By "Ronald Reagan"
The Star Ledger, esteemed flagship for the Newhouse dynasty, led with the story this morning that it was the Christie administration that failed to collect a piece of the Federal handout (aka Stimulus Package) because of a simple error in reporting 2007-2008 budget figures.
Cue the angry mob of “who do we blame next for our greed which is sinking the pension fund and our approval ratings” teachers who had plenty to say about Christies “math” skills, etc. The 1000 or so comments on the Star Ledger story is sort of like being a fly on the wall of a huge virtual teachers lounge.
Well, it turns out, it may be more the NJEA’s fault than the Christie’s administration. Turn out under Phase I of the “Reach to the Top” funding application New Jersey’s application ranked 18th and was not even a finalist invited to apply for Phase II. So who is responsible for the first phase. Well, it was due in March but all the preliminary meetings were held prior to Christie taking office.
In fact, Christie’s Phase II application for “Race to the Top” funds actually fared far better than the NJEA endorsed Phase I application.
The real story should have led with “Christie Administrations hijacking of the application fared better than the NJEA application.” Like so often in the last eight months, the NJEA has taken it on the chin again for allowing some poorly trained PR person to create some shallow spin. These days, shallow spin is uncovered in minutes, and much to the Star Ledger’s chagrin, who has led an unchallenged existence until blogging came along.
NJEA needs to spend some time farding because all the angry rhetoric is creating some really ugly appearances.