Tag Archive: Tom Moran

The Star-Ledger Editorial Board Continues To Make Stuff Up

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman. UPDATE: Trust me, you need to read what Bob Braun, who spent decades at the Star-Ledger, has to say about all this.

I don’t care if you are a news reporter or an opinion columnist: if you write for a newspaper, your first priority is getting your facts correct.

And yet, once again, the Star-Ledger’s editorial board just makes stuff up:

Especially in larger districts like Newark, which lose hundreds of students each year and therefore need fewer teachers, seniority is a major impediment to a school’s ability to hang on to the best people.

We see the repercussions every time a standout teacher gets a pink slip – like the “Teacher of the Year” for the Sacramento City Unified School District, or New Jersey’s own Christina Passwater, an award-winning literacy teacher at Whittier Elementary School in Camden. [emphasis mine]

Is it true? Was an award-winning teacher really let go by the Camden City Public Schools? When I first read this, it didn’t smell right; claims that seniority ends the careers of dedicated teachers quite often turn out to be exaggerated when you start looking at the facts.

So I did what Tom Moran, head of the S-L’s Editorial Board, should have done before he put this into print: I checked out the truth of the claim.

It took maybe a total of 15 minutes of my time. I emailed the offices of the NJEA (of which I am a member) and asked if they could find out if Passwater was still teaching in Camden. A few back-and-forths later, I learned the truth:

Christina Passwater is currently teaching in Camden, and is looking forward to teaching there again next year. The Star-Ledger editorial page got her story completely wrong.  

To Christie: “When you call me that, smile”

Washington, DC, has its own annual correspondents’ dinner. It is not off the record. In fact it is televised live, with clips and comments that quickly appear in the media. There are plenty of jabs back and forth. Many with considerable bite speak to an element of truth. They garner plenty of laughter. They are not, however, overly malicious, nasty, nor crude. They are not harshly accusatory and they avoid foul language.

Governor Christie last week set a low bar for this type of event. As the Jaffe Communications Morning Briefing reported, “In what will forever be remembered as his ‘I don’t give a shit speech’, Gov. Chris Christie delivered a Bulworth-inspired, expletive-filled tirade against the media during the New Jersey Legislative Correspondent’s Club annual show that would have made many Iowa-based religious conservatives pray for his soul.” Forget the fact that this speech may not play well in Des Moines. That is Christie’s problem and is a result of his big mouth and poor judgment. That speech should not play well anywhere.

The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran is absolutely right!

Meant to feature this a couple days ago, but breaking news got in our way. From our friend Marie Corfield, cross-posted with her blog – Rosi.

Last week broke some kind of record. The Star Ledger started the week with a front page expose on the cost of the PARCC exam (no one really knows), and then, not one, not two, but three pieces of ‘reformy’ education propaganda appeared on its op-ed page.

Education blogger Stephen Danley made mincemeat of the third one even before it hit the presses. More Camden schools are being closed and turned over to charters, and the good people of that city have no say because the Camden Advisory Board of Education is “accountable to one group, and one group only: our children.” Lucky for them because if they were accountable to the taxpayers, things would be very different. Please read and share Stephen’s excellent piece. We must continue to expose the denial of democracy in that city.

But back to the first two…

Jersey Jazzman, Ani McHugh and I have called out Tom Moran on his blind faith in education ‘reform’ numerous times, but for whatever reason, he refuses to take off his rose-colored glasses. So, I am throwing in the towel. I surrender! Tom Moran is absolutely right. “This hysteria about the PARCC exam needs to stop.” This test will save humanity! Corporations, hedge fund managers and billionaires really are altruistically trying to save America’s public schools (the ones their kids don’t attend). There is no profit-making going on. It’s all a conspiracy theory. We’re all ‘tin foil hat’ crazies. Dear God, how could I not have known?



Shorter @tomamoran: We Had To Destroy Camden to Save it

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman.

The fact that Tom Moran gave himself gobs of print space in the op-ed section of today’s Star-Ledger solely for the purpose of kissing South Jersey Democratic boss George Norcross’s posterior pretty much tells us all we need to know about that newspaper’s sad decline.

But I just want to point out a few things for the record that Moran, as usual, completely misses:

– Let’s start with Moran’s rather selective memory about the history of policing and Camden:

For the drug dealers and gangs, things got even better when Camden was hit by the double-whammy of the Great Recession and cuts in state aid. City leaders raised taxes by 23 percent in 2011, but with so little property to tax, it wasn’t enough.

They went begging to the police for concessions, but the union wouldn’t budge. So despite the crisis in violence, nearly half the force was laid off in 2013. Violence, predictably, exploded. Response time mushroomed to 60 minutes.

You’ll notice that Moran’s construction, true to form, glosses over the massive cuts in aid to Camden Chris Christie made — all while lowering taxes on the wealthy and handing out tax goodies to corporations — and instead places most of the blame on public workers.

