Tag Archive: Moran

Tom Moran’s Terrible Take on Tenure

The Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran apparently follows one rule when writing about education:

If the teachers union is for it, it must be bad.

I guess following this rule is easier than using research and logic and facts to form an opinion. Witness today’s latest attack on the NJEA: an op-ed decrying tenure that deperately tries to transforms Perth Amboy Superintendent Janine Caffrey into a folk hero.

It’s worth noting that Moran saw fit to give Caffrey a big patch of the op-ed section last week to whine about how hard tenure makes her job. I tried to set her and Tom straight, but it looks like it didn’t take. So let’s go again:

Caffrey says tenure keeps her from dismissing teachers who are undeniably awful. But even Moran has to acknowledge that she herself is a huge part of the problem:

To be fair, districts share some of the blame as well. Tenure rules might be crazy, but it is possible to get rid of the worst teachers if the district builds a solid case with a paper trail. In the case of the refusenik teacher, Perth Amboy failed to do that. The teacher had won satisfactory evaluations in the past, as nearly all teachers do.

Let me get this straight: Caffrey couldn’t get her administrators to do their jobs and document how bad this teacher was. And it may well be that this teacher was being defiant because he or she is incompetent, it is also possible the teacher is standing up to Caffrey, her principal, and even her colleagues on a matter of principle.

But because Caffrey is – according to Moran – unable to work with her administrators to build what should be an obvious case, we’ll never know. So this “bad” teacher stays.

Ledger Logic – Billionaire Boys Club Edition

Tom Moran over at the Star-Ledger has outdone himself this time: an opinion piece under his own byline combined with an editorial he presumably wrote make for a one-two punch that knock fairness and logic on their asses.

Let’s start with Moran’s long, wet kiss to David Tepper, hedge fund multi-billionaire. After the predictable Horatio Alger claptrap about Tepper’s hardscrabble young life in Pittsburgh, Moran sees fit to devote one small paragraph to how this man made his money:

His style is to take huge risks. His firm, Appaloosa Management, made a killing after the financial crash by investing billions in failed banks. After the government bailouts, the value of the shares skyrocketed and his firm made $7.5 billion.

That’s not the whole story, as we have reported here at Blue Jersey (h/t DS Wright). Tepper took a position on bank stocks knowing the government was going to pay more than market value for them. By his own admission, his wealth came from a direct transfer of money from the federal government to his firm involving little risk at all.

Legal? You bet. Unethical? Well, probably not according to today’s standards on Wall Street. Devoid of any social value? I’d say yes, absolutely. This is the sort of deal the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about. This is the hottest topic in our national discourse at the moment.

Christie to Moran: “Get a Life”

Chris Christie just told Tom Moran, editorial page editor at the Star-Ledger, to “get a life.”

The pretext? Moran was seeking proof for Christie’s claim to the Koch Brothers’ June confab that Sheila Oliver called to ask him for his support to remain Speaker during the pension/benefits fight – a claim that has electrified Trenton in general and this site in particular over the past week. Christie stands by the leaked text of his remarks; Oliver called Christie “mentally deranged” and denied it.

Moran has an idea on how to prove who is right – asking for the release of the Governor’s phone records.

Now, I don’t know exactly how this even works – are there phone records that show incoming and outcoming calls? If so, presumably they would be subject to the state’s Open Public Records Act. If not, Christie could just say that.

Instead, he told Moran to “get a life.”

What is he hiding? And will the Ledger follow up with a formal public records request?

The whole event is perhaps ironic in the context which it occurred – a press conference on Christie’s educational “policies.” Moran has been on board with Christie’s radical and unsupported by evidence education proposals – and in fact wrote an editorial this morning lamenting that the Oliver incident could put those reforms in jeopardy.

Moran’s positions leading Jersey Jazzman to challenge Moran today to take a hard look at the evidence. Here’s another instance in which Moran is trying to do exactly that – and getting rebuffed by Christie.

Wonder what would happen if Moran took up Jersey Jazzman’s suggestion?

Ledger Logic

Adam L tells us that Senate President Steve Sweeney is sending out copies of this op-ed by Star-Ledger Editorial Page Editor Tom Moran.

The problem is that Moran’s piece is full of illogic, botched facts, and self-contradiction.

Let’s start with this:

Inside the Statehouse, within earshot of the rally, senators on the budget committee cast a vote that amounted to a punch in the gut. Public workers would pay more for less, bringing their health and pension benefits back to earth.

Wow – those benefits must be outrageous! We should cheer that we’re getting these fat-cat public employees back under control!

Or, you know, not (from the same article):

“What do we do now?” asked Edward Pierce, a CWA member, one of hundreds at the rally wearing the union’s trademark red t-shirt. “I think we need to take a more creative approach. They’re coming after us.”

That people like Pierce will lose health and pension benefits is no cause for celebration. He takes care of the disabled at a developmental center. He is no millionaire. He is not the greedy thug of the governor’s imagination.

Well, Tom, which is it? Are middle-class public workers saddling the taxpayers with out-of-this-world benefits, or are he and his fellow workers not “greedy thugs”?

Then there’s this: