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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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murican wrote:

Comprehensive education reform includes...


There is only one way to make it work, - that is to return the choice in the hands of parents. Like the vauchers.

Until the people who get the goods and the people who decide the vendor and the payment are two different parties, - there will be NO progress, no chance.

Simple as that.


I know three reason NOT to go the vaucher way:
1. It is bad for the unions,
2. It offers no opportunity for graft to the politicos,
3. It violates the dream of "another brick in the wall" for those who want everyone to march in lockstep.

And then there is just one reason to do it: quality education for those who agree to get it.

Posted on: 2011/7/19 2:35
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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murican wrote:
All the usual buzz words.

Same old same old. School reform begins and ends with teachers- make tenure more difficult, merit pay aka reward good teachers, Teach for America model, etc., etc..

Obviously very well funded.

List of Executives
http://b4njkids.org/go.cfm?do=Page.Show&pid=2

Some well known locally.

Would have more respect for them if they recognized that education especially urban education is a complex issue and does not begin and end with teachers.

Comprehensive education reform includes comprehensive urban reform: support for parents and students (psychologically, economically, educationally), community access to good nutrition, providing adequate housing and safety within communities, providing support for related community organizations : libraries, after-school centers, day-care, community recreational centers, training centers and scholarships for youth and adults, stimulation of businesses and economy within communities etc.

I would feel better about these types of organizations if they fought for our politicians's accountability, and our financial system's accountability (Wall Street, banks) all of which seem to conspire to eradicate the middle class and make the working poor poorer.

But it is so much easier to attack a straw man (all those [bad] teachers and the evil unions.

My 2cents

PS.
And they have ads on jclist!


I'm sorry, but where do you think the middle class came from? Capitalist ideas did give way to some people having more than others. But I for one am glad we aren't hunting or gathering - even if that was more "fair." I like tampons and TVs, even if my TV isn't as big as someone else's. No one said it was the fairest system, just that it produces the best outcome overall.

It is a holistic problem and it will take many things to change - I agree with your ideas about the things we should tackle. But there is also some low hanging fruit and I actually respect an organization that can focus on 1 or 2 clear goals and accomplish them. In a business world you don't think of every possible thing you can do and start executing on them all. You pick one or two things do it well and then move to the next thing.

What is wrong with tenure? Well if you didn't have to do much of anything to keep your job - would you? Maybe you are a much better person than I am. The original purpose of tenure was to protect teachers from getting fired for teaching controversial ideas. What it has been bastardized to do is serve as a way to protect anyone from getting fired unless they have really horrible egregious offenses. (Talk to teachers that everyone knows to be the good teachers and MANY behind closed doors will tell you they don't like the outcome of tenure.) What's worse? There are good teachers who get laid off in economic hard times all because they aren't tenured. Do you want the tenured teacher teaching your child or could you care less and only care that the best teacher teaching your kids? The LIFO system in place today guarantees that you get the tenured teacher regardless of performance or ability.

Posted on: 2011/7/18 20:37
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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DanL wrote:
@ShelleySkinner

congrats and good luck in your new position

my question is now answered, B4K is coming to JC. My skepticism is about and use of PACs (Political Action Committees) and their undue influence on campaign finance and elections.

however, I'd be happy to to look over the mailer and send you (email) some "skeptic's" questions, maybe on "how to's?" relating to the group's objectives and goals that you could be anticipating anyway.

also, feel free to reach out and call or email me.




So - what about the undo political influence of the teacher's union? If it takes a PAC to level the playing field than I am all for it.

Posted on: 2011/7/18 20:14
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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Sure there are issues with the teachers union, but the main reason kids are not learning is due to the parents - plain and simple.

Posted on: 2011/7/18 19:21
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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ShelleySkinner wrote:
Dan- My offer is still open to discuss. If you are skeptical I am not sure what you lose by actually talking to someone in the organization.

