Gov. Christie, Student Protesters at Montclair High School

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christiemhs.jpgGov. Christie visited Montclair High School, where he was met with TV media vans and a group of student protesters. We’ve learned that the principal tried to eject a camera crew shooting student protesters, but the governor’s PR staff intervened. A tipster tells us kids who had organized the protest were told they had to be respectful and aim the protest at Christie’s policies and not at the man.
Christie met with and answered questions from students involved in the Civics & Government Institute (CGI) at MHS and then held a press conference. Christie is visiting because of teachers’ salary freezes and staff cuts; Christie is offering more state aid to schools that freeze teacher pay. One female student broke down in tears while asking questions of the governor.
Christie says he finds news that the executive director of the New Jersey Education Association make $550,000 a year, which was broken by a radio reporter at the news conference, “shocking’ and “obscene,” and adds “I’m not going to fix 20 years of mistakes in one year.” Regarding teachers’ unions, Christie says, “These bullies need to be taken on and I’m taking them on. I have to stand up for the taxpayers of the state.”

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145 COMMENTS

  1. I would assume the 4th of July parade and fireworks are going to be one of the many things cut from this years budget. So I would say, no, he won’t be there…. Neither will we!

  2. Christie is a hero. Montclair schools are about jobs, paychecks, tenure, goldplated healthcare, snowdays,early retirement, pensions and putting in your time. Montclair schools are not about education.
    But NJEA pays its Executive Director $550,000.00.

  3. “…kids who had organized the protest were told they had to be respectful and aim the protest at his policies and not at the man.”
    Unlike their parent’s posts on Baristanet.

  4. According to the Bergen Record, Executive Director Vincent giordano of the NJEA makes 270K per year, not 550K.
    Still a nice chunk of change, but accuracy should be expected from the governor.

  5. Hero? That’s a stretch, but I will give the guy credit for going where he knows he won’t get the most friendly welcome, and to the PR guy who stopped the principal from ejecting the film crew.
    Hey, is that JOE D in the picture?

  6. Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder why on earth that man behind the Gov. is smiling??! I mean, people are protesting, kids are crying… what’s there to be happy about?

  7. Is the New Jersey Education Association Union books’ open? I would like to take a closer look. $550k for the director? Looks like teachers get screwed in more ways than one. I wonder if the union bosses who use the teachers as their piggy banks will take pay cuts too? These are the real crooks, when under the microscope, they hide and put the teachers and kids in front of them as shields, all the while they count their money….Can anyone here honestly say that these people have the taxpayers, teachers or children’s interest ahead of their own? I don’t care if you like Christie or not, these people need to go!!!

  8. I wish I could say I voted for Chris Christie, but I didn’t. I LOVE this man and what he’s doing. It’s about time the gap between public and private compensation closed.
    Thank you, thank you thank you Governor Christie!!!

  9. Christie is a pig and thief for the rich! He has harmed and will continue to harm 98% percent of New Jerseyan. This wretched viel scum has no place in New Jersey!

  10. croiagusanam: you believe everything you read in the newspaper? I know I don’t believe everything politicians say.

  11. You can’t go by the salaries of public figures posted in the record , asbury press or Ledger. A lot of times they wrong in both directions. Public servants often get paid out of a few ‘pots’ (departments) by the unions, towns, county, state and they dont always add up.

  12. Data for Giordano’s salary (270K) was received from the NJEA Record analysis of campaign finance and lobbying reports filed with the Election Law Enforcement Commission and the State of New Jere=sey Division of Taxation, and the IRS.
    guess you can only “go by” the numbers that happen to coincide with the ones you like.
    Again, 270K is nothing to sneeze at, but if the governor doesn’t know the real number, or if he’s lying about it, that’s not good.

  13. This wretched viel scum has no place in New Jersey!
    I await the Barista’s warning to The Lasered One.

  14. of course he’s a liar, people. and he’s beholden to the powers that be, including his brother who bought him his last job, not to you or your children. Your memories are so short. Don’t you remember he tried to sabotage menendez’s election by leaking a potential trumped-up indictment right before the election – solely for political reasons? I won’t mention the other hanky panky.

  15. Liz, can you please tell us more about why the girl broke down in tears? What was she asking the governor?

  16. I love that the reward the teachers get for voting to take a pay freeze is to have their union called bullies. Adorable.

  17. It doesn’t seem like the $550k figure is accurate….but, even so….SO? It’s non a public salary. It’s a union salary, paid for by member dues. NJEA has like, what, 250,000 members? A CEO of a company with 250,000 employees would likely make much, much more.
    I fail to see how it really is a public issue or is “sickening”, beyond the fact that *any* CEO making that much is kinda disgusting. But, that’s the capitalism the republicans love.

  18. “I’m not going to fix 20 years of mistakes in one year.”
    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Everyone knows that you don’t rush stuff like this!
    and “These bullies need to be taken on and I’m taking them on. I have to stand up for the taxpayers of the state.”
    Okay so you’re standing up for the taxpayers of the state by cutting funding to their children’s schools!?!?!? That’s the OPPOSITE of what taxpayers want!!! You can’t make our schools better by cutting well-liked teachers and programs! UGHHHHHHHHH

  19. I did vote for Christie because this is what he campaigned on — fiscal restraint & responsiblity. It’s what all republicans have been campaigning on and that’s why big blue states like NJ, VA & MA turned course. Constituents are talking through their vote — anyone who says a majority of americans aren’t fed up with run-away spending, bigger government, special interest pandering is blind.
    Go Christie & voters like Mandy, thank you for that refreshing post!!! Let’s hope lots of people wake up & realize what’s happening in this country before it’s too late.

  20. I agree, mama.
    Union members can be upset if they choose to be. Its their money. But anyone else has no call as to its appropriateness.
    Of course there will be those who say that they, as taxpayers, pay the teachers who pay the dues. By that logic, ANY purchase made by a public employee, from union dues to orange juice, can be questioned by the “payer”.
    Try that “I pay your salary” line on a cop next time you’re pulled over. It’ll go far.
    Or YOU will.
    and yes, his salary is his salary. His benefits and his pension are other issues. The governor and the legislature are having that discussion about pensions. Its overdue, and I’m sure there will be changes.
    But that’s not what the governor said about giordano. He said that his salary was 550K. That’s wrong, and as an attorney he’d jump all over such disingenousness if it was uttered by someone in court.
    Or at least, he should.

