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Category: NJ Education

Penn Station Debacle ?>

Penn Station Debacle

Penn Station is the busiest passenger transportation facility in the Western Hemisphere. It’s a disaster. It is a low-ceilinged underground facility with inferior facilities for both passengers and the trains from three lines that use the terminal. Perverse incentive Amtrak, the owner of the station, has a perverse incentive: make life worse for the commuter and be rewarded with more money and more power. Our politicians are unwittingly supporting a continuation of this unhappy situation. Amtrak says it is capable…

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Pensions for NJ Teachers ?>

Pensions for NJ Teachers

Pensions are a great.  I wish I had one.  They used to be standard in the U.S.  Most every good job had one.  Many defined-benefit pension plans offered healthcare benefits, too. What industry saw and government refused to see was that retirement ages haven’t changed much, but life expectancy has.  A teacher in New Jersey who works 35 years can expect another 24 years of pension and healthcare.  It’s a great deal, one that the NJEA fights hard to maintain….

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NJ Governor Candidates and PARCC ?>

NJ Governor Candidates and PARCC

As the New Jersey Governor’s race heats up, the candidates are staking out their positions on PARCC – the multi-state consortium that is sponsoring common standardized tests. The kids hate PARCC.  They hate all standardized tests.  No surprise there. Parents listen to children.  Many parents are opposed too.  It didn’t help that during the roll-out scores were low, frustrating kids and parents alike. The teachers union, NJEA, dislikes PARCC testing.  As an organization, it is opposed to any initiative to…

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So I took a PARCC Test ?>

So I took a PARCC Test

I took the PARCC tenth grade English Language Arts Literacy test.  Now I don’t have to listen to hearsay complaints about the test.  You can too.  Click here.  I’ll save you the suspense.  I scored 16 out of a possible 24 points. Don’t try to log in with your name.  The machine will whir, allow you to go to the beginning of the test, then return you to the login screen.  Just leave the default login Guest. The question setup…

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Education Improvement and Core Beliefs ?>

Education Improvement and Core Beliefs

Arguments overt PARCC tests and Abbott funding in New Jersey education require that we dig down to our core beliefs about the purposes of education and government.  Much ink has been spilled promoting specious statistical arguments coated with platitudes.  These discussions are much easier to conduct once we lay out the first principles and see the degree to which we agree on them before we debate the details. Nature vs Nurture There is little disagreement, I think, that some children…

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Paying for NJ Schools ?>

Paying for NJ Schools

Who pays for New Jersey schools?  Is the lottery an important source?  The question of special sources for special spending arose again in NJ with the question of funding for NJ senior citizen programs.  Both schools and seniors depends on special revenue sources, or so the story goes.  Fans of the lottery and casinos point to these noble causes as justification for gambling and gambling taxes in New Jersey.  How much do gambling benefit the oldest and youngest of New…

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