Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christie set to meddle in schools super search?

Will the Board of Ed have to worry about Christie, in addition to everything else?
Plainfield's Board of Education, as it prepares to search for a new schools superintendent, may well wonder if Gov. Chris Christie will meddle in the process.

Today comes news (see here) that Christie is giving Union County executive schools superintendent Carmen Centuolo the boot.

This means that Christie will be looking to replace Centuolo -- and other county supers -- with individuals who share his take on the tasks facing New Jersey's public schools. Which is likely to mean a more interventionist style, in addition to support for Christie's tilt toward charter schools, school district choice and even vouchers usable outside the public school system.

But perhaps more troubling was news earlier this week (see here, here, and here) that Christie wants to relax the qualifications for becoming a New Jersey superintendent of schools.

Echoing New York mayor Mike Bloomberg's choice of someone with absolutely no educational experience to run that city's schools, Christie evidently is looking to broaden the pool of candidates who will take up cudgels with him against the NJEA.

While Christie is urging the changes for low-performing districts, or those 'in need of improvement' (DINI) as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act, the implication is that pressure will also be applied on other districts with schools that fail to make AYP (adequate yearly progress) even if the districts are not on the DINI list.

While Plainfield is not currently a 'district in need of improvement' (in Union County, that honor falls only to Elizabeth, Linden and Union Township), it may be vulnerable to pressure from having a number of low-performing schools.

As if it weren't hard enough to be charged with finding a capable super to lead a district that has suffered more than its fair share of drama and distress in recent years, now the Board of Ed may have Trenton second-guessing it.

Interesting times, indeed.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Rob said...

Considering the history....a little meddling might be more than in order. How about this new Superintendent pay for his own clothes??? Huh ?? Huh ?? How about that one simple concession that someone earning over $100k buy their own clothes. Or, if we are required to buy them..hell lets all throw some change together and drive the new Super. over to Unique!

Anonymous said...

I think Plainfield education has done a serious disservice to our children. There are generations who are lost and will have a difficult time making a good life for themselves.

Plainfield talks about loving their children and focuses on sports. Well, unemployment for people with a college education is 5%. So, charter schools - bring them on! Let's be serious about our committment to educating our youth - and let the games be secondary. Not everyone can be an NFL - NHL - NBA star.

Anonymous said...

I think meddling is a poor choice of words. God knows after the Gallon mess, we could use a little state intervention not only at the BOE but in the Mayor's office too. Well-intended BOE members don't always make the best decisions and it would certainly be beneficial to have some outside perspective when making a critical decision like the next super. Call Christie what you want, but he is 100% correct when saying the NJEA, bloated pensions and municipal ineptitude is what is breaking this state. I say roll out the welcome mat.

Bob said...

As poorly as our BOE has performed over the past 20 years or so, I'm not sure some state intervention will hurt. I hope this BOE doesn't give the city away to a super, as other BOEs have tended to do. We've consistently gotten trash for the big money we've paid and been taken to the cleaners when they leave or are forced to leave. I hope the BOE remembers that they work for us and our kids, not for the over-paid adminnistrators and teachers and their unions.

Anonymous said...

These changes can not be any worse that what the BOE has done over the last thirty years. Lets remember the $650,000 down the drain with the last gods gift to Plainfield. As I said before, the BOE has squandered millions they should be held accountable for it and more.

Anonymous said...

Rob you really should take your medication.


Not speaking on behalf of the Board Education, but rather an alumni of this educational system and life long resident of Plainfield who has taken on the task of getting involved with the BOE -- I would certainly welcome anyone who can help me INSURE this CITY gets the BEST, MOST QUALIFIED SUPERINTENDENT available! That can include some of you community experts as well. Make sure the BOE includes you in on the process!

Simone Says said...

I'm a lifelong resident of Plainfield and I believe we need state intervention w/regards to the public school system and Plainfield as a whole.

Maria Pellum, Plainfield Resident said...

Dear All,

May I suggest we start writing our "wish list" for the next superintendent?

I'll start it the following way:

That we the community know what the needs of students are and that the BOE sets 2-3 goals to be accomplished in the next 3-5 years in order to improve our school district and from there let's look at who can fit our needs.

What do you all say?