  21. “Good for him, at least he’s not hiding.”
    There really aren’t that many places that a man of that girth can hide.
    We can all try to blame the governor, but we have no one but ourselves and our selfish public sector workers to blame for the problem. In referendum, we voted to maintain the process which leaves the unnaccountable BOSE and BOE intact. It should come as no surprise that we have some of the most overpaid administrators in the state. Yes, as a percentage we pay less than some neighboring towns for our total school administration, but what we pay the ones who are there is astounding.
    You all did see the recent Montclair Times article where only an OPRA request could bring the longevity pay to the light of day.
    It should also come as no surprise that we will be facing 10% tax increases, this is even with the salary freezes. The state cut 7 million in aid and we will be making up 5 million of it in property tax increases. This is after 534 properties in town successfully won their property tax appeals making your individual tax burden even larger.
    But go on and waste your time fighting over the useless issues where you have absolutely zero ability to affect change. Complain about Trenton not taxing the rich. Watch as they leave and take their jobs and revenue with them. Complain about merit-based compensation and overpaid union heads, which you have no power over. Support Mayor Fried, as he continues to spend dollar after dollar of money which the township does not have, on capital items which we do not need.
    The solution is to adjust the budgets to meet the revenues!!! You can’t get blood from a stone. Sacrifice is absolutely necessary. Sacrifice is not taxing the rich. Sacrifice is not borrowing from the future. Sacrifice is larger class sizes, benefits cuts, SALARY CUTS, higher fees and smaller administration. Sacrifice is not raising the local property tax to cover the shortfall in aid from the state. Sacrifice is closing the second library and reducing the cost of operating the first. Yes it sucks to lose your job or have your salary cut. My large company lost 2 out of every 5 workers and have endured 10-12% salary cuts since 2007, not to mention the utter decimation of our benefits. But, I’m still happy to be working. This is sacrifice! Sacrifice is not spending 2 million dollars for a police parking lot and a streetscape for South Park while raising your property taxes by 10%.
    We are not all rich in Montclair. Unfortunately, all the members of the Fried Five are. And we voted in referendum to allow them to keep spending uncontrollably without any say about their actions. People of Montclair, you got what you asked for. Now stop blaming it on Trenton. Their revenues are down. If you want to blame anyone besides yourself, it’s the administration and teachers who have chosen to sacrifice their own coworkers and our childrens’ education to protect their cushy salaries and benefits. They are TRULY to blame. And the argument that we would lose all of this fantastic talent if cuts were made. Poppycock. There are plenty of private sector unemployed who know how to work hard and have practical experience that could really benefit our failing school district and would benefit by having a job. And they would work much more cheaply.
    But go on. Keep blaming the fat man for our woes.

  22. It will be interesting to see what happens when our local real estate taxes go up to compensate for the cuts in state funding. I am glad we are finally forced to shine a much needed light on overall compensation packages for public employees, it’s really the back end payments for pension and healthcare in the post- work years that are not sustainable.

  23. He may not be hiding, but he’s not exactly going out amongst the people, either. I was at the high school today: This was a surprise to everyone but Alvarez and the principal–even the teachers weren’t told. But you know who told? The six or eight TV stations who had trucks out on Chestnut Street, the ones Christie’s office invited to his little stage show. The kids who protested–and my daughter was one of them–caught wind of his arrival in second period and hastily organized the kind of protest that Christie clearly was trying to avoid. I’m glad Montclair High School students are being taught to stand up for what they believe, and I hope that the teachers who support them will still be around next year after Christie’s axe falls.

  24. Recently at their family dinner, my friend’s middle school aged daughter was explaining to her parents exactly why Gov Christie is wrong and what he is doing ‘to’ the teachers. Friend calmly asked daughter where she got her information. (Guess?) “From the teachers.” Friend then explained to daughter the realities of friend & husband’s financial/employment situation, as well as the $10K+ that friend & husband pay for the family’s medical benefits. Daughter digested that and decided maybe Christie wasn’t being so unreasonable after all.

  25. Mountain Lakes recently negotiated a 13% increase over three years for the superintendent. He will make $248K in 2012. There is one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. The hearing impaired school actually makes money for the district, collecting tuition for each student from their sending district.
    So for three schools, the super makes roughly what Alvarez makes for 9.
    Well they’re certainly responsible up there, aren’t they?

  26. I’ve got my eye on a place in Morris County that is twice the size of my current home, has a highly ranked school system, the taxes are under 7K and you can rake your leaves into the road. The owners are near the short sale stage as Morris County actually has their loan database online and searchable.
    The median income in the town is higher than that of Montclair. Oh, the train commute is only 7 minutes longer than from Walnut Street.
    Admittedly, their restaurants aren’t quite as good 😛

  27. Teachers are paid very little and Gov. Pig is licking his chops for the other small benefits which allow teachers to live. These people take care of your children and teach them in spite of all the problems they face at home and in life.

  28. Lasermike026: The math just doesn’t work buddy. You can’t increase salary by 4% every year, throw in the longevity pay, paid-out sick days, virtually free healthcare for family and spouse for life, pensions based on the last two years worked with a retirement age of 55 and then say they deserve more.
    If the teachers were smart, they would take a collective pay cut for the short-term benefit and would make serious concessions in their unsustainable benefits. Instead, they will screw the last hired to maintain the gravy train for as long as is humanly possible, increasing our students class sizes all the meanwhile.
    The unions better wise up soon. Otherwise, they will end up in the same condition as our car companies. Where the cost to educate a student will end up cheaper in private school than in public school.
    And my wife wants me to retract something I posted earlier in error. The house is not twice the size of ours, but you certainly get more for your money outside of Montclair. Everything else was true 😉
    Oh, and they don’t require bike racks everywhere.

  29. Stuw6, I am going to log back in a hundred times so I can give you more thumbs up! Ok maybe not a hundred. (it’s the thought that counts.)
    It is one thing to cut schools, swimming pools, libraries, teacher stipends, etc. etc., and entirely another to buy a parking lot for no good reason other than it looks bad and people don’t want to cross the street.
    I do blame the folks in Trenton somewhat, though – just how long can you continue to spend more than you take in, before it catches up to you? It’s been either “tax ‘n spend” or “borrow ‘n spend” for decades, both at state and federal levels. It’s called Living Beyond Your Means and it’s got to stop!
    Stu, please don’t move to Morris County! We need you for the new Office of Practicality and Common Sense! (and it comes with a great salary and benefits…)
    😛

  30. (p.s. I am beginning to think that Lasermike and Mathilda are really RoC in disguise, and he does this just to keep things interesting!)

  31. One last thing.
    In our companies latest quarterly leadership call, an employee questioned our CEO as to when salary increases may once again occur. His answer was surprising to most. He said that the era of a guaranteed increase was in the past. All increases would be based on proven merit as long as we are in a non-inflationary environment. He did say that if the company met it’s revenue budget, he would reinstate the 401k match in 2011. He did reference that he has discussed this issue with other corporate leaders and this trend is likely to become the standard.
    Sacrifice. Outlays meeting revenues and income. This is how things work in real world recessions.
    Oh, and my company is quite progressive. In our recent round of salary cuts, execs took 15% while non-highly compensated employees took 10%.

