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Re: Morning Murder at LSP Light Rail Station
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Home away from home


Not everyone can enter the car park...was the attacker driving?

Posted on: 2009/1/8 14:59
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Re: Morning Murder at LSP Light Rail Station
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So the Light Rail is responsible if a random crime happens at its station, but the city is not responsible if it happens 20 years away? How does this make sense? Do people sue the city when a crime occurs on Newark Avenue?

Posted on: 2009/1/7 23:50
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Re: Morning Murder at LSP Light Rail Station
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Whether or not we can "isolate" the mentally ill who might become dangerous has nothing to do with whether NJ Transit is any way legally or even morally liable for what happened here. Surely no one is suggesting that NJ Transit knew or should have known that this individual was a danger and did nothing to prevent the attack.

Posted on: 2009/1/7 19:26
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Re: A tax-free reimbursement of $240 per year - just for riding your bike to work?
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Home away from home


How about those of us who just walk?

Posted on: 2009/1/5 14:26
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Re: Ethical Community Charter School Informational Meetings
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Home away from home


Best of luck to you and your school.

Karen
Founding parent and former board member
LCCS

Posted on: 2009/1/1 23:59
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Re: Woman attacked heading to work on 2nd and Colgate
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Home away from home


Just CYA jargon. As the act was not completed, it's only an "attempt" -- and sometimes the intent has to be inferred. Same reason why some knucklehead who gets caught red-handed with loot is called the "alleged perpetrator."

Posted on: 2008/12/31 20:05
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Re: Downtown: Car damaged by shots fired in dispute
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Office building? What office buildings are there on York between Varick and Monmouth?

Posted on: 2008/12/30 20:17
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Re: JC Math Teacher/Coach Arrested for "Relationship" with 16 Year Old
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No, pedophilia pertains to pre-pubescent children, not teens.

Posted on: 2008/12/30 13:46
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Re: Times of Trenton Op-Ed: Achieve parity for Abbott schools
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And I'm sure that the charter schools in Abbott districts will once again be excluded from any Abbott funding. No Abbott funding, less than the per pupil allocation from the state, and paying for their own facilities. And yet the waiting lists at some charter schools get longer every year.

Posted on: 2008/12/26 14:58
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Re: One iguana lives, the other perishes in Jersey City fire
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The reason is to explain the owner's question about what he owes the fire department. I assumed from the question that in that man's country he would have to pay the fire department for saving his house.

Posted on: 2008/12/25 17:08
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Jersey City man pistol-whipped, robbed -- WWE
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Home away from home


The pedestrian version of DUI. Walking with earbuds. It's the double whammy.

1. An item in plain view that larcenous people want to steal.

2. Someone who is less aware of his surroundings because he is distracted by his music and has blocked off one of his most important senses.

It's like walking down the street blindfolded and wearing a "kick me" sign. I am not blaming the victim as the robbers are responsible for their actions here. Nevertheless, some caution would be a good idea.

Posted on: 2008/12/25 16:52
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Re: JC Schools Report Card - Of Sorts - brewster and shadrack
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Re LCCS - yes, parents who have the initiative to visit the school, apply, etc. are parents who MAY be more education-oriented. BUT LCCS is only one of several charter schools in Jersey City. Motivated parents are one piece of the puzzle -- but just one piece. If I had the answers, I'd be publishing them for big bucks.

Re McNair Academic -- let's not forget the fact that McNair accepts only the top kids in the city. Excellent grades and PSATs scores ensure that McNair student body is starting the race way ahead of all other schools.

Posted on: 2008/12/22 20:08
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Re: JC Schools Report Card - Of Sorts - And It's AWFUL
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I was not dismissing standardized testing, merely the conclusions that are required to be drawn by NCLB. According to some NJ educators, the NJASK tests themselves are well structured and well thought out. They test actual knowledge and reasoning, rather than the ability to pscych out the test. Comparing annual scores on these tests is effective.

