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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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I am not saying that the district was run efficiently before Lyles. But she did not improve it and appears to have compounded it. The district had a $71 million shortfall before the budget cuts, when just a few years before it had almost that amount in reserves.

And when the district does take an action that will help eliminate some of the redundancies, such as removing the super's redundant or unqualified appointments, it's criticized because THOSE hires were supported by the downtown parents.

This board certainly does not have the hostility to the teachers' union as do some predecessors, but even board members endorsed by the union regularly have to clash with them. The recently negotiated union contract balances out even and included concessions on work rules that cost the district.


Remember the fit the union threw when the district moved out of the State School Employees Health Fund? The district saved approximately $11 million from that. The most outspoken board member against that move was the one NOT endorsed by the union.

This district has a lot of work to do, for sure, but it has made more improvements in the past 2 years than it had in the 20 before it.

Posted on: 7/11 0:21
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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JPhurst wrote:
The McNair kids previously were educated quite well and will continue to be so.

There is a serious funding issue due to the Sweeney Screwjob. Credit is due to the district for covering this year's gap, particularly because they had to cover the $71 million Lyles gap that occurred a year before the funding cuts even took place.

And Lyles's personnel policies were indeed part of the financial problem. Insisting on going outside to add superfluous hires and creating a praetorian guard of loyalists bloated the budget.


I'm not a defender of Lyles, but to paraphrase from a favorite Paddy Chayefsky movie, JC's District was a going brothel long before Lyles came to town. It's completely disingenuous to try and blame her for decades of failure and mismanagement. Her insiders cost what, $2m tops? In a budget of $600m!

The district has chronically shortchanged students and infrastructure to pay labor top dollar. Why should JC be paying the most in the state with other people's money? Because no one stopped them, including the state flunkies when they controlled the district. It seems the only thing worse than a manager who tries to take on the unions is one who doesn't.

And the McNair kids will thrive despite the school, not because of it. They're what makes it special. Drop them as a group in any school anywhere and they'd excel. My daughter has told me stories of teachers simply not showing up to class, and the students taking attendance and quietly doing their work.

Posted on: 7/10 22:06
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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The McNair kids previously were educated quite well and will continue to be so.

There is a serious funding issue due to the Sweeney Screwjob. Credit is due to the district for covering this year's gap, particularly because they had to cover the $71 million Lyles gap that occurred a year before the funding cuts even took place.

And Lyles's personnel policies were indeed part of the financial problem. Insisting on going outside to add superfluous hires and creating a praetorian guard of loyalists bloated the budget.

Posted on: 7/10 21:22
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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The above three posts all share a theme that in order to be truly effective, one has to harbor a sneering contempt of people with experience and community ties.


I do not have contempt for unions in general, just distrust of public unions where good faith bargaining is not really possible given the leverage politics gives labor. As a labor attorney you are hardly an uninterested party as I am.

Recognizing that talented, intelligent people can originate outside JC has been a major flaw of the unions. McCabe is not the only Ivy trained educator that has been forced out of McNair and the JC District. "Community ties and local experience" around here unfortunate more often than not means being part of a corrupt system. We are a city of 250k in a nation of >300m, excluding everyone not already indoctrinated in "JC ways" for management seems a road to hiring if not mediocrity, then certainly not the best available.

The fact that these management feuds and vendettas are the priority of the JCEA at a time when the system is failing to educate children and facing an existential funding crisis is illustrative of where their priorities lay.

Posted on: 7/10 20:30
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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The Board of Education must explain its actions.

Robin.


Not a good idea. The decision is, as Parents 4 Progress so sanctimoniously reminded us when Lyles was in charge, that of "Administration." The super makes it and it's not subject to approval/disapproval by the board (as opposed to the unqualified and patronage hires in central office that the board disapproved last year).

The principal, if she wishes, will have a right to a Donaldson hearing where she can get the reasons for termination and make an appeal to the board.

So if the board "explains its actions" it's probably setting itself up for a legal challenge, since it can't prejudge the matter via statements responding to critics. Then again, a lot of the leaks to the press and on social media are precisely designed for that, to bait board members into doing something that can then be challenged. Fortunately the ship runs tighter than that these days (Lyles supporters on the board and in staff sometimes leaked confidential documents such as privileged legal advice to the Jersey Journal in the hopes of getting a story to lean their way).

Posted on: 7/10 19:06
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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The above three posts all share a theme that in order to be truly effective, one has to harbor a sneering contempt of people with experience and community ties.

I am not personally familiar with the McNair principal. I have heard opinions from both sides. Critics of her go beyond the union and include parents and students, including some who I was rather surprised to see because it went against the expected political "form." On the other hand her supporters have uniformly been the ones who have contempt for unions and people who have worked there way up through the district as opposed to being plucked from somewhere else with a shiny pedigree. I am sure there are others out there but I haven't seen them.