  32. stuw6, what town? The MAIN reason I moved here was for the schools and the proximity to NYC. And since I get on the train at Mountain Ave, it would be a shorter commute! I’m on Coldwell Banker’s site right now house hunting

  33. VNC, I had the same exact conversation with my kids. They said Mrs….. said this about the budget and the govenor”…and I quickly set that record straight. My older child said he had a conversation with his teacher and said she was far more reasonable then most of them and understood why he was doing what he was. I guess its not totally a lost cause. i think most people in the academia world realize there is a huge problem, everyone that is except their union.

  34. Florham Park. It’s directly between the Montclair-like Chatham and Madison.
    I just can’t afford Montclair anymore. I sometimes question how my Ward 4 neighbors that remain do.

  35. Also, if you are not commuting into the city, Berkeley Heights and New Providence are also excellently run towns.
    If you want beautiful firehouses, municipal complexes, then Chatham and Madison would probably fit the bill better. IMO, it’s just not worth the extra $1,000 per year increase when my salary is dropping by $10,000 or stagnating.

  36. “Christie says he finds news that the executive director of the New Jersey Education Association make $550k a year “shocking’ and “obscene,” and adds “I’m not going to fix 20 years of mistakes in one year.”
    Did Christie say the Union Leader makes 550k Liz? Or react to something someone else offered as a suspected salary in the vein of “if that’s the salary its obscene”
    There were no quotes on the 550. And we’re unsure who said that.
    Can we have a little better reporting on this?

  37. Chatham? Montclair like?? With a “.04%” Black population how could you even THINK it’s “like” Montclair? (Oh, it has restaurants.)
    And Madison with its whopping “3%” Black population is no better.
    But good ‘ol Florham Park has “1%”……
    It’s good to know that “diversity” is great so long as the taxes don’t get too high.
    But if you are Black, biracial or want your kids to grow up in a diverse community, these towns- nice certainly- wouldn’t be on the list.
    So do all of us a favor and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out………….

  38. Prof,
    So what you are saying is that our blackness is what keeps Montclair pricey? I love the diversity here. I truly do. I suppose I just can’t afford it.

  39. Comrade lasermikey made, as is his wont, a few “tumbrel remarks” above.
    But, mikey, do you ever stop and realize how they make you sound to others, how your splenetic stabs at being a left-wing version of Elmer Fudd seemingly indicate low intelligence and zero reasoning ability? Honestly, Comrade, you might wish to post only after due reflection the next time. Calling our duly elected governor a “viel (sic) pig” is hardly the way to win friends and influence others here. (And have you also ever noted the corresponding avoirdupois of, say, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd or the recently deceased Ted Kennedy?)

  40. Chatham and Madison are not exactly “Montclair -like” and I’m not even sure what that means. For some people diversity matters. For others schools don’t. I happen to like being able to walk to good restaurants. I hope you find your dream house in Florham Park, Stuw6 and may the grass there be greener for you. I’ll stay here and complain about the wasteful spending but I’m not willing to move to save $5k a year in taxes – which would be offset partially by higher commuting costs anyway.

  41. It’s good to know that “diversity” is great so long as the taxes don’t get too high.
    I’m sure that I’ve misunderstood – if you could please explain so that I’m able to get my head around this, it would be appreciated.
    Are you suggesting that there’s a relationship between minorities and high taxes?

  42. Honestly, stu, would you just move already? These empty threats are growing tiresome. What’s holding you back??? Just do it!

  43. The equation is really simple and comes down to the fact that revenues are down and expenditures are scheduled to be going up.
    I want to hear a clear statement from the BOSE that the local part of the BOE budget is NOT going up in any way.
    Let Alvarez earn his pay by figuring out the necessary cuts. Ideally I would like to see strong recommendations from the BOSE to direct cuts to bloated areas like administration, but I am holding my breath.
    And yes, this probably means a higher class size, so what…

  44. jersey. Thanks for the well wishes. I haven’t bought yet, as I expect prices to drop a bit more once all of the fed stimulus is removed. NJ is no different from the rest of the country. Our bumps are coming soon.
    The tax difference is closer to $7,000. And it won’t take long before the tax difference begins to grow exponentially. Inflation is a coming and Montclair has $220,000,000 worth of debt that will need to be fixed. Many towns have little or no debt.
    This year, Florham Park’s school portion of their budget will increase by like $91. In Montclair it will increase by like $500, if we are lucky. It won’t take too many years of this before Monctlair’s tax bill is triple of what Florham Park’s is. Especially with LaserMikes and Fried Fives who don’t have a solid grasp of basic math. And if you think you are staying here for the diversity? Fat chance it survives many more 10% tax increases. This town will soon be whiter than Cathar’s backside.

  45. Let me see if I got this right.
    It’s ok to call someone a ‘jack booted nazi swine’ but not a ‘self important braying jackass’.
    Hey Katie Creasey you want to weigh in on this?
    Only a ‘self important braying jackass’ would call someone else a ‘nazi swine’.
    Right?

  46. How is cutting Glen Ridge’s state funding to nothing and keeping all of its income tax contribution fixing anything? Abbott districts now get 60% of state funding (up from 55%). Nothing Christy is doing is going to drive more efficiency in to the delivery of education.

  47. Could someone post some specifics about what actually transpired at the high school today.

  48. Are you suggesting that there’s a relationship between minorities and high taxes?
    Interesting, because apparently, the Kirwan people think there’s also a relationship between household income and diversity.
    I still say the only truly fair way of ensuring the diversity of our schools is to (a) start them all at the same time, (b) make them all the same, (c) bus everyone from K-8 except those under 1/2 mile (to alleviate the drop-off problem i.e. being at two schools at once), and most important, (d) put EVERYone’s name in a hat and draw the student population randomly. The only concession would be for siblings. I bet you’d come out nicely mixed without the insult.
    Maybe we could save money at the central office this way (no more fielding phone calls and country-club application letters to the super, no more placement committee deliberations) and put it toward busing.
    sorry for going off topic.

  49. My, uh, backside, stuw6, for a long time, until I finally hied myself off to the VA hospital long years after service in Nam, wasn’t all that “lily white.” Rather, it’d once been extensively peppered with really teensy bits of shrapnel from a bouncing betty, and it used to play hob with metal detectors at airports.
    I just wanted to clarify that. Also, I have never in fact worn “jacket boots,” swastikas or even a pair of Doc Martens.

  50. You conservative scum are a bunch of know nothings taking for granted everything the teachers do and at the crappy pay they do it. You get more than you pay for and you don’t deserve it.
    ———————
    Laser, why single the teachers out? There are lots of jobs where people are taken for granted and receive crappy pay….Take nurses, they deal with REAL crap….Why should teachers get the preferential defense?

  51. Is it just me or does it look like the Governor is trying to break the NJEA? Is there any downside to this happening?

  52. stuw6,
    My point is simple: when you are white, you can choose IF and WHEN diversity matters.
    But if you are black, interracial, biracial, gay or non-white, it’s a much harder decision.
    And for some of us, it’s not really a choice as we don’t want our kids growing up the only black kid in town.
    Get it? Diversity matters only up until the moment you can afford your home. The moment you can’t, diversity isn’t that important (because if it were, taxes and all, you wouldn’t be considering moving, well at least not to the towns you mentioned.)
    But tudlow said it best, just go and leave us alone.