I don't know how many schools in Jersey City are small ones (though my children do attend smaller schools). The point of the article I posted above is that smaller schools, something that all educators agree are generally better for children, suffer under the way the scores are used. There really isn't any controversy that smaller schools and smaller class sizes improve education. Yet the method of federal reporting on standardized tests penalizes the very structure that is best. The federal goverment has set up a conflict in what is best for children and what schools must to do beat the system.

Posted on: 2008/12/21 19:34
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Re: JC Schools Report Card - Of Sorts - And It's AWFUL
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The principal at Learning Community Charter School explained it to me -- but I am not an educator or statistician. This excerpt from "Small is Volatile" by Wayne Au does a good job of it.

* * * * *

Big Trouble for Little Schools

"High-stakes standardized tests like the ones Bush is proposing can only mean big trouble for small schools. All other arguments about testing aside, small schools are extremely "volatile" when it comes to measuring their progress statistically through standardized test scores. To be volatile in a statistical sense means that you may be subject to wild swings in test scores from year-to-year, grade-to-grade, and school-to-school.

In their oft-cited article "Volatility in School Test Scores: Implications for Test-Based Accountability Systems," education researchers Thomas Kane and Douglas Staiger found that in North Carolina, the smallest schools had 50 percent more variability in test scores than the largest schools. In layperson's terms, this means small schools had swings in their scores that were 50 percent "wider" than large schools.

If you take a moment to think about it, the logic of this test score volatility makes absolute sense. Say you have a small high school or school-within-a-school of 200 students (50 per grade). In one year, you may have recruited 20 students who achieve higher test scores relative to the rest of their grade. Because your high school is small, and these 20 students (fully 10 percent of your total small school population) did well on a test, your school will show strong gains in test scores and AYP. Kudos for you and your school.

But say that in your next year, you recruited 20 more students who perform poorly on standardized tests. Suddenly, this new group of students' test scores, because they represent 10 percent of your student population, will have a drastically negative impact on your school's overall test scores. Whoops! You've shown a drop in scores, didn't meet your AYP, and are now placed on the NCLB school watch list where, if you don't improve in three years, you could be privatized or reconstituted.

Perhaps one of the twisted implications of small school volatility has to do with its impact on diversity. From the angle of high-stakes tests scores, small schools are better off having homogenous populations. If a small group of either high-scoring or low-scoring students can have such a drastic impact on your school's high-stakes test scores, and the future of your small school depends on the standards set by AYP, then it serves a small school's interest to keep low-scoring students out. Because we know that statistically black, Latino, and low-income students perform poorly on the high-stakes tests relative to white and middle-class populations, there is an incentive for small schools to keep poor students of color out of their schools for fear of having scores that don't meet AYP.

A similar logic extends to other, non-racial, subgroups that are counted for AYP. If, for instance, you have a significant number of bilingual or English as a second language (ESL) students, then you have to show AYP on test scores for that subgroup. If you don't have any bilingual or ESL students, then you have no reason to show improvement in that category because the subgroup simply does not exist for you. The more subgroups you have, the more ways there are for you to fail to meet AYP. In an article in Education Week, "Subgroup Reporting and School Segregation," authors Amy Ellen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel, and Colin Chellman note, "Ironically, be-cause of the way the law is written, the schools and districts that could end up being most heavily penalized are those that are the most heavily integrated." Looking at it from the other direction, homogeneously tracked or privileged small schools can insulate themselves from NCLB's "close the gap" mandate by avoiding student populations with test-score gaps in the first place.

Small schools may be able to sneak under the subgroup reporting radar, however. If you are a small school and you have just enough diversity, but not enough to be required to report subgroups under NCLB, then it is possible that you might avoid having to report test-score data for any group at all. Many states have set their magic number at around 30 to 40 students in any one subgroup to be counted for AYP, but predominately rural states like South Dakota cannot work with subgroup reporting numbers that high, since many of their schools are so small that they have no "official" test scores to report for AYP.

High-Stakes Battle

Many of us who have taken up small schools reform have done so for the best of reasons. I know that I loved working in a small school. I knew my students' home and life situations, I knew their academic histories, and best of all, I knew them personally. Small schools hold the promise of building community and allowing us to create institutions of learning that are not as alienating and inhumane as the large factory-school prototype.

