Sunday Leftovers

The Star-Ledger examines NJEA’s budget and political sway. According to the most recent tax filings, Exec. Dir. Vince Giordano received $421,615 in salary and $128,508 in other perks last year; NJEA Pres. Barbara Keshishian was paid $256,450 plus benefits. Ex-GOP chair Tom Wilson says, “It’s a big cat. Most legislators think it’s better to cross the street to avoid it, rather than risk having it take a swipe at you."

Tom Moran
chronicles the angst of Montclair teacher union president Dennis Murray, who agreed to contract concessions to save jobs (he told the NJEA ”to pound salt” when they argued with him) yet resents Gov. Christie’s aid cuts and attacks on the teaching profession.

The Courier Post argues
that Gov. Christie should practice shared sacrifice and cut his $175K salary by 4-5%, about the amount that teachers would lose in a pay freeze.

The State is pondering
whether public union officials – including NJEA Prez Barbara Keshishian – are breaking federal tax regulations by taking leaves from government jobs but staying in the pension system.

In the Wall St. Journal,
the Pioneer Institute, a think tank in Boston, examines how Massachusetts managed to increase student achievement and partially close the achievement gap through a politically-independent Board of Education, a rigorous charter school authorization process, and aligning newly-rigorous, content-based state standards with high-stakes testing. Result: “Massachusetts students are now globally competitive; they tied for first in the world in eighth-grade science.”

The New York Times looks
at the impact of stiff state aid cuts on NJ’s high-achieving districts.

And everyone’s writing about the global cooling trend between Gov. Christie and the NJEA: Star-Ledger, The Record, Courier-Post, New Jersey Newsroom, PolitickerNJ, In the Lobby, the New York Times.