period of time - a new superintendent was brought in to implement needed improvements, test scores and graduation rates begin to rise, accompanied by optimism that the school district had turned the corner. However, progress came at a steep price. The old guard fought reform every step of the way - board meetings would escalate to near riots on a fairly regular basis.

Unfortunately, that promising chapter ended a couple years ago when a reinvigorated JCEA, flush with cash from the NJEA and heavy local political support, tipped the scales back to the prior status quo. No one with any interest in Jersey City should want to see our schools continue to retreat. Matt Schapiro has worked tirelessly for many years to help get dedicated, intelligent, progressive candidates elected to the board and has more knowledge of what goes on at the board than any two other candidates. I am proud to call Matt a friend and will eagerly vote for him, David and Yousef on Tuesday.

Posted on: 11/4 9:07
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Re: Board of Education elections
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jimbehrle wrote:
Are charter schools good or bad


Well.. a lot parents think choice is a good thing...

http://blog.nj.com/njv_tom_moran/2012 ... _top_nj_charter_scho.html


This was lottery night at Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City. The K-8 school had 30 openings to fill.

The problem: Roughly 1,000 families applied to fill them. Hundreds of them streamed into the auditorium to watch the process live, even though results soon would be posted online.



DeGise on Charter Schools (from the Jersey City Reporter)

DeGise said the district needs to be vigilant against the expansion of charter schools.

“We need to put everything into our public school system,” she said. “Charter schools do not respect teachers or students. They have few people of color, special needs children or those poor children who qualify for free lunch programs. They say they have a lottery system, but it’s not a real lottery.”

She said public officials do not have control over charter school calendars, or how they teach.

“They take public money but are not accountable,” she said.



Posted on: 11/3 18:13
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Are charter schools good or bad

Posted on: 11/3 17:49
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Re: Board of Education elections
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jimbehrle wrote:
So far in BOE I'm voting for:

Mussab Ali and Amy De Geise

Anyone else any good?



Both are very anti charter schools.

Posted on: 11/3 17:22
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Re: Board of Education elections
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Nah. I'm voting for Ali. I was gonna vote for you, too. But I find this post a little heavy-handed. I'll vote for de geise, Saleh and Lyons.

Posted on: 11/3 17:00
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Re: Board of Education elections
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I can definitely sympathize with the inability to find good info on us BOE candidates. There's a lot more going on electorally this year than there usually is.

The JCBOE is a nine-member board. Currently 8 of those 9 were elected by the JCEA, the teachers' union. 7 of those 9 vote as a block as they did in September when they voted down the standard nepotism policy expected of every NJ school board, for example.

This year there is an opportunity to shift the board back to one represented by community members and residents and not unions.

I am the only parent of public school students running in the race and have substantive board experience as former prez of the HPNA and DCNA and member of the boards for Liberty Humane, Temple BethEl, and many other orgs. I've lived in JC for 20yrs, currently in Hamilton Park, and work as a consultant with private and institutional clients in NJ and NYC.

David Miranda grew up in JC and graduated from County Prep, NJCU and is earning his Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy at Seton Hall. He is a professional audit and risk manager in NYC.

In my opinion, David has exactly the background we need for the fiscal challenges in store for the school district. That and his wry wit are why we are running together.

I also think independent candidate, Yousef Saleh, is worthy of your vote. He is an attorney who grew up in Jersey City and has been president of the student body at McNair, Rutgers U, and Rutgers Law School. His intelligence and energy will serve the board very well.

The JCEA is running a negative campaign against the three of us and we could use all the support we can muster. It's not easy running against the most well-funded special interest group in the state of NJ. And when they run our school district, there are real negative consequences for our students and classrooms.

Mussab Ali was an independent candidate last year and spoke vocally about JCEA corruption but all that has changed now that he has their endorsement this time around. He has eschewed his independence for political expedience. That's another reason I support David Miranda for the one-year seat over Mr. Ali and recommend all do the same.

This is but one biased opinion on the state of the race but will try to check in and answer questions here if anybody has them. Otherwise check out #JerseyCityUnited2017 on FB and Insta.

Thanks!

Posted on: 11/3 16:51
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Re: Board of Education elections
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What Jersey City school board candidates have to say about election


Posted on: 11/2 19:21
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Board of Education elections
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Does anyone know if there is a webpage/pages/articles about the actual platforms of the candidates running for the Board of Ed?

I've searched for a few individual names and it seems all they have are facebook pages without much substance.

This article has nothing of substance either: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... rsey_city_school_boa.html

I have often found info on School Board candidates hard info to find and wind up skipping that line on the ballot because i refuse to cast an uninformed vote. I'd prefer to have the info to enable me to vote.

Posted on: 10/28 7:26
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