Shelley Skinner
201-978-1474


You're in bed with Christie and his agenda. That should say enough.

What do you lose by talking?

Ask Ray LaHood, the federal Secretary of Transportation who spoke with Christie about ARC.

Ask Steve Sweeney about his discussion with Christie over the budget.

Ask Dave Pringle of the New Jersey Environmental Federation...

New Jersey's public employees union...

Who else got #OOPS#ed by just talking to Christie? Have you ever heard the story of the snake and the scorpion trying to cross the river? (Hint: Christie is the scorpion).

Posted on: 2011/7/18 18:19
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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Dan- I'll reach out. Looking forward to chatting.

Be well.


Shelley Skinner

Posted on: 2011/7/18 16:11
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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@ShelleySkinner

congrats and good luck in your new position

my question is now answered, B4K is coming to JC. My skepticism is about and use of PACs (Political Action Committees) and their undue influence on campaign finance and elections.

however, I'd be happy to to look over the mailer and send you (email) some "skeptic's" questions, maybe on "how to's?" relating to the group's objectives and goals that you could be anticipating anyway.

also, feel free to reach out and call or email me.


Quote:

ShelleySkinner wrote:
Dan- My offer is still open to discuss. If you are skeptical I am not sure what you lose by actually talking to someone in the organization.

Shelley Skinner
201-978-1474

Posted on: 2011/7/18 16:04
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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just checked - yes Christie's Ed Secr not only worked for Edison, he was its head:

[From NJ.com article:

"Christie?s acting education commissioner, Christopher Cerf, has experience in public-private school partnerships. He previously led Edison Schools, a for-profit company that became the largest private-sector manager of public schools. Cerf left the company, now called EdisonLearning, in 2005.

Christie is also connected to for-profit education companies, including Cerf?s.

From 1999 to 2001, Christie was a registered lobbyist at a law firm that lobbied New Jersey government on behalf of Edison Schools, according to filings with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission. While the firm was representing the multinational education company, Chris Cerf was its general counsel.

The firm, Dughi, Hewit and Palatucci, also represented Mosaica Education, a for-profit charter school operator, and the University of Phoenix, a for-profit online university. At the time, the firm listed two lobbyists, Christie and William Palatucci, a longtime political ally of the governor who is a named partner in the firm."

----------------------------

So don't tell me that Christie and the interests of his band of merry "reformers" aren't profit motivated. Dan Levin, I echo your sentiments --"Wolf-in sheeps clothing" indeed.

Posted on: 2011/7/18 2:46
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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i am highly skeptical when you have for-profit corporations throwing around catch phrases designed to mask the fact that education and its reform are for some all about big business.
Look at Edison schools, where,I believe Ed. Com. Chris Cerf worked years ago -- it was an failure -- Edison is no longer in the business of setting up schools, but produces textbooks and school materials. And in fact, one of Edison's original schools here in JC, Schomburg Charter, flailed on so many levels, including test scores, not to mention a ridiculous rate of teacher and principal turnover -- what does that say about the work atmosphere? And how is continued turnover good for students?

Despite influx of contributions from wealthy benefactors, and several charter schools promised in Newark, now disbanded according to last weeks news articles. . .

When you have schools where parents are highly motivated and have the time and arguably,luxury, of getting regularly involved (eg Learning Community, Elysian) the test scores reflect that. All the suggested changes (merit pay, no tenure, etc) by groups like B4K fail to address the underlying issues present in an urban area.

Moreover,wasn't Skinner was alligned with Christie, served on his education transition team. Don't tell me that Christie is a proponent of public education -- if he had his way, vouchers would in, religious schools funded by public monies, state-funded pre-school and afterschool programs by the wayside, etc.
The affiliation with Christie by itself makes me wary of the group.

Sorry, that's how I see it.

Posted on: 2011/7/18 2:30
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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Dan- My offer is still open to discuss. If you are skeptical I am not sure what you lose by actually talking to someone in the organization.

