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N.J. Official Fired Over "Race to the Top" Snafu

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:06 PM
Original message
N.J. Official Fired Over "Race to the Top" Snafu
Source: CBS News

After Gov. Blames Obama "Drones" for Losing $400M in School Funds, Video Reveals State Officials Failed to Give Feds Data

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced he was firing his education commissioner Friday, days after it was revealed that a simple mistake on an application form might have cost the state a $400 million education grant.

The dismissal of Commissioner Bret Schundler comes after New Jersey became the top runner-up for the Race to the Top grants, missing out by only a few points. The Star-Ledger of Newark later reported that budget figures for the wrong years were supplied in one section of the application.

Christie had defended Schundler on Wednesday, saying he gave the federal government the missing information during a meeting in Washington this week. But a video released Thursday by the federal Education Department shows that wasn't the case.

"I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey," Christie said in a statement Friday. "As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler's service as New Jersey's Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration."

...

Christie accepted responsibility for the error, but he also blasted the Obama administration for docking the state precious points in its evaluation for what he called a "clerical error" on an otherwise strong application.

"That's the stuff that drives people nuts about government," Christie said at the press conference Wednesday, "and that's the stuff the Obama administration should answer for, are these guys there checking boxes like mindless drones."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/27/politics/main...
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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. This dude.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. oh gawd, what a hair-brained scheme that was & the photoshop looks so real. not
:rofl:
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. No, Obama has nothing to do with it
it's about a lack of attention to detail.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I'm sorry, but Obama's administration started this "race to the top"
bullshit.

Schools should not have to "compete" for adequate funding. Labeling some states as "winners" means all the others are "losers" and we should NEVER EVER EVER do that to our most valuable resource -- our children.

This whole thing is the most disgusting. . .. I'm sorry. Words fail me.



Tansy Gold
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soleiri Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. And in this case
The winners are losers, too.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. Obama had nothing to do with NJ's failures in attention to detail
They screwed it up and now they blame Obama.
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Lightning Count Donating Member (701 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Like using pen on the SAT. nt
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Fire Christie. nt
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R
- Looks to me like the govenor should have fired himself!

Blue Jersey

Heckuva Job, Schundlie!
by: ellington
Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 08:54:35 AM EDT


But how could they have made this mistake?

    New Jersey's application was submitted after a heated battle between Christie and the NJEA. The union and hundreds of its local chapters had signed onto an earlier version of the application, in which Schundler had agreed to compromises on tenure and merit pay. But the administration hastily rewrote the application over the Memorial Day weekend, scrapping the agreed-to changes.

    The final application, which was submitted without the backing of the NJEA, was driven to Washington the day of the deadline because the papers could not be faxed or e-mailed. "On Friday of Memorial Day weekend we all signed off on the same application," Hiltner said. "By Tuesday morning, a different application had been submitted. How much time could have been put into that application?" (emphasis mine)

Here's the chronology: Schundler and the NJEA agreed on the initial application. But then Jim Gearhart, morning blowhard at NJ 101.5, decided he didn't like the idea of Christie's administration collaborating with the enemy (yes, in his mind, the teachers union is the enemy), and went off on a rant about the governor. Apparently, when a radio DJ says "Jump!," Christie says, "Off of which bridge?", because Christie forced Schundler to rewrite the application at the last minute to make it more to Gearhart's liking. And then called the DJ to beg forgiveness.

Apparently, that last-minute rewrite didn't catch the fatal flaw. So now NJ loses out on the money because Chris Christie needed to appease a radio personality. It's a stunning combination of ineptitude and cowardly pandering to your base. Remind you of anyone?

MORE: http://www.bluejersey.com/diary/16523/heckuva-job-schun...
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. A DUer tipped us earlier this week to the shit hidden under the shit...
http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2010/08/heckuva-job-s...

....The union and hundreds of its local chapters had signed onto an earlier version of the application, in which Schundler had agreed to compromises on tenure and merit pay. But the administration hastily rewrote the application over the Memorial Day weekend, scrapping the agreed-to changes.
The final application, which was submitted without the backing of the NJEA, was driven to Washington the day of the deadline because the papers could not be faxed or e-mailed.
"On Friday of Memorial Day weekend we all signed off on the same application," Hiltner said. "By Tuesday morning, a different application had been submitted. How much time could have been put into that application?" (emphasis mine)

Here's the chronology: Schundler and the NJEA agreed on the initial application. But then Jim Gearhart, morning blowhard at NJ 101.5, decided he didn't like the idea of Christie's administration collaborating with the enemy (yes, in his mind, the teachers union is the enemy), and went off on a rant about the governor.

Apparently, when a radio DJ says "Jump!," Christie says, "Off of which bridge?", because Christie forced Schundler to rewrite the application at the last minute to make it more to Gearhart's liking. And then called the DJ to beg forgiveness.

Apparently, that last-minute rewrite didn't catch the fatal flaw. So now NJ loses out on the money because Chris Christie needed to appease a radio personality.

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Semantics, but.. . .
You wrote:
So now NJ loses out on the money because Chris Christie needed to appease a radio personality.



Unfortunately, it's not "NJ" that loses -- it's the kids of NJ who lose. The kids and the schools and the teachers.

My grandson starts kindergarten in New Jersey in a few weeks. My son-in-law teaches in a New Jersey public school. My daughter is a speech pathologist in an urban New Jersey public school district.

It's not only a big FUCK YOU from me to Chris Christie, but it's also a big FUCK YOU to Arne Duncan who instituted this absolute horse shit, and a FUCK YOU TOO to Barack Obama for tolerating/encouraing it during his tenure.

It's absurd -- no, it's fucking OBSCENE that education funding should be left to this kind of bullshit.



Tansy Gold
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. You are correct TG. I also know more than a few NJ teachers (and residents and students) and
they are the ones who will suffer the most under Fatboy's regime.

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. I hope you didn't think I was criticizing you, T Wolf, because I
most assuredly didn't mean it that way. I was just shamelessly :evilgrin: using your post as a vehicle to vent a little of my rage.



TG, NTY
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Not at all. Language IS important. I applaud your "adding" to the impact of what I said by
focusing it on who really lost out.
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Where to start with Christie? First, a *Republican" gov is upset he didn't get a federal "handout."?
Where's that good old Republican "up-by-your-bootstraps" self-sufficiency?

But at least Christie's Republican sensibilities kicked in in time for him to blame Obama (!) for his own administration's mistake, so all is not lost in GOP land.

(All kidding aside, I'm sorry that NJ kids, who are the ones who have the most at stake here, will not have the $400 million in additional funds.)
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. Pull yourself up by your republican boot straps and quit moaning about missing a handout
You lazy bastard

Do your work correctly and quit making excuses and playing the blame game.
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
13. Rightwingers always demand special treatment. That "snafu" is an indicator of
how well they would have carried out the details in the grant. It's part of the process for everyone. You have to have your details down.

Putting the wrong budget data in an application should have been the death of that application. They even had an extra chance and failed. Then they whined like rightwingers typically due because they can't win on merit.
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Laxman Donating Member (122 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. Exclusive Interview With NJ Governor Regarding Lost Education Funds

Governor Chris Christie addresses the loss of $400 million in federal funds due to an application error.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TuLBa-rgBk

thank you to the standard bearer of the party of personal responsibility for being such a stand-up guy.
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Dread Pirate Roberts Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Great Interview!
He looks much thinner in that picture
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