  53. “And for some of us, it’s not really a choice as we don’t want our kids growing up the only black kid in town.”
    I’m sorry I was born white prof. Is that better?

  54. Not a day goes by that the prof doesn’t marvel at how dumb some folks can be.
    Reading comprehension be damned, some “read” what they want.
    Fine.
    But the saddest part is when those dumb folks let the world know how dumb they are…. Though, I admit, I do enjoy laughing at dumb folks who think they’re smart, especially when here.
    (Do the expected: tell the prof he’s one of the dumb people… C’mon, I teed it up for ya, take a hack!)

  55. stuw6,
    Though my comment of 9:13 was not directed at you, IF your comment is any indication of how you understood my point, it sure fits.

  56. Prof,
    What’s really sad about your perception of me is that I chose to live in Montclair due to the diversity, not in spite of it. I get up and scream at town council meetings and write letters to the Montclair Times to try to protect our diversity and to keep it from being taxed out of town. The only racist here is yourself as you choose to hide behind your own race. What’s even more sad, is that you do not realize it. Reread your prior posts directed to me. You do have a choice to live in a better (and cheaper) place than Montclair. But you are simply a coward in saying that this choice does not exist.
    Fore.

  57. I wish I could say I voted for Chris Christie, but I didn’t.
    Same here. There should be a bumper sticker:
    Don’t not blame me, I didn’t vote for Christie!

  58. nice that lasermike picked the first day of Passover to (for the umpteenth time) cluelessly bandy about the moniker “nazi”
    buh bye

  59. I’m still trying to figure out how prof, or anyone for that matter, is “hiding behind his race”.
    That really is one of the most nonsensical comments I’ve read in a very long time.
    Oh, and I guess that I too am sorry that I was born white (backside and all).
    I mean, I never really gave it all that much thought until stu wised me up.
    All in all, I think baristaville will survive stu’s departure. We’ll soldier on as best we can and, as they used to say in London during the blitz, we’ll keep calm and carry on.

  60. My point is simple: when you are white, you can choose IF and WHEN diversity matters. But if you are black, interracial, biracial, gay or non-white, it’s a much harder decision. And for some of us, it’s not really a choice as we don’t want our kids growing up the only black kid in town.
    This statement from the prof really made me stop and think. It makes me uncomfortable. It seems to be saying that blacks (I’m going to put aside the other minorities for the nonce) need liberal whites to complete them–so they can raise their kids without having them be the only black kids in town. Yikes! That’s not a good position to be in. Shouldn’t you be standing on your own? Is it really my responsibility as a white guy to stick around to keep your kids company? You certainly don’t want me staying because I pity your predicament.
    On the other hand, it did make me appreciate the luxury that whites have to take diversity or leave it as we choose. Which also makes me uncomfortable.

  61. I would like to acknowledge the great loss that the Baristaville community has suffered today. We lost stuw6 to the horse suburbs of Jersey, driven out by high taxes and greedy teachers. And we lost lasersmiike, a.k.a. George Bogdanov of Bulgaria, who was felled by his own particularly acid form of hubris.
    Just a few hours ago they seemed so much a part of us, so central, in their individual ways, to the delicate magic that is Baristaville, that it seemed like they would be with us forever (and ever and ever). Laser had such a cute way of ripping cathar a new one, just when you thought the old gasbag had already sprung his last leak. And stuw6 was always the big brother, trying to keep us true to our financial obligations. He was our Reality Instructor.
    We shall miss them both, but ultimately we will be stronger, smarter, and wiser having known them and lost them, than never having lost them at all.
    May God save their immortal souls. Let us pray.

  62. Blacks, or other minorities, don’t need whites liberal or otherwise to “complete” them. However, when you live in a nation where you constitute 13% of the population, and which has a very long and very sad history regarding racial matters, you do want to avoid being shunted off into some sort of enclave that is thought of, and in fact is, exclusively black. Because the fact of the matter is, in the USA no neighborhood has ever been thought of as especially desirable or posh because it was overwhelmingly black.
    I have two daughters who are bi-racial, and while they are grown women now with families of their own and are quite successful and wonderful in every way, I remember well the difficulties they faced in their time here as kids who were “different”, and to be truthful I couldn’t help them a whole lot through that part of it. They didn’t need or want pity, but it is hard enough to be a kid without being the ONLY kid of a certain race or religion or whatever.
    Whites do have the option to take it or leave it. It is, in my opinion, good for THEIR kids as well if they elect to take it.

  63. With all this chatter about Montclair taxes by the fans of our Big Gov — funny that nobody mentions that the amount of aid Big Gov is taking away from NJ schools pretty much equals the gift he’s giving to his $400k plus pals by dropping their income taxes. Funny as well that a nice paycheck is “obscene” when it goes to someone who works for a union — but not when it goes in the wallets of his “entrepreneurial” and big banking friends. I guess the guy knows obscenity when he sees it.
    Sure Montclair’s teachers have seemed a little tone deaf talking about their salaries in a town whose tax payers are facing their own pay cuts and jobs losses. But the real disgrace is having the head of a bloated schools administration hand a school and its kids over as a rent-free stage set for the Big Bully,I mean, Gov,to beat up on the folks who show up there to teach every day.
    The good news is that I don’t think any of us need to worry about stuw6 leaving town and depriving us of his insights. He knows that in Florham Park he’s not going to find a similar forum. And the restaurants aren’t as good.

  64. It is, in my opinion, good for THEIR kids as well if they elect to take it.
    The African American presence in Montclair is a source of tremendous cultural richness, which I don’t think you’ll find in Millburn, say, or Morristown. How many towns have a jazz school for kids taught by real players? Etc. Racial diversity is better in a grander, philosophical sense–it’s better for society, ultimately, to mix up the races. But is it necesarily better for each individual kid? I would like to think it is, cro, but I just don’t know.
    There’s a price to be paid, and you and see it in the high school. The chaos, the disruption, the rules meant for the lowest common denominator, the lack of attention to the brightest and the best students, the kids lost in the middle, the $60,000 spent on a handful of mainly black, underachieving football players, and all the other problems that go with an urban school where a large portion of the students are discipline problems. Is it really better for your white kid to keep him in such an environment?
    We’re here, any any rate. I suppose we think it’s worth it. But to be honest, sometimes I have my doubts. And I’m still waiting for the prof to invite me over for ribs.