Shelley Skinner
201-978-1474

Posted on: 2011/7/18 2:03
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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reading up on it more only increases my skepticism -

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011 ... und_leaders_create_g.html

N.J. hedge fund leaders create group to financially back education reforms supported by Gov. Christie

Published: Friday, June 24, 2011, 7:30 AM Updated: Friday, June 24, 2011, 4:40 PM
By Star-Ledger Staff The Star-Ledger
Jerry McCrea/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON ? A new political action group started by two New Jersey hedge-fund financiers aims to put money ? a lot of money ? behind an education reform agenda shared by Gov. Chirs Christie and reviled by the state?s largest teachers union.

Formed in March, Better Education for Kids promotes teacher evaluations based on student test scores and tenure that is harder to get and harder to keep, issues the New Jersey Education Association has been spending millions to battle against.

The group?s founders, David Tepper and Alan Fournier, first met as co-workers at Appaloosa Management, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund started by Tepper. Fournier now has his own fund, Pennant Capital Management, but the two are partnering once again in a bid to improve New Jersey?s public schools.

They say now is the right time and Christie is a dynamic leader.

"My mother was a public school teacher in Pittsburgh, and I attended public school in Pittsburgh," Tepper said. "I know as well as anyone that having a good education system is vitally important to the future of our country."

Better Education for Kids is entering the fray as private organizations are poised to play a larger role in education in New Jersey. Christie wants more charter schools, and he?s pushing legislation that would allow private companies to take over struggling public schools.

Last week, the fledgling group launched a $1 million campaign to advertise its mission and solicit donations. Unlike traditional non-profits, Better Education for Kids is a type of non-profit not required to disclose its donors.

Though the group cannot formally coordinate its work with lawmakers, it will be advised by two of the state?s top political consultants: Mike DuHaime, a Republican strategist with close ties to Christie, and Jamie Fox, a Democrat who served as former Gov. James E. McGreevey?s chief of staff.

DuHaime and Fox declined to comment.

Derrell Bradford, the group?s executive director, said Better Education for Kids will push for policy changes that "put students first" and take on what it considers the biggest opponent to those types of changes ? the New Jersey Education Association.

Bradford previously served as executive director of Excellent Education for Everyone, a traditional non-profit that advocated for the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a bill that would give students in failing public schools vouchers to attend private schools.

"In the past, the NJEA has been more organized and had more money to spend on messaging and candidate support than any other player," Bradford said. "We aim to change that, and we are in it for the long haul."

The teachers union and the governor have been locked in a bitter battle over the types of reforms Better Education for Kids and the governor both support since he took office. Christie has called the union leadership greedy and intractable, and in response, the union spent $6.6 million last year attacking the governor?s state aid cuts.

The union has launched several ad campaigns this year whose total cost tops $7 million, said NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer, including one campaign accusing Christie of supporting millionaires while shafting public schools,

Wollmer said Better Education for Kids is part of a national movement to "push corporate education reform that aims not to improve education, but to attack unions."

The group is not the first to advocate an agenda aligned with Christie?s. Last year, Reform Jersey Now, a group run by Christie?s top advisers, used mailings, phone calls and radio ads to promote the governor?s proposal to cap the annual growth of property taxes.

Bradford said Better Education for Kids has no formal budget yet.

Rutgers Newark law professor Paul Tractenberg said organizations not required to disclose their financial backers are dangerous for the future of New Jersey?s public schools, especially when the group appears to have an unlimited amount of money to spend on its advocacy.

"I?m increasingly alarmed by the many ways the line between public and private education decision making and reform efforts seems to be a line that?s blurring," Tractenberg said. "The more big, private money is brought to bear on public opinion regarding these issues, the more problematic that is."

