Majority of New Jerseyans give their hometowns, schools positive ratings

But poll finds upbeat outlook toward entire state down slightly
BY TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

NJ state mapTwo in three New Jerseyans rate the state as either an excellent (15 percent) or good (47 percent) place to live, a figure that is down slightly from an October survey, according to a Monmouth University Poll made public Tuesday.

However, ratings of residents’ own towns stand at 33 percent excellent and 41 percent good.…

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Newark mayor vows to fight plan to dismantle University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

BY PATRICIA ALEX, STAFF WRITER, The Record

Newark Mayor Cory Booker vowed Tuesday to “consider every option” – from lawsuits to legislative action – to “trip up” the plan that dismantles the city-based University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Booker voiced his strongest opposition yet to the proposal unveiled by Governor Christie late last month that would reorder public higher education in the New Jersey.…

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From Snobs to ‘Pointy-Headed College Professors’ to ‘Eggheads’

By Emma Roller

When Rick Santorum called President Obama “a snob” for wanting more Americans to attend college, it caused quite a stir, leading some fellow Republicans to distance themselves from the remarks.

“There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor to try to indoctrinate them,” continued Mr.…

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‘Youps’: Newark’s expensive, excess school staff

By Joan Whitlow/For The Star-Ledger
[…] Joseph Del Grosso, the Newark Teachers Union president, protested that he’s seen the list and that none of the teachers on it has complaints or reviews on file that would trigger tenure charges or disciplinary action.

One of the problems, I’ve been told, is that principals don’t always write up teachers the way they should, because of everything from friendship to a belief that nothing comes of it.…

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Will NJ Go Public With Teacher Ratings?

Cerf says ‘No,’ but release of teacher evaluations in NYC raises questions

By John Mooney

When New York City last week posted the performance ratings for thousands of its public school teachers online, it raised concerns about the fairness of the data and the accuracy of the ratings themselves.

It also brought up questions on this side of the Hudson River as to whether public grades for teachers would be coming to New Jersey next, as this state develops its own teacher evaluation system.…

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GOP Candidates Embrace Anti-Labor, Free-Market Fundamentalism

John Nichols

Much is being made, and appropriately so, about the extremism of the Republican presidential field when it comes to reproductive rights and ripping down Thomas Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state.

It is not just Rick Santorum. Three of the four Republican contenders for the presidency—the sometimes exception is Ron Paul—are running campaigns that position them as theocratic extremists of a far more radical bent than religious-right contenders such as Pat Robertson in 1988 or Gary Bauer in 2000.…

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Acting N.J. education chief reconsiders using school free-lunch programs to measure poverty

Jessica Calefati/The Star-Ledger By Jessica Calefati/The Star-Ledger 

TRENTON — Tucked into an 80-page report on Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to overhaul distribution of state aid to public schools is a proposal that could have greater implications on school funding than anything else the governor has pitched, experts say.

In New Jersey and across the nation, the number of students living in poverty is determined by how many of them qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, a federal program run by the Department of Agriculture.

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Cerf Will Pay to See Progress on School Reform Agenda

New Innovation Fund will reward schools for making goals and hitting targets

By John Mooney

Can financial rewards help bring about change in New Jersey’s public schools? Apparently, the Christie administration thinks so.

In the latest move to use money as an incentive, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has added to its new school funding plan a multimillion dollar program to reward schools and districts that meet specific goals and implement targeted reforms.

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Charges against Kean U. president should be swiftly resolved

Honesty is a virtue in every occupation, but it is the life blood of education. As a longtime college professor and former dean, I know that there is nothing more poisonous to an academic institution than condoning deliberate misrepresentation of the truth. This is why university honesty codes for teaching, learning, and publication are so strict.…

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Kean U. Board Fails to Uphold Integrity

The latest issues surrounding Kean University and allegations that its president falsified his résumé are disturbing. Here is a public institution on a path of transformation—driven by its president’s bold vision—that is now again mired in an embarrassing event brought about by impropriety or the perception thereof (“In Narrow Vote, Kean U. Trustees Support Embattled President,” The Chronicle, February 15).…

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Would eliminating Rutgers-Camden hurt Rutgers’ brand?

Julie Ruth is an associate professor of marketing in the School of Business at Rutgers University in Camden. She teaches and conducts research on brand management and consumer behavior.

The recent Barer Committee report on restructuring medical education in New Jersey includes a proposal to sever Rutgers’ southern campus in Camden and fold it into Rowan University, located twenty miles away in Glassboro.…

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State chides NJCU professor for ‘inappropriate’ and ‘highly offensive’ comments regarding colleague

Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

A former New Jersey City University professor has been cited by the state Equal Employment Opportunity office for making “inappropriate and highly offensive” comments regarding a colleague, though the comments did not violate EEO policy.

The state Office of Equal Employment Opportunity has concluded that a retired New Jersey City University professor made “inappropriate and highly offensive” comments regarding a colleague, but that the comments did not violate the colleague’s civil rights as NJCU had alleged, according to a letter obtained by The Jersey Journal.…

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N.J. needs more oversight, accountability in higher ed

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While Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed 6 percent increase in direct aid to public colleges and universities would be useful for tuition support, I would urge our governor, a formidable former prosecutor, to revisit the deeper issues of governance, oversight and accountability in New Jersey’s higher education system.

The New Jersey Commission of Investigation, chaired by the late Attorney General W.…

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Rutgers trustees show disapproval toward Camden campus-Rowan merger

By Bob Considine/The Star-Ledger

NEW BRUNSWICK — The Rutgers Board of Trustees and several professors voiced displeasure tonight with the proposed plan to combine Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University to form a single research institution that would bear Rowan’s name.

Sol Barer, chairman of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Advisory Committee that recommended the merger to Gov.…

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