Three radically different readings of the same 18-page Common Core presentation?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Christie’s promised review of Common Core kicked off today at a meeting of the State Board of Education, Save Jerseyans, in the form of a 18-page document (counting the coverage page) which you can view here. that was prepared by New Jersey Department of Education officials.

apple coreThere’s not much to debate. Not yet. But we’re living in a combative political time, and the document itself was interpreted at least three radically different ways on State Street:

#1 – Big Change is Possible: “I am hopeful any potential changes will benefit our students and teachers and let them return to the effective style of teaching they were accustomed to prior to Common Core.” (Asm. David Rible, R- Monmouth)

#2 – No Change is Coming: “Today’s presentation proves that his move was about pure politics, not policy. Despite the fact that New Jersey has been implementing the Common Core for several years, the presentation pretends that all we need are some minor tweaks to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. It allows a total of 11 meetings over four months for several committees to revamp and replace everything that educators have been working to implement since 2010.” (NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer)

#3 – Some Change is Likely“We will not be tearing down and starting over, but rather looking critically at where are there opportunities for clarification, for omission and for addition, to make sure that we always have the top standards for our students.” (Department of Education Chief Academic Officer Kimberley Harrington)

So yeah. Who the hell knows.

3 thoughts on “Three radically different readings of the same 18-page Common Core presentation?

  1. Radically Different: Christie and the Legislature Slams Virtua…..Virtua Loses, Patients Win: BCT Editorial

    There’s been a lot of noise about Gov. Chris Christie’s recent approval of legislation that will allow Cooper University Hospital to take over paramedic services in Camden from Virtua Health System in Evesham.

    Much has been made of the fact that Democratic power broker George Norcross is chairman of Cooper’s board of directors and of his powerful influence in the Legislature.

    The legislation, which gives the state’s Level 1 trauma centers exclusive rights “to develop and maintain advanced life-support services in the municipality in which the trauma center is located,” has inspired a feud between the two hospitals. On Tuesday, Virtua officials said they were mulling their options, deciding whether to pursue the matter with litigation.

    There’s little doubt there was extensive lobbying on the part of both hospitals, and perhaps, in Christie’s case, a bit of quid pro quo, but that’s the path many bills take to the governor’s desk.

    What matters most is what’s best for the sick and injured of Camden, and from nearly all accounts, this looks like a win for them.

    Its future may be bright, but the city’s struggles, and those of its residents, are well known. Centralizing paramedic and ambulance services will improve the delivery and quality of care. Right now, Virtua provides paramedics to city residents, while the Newark-based University Hospital has a contract to provide Cooper’s ambulance service.

    The bill does not specifically mention Cooper, but it is the only Level 1 trauma center in the region, and the two other Level 1 trauma centers in the state, in Newark and New Brunswick, already have contracts with their home cities.

    The bill did receive bipartisan support in the Legislature, and Virtua Health’s investment in Camden is minimal. It closed its acute care hospital in the city 15 years ago, providing only outpatient care.

    Cooper’s intention to have paramedics offer follow-up care to discharged patients, many of whom are Camden residents, is significant as well.

    The switch also may improve response times.

    According to an analysis released by the Camden County director of public safety in June, of 2,961 calls responded to, Virtua paramedics failed to arrive within the eight minutes from dispatch that is the industry standard 788 times, or about 24 percent of the time.

    As to Virtua’s argument that this law will affect New Jersey taxpayers, that’s only partly true. Yes, Cooper will receive $2.5 million from the state to buy new ambulances and other equipment, but those funds were previously appropriated in the state budget finalized last month.

    Virtua and Cooper are competitors. We get it. But we believe Camden residents deserve the same level of care as other residents in the state. While finances and politics may have provided the mojo here, if patients are going to get better, faster care, then the little guy still wins.

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