Posted on: 7/10 18:59
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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And I echo the others on this posting: from personal experience over her tenure at McNair, I found Mrs. McCabe to be intelligent, committed, kind, empathetic, flexible, creative, and dogged in her work. She is both an intellectual and an educator. At the same time, in an environment that can be draining, she sought to encourage balance and perspective among the students.
I have had kids in the school since 2008. I have personally observed the deterioration of the school in the following ways:
1. Loss of talented, intelligent and committed faculty members;
2. Increase in faculty members and staff who have no intellectual ability or even interests and are even proud to boast about how they do nothing but get high salaries and benefits.
3. Increase in politicized faculty members-both for local and union issues as well as national and global issues.
4. An increase in outrageous and unprofessional behavior of staff and teachers who enlist students in their insubordination and disregard for standards.
McNair Academic will be history unless this is all reversed. The Board of Ed simply will not be satisfied with running failing schools at every level until it destroys McNair which has always stuck in its craw (notwithstanding the occasional plaudit). What a shame. I feel terrible for all the families with young children in the city- but especially the poor and first generation college bound. One can accomplish great things after graduating from St. Peter’s College or NJCU. But it is a lot easier to get on the road to greatness when one goes to MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Penn, Cornell, Stanford, Berkeley.

Posted on: 7/10 17:54
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Well said Brewster, I add my voice to yours as someone who has interacted with her personally and been impressed. I haven't met a parent who doesn't like her, I am sure they exist, but among my network of 20-30 parents, all like her.

I'd like to hear from these students who the teacher's union claim feel Ms. McCabe was disrespectful to them, my daughter and her friends like Ms. McCabe. What does "disrespect" (a horribly over and misused word) mean in this context? She is a principal in charge of a school, so has policies, rules and discipline to enforce, I am sure some students will end up at odds with her over some of these things, but "disrespect" implies some flagrant form of inappropriate behavior that I find difficult to imagine coming from the Ms. McCabe I interacted with.

If Ms. McCabe was to be laid off / position not extended, why on earth would this be handled by her being "escorted out of the building by security"? this how Jersey City handles its severances? This is not how a professional organization should handle it severances.

The Board of Education must explain its actions.

Robin.

Posted on: 7/9 23:53

Edited by tern on 2019/7/10 0:09:01
Edited by tern on 2019/7/10 0:18:26
Edited by tern on 2019/7/10 0:20:36
Edited by tern on 2019/7/10 0:21:12
Edited by tern on 2019/7/10 0:21:57
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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JPhurst wrote:
What basis have you determined that she was either good or smart?

Personal conversations with her and kids in the school.
Quote:

And how does "Cost saving measure" equate to "JCEA Assassination"?

See comments below published by JCEA on their Instagram page. Clearly she rubbed the wrong people the wrong way, and was shown the door for it at the 1st opportunity. This sounds like the immune system of the organism called the 'JCEA' has acted against a threat to "business as usual".

Resized Image

Low student morale is due to an overabundance of uninvolved and untrained teachers, and lack of basic resources. My daughter's Web Design class consisted entirely of Khan Academy while the "teacher" killed time. Teachers and janitors are basically the best paid in the nation while there's no money to print the student written magazine because the District funds extracurriculars in the bottom 10% of NJ peers.

We had an accomplished person with 2 Ivy degrees running our flagship school, who no doubt will be replaced by a proud grad of NJCU who was in a superfluous district job. And the district will continue to be run by and for the Union, any education being incidental to the mission.

Any observer of JC's municipal unions will notice this pattern of outside management hires being hounded as incompetent and morally bankrupt by the unions they were hired to manage. They only want "one of their own, who knows how things are done".

Posted on: 7/9 22:25
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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brewster wrote:

EDIT: Part of untenured staff laid off as a cost saving measure. A JCEA assassination. She was too good and smart for JC, where mediocrity is rewarded.


What basis have you determined that she was either good or smart?

And how does "Cost saving measure" equate to "JCEA Assassination"?

Posted on: 7/9 17:46
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Must be difficult for a public school principal, or police chief, to run their organisation as they don''t control raises and promotions.

Robin.

Posted on: 7/8 21:32
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Does anyone have a confirmation of the firing of Ms McCabe and why?

EDIT: Part of untenured staff laid off as a cost saving measure. A JCEA assassination. She was too good and smart for JC, where mediocrity is rewarded.

Posted on: 7/8 16:53

Edited by brewster on 2019/7/8 17:12:10
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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When my kids were at McNair, I got the impression that the issue with Ivies was paying for it, not admission. I'd heard of a number of kids who got it but didn't get nearly enough money so ended up going elsewhere.

Posted on: 7/8 12:18
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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When my kids were at McNair, I got the impression that the issue with Ivies was paying for it, not admission.

Posted on: 7/8 12:18
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Infinity is 49 and Liberty is 200. So as in any big city there’s a mix. When the top performing students go to test in schools McNair, Infinity, Liberty, High Tech, and County Prep, it’s hard for the regular high schools to have top test scores. My son is going to high school next year and there’s a lot of good choices. I did hear MCCabe was great and that 25 students got in to Ivy League schools this year. Parents told me she pushed kids to think of different college options and expand their horizons.

Posted on: 7/5 23:34
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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No, no. You tell us.

::grabs popcorn::

Quote:

tern wrote:
> Back to reality, of NJ’s 422 high schools, Snyder ranks 322, Dickinson 285, Ferris 345, and Lincoln 339.

