Month: March 2016

FarahiHigher Ed News

Racial gap in college grad rates grows nationwide

by Jonathan Lai, Staff Writer

College graduation rates are generally rising across the country. That’s the good news.

Less positive: Gaps remain between the graduation rates of black students and white students, and in some cases those gaps have increased, according to a new report.

Some local schools have done well, with Rutgers University’s New Brunswick and Newark campuses both shrinking the black/white gap in graduation rates.…

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FarahiHigher Ed News

Kean Univ. agrees to a new look at racial bias; first reviewer was found to have criminal record

By Patricia Alex and Abbott Koloff, Staff Writers, The Record.

Bowing to political pressure, Kean University has agreed to an outside review of racial bias charges made by a coalition of black ministers after the consultant originally hired to examine the claims was found to have a criminal record and questionable résumé.

The school will now retain retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John E.…

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FarahiHigher Ed News

Racism at Kean U? Let’s ask the bank robber | Moran

By Tom Moran, Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Mark this down as Lesson #1 from Kean University’s fumbling response to charges of racism at the school:

Do NOT hire a former bank robber with a phony resume to conduct your internal investigation — even if he calls himself a minister.

This actually happened. It is the latest twist in a story that is bizarre even by New Jersey standards.…

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FarahiHigher Ed News

Kean U agrees to hire Sweeney’s auditor for discrimination investigation

By Jessica Remo, NJ Advance Media for

Former Supreme Court Justice John Wallace speaks after being recognized for his years of service during the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting and Convention in 2010. (Noah K. Murray/The Star-Ledger)

UNION — The drama over whose consultant should review allegations of discriminatory employment practices at Kean University may have come to an end Friday, as the school’s president issued a statement agreeing to hire former state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace.…

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Higher Ed News

NJ panel devises plan aimed at making college more affordable

By Patricia Alex, Staff Record, The Record.

A state commission looking at the issue of college affordability is likely to recommend that high school seniors graduate with at least a semester of community college credits, the panel’s chairman said Wednesday.

The students could continue on at community college before heading off to a four-year school – a strategy that could reduce the cost of a baccalaureate degree from a state college by more than half to around $20,000, said Fred Keating, the chairman of the commission and president of Rowan College at Gloucester.…

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Political Education

Cashing in on Kids: Corporate Lobbying Powerhouse ALEC Pushed 172 School Privatization Bills Last Year

By Brendan Fischer, PR Watch


“Opportunity Scholarships,” introduced in four states — Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and New Mexico — earmark vouchers for students in schools deemed “failing.”

The similar Smart Start Scholarship Program, introduced in four states — Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Tennessee — offers vouchers for pre-school and kindergarten on a sliding scale starting with families eligible for reduced price school lunches.…

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AFTNJ NewsHigher Ed NewsMediaPress releases

Layoffs at Mercer College Could Impact Tech Education Services

Institutional knowledge; commitment to campus community at risk

CONTACT: Nat Bender, nbender [@] 908-377-0393

WEST WINDSOR…After working 36 years at Mercer County Community College, Tony Bruzaitis is facing an uncertain future and concerned about continuity of critical instructional technology services for faculty, staff and students. “I love what I am doing and would like to continue to interact with faculty to identify the appropriate technologies to support student success,” he said.…

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AFTNJ NewsFarahiHigher Ed News

The Record: Chaos at Kean

GOINGS-ON at Kean University seem only to grow more strange by the month. First there was the public university’s spending of $219,000 on a conference table. Then came charges of racial bias at the university. Then there was the review, now completed, into those bias allegations.

Now there is a call for an investigation of that review, and into the hiring of the consultant who led it: Michael Barry Blackwell, a former Westwood pastor who agreed to take on that task in January at a cost of $15,000.…

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Newark Teachers UnionPre-K to 12 News

17,000 Newark children to be tested for lead poisoning

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for

NEWARK – Some 17,000 children will be tested for potential lead poisoning after high levels of the chemical were found in nearly half of the its schools, officials revealed today.

Newark Department of Health Director Dr. Hanaa Hamdi told members of the City Council Tuesday that the tests will begin with approximately 2,000 toddlers who attend early childhood centers located at the 30 buildings were elevated levels of lead were found.…

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MediaNewark Teachers UnionPre-K to 12 NewsPress Clips

Tracking efforts to stop water contamination ‘extremely difficult’, Newark school chief says

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for


The comments came after the Newark Teachers Union, which also released the 2014 memo, distributed photos of lead reduction filters bearing installation dates as far back as 2012. The union claims the pictures were taken at 10 schools where water has not been deemed dangerous – which would violate the district’s instructions for filters to be changed roughly every six months.…

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MediaNewark Teachers UnionPre-K to 12 NewsPress Clips

Lead-Contaminated Water Found In Newark Schools Not A New Problem

Tom Johnson

District admits elevated lead levels detected in schools in past but not revealed to public


John Abeigon, president and director of the Newark Teachers Union, released pictures of 10 schools where high lead levels were not detected that purportedly showed expiration dates from 2009 to 2015 on filters installed on water fixtures. He called for federal intervention and investigation into “this ongoing health crisis.’’…

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AFTNJ NewsFarahiHigher Ed NewsMediaPress releases

Statement by Kean Federation of Teachers president James Castiglione about the need for an independent investigation of Kean University

Nat T. Bender, 908-377-0393, nbender [@]

Castiglione said:

“Integrity at New Jersey’s state colleges and universities is a bi-partisan concern. We support the calls for investigations into Kean University made by Senators Sweeney, Cunningham and O’Toole and thank them for their efforts to hold university’s administration and trustees accountable to the citizens of New Jersey.…

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