By Jessica Calefati and Chris Megerian/The Star-Ledger



Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Quote:

DanL wrote:
received this weekend what looks to be a large (expensive) mail drop from B4K - Better Education for Kids on school reform and rejecting teacher's union interests.

wondering if this is a cute name for a wolf in sheep's clothing .... disclosure in small writing states not associated with any candidates or political party ....


Why not read up on it more and do some homework before making incendiary insinuations? And would you have thought better of it if it had been printed in crayon on a used paper plate and hand delivered to five people than what you have judged to be "expensive"? What was your process in determining the size of the mail drop?

Posted on: 2011/7/18 1:25
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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ShelleySkinner wrote:

I agree with the sentiment that there are many challenges in providing children with a great education in inner city school districts.


We could solve the "inner city" school challenges simply by regionalizing school districts with wealthy, white suburban districts. No one would be talking about cutting abbot funding then.

Posted on: 2011/7/17 23:05
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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Dan- I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you as I am the Deputy Director for B4K.

I agree with the sentiment that there are many challenges in providing children with a great education in inner city school districts. School leadership is critical, a positive school climate that sets high expectations for students and of course community engagement. Good education policy is incredibly pro-teacher but these conversations regretfully devolve into simple rhetoric and less substance. And yes great teachers are important.

Many would probably be surprised to hear that I have a good relationship with the JCEA, we don't agree on everything but we agree on much more than we disagree on.

Again, I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you, or anyone else who is interested in what we are doing. 201-978-1474.


Shelley Skinner

Posted on: 2011/7/17 22:32
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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DanL wrote:
received this weekend what looks to be a large (expensive) mail drop from B4K - Better Education for Kids on school reform and rejecting teacher's union interests.

wondering if this is a cute name for a wolf in sheep's clothing .... disclosure in small writing states not associated with any candidates or political party ....


Why not read up on it more and do some homework before making incendiary insinuations? And would you have thought better of it if it had been printed in crayon on a used paper plate and hand delivered to five people than what you have judged to be "expensive"? What was your process in determining the size of the mail drop?

Posted on: 2011/7/17 16:22
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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I received this, too, and was wondering who was behind it. I thought that leaving out the responsibility of school administration (ie; ineffective school boards and superintendents) was a pretty glaring omission. Not to mention that our NJASK testing system is a complete sham.

We cannot simply lay everything on the backs of teachers. In many of our county's schools, there is a complete abdication of parental responsibility as well. I don't think tenure is the biggest issue to tackle, nor the major underlying problem in our public school system.

Posted on: 2011/7/17 15:57
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Re: B4K coming to JC?
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All the usual buzz words.

Same old same old. School reform begins and ends with teachers- make tenure more difficult, merit pay aka reward good teachers, Teach for America model, etc., etc..

Obviously very well funded.

List of Executives
http://b4njkids.org/go.cfm?do=Page.Show&pid=2

Some well known locally.

Would have more respect for them if they recognized that education especially urban education is a complex issue and does not begin and end with teachers.

Comprehensive education reform includes comprehensive urban reform: support for parents and students (psychologically, economically, educationally), community access to good nutrition, providing adequate housing and safety within communities, providing support for related community organizations : libraries, after-school centers, day-care, community recreational centers, training centers and scholarships for youth and adults, stimulation of businesses and economy within communities etc.

I would feel better about these types of organizations if they fought for our politicians's accountability, and our financial system's accountability (Wall Street, banks) all of which seem to conspire to eradicate the middle class and make the working poor poorer.

But it is so much easier to attack a straw man (all those [bad] teachers and the evil unions.

My 2cents

PS.
And they have ads on jclist!

Posted on: 2011/7/17 14:33
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B4K coming to JC?
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received this weekend what looks to be a large (expensive) mail drop from B4K - Better Education for Kids on school reform and rejecting teacher's union interests.

wondering if this is a cute name for a wolf in sheep's clothing .... disclosure in small writing states not associated with any candidates or political party ....

Posted on: 2011/7/17 4:13
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