  65. ‘roo, I think that you greatly exaggerate the problems in the high school. There are issues, to be sure. And when it is your kid, ANY issue is paramount in your mind. But MHS is not like schools in Camden, in Newark, in Paterson. Schools with drop out rates approaching or exceeding 50%. Schools with violent crime in and around the building every day. MHS graduates a class every year where the majority of kids go on to 4 year colleges, among them the best in the country. Many enter the military and do well there. Many go into business. There are some who elect to squander their opportunities, or who are so damaged by whatever went down in their own lives that they are, for now at least, a lost cause. But this is a minority of students, to be sure.
    I don’t see chaos. I don’t see the urban nightmare you’ve described. I HAVE seen those kinds of places, but MHS is not one of them.

  66. Prof, no one here cares how dumb you are or how black you are. Right now it looks like every person for themself regardless of intellect or color.

  67. Walleroo – Obviously you have not been attending any of the BOE/BOSE meetings or you’d know to stop b*thing about that motivational speaker. The BOE has decreed that this is not allowed anymore. How dare you question them?
    Besides, as Ms. Grill says TARP money, not local tax dollars paid for this, so it must be like free. She also said that if the money kept at least one of these kids in school that it would be better spent than getting another kid from MHS into Harvard.
    “There’s a price to be paid, and you and see it in the high school. The chaos, the disruption, the rules meant for the lowest common denominator, the lack of attention to the brightest and the best students, the kids lost in the middle, the $60,000 spent on a handful of mainly black, underachieving football players, and all the other problems that go with an urban school where a large portion of the students are discipline problems. Is it really better for your white kid to keep him in such an environment?”

  68. This thread has certainly just hit the surface of an interesting discussion regarding children and diversity.
    But Montclair is a big town and not everyone is here for “the kids”. My husband and I have no children and we like the diversity and richness of culture for ourselves. He grew up and spent all of his early adulthood on the Upper West Side and we are at a point in our lives at which true urban living is just too overwhelming and stressful. We don’t want to live in Manhattan or Brooklyn or Hoboken and Montclair gives us the benefits of urban life (walk, bike or short drive to trains, shops, restaurants, movie theatres, parks and now even the Wellmont) as well as the ability to live in a quirky old house with a garden and neighbors who are as diverse as the ones we had in the city. Plus we’re 13 miles away from the city where we still have to work.
    We don’t want to be driven out by ridiculously high taxes either, so the town does need to figure out how to start to control much of the wasteful spending. And there are certainly less expensive places to live, but for us, Chatham and Florham Park are not options we would even consider. The majority of homeowners in town don’t have school age children, if they did, the taxes would be even higher since the largest portion of our tax bill goes toward the BOE.
    So, Christie’s cuts to schools will impact us all directly whether or not we have kids in the system. No one wants to see the school system deteriorate, and no one wants to see our tax bill escalate. It’s time to get really creative.

  69. Jo,
    I disagree. I happily pay my taxes. I look at kids walking to school in the morning as MY kids- kids I help support and hope do well.
    I believe in community and respect what others bring to it.
    Our tax structure however, is at issue. You cannot think that some who want the burden lowered are only out for themselves.
    Like many, I paid taxes before I had a kid. I’ll pay taxes after he’s done with school. Why? Because good schools make for a great community.
    Understand, I CHOSE to live here. Montclair has always had high taxes. I consider it the price of admission. And I’m willing to pay.
    If you don’t like it—- MOVE. There are plenty of wonderful communities without the tax burden.

  70. Prof,
    I think the fundamental issue here is the ROI. The Montclair taxpayers aren’t seeing it and they are – justifiably – mad as all *$#!.
    I don’t see that the political process is working for Montclair residents. The degree of ineptness is staggering and the leadership of this town is on a drunken binge, and only a serious intervention will stop it.
    Personally I think the era of individual townships/burroughs in densely populated urban/suburban areas will have to come to an end, if we ever wish to see a reduction in the acceleration of tax increases and a reasonable benefit for what we do lay out.

  71. Just wondering what people see as the main benefits of diversity. I’ve been asking myself this more frequently, because clearly we COULD move to a less diverse town which would have lower taxes and higher test scores (for whatever that’s worth), yet something keeps us here (though I don’t know for how long). I agree with the poster who said diversity is great from a societal perspective, but does it actually do anything for my kids? For whatever reason, all of their good friends are the same race that they are (and they’re still in elementary school), though they have acquaintances of all different backgrounds. I grew up in a completely white/asian town in Westchester, attending one of the top public schools in the country, and quite honestly I think the education there was better, in terms of everything from class size, to “extras” offered, to expectations for what kids should be achieving. At the same time it was a much more “snooty” town, with more attention paid to who had the nicest car/house/clothes and whether or not you were ultimately accepted at the Ivy of your choice (which many kids were). But this attitude was more a function of wealth and parental expectations than the town’s homogeneity (though there was a large Asian population there, so I can’t call it completely homogenous). So could people tell me, what is it about diversity that is so important (because I think that it is important, but can’t quite put my finger on why) especially if your kids play with kids who look just like them? I’m actually concerned that my kids may emerge from Montclair with more negative stereotypes than I grew up with, and that I may be doing them a disservice by prioritizing diversity over a truly top notch education.

  72. For those truly in search of diversity and lower property taxes (though the restaurant scene is somewhat moribund), allow me to recommend Clifton, a place which quite correctly boasts that you can hear some 90 or so distinct languages and dialects on its streets and in its schools.
    Clifton High even seems to serve as a sort of feeder school on a yearly basis to Cornell, and Cliftonites who go out of town to assorted Papist and private secondary schools also wind up at very good colleges.
    Prof, jerseygurl, amy1, so many others how about it? You won’t even have to switch Congressmen. We even have train service. (Though I have no idea of its frequency.) And truly excellent bus service into NYC along with extensive commuter parking.

  73. And walleroo, perhaps you simply were posting by rote and thus without any real knowledge, but there’s a fairly signficant African-American heritage and presence in and to Morristown.
    Maybe not so much in Millburn, where they instead take understandable pride in the achievements of local Asian-Americans, but there’s still some. Certainly enough to temper your apparently smug assumption above.

  74. Mrs. Martta, if there are any “great” restaurants in Clifton, I’ve simply missed them. At least two really fine places for pizza, however. And bars upon bars, thank the Lord, especially on Van Houten Avenue.
    Yes, however, there are a few Arabic-Turkish-Middle Eastern places in Clifton, along with many more in Paterson proper. My favorite there is Bulfuf, on Main Avenue a few blocks past Corrado’s; it’s one of the very, few few non-halal places, so you can bring your own wine in. And Toros on Hazel Avenue in Clifton actually vends Turkish wines, though its sister venue in Paterson is strictly halal and alcohol-free.

  75. Cathar, I went to Clifton High School. I wound up at the college of my choice and my neighbor went to Princeton. It is certainly an excellent less expensive alternative to Montclair, and like Bloomfield where I lived before moving to Montclair, is a short drive to downtown Montclair for access to some really good restaurants.
    Alas, it does not afford one the luxury of a relatively car free existence which is why I pay a premium to live where I do. I save money on the need to have a second car so it’s a bit of a wash. But the 192 bus is far superior to any of the DeCamp offerings and I still go to Stefan in Botany Village for holiday food products (ham, kielbasa, pierogi, etc) where they proudly display a large autographed photo of Martha Kostyra.

