Camden Test Probe
this was coming
. The student proficiency test scores in Camden
have sunk like a rock.
A statement by the Camden County School said publicity, staffing changes and other factors could have affected the students' performance on the tests.
Concerns about the possibility of cheating heightened last week with the release of plummeting district test scores. Education experts say a wider probe into Camden is warranted.
You don’t say. And just think it only costs state taxpayers about $16,000 a year to cheat children out of a decent education. I hope they throw the book at those responsible.
Menendez Has Not Been Charged
Sometimes you just have to laugh when you realize just how low the ethics bar has been set for Democratic candidates in New Jersey. Newsday has this gem from the Associated Press about the U.S. Senate race between Tom Kean and Bob Menendez
At the moment, the Kean campaign is attempting to portray Menendez as a corrupt power broker. Several prominent Hudson County Democrats have been convicted or pleaded guilty in corruption cases in recent years, but Menendez has not been charged.
As The New York Times
said: “[Menendez] has long been an entrenched de facto leader of the Hudson County Democratic Machine and "does not represent a clean slate”. And The Star-Ledger
: Menendez is the Boss in Hudson County, which is ground zero for the state’s corruption problem
Newark Is Changing
Blogger has been giving me fits lately. Every time I tried to post I got nowhere, so I gave up trying the past few days. With very good news
, I decided to give it another try today:
A slate of supporters of Newark Mayor-elect Cory Booker swept a runoff election Tuesday for six seats on the municipal council, handing the new mayor a mandate for change.
The result seals a transformation of government in New Jersey's largest city. At the top is Booker, a 37-year-old former Rhodes Scholar, who was elected mayor in May with 72 percent of the vote. All nine members of the city council are members of his "Booker Team" slate.
"It is really a historic embrace of change in the city of Newark, and I am so profoundly grateful to the residents to give such an endorsement to my administration and my team," Booker said.
Booker now has the opportunity to really make a dramtic change in Newark and in the lives of the city’s people. Change is happening in New Jersey and I'm excited
I Am An Individual
I have been trying to post this excerpt from Dr. Sanity
since yesterday, but because of Blogger problems I have been unable to. This is a message I have been trying to express, but the good Doctor does a much better job.
People like Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell and other prominent Blacks within the larger Black community have been trying to get the message out that the time has come for the Black community to stop playing into these victim hood schemes promulgated by the political left--who have a need to feel "virtuous" by championing the "poor, helpless, oppressed" Blacks--and to take back both their culture and responsibility for their own success.
While once the rationale for programs like Affirmative Action seemed reasonable to most people; by now it should be evident that whatever it hoped to accomplish in the beginning, it has since evolved into an ever-growing bureaucracy whose main purpose is to maintain the moral authority of the political left.
Blacks have been stripped of all individuality and reduced to mere members of an oppressed race. And they are also stripped of any individual accountability for either success or failure in life. If they are failures-- it is ascribed to the societal racism and justification that more Affirmative Action is needed; if they are successful-- it is ascribed to the effects of Affirmative Action.
Either result ends up being profoundly destructive to the individual Black person.
Of course, God help them if they succeed without the programs of the left; or if they denounce the programs of the left; or if they join the right. Blacks are not permitted to have individual identity under the strict guidelines of the political left. If they deviate from their script, they are immediately denounced as traitors to their race.
Chill Out Over Global Warming
There are at least two sides to most issues and I like to learn as much as possible before I even begin to form an opinion. I’ve lived long enough to know some issues are pure hype, fads actually. They come and they go, although not always without wrecking havoc before being abandoned.
I am starting to believe manmade “global warming” is one of those fads. I won’t go in to all my reasons for being suspicious about the motives of those hyping this issue, but I will say I notice a decidedly socialist set of “solutions” to the “problem.”
Anyway, I think it would be a good idea if we had a less emotional and more rational debate on the manmade “global warming problem” before we go off the deep end. This column in the Denver Post gets at some of the doubts I’ve had about the issue and in a very humorous, but informative way.
Admittedly, I possess virtually no expertise in science. That puts me in exactly the same position as most dogmatic environmentalists who want to craft public policy around global warming fears.
The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree.
Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.
"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."
Gray directs me to a 1975 Newsweek article that whipped up a different fear: a coming ice age.
"Climatologists," reads the piece, "are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change. ... The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."
Thank God they did nothing. Imagine how warm we'd be?
Another highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado, is also skeptical.
Pielke contends there isn't enough intellectual diversity in the debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted "over and over" again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions.
I ask him: How do we fix the public perception that the debate is over?
"I think the media is in the ideal position to do that. If the media honestly presented the views out there, which they rarely do, things would change. There aren't just two sides here. There are a range of opinions on this issue. A lot of scientists out there that are very capable of presenting other views are not being heard."
Al Gore (not a scientist) has definitely been heard - and heard and heard. His documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is so important, in fact, that Gore crisscrosses the nation destroying the atmosphere just to tell us about it.
"It's about politics. Very few people have experience with some real data. I think that there is so much general lack of knowledge on this. I've been at this over 50 years down in the trenches working, thinking and teaching."
Gray acknowledges that we've had some warming the past 30 years. "I don't question that," he explains. "And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle '40s to the middle '70s."
Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up.
Camden Schools Superintendent Scandal
Over the last two years, Camden Schools Superintendent Annette D. Knox received performance bonuses that the school board did not approve
or even know about. Her current base salary is $185,483.
Knox collected the bonuses for 2004 and 2005 after submitting requests to the business office that said the district had met performance goals.
According to the state, Camden has not met state standards for the period covered by Knox's contract. Camden missed making adequate yearly progress in math and language arts under No Child Left Behind for both 2003-04 and 2004-05. Scores have not yet been released for the 2005-06 school year.
Knox’s compensation was also a good deal greater than what she reported.
Knox was among several superintendents cited in a scathing report in March by the State Commission on Investigations that found that some school administrators receive hidden salary, benefits and bonuses. Knox's compensation was $222,911, or 24 percent more than what she reported, and she received perks such as automobile expenses and an annuity, the report said.
But a lack of performance and candor did not stop Camden’s board from approving a new three-year contract for Knox.
The three-year contract that the Camden board approved for Knox last week takes effect July 1, spells out the bonus procedure and requires board approval, Freeman said. Corzine must approve that agreement, which would increase her salary to $208,644 by 2008. Officials would not release the document saying, it had not yet been finalized.
Knox's salary is just one part of her total compensation and we are not getting our money's worth. Neither are the kids in Camden.
Dwaine Williams, a board member when the 2003 contract was negotiated, described the district as "more chaotic today than it has ever been. How in God's name can you say that things are improving?"
Why am I not surprised?
Who Side Are You On Anyway?
Do you get the feeling the left is rooting for the other side?
New Jersey's Kerry Close Wins