Moran goes on to catalog the many alleged abuses of Camden’s Finest, neglecting to mention that these brave men and women went out every damn day into what is arguably the most dangerous city in America, risking their lives. When’s the last time Moran ever wrote an op-ed thanking these people for their work, instead of publicly shaming them?  

Tonight: “Requiem for a Newspaper”

I just want to flag this event for you – tonight – because it looks damned interesting, and I can’t attend. This is an invitation for anyone who does go to write about it here.

I am personally conflicted in how I feel about the decline of the Star-Ledger, which has now lost its long brick and mortar home in Newark, even as its wrong-side advocacy of the state-controlled dissolution of Newark public education shows its disaffection with the city whose heartbeat it once knew. There are still great writers at the Ledger, and newspaper journalism is something I think is critically important in a state of political liars. But the Ledger’s departure leaves Newark without a daily newspaper for the first time since 1832, and tonight is about what Newark thinks about that.

Requiem for a Newspaper: The Star-Ledger leaves Newark

A Panel Discussion and Community Forum

When: Tonight – 7-9 p.m.

Where: Robeson Campus Center, Rooms 255-257, Rutgers-Newark

Panelists: Andy Baglivo, Newark Evening News City Hall reporter; Bob Braun, Star-Ledger education writer and columnist; Sharpe James, Newark’s longest-serving mayor; Dr. Clement Price, Rutgers professor and city historian; Stanley Terrell, Star-Ledger City Hall reporter; Joan Whitlow, Star-Ledger reporter and columnist

Star-Ledger Newsroom, Newark, dismantled
Star-Ledger newsroom, taken by Tom Moran

as it was dismantled. Via Facebook.

Once Again, @tomamoran Gets Charter Schools Wrong

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman.

So long as Tom Moran, Editorial Page Editor of the Star-Ledger, insists on publishing pieces about education full of omissions and half-truths, I have no choice but to continue to set the record straight and correct him. Yesterday’s piece from Moran is about Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa), a dual-language immersion school I have studied previously and know quite well. Says Moran:

The core dispute is about race. Whites in Hoboken have fled the district in droves, thanks to its long record of academic failure and racial imbalance. The city is 82 percent white, but all the district elementary schools are majority African-American and Latino.

In other words: whites have fled Hoboken’s public schools because whites have fled Hoboken’s public schools. Nice insight, Tom…

We’ll get to whether the “core dispute is about race” in a minute. But let’s first take a look at racial makeup of Hoboken’s public schools:

Conservative Mulshine Calls Iraq War “Greatest Strategic Mistake in US History”

promoted by Rosi

Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine has a piece calling on the US and Britain to address home grown Islamic extremism.

In it, he calls the Iraq war the greatest strategic mistake in US history:

That opportunity [for US citizens to join ISIS] was created by the greatest strategic mistake in U.S. history, the use of American military force to remove dictatorships in the Mideast under the mistaken theory that, given the vote, the citizens of those states would set up governments that have the best interests of the Western democracies at heart.

Mulshine is a conservative commentator, and so this is pretty strong. He’s also willing to take on other conservatives, so it’s not quite as strong as, say, Mary Cheney or Ron Paul saying it.

Marie Corfield to Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran

promoted by Rosi

In case you missed it, earlier this week fellow educators and bloggers, Ani McHugh (teacherbiz), Mark Weber (Jersey Jazzman) and I wrote a joint open letter to Star Ledger editorial director Tom Moran, regarding his continuous support of the racist policies of Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s One Newark plan. In addition to posting on all three of our blogs, it also ran at Blue Jersey Diane Ravitch’s site.

Tom was not happy, and posted a response here at Blue Jersey. To which Jazzman responded here and here. 
Here’s my response:

Dear Tom,

You missed our point so I’ll say it again in my best teacher voice: One Newark has been proven to be a racist policy toward students and education professionals. You refuse to research and report the facts surrounding it (Journalism 101), reporting instead on your opinions and pre-conceived notions, therefore you support a racist policy. 

More below.

An Open Letter to Star-Ledger Editorial Board Director Tom Moran

This was published simultaneously this morning, at Marie Corfield, teacher biz, Jersey Jazzman and here at Blue Jersey. Promoted by Rosi.

Dear Tom,

This week, you crossed a line.

Until now, your pieces in the Star-Ledger about Newark’s school system and the reorganization of the district have been ill-informed and reckless. You’ve ignored the warnings of teachers, parents, community leaders, researchers, and students, preferring instead to cling to recycled talking points crafted by those with scant little experience in education policy, but much to gain in profits.

You’ve paid a price: like your ridiculous attempt to walk back from your disastrous endorsement of Chris Christie, your continuing effort to support State Superintendent Cami Anderson while distancing yourself from the consequences of her catastrophic leadership has shredded any integrity you had left as a journalist. Any standing your newspaper had left as a champion of the people of Newark has also eroded: as with Anderson, no one in the city trusts you or the Star-Ledger’s editorial page anymore.

“Shame on you for refusing to educate yourself about the policies you endorse.”