  76. Aaaaahhh, Stefan’s, jerseygurl…..It is presumably mobbed for pre-Easter purchases even as I type this. God bless pork products for some of us, ya know?
    But the fact remains that Clifton has the diversity that Montclair to a certain extent only pretends to. And to a truly far wider extent.

  77. Having lived in diverse areas (NYC neighborhoods when they were still rough around the edges, Baristaville, and a few others) and also in lilly white areas (Westchester areas along the Long Island Sound), I can say that the diverse areas were a whole lot more satisfying.

  78. What a great privilege to have the Governor come to MHS. Pretty sad that the media broadcast our CGI students being used as puppets by MEA head Dennis Murray and the teachers in CGI. Was it the students idea to make the signs and stage the protest? Their pre-prepared protest placards showed minimal intellectual prowess. So much for diversity of thought or tolerance in Montclair.
    Christie is trying to balance a budget after years and years of overspending on many levels. Add to that the perfect storm of the financial crisis we are all facing in our day to day lives. It’s an unfortunate mess he has inherited.
    Our teachers are awesome. It’s sad that like the rest of us, they are facing cuts. Is there dead wood in the system? You bet. How do we get rid of them and eliminate things like longevity bonuses — especially for those who may not deserve them?

  79. I don’t think it’s fair to characterize the CGI students as “puppets.” I have a child in CGI, and he says it was the students’ idea to stage the protest. The CGI students had greater awareness of the visit because Christie was meeting with the CGI seniors. In fact, my son did not join the protest because he had a class scheduled at the time, and his CGI teacher did not allow students to leave the classroom. The CGI students regularly debate and discuss current events and are well aware of the relevant issues. I am not sure it is surprising that a group of students who are bright and committed to their education (CGI involves extra classes and activities) are upset that cuts are being made. In particular, some of the students are concerned that some of the trips and outside lectures offered through CGI will be cut. Now you can make the argument that these are unnecessary if you like, but it makes sense that these students would oppose cuts that would directly affect their program – without undue influence from their teachers.

  80. I don’t really buy into that philosophy that being a student in a diverse school reinforces stereotypes. We all harbor stereotypes to some extent but it’s how you externalize them that matters. Actually, I think that a certain level of knowledge, familiarity and comfort with those from a different background help dispel stereotypes.
    An advantage to diversity is that it makes the classroom more dynamic because it allows for different viewpoints. Discussions don’t get interesting until you have someone with a completely different life experience and perspective countering your own opinions. I can see a collective eye roll from ROC and walleroo but NJ has signed onto the 21st Century Skills (google it), which stresses global awareness, problem solving, and collaboration/teamwork in diverse settings. So school districts like Montclair, Bloomfield and Clifton have the advantage here.
    Also, I’m impressed with the elementary school education. What perks are you looking for that Scarsdale offers and can’t be found here? A million flyers come home for everything the district offers. There’s lots of creativity in the classroom and examples of the teachers using research based programs like the TC Writing Project. Always room for improvement, of course. I just hope my and my children’s experience with the high school aligns more with cro’s as opposed to walleroo’s. Maybe he’s just being gratuitously cynical again, who knows. Joking. Sort of.

  81. interesting that tudlow would extol “diversity” and then in a biased way stereotypes what those who differ politically from her.
    I’m in favor of diversity of any and every kind in the schools and have said as much many times on this very site.
    Perhaps you might look at the stereotypes you harbor, tudlow.

  82. correction:
    interesting that tudlow would extol “diversity” and then in a biased way stereotypes what those who differ politically from her think.

  83. What, I stereotype you as a libertarian? You’re funny, ROC. Pot, meet kettle. How many times have you written about “libs” who espouse the nanny state? Funny, very funny.
    I admit it, though, I harbor a negative stereotype of Tea Party folks. I’ll work on it, ROC.

  84. You didn’t say conservatives would roll their eyes, you said I would. Despite any evidence for the statement.
    Perhaps such distinctions in polite discourse are too complex, tudlow?

  85. “My profuse apologies. Really, I mean it.”
    Accepted. And if I’ve ever ascribed opinions to you that you have not expressed I apologize.

  86. But, ROC, now that I think about it, let me just provide some evidence that my comment that you would roll your eyes is based on more than me stereotyping you as a conservative that does not value diversity. I recall a conversation you had with prof arguing whether going to a diverse school should make a college/job application more competitive. You thought it was hogwash. The 21st Century Skills Movement says just that–it stresses the importance of social and cross-cultural skills in working in a global economy.
    I do like polite discourse but I fall off the horse every now and then. Like with my comment to stu–totally unnecessary. I repent.

  87. I think diversity is a good thing but don’t think the diversity of the school you went to should bear in any way on your college admission because it doesn’t say anything about the applicant.

  88. But the diversity of the school provides the experience for the student to speak and write about diversity.

  89. fine. All great. But a kid coming from a diverse school should not gain benefit over a kid who didn’t because, again, it does not say anything about the student in question.
    I think each kid should be evaluated on his or her own strengths and not the demographics of the schools they attended.
    In fact to do so is no different than past practices whereby students would have gotten a leg up for “good breeding” or being from the “right family”.

  90. I concur. I never said diversity of the school alone should be a factor. We’d be arguing semantics at this point. And who wants to argue anymore? Let’s just meet for a beer, instead, at the new train station restaurant. We can discuss climate change. 😉

  91. thanks for the offer.
    I don’t think it’s semantics. I don’t think the demographic makeup of their high school should have ANY effect on their admittance. I take it you thought that it should, although perhaps not a major one.
    That’s a difference on substance not semantics.

  92. Really, ROC, no.
    This is my position: the demographic makeup of the school should not be a factor when considering the application.
    However, the demographic makeup of the school may allow a student to speak with some authenticity about their experience with those of a different race, culture, SES, political viewpoint, etc. And I see this as a benefit to the student.

  93. cathar, Clifton? 4.7% Black (according to American FactFinder). Granted it has a sizable hispanic population, but I’m directing my attention to Black folks. (In addition, having grown up a Comet, it would be hard, no wrong, to become a Mustang).
    As for the “value” of diversity. This is settled. As I wrote here before, take a look at the Amicus briefs that were filed on behalf in the landmark Grutter v. Bollinger case that allowed race to be considered in colleges.
    https://www.vpcomm.umich.edu/admissions/legal/gru_amicus-ussc/um.html
    And while there were some on the other side, they cannot compare with the, well, diverse entities that SUPPORT diversity in Higher Education. I offer this only so you can hear/read what the leaders of business, media and education feel about diversity.
    So—- despite what Roc thinks, it matters to those folks who hire and educate. (There were, obviously briefs supporting the other side, but they did not have near the representation.)
    That our schools offer diversity by simply BEING diverse, is our gain.

