Monday, March 16, 2015


Tuesday, March 17, be sure to wear green.

Alas not only no brain storm , but Dawg has been obnoxious this past evening, insisting on  going outside and barking and ignoring “come here” commands. Oh well he should enjoy nice afternoons like we had Monday since the report is snow on Friday!

Besides St Patrick’s Day today is important because of the impact of the elections in Israel on the Near East. There most likely will be a change in its Government. If Labor leader Herzog forms the next coalition government he has pledged to renew talks on a Palestinian state, as well as restricting new developments in the West Bank.

Unlike our Two Party predominance, when Israelis head to the polls for the March 17 elections, 26 parties will be vying for the Knesset’s 120 seats — including such fringe groups as the Pirate Party, which supports total government transparency and freedom of information on the Internet, and the Green Leaf party, which advocates marijuana legalization. Fewer than a dozen, though, are likely to earn the 3.25 percent of the popular vote necessary to enter Knesset.

The 120 seats are then allocated percentage wise according to the popular votes. Since no on party has ever received over 50% of the votes; no party  can form a government on  its own so will need the  inclusion of our parties an sometimes these  "governments are very fragile.

For the first time the  small splinter parties of the 1.7 million Arab citizens of Israel who  have full citizenship rights have united in one Unity Party and expect to get between 12  and 15 seats, which will give them a power block in all legislation, although the leadership has stated that they will not participate as members of any government.

Yesterday, I had a commentator who remarked on a post to Thursday’s blog about Potholes, that the Central Jersey Arts Charter School charter will not be renewed and it will be closing the end of this school year.

I do believe that in 2012 the State found deficiencies that needed to be corrected and that there was a re-inspection this January.

Taxpayers’ monies goes to the Charter Schools through the BOE. What is the relationship the BOE has with those schools? How many Charter Schools are there in Plainfield as of this date and are more in the works?

I welcome all comments on this subject and if sufficient will republish them as a “blog”.

One final note; New York City has begun using the Shot Spotter in Brooklyn and the Bronx. What has our experience been? It would be  interesting and perhaps valuable to have an up to date report. Where and How has it been of value? Do the Police feel that it has helped reduce gun shots or other crimes? 


  1. All four charter schools in Union County are in Plainfield:
    There is a new one coming as well.

  2. This is the new one:

  3. The question concerning charter schools is an excellent one. The relationship between any given school district and a charter can best be described as adversarial. This is mainly due to two components. One is the funding method as you stated. Each charter bills the sending district based on the calculated state aid received for each child in that district. Thus, local administration sees these schools as a direct drain on their own budgets. Additionally, these schools are subject to limited oversight compared to public schools. They are not required to participate in any standardized tests, and are not subject to the periodic QSAC reviews conducted by the DOE. It should also be noted that there is not a geographic restriction on the population of these schools. They can draw from any neighboring district, and in fact, Plainfield's have a number of students attending from towns such as North Plainfield and Greenbrook. Second, local teacher's unions also see these schools as adversaries as they are non-union shops, and are used as "paradigms" with respect to what allegedly can be accomplished for far less salary expense (it would be fair to note that parochial schools have also been held up as similar examples for far longer). For both reasons, I would not characterize the relationship as friendly or cooperative.Whether these schools fulfill their obligation to provide an adequate education is an entirely different topic. Some undoubtedly do a great job. Others, such as the one you cite, leave a lot to be desired.

    1. Please allow this to point out some discrepancies and to add to the dialogue.

      Funding of charter schools: each charter school receives approximately 80-85% of the per pupil allotment from the traditional district school. The amount is based on the actual number of students enrolled in the charter school in according to the number reported on an official DoE enrollment report provided by every school each year.

      Assessments: all NJ charter schools are required, as any traditional public school, to participate in the same state assessments, from NJ to PARCC.

      Unions: charter school employees MAY become union members (to my knowledge as of this writing there are two charter schools in NJ represented by the NJEA, though I do know of one that was closed by the DoE recently). If 51% of the employees of a charter school wants to join NJEA, the school must comply with allowing them to join. Any teacher or staff member who is interested in this should contact NJEA for further direction. Not many charter school founders or administrators will make this public knowledge.

      Student Attendees: a charter school must first fill all seats from the district in which it is located. ONLY if there are spaces available after the lottery process is the charter school permitted to fill seats with students from outside districts. There is a formal protocol that MUST be followed in regards to the application process.

      QSAC: all charter schools are reviewed in a similar way as a traditional district school through. It is just not called QSAC. The problem is, at least in the case of CJACS, is that there were too many problems since its inception and nobody in the DoE did anything about them -- the school was allowed to continue with MAJOR fiscal, ethical, and academic problems. Why now after close to 10 years? Well, that is the million dollar question.

      Currently CJACS is being "run"(and has been for at least the past 4 years or so) by a charter management company called Renaissance School Services ( I could provide further info here but suffice to say that if someone were to research the history of RSS, one will find a connection between them and the now defunct Edison Management Company - in which the previous NJ Commissioner of Ed (Mr. Cerf) was involved. RSS took over the running of CJACS during Mr. Cerf's tenure. RSS has continued to this day though the school has been one of the worst performing schools of all within NJ.

      The original founders of CJACS were a mom and daughter duo - Cora and Shamida Coney. Shamida had no educational degree but she was a dance teacher in her own studio. Cora was a Newark school social worker. Shamida's was given a salary that far exceeded teachers in that school, as she was the school's "arts coordinator" and a :confidential secretary to the principal" -- but still was making close to $70,000/year.

      The board of trustees was ordered to disband by the NJ DoE and RSS was brought in to run the school.

      Check out the NJ ASK scores for this school and one will see scores way below proficient across the years.

      There has been a great deal of mismanagement behind the scenes here -- it is about time CJACS is being closed.

      There was such chaotic turnover in staff and administration during the school's first years of existence that it should have been closed down then.