But NCLB and its focus on high-stakes testing and AYP puts a stranglehold on small schools' abilities to work effectively with kids, especially if we build our small schools around diverse student populations. Issues like social justice, equity, and opportunities to learn don't count for much on the tests. Thus we are faced with having to wedge our schools into a behemoth assessment and "accountability" system that is structured for standardization, not creativity and social justice.

Many people have already been resisting high-stakes testing in high schools. A coalition of more than 45 education, civil rights, child advocacy, disability, and religious organizations including the NAACP, the Children's Defense Fund, the National Education Association, and the National Alliance of Black School Educators recently sent a letter to Congress protesting Bush's new plan to increase high school testing. This same group of organizations released a "Joint Organizational State-ment" in October 2004 calling for substantial changes to NCLB. Addition-ally, small schools in New York waged a fierce battle against the Regents tests, touting a portfolio assessment system that was far more rigorous than the tests [See "Standardizing Small," page 15.] Even though policy-makers ignored the power of portfolios, this spirited and organized resistance shows that communities are standing up to the tests.

To add fuel to our fires, and maybe to "empirically" prove what many of us already knew, a recent study by the Northwest Evaluation Association found that the high-stakes tests weren't really working anyway. This study, which used data from more than 320,000 students in 23 states, found that test-score gains have slowed greatly, and improvements may be attributed to students getting used to taking tests as they grow up in an educational era dominated by NCLB. Additionally, this study found that test-score gaps between students of color and white students were still widening, instead of closing. "

It's not that all standardized tests are bad - not at all - but the way these tests are used, and the conclusions that are required to be drawn from NCLB laws are the problem.

Posted on: 2008/12/20 1:23
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Re: JC Schools Report Card - Of Sorts - And It's AWFUL
Home away from home
Home away from home


They certainly deserve a whole lot better than this bogus federal testing program, that's for sure. While I have no doubt that some schools are failing, the NCLB numbers are meaningless. I'm very happy that both of my children attend excellent public schools in Jersey City that consistently meet the NCLB targets, but if you know what these numbers actually mean, you'll toss those stats in the trash.

Posted on: 2008/12/19 23:56
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DO NOT park at PepBoys, BJs, Shoprite to go to Newport Mall right now
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Whether I am charged nothing or $2.00 for a half hour so I can return something has absolutely no impact on those that would use the lot as commuter parking. As long as they charge a high rate for cars that are in the lot for more than 4 or 5 hours, they have the commuter issue covered. I will go almost anywhere before I go to the mall because of the parking fees. I can find most of what I need elsewhere. Even the movie theatres are ten times cleaner, more comfortable and QUIETER anywhere but at Newport.

Posted on: 2008/12/17 21:13
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Re: DO NOT park at PepBoys, BJs, Shoprite to go to Newport Mall right now
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Home away from home


JC resident discount at the mall? How does that work?

Posted on: 2008/12/17 16:44
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Re: Made With Love
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Home away from home


The pear galette was fantastic, and too large to finish. I'm looking forward to the baking classes.

Posted on: 2008/12/13 22:19
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Facial in Downtown JC
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Home away from home


Any recommendations? Or beware?

Posted on: 2008/12/13 17:35
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Re: Studio 17 Hair Salon?
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I went there a few times on the recommendation of a friend. The first couple of times, I got a really nice cut. After that, the hairdresser just stopped listening to me. One bad cut - an anomaly. Two in a row - forget it.

Posted on: 2008/12/13 17:29
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Re: Pedestrian fatality numbers are bad for Hudson seniors
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The right on red law after a full stop has been so totally abused. Many drivers don't even slow down anymore, let alone come to a full stop.

Two weeks ago, I saw someone make a right turn from the left lane at a red light on State highway at Baldwin Avenue. That was a new one for me, even in Jersey City.

Posted on: 2008/12/12 16:39
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Re: McNair Academy Recognized by US News and World Report
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An excellent school. My son is very happy there.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 13:50
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