  94. prof, I recently read a speech by Edgar F. Beckham entitled “Diversity at the Crossroads: Mapping Our Work in the Years Ahead,” which was presented at Association of American Colleges and Universities meeting in 2002.
    You know it, right? Amazing words, I found it very thought provoking.

  95. Well Tudlow, I guess somehow, inexplicably I misinterpreted the following:
    Prof:
    “And all things being equal, college admissions folks will be swayed by the student who can speak personally about issues of diversity– which might be just enough to give them the edge.”
    Tudlow:
    “Prof pointed out that diversity is helpful in college admissions and I agreed.”
    https://www.baristanetnew.wpengine.com/baristakids/blog/nj-annual-report-card-how-did-we-score/

  96. It’s not surprising that Prof would make an intellectually dishonest argument. I fully support diversity in higher education. I just don’t support admission “points” for college applicants based on the color of the skin of their high school classmates.

  97. I guess you’re feeling a great sense of pride and “Gotcha!” there, ROC? But I just don’t get you.
    Being able to speak authentically about personal experiences with diversity at one’s high school benefits the student during the college admissions process.
    That is what I think. That is different from an admissions official looking at the demographic breakdown of an applicant’s high school on paper and checking a box that will help in the admissions process.
    You sure do like to argue.

  98. it’s not so much about “gotcha” tudlow as revisionism.
    “That is different from an admissions official looking at the demographic breakdown of an applicant’s high school on paper and checking a box that will help in the admissions process.”
    Who said anything about checking boxes.
    Look if you think I misread your intent in the previous conversation, I refer you to the above quotes.
    If you position has changed or evolved terrific.
    But I disagree with your suggestion I’ve somehow misread you and/or overreacted.
    I generally avoid “what you REALLY said” type posts because they’re the most boring of all.
    I’d say that “Being able to speak authentically about personal experiences with diversity at one’s high school benefits the student during the college admissions process.”
    Is really rather easy to read code, for if the student comes from a “diverse” school and can regurgitate pleasing politically correct and “authentic experiences” he should receive an “edge” (the prof’s words which you “agreed” to).
    And I think that is wrong. Colleges should evaluate students on their academic potential and nothing more.
    I also don’t think community service or being an Eagle Scout should add to the equation either. While being excellent things in themselves, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to judge the “goodness” of the soul of a college applicant.

  99. BTW,
    “I guess you’re feeling a great sense of pride and “Gotcha!” there, ROC?”
    “You sure do like to argue.”
    Another assumed motive about what I am feeling. You’re full of those aren’t you?
    Perhaps I should begin to speculate about your motives? I’m quite sure I could come up with something which seems ego driven or perhaps childish.
    Don’t you often chide people for insulting others and making the arguments emotional?

  100. Speculate away re: my motives, ROC. It’s no great surprise to me that you don’t view me in a positive light.
    I’ll still buy you a beer, though.

  101. Well, tudlow, I could give you an edge depending on the mix of skin color of your high school friends, would that help?

  102. Lily white like 99% of the students at my high school. But I just used all of my extracurricular activities to give me the edge I needed for acceptance into a top notch school.

  103. Interesting, I went to a school that was majority-minority and ended up at a state school. Pity the “authenticists” weren’t calling the shots back then, perhaps I’d have had a scholarship to Harvard?

  104. Ummm, Roc…
    Not sure how my earlier post is “intellectually dishonest”? (And can we end the over use of this dumb term that is usually hauled out and tossed at folks one disagrees with? Please? Hell, I don’t even think Hannity still uses it, and he’s a great American!)
    I guess one has to explicitly say, IF you grow up in a diverse town and attend diverse schools, you probably have a better understanding than those who don’t. This experience with diversity well suits one for a life in a diverse workforce. That one would be able to speak about this issue in, say a college admissions application is a good thing.
    Lastly, if you “support” diversity, then what is all this about? Because your comment of 4:56 shows an utter lack of understanding of how simply ATTENDING to a diverse school influences you.
    Yes. Just going through the schools here benefits our students. Just ask them (as I have) about going off to college and meeting/working with folks of different backgrounds.

  105. i’d love to debate what you said, or what you think you said or what you think i thought you thought you said, prof. But I’ve go to clean out the lint behind my refrigerator.

  106. Not likely. They look favorably upon diversity and leadership and all that jazz but what they prize most is a goodly brain.

  107. I teach in the elementary school where Governor Christie spoke last week. Our administration found out about his visit the night before, and as a teacher in the building, I did not know he was there until I was walking my students to the cafeteria and came upon a lobby full of men in black suits with earpieces. During my lunch I listened to 20 minutes of his speech (though many teachers were not allowed to enter our library where he spoke.) He spoke about how there needs to be a “shared sacrifice” during these economic times and if only teachers would take a voluntary pay freeze and pay 1.5% toward health care then “everything will be fine.” If there is to be a shared sacrifice then what sacrifices is he making? Why doesn’t the governor (who makes double and triple the salary that any teacher makes)take a pay freeze? And how about legislators? If this burden is to be shared then I’d like to know what he is doing for his part. Start from the top and lead by example.
    Governor Christie is a good talker and he knows the right words to say. He knows that he can point the finger at teachers to give you someone to direct your anger toward for having to pay higher taxes and for the budget cuts in our schools. And for those of you who may be sympathetic to teachers, he makes sure you know it’s not the teachers’ fault, it’s their union! He makes teachers out to be greedy and selfish. Teachers have just recently begun to have salaries that are commensurate with other professions. We have long received salaries that were far lower than other professions and our medical benefits and pension were one small way to level the playing field. I am certain that as times change so will these policies. I expect to contribute to my medical benefits in the near future. I acknowledge that the pension system will change. But please understand that teachers are not the problem here. Do not villainize us. Governor Christie made huge cuts and then told you to look at what your children won’t have and won’t be able to do because of the teachers. I can understand why people would be mad and I am mad too. But teachers are not to blame.
    In theory, would I take a pay freeze and contribute to healthcare if it meant that my colleagues and myself could keep our jobs (I do not have tenure and to be clear any position could be eliminated at any time. Many employees with tenure are being cut. No one is “safe.”) and no school programs would be cut? Yes. But on principal I can not agree to this bully tactic. Our contracts were negotiated fairly. If we give in now surely the next time the budget is cut or the governor is in a bind, teachers, the easy target, would be looked to again for a little more, and a little more, and a little more…

  108. Yikes Roc, you’ve become so obvious lately.
    Too bad, I used to enjoy you. Now, though, you seems like an angry, grump in a corner screaming at the world.
    But know this, pal: I’ve been called worse by better.

  109. bejeezer,
    Pay freezes, paying a portion for benefits and “any position could be eliminated at any time” are the conditions the rest of us deal with every day. Why should teachers have it any different?

  110. tudlow, I care too much about you to let you have a beer with ROC.
    He’ll steal your soul.
    Though if you do, please ask him why there is lint behind his REFRIGERATOR.

  111. Certainly being a teacher is a good job – decent pay, good benefits. If you are doing the job right, however, you are working hard for your money. I personally know teachers who spend hours at home grading, creating lesson plans, answering parent emails…as they should. (Yes, inferior teachers are another issue, and I do have some problems with the tenure system.) If it’s such a plum position, why aren’t all the critics rushing back to school to become teachers? Why do so many leave after a few years?
    Also I guess the question is who “the rest of us” are. Some of “the rest” just a few years ago were receiving 5-figure bonuses for middle management positions, rapid promotions and a variety of flexible benefit packages at work. And yes, others were underpaid and received few bonuses. Doesn’t it make sense that teachers fall somewhere in the middle here? Teachers trade bonuses and advancement (in good times) for a certain level of job security (yes even in bad times).

  112. Good post, Ian.
    And cro, I will gleefully raise a glass with you any day. Thanks for looking out for me. We can drink to ROC’s good subjective and objective health.

  113. All of this whinging about what “we” have to suffer, so why shouldn’t everyone else….
    “We” take pay cuts. How come you don’t?
    “We” only get 2 weeks vacation. How come you get more?
    “We” can be fired at any time. How come you have security?
    “We” don’t have health plans as good as yours. Why are yours better?
    Honestly, you’d think it was a bunch of socialists whining about how all should be equal and receive exactly the same treatment, instead of free-market champions who extol the virtues of the system and who counsel folks to get whatever they can, whenever they can.
    Well, unless its better than what they have, I guess.

  114. Mikey,
    Jerseyan should be Jerseyans.
    Viel is not a word. Did you mean vile?
    Pig, thief, wretched viel (vile) and scum….well you are certainly filled with
    great animus. Derisive name calling and engaging in personal attacks is generally the actions of a classless and uneducated angry small person. Additionally you state that 98% of the population in NJ will be harmed by Christie, yet you provide no supporting evidence for your unproven theory that it will be 98% of the NJ populace. Finally, you are always so quick to disparage someone else, but you offer no productive ideas or substantive plans to solve the financial disaster the state of NJ is in. BTW, where did you go to school? Your teachers must be proud!

  115. “Teachers are paid very little and Gov. Pig is licking his chops for the other small benefits which allow teachers to live. These people take care of your children and teach them in spite of all the problems they face at home and in life.”
    Again with the name calling Mikey! Are you suggesting that teachers are the only segment of the WORKING population who do thier chosen profession “in spite of all the problems they face at home and in life.” Are you proffering the suggestion that all other employed people performing the duties of their jobs are exempt from the every day challenges of life? And let’s not consider those who are out of work….what problems at home or in life could they possibly have?

  116. Our contracts were negotiated fairly.
    You have a contract? Wow. I’ll bet that’s nice. I am an “at will” employee, which means I can be sacked at any time. My employer doesn’t even have to say why.
    If we give in now surely the next time the budget is cut or the governor is in a bind, teachers, the easy target, would be looked to again for a little more, and a little more, and a little more…
    As a taxpayer who is called on each year for “a little more” to pay those salary increases, I know exactly what you mean.

  117. Prof, really, sometimes you can be somewhat tiresome (enough so that I suspect that the “prof” part of your handle is at best an honorific, eagerly snapped up by you because you work as an adjunct). Though “according to American FactFinder” Clifton’s population may be but 4.7% black (even as I trust you’re not ascribing virtue to population statistics of a certain sort, hence making Camden the “New Jersualem” and Englewood Cliffs a suburb of Gehenna), if one thinks REGIONALLY, and you you should, prof, you really should, the black population of the Passaic-Clifton-Paterson metro area is a much higher percentage.
    As you also noted yourself, prof, Clifton has a much higher percentage of Hispanics, a group in somewhat short supply in your beloved Montclair. It also has plenty of Yemenis, Turks, Syrians, Jordanians, Croats, Slovenes, Serbs, et al, none of whom are found in wide supply in Montclair. So yes, Clifton by any reasonable standard of reference is far more diverse than Montclair, for all its seeming smugness (rather well exemplified by you in this instance), will ever be.
    And yet, despite all Clifton’s genuine ethnic diversity, Montclair is a far more liberal place politically. Perhaps there’s a lesson couched in that reality?

  118. Tiresome? Please. Adjunct? Nice try.
    That I have a preference that works for me is MY issue.
    Good for you that living among Yemenis, Turks, Syrians, Jordanians, Croats, Slovenes, Serbs, et al. are important to you.
    For me, as I have written far too often, I CARE MOST about the black population because I want my kid growing up with kids who look like him.
    That I state my preference boldly is because I don’t care what you think.
    So, NO, Clifton does not work for me. It is a great place I have lots of friends from there and have taught many kids from there– all wonderful.
    I just don’t choose to live there.
    So if having an opinion about they type of community I chose to live makes me tiresome.
    I’m proud to be tiresome.
    (I won’t even address your idea that “regional” demographics is what matters. Makes NO sense. Because if you live in an all-black town, but it’s next to an all-white town- or vice versa- it doesn’t really matter. See: Glen Ridge/Newark; Cherry Hill/Camden; West Milford/Patterson– hell, look at Paterson and Fair Lawn.)

  119. Okay, prof, what was merely somewhat tiresome has become truly turgid and tendentious on your rather limited part.
    As best I can gather from the cluttered aimlessness of your prose (it kind of flows in senseless little rivulets all over the “page”), and this is just for starters, you want your kid to grow up amongst those who “look like him.” (By which you clearly do not mean the “inner dimension” that is in all of us, but rather purely physical congruence of a sort.)
    Yet as best I can also gather, this apparent tendency towards separatism of a kind has somehow prevented you from moving to, say, the Hollis neighborhood of Queens, Addis Ababa or Camden.
    And I have some geographic news for you: West Milford is by no stretch of any map I’ve ever seen “next” to Paterson. Nor is Glen Ridge next to Newark. (It is precisely such knothead observations by you that make me think you simply post out of a need to blather, not because you’ve thought something through and then have something to add. If thou art really a “prof,” don’t you have papers to grade, classes to teach?) Yet while you still may not wish to think regionally, I’ve never met a genuine, qualified planner in this state, and I’ve met many such voices, who didn’t think in this fashion. (And I do hate to be an endorser of anything former Newark mayor Kenneth Gibson ever said, but he was in fact way ahead of most folks on this one.)
    That you claim to be proud to be as tiresome as you sometimes are does you no real credit, either. It just indicates how inanely stuffed full of yourself you can be at times, although you are of course welcome to revel in your own foolishness. Especially on this first day of April.

  120. Bejeezer,
    Not to be picky but being a teacher you should really use the correct word in the context of the sentence. Unless there is some pun I am just not getting it should be “principle” not “principal.”

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