And McNair is #1.

What does that tell you? Think about it

Robin.

Posted on: 7/3 22:17
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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> Back to reality, of NJ’s 422 high schools, Snyder ranks 322, Dickinson 285, Ferris 345, and Lincoln 339.

And McNair is #1.

What does that tell you? Think about it

Robin.

Posted on: 7/3 21:10
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Back to reality, of NJ’s 422 high schools, Snyder ranks 322, Dickinson 285, Ferris 345, and Lincoln 339.

Posted on: 7/2 17:39
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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...and Mrs. Finn. My sons adored her.

Posted on: 7/2 14:43
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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If this is true, it seems further evidence of the serious erosion of McNair's identity. My impression is that Mrs. McCabe took over at a critical time when the founding lights of McNair were retirning. Excellent teachers like Mr. Delo, Mr. Selby, Mr. Royster have left and been replaced by typical mediocrities. The departure of the old administration with the retirement of Slatery who had found a way to resist the constant gravitational pull of the JCBOE who resented it as elitist and constantly undermined it (except when basking it is amazing achievements). McNair may never have lived up to the hype, but it had managed to launch who have done amazingly well. My impression is that the negatives- disregard for the substance of education and over emphasis on test scores and Aps has increased while the faculty become increasingly self-absorbed, seeing themselves primarily as a bargaining unit for life time employment. Mrs. McCabe is bright, articulate, and kind woman who threw herself in to the job. Reign of terror- if anything , she lacked the necessary resolve to punish and retaliate against insolent and insubordinate employees.

Posted on: 7/1 21:33
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Magnet schools should be ranked with other magnet schools, not to those who accept all. What are the rankings for JC’s regular schools?

Posted on: 7/1 14:32
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Jersey City school administrators laid off, escorted out of buildings

"...“Reign of terror is over,” read one message from the JCEA’s private Facebook group. “McNair Academic High School Principal Kate McCabe was just escorted out of the building by security.”

The city’s BOE originally announced earlier in June that the plan to fill the $40 million budget gap and save most district jobs would mostly come from a new city payroll tax, savings from the district’s unemployment insurance program and a 2% school tax hike on residents.

“They played this narrative that the Jersey City public schools budget (crisis) was now over and it will all be fine,” Schapiro said. “The truth is, they manipulated the budget crisis to fire those who they wanted to fire.”

Sudhan Thomas, the school board president, justified the actions as necessary."

Posted on: 6/30 21:43
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Seems it is true, the trimphant message from Ron Greco was extremely bad form.

We really can't allow the teachers' union to weild this disproportionate power over the board, budget and policies.

We have to get parents to vote.

Robin.

Posted on: 6/30 4:32
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Are the rumours that Kate Mckade, principal of Mcnair, has been fired/pushed out correct?

I saw a copy of a message, purportedly from Ron Greco, head of the teachers' union, reveling in the 'fact'.

Is that genuine? I haven't seen anything about it online.

Robin.

Posted on: 6/29 20:07
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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McNair is a great school. Thee methodology of the ranking systems may not include schools that pick only top performers (McNair also completely diversifies the students they select as well) but McNair ranks high on almost every listing in the country.

I am sure it is impossible for any school to be the "best". But I can say that McNair is a fantastic school. Leave it to jclist's best to complain and moan (mwah mwah mwah!!!). You guys never cease to impress me.

Hurray for a successful education program that has been utterly devoid of hope. We should hope for more of the same if you plan on staying here for a little while.

McNair Graduate - 99

Posted on: 2009/12/4 2:22
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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ogden1 wrote:
Oh lighten up.
And why, when you have such disdain, would you send your kids there?


My disdain is for the list, not the school. The school is clearly the best public HS in JC, it's just not really one of the best basic unfiltered student body schools in the US because that's NOT what it is! Did you actually read the methodology I linked to, or just want to do the knee jerk thing?

We shouldn't be crowing about getting on this list with a bye, we should be embarrassed about being disqualified from being classed with the the great selective public schools around this country like Stuyvesant, their true peers.

Posted on: 2009/12/4 2:07
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Crazy_Chester wrote:
Given the way you write, I wouldn't have thought you went to any high school.


ZING!

Posted on: 2009/12/3 23:21
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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Oh lighten up.
And why, when you have such disdain, would you send your kids there?

Posted on: 2009/12/3 23:14
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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WOW. Practically all of the former posts are negative.
This is an honor for God's sake.
THIS IS A GOOD THING not something to be maligned
Why are you such a bunch of mean spirited, dour, souless individuals.
These are kids we are talking about here.
GOOD KIDS WHO DO WELL.
Stop the crap.


Make no mistake, I desperately want my kids to get in to McNair. I just am repulsed by naive cheering over an achievement that at the least needs a huge asterisk next to it. Having them in this list is like letting a high school baseball team play in the Little League because their batting average sucks so badly. I look forward to the day McNair's students achieve it's way OFF this list!

Posted on: 2009/12/3 23:07
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Re: McNair Academic Ranked #1 in NJ!
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go ogden!

Posted on: 2009/12/3 22:55
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