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NJ’s largest paper endorses Chris Daggett for Governor and rejects the two party system

Chris Daggett, Independent Candidate for NJ Governor

Chris Daggett, Independent Candidate for NJ Governor

Man-o-man, I should’ve been paying closer attention.  Guys, this is the Big Kahuna.  The Star-Ledger, one of New Jersey’s largest papers, has endorsed Independent Chris Daggett for governor.  The reasons for this endorsement are spectacular.  Let’s have a read:

The Star-Ledger today endorses independent candidate Chris Daggett and recommends his election as the next governor of New Jersey.

The newspaper’s decision is less a rejection of Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie than a repudiation of the parties they represent, both of which have forfeited any claim to the trust and confidence of the people of New Jersey. They share responsibility for the state’s current plight.

Only by breaking the hold of the Democratic and Republican mandarins on the governor’s office and putting a rein on their power will the state have any hope for the kind of change needed to halt its downward economic, political and ethical spiral.

New Jersey needs radical change in Trenton. Neither of the major parties is likely to provide it. Daggett’s election would send shock waves through New Jersey’s ossified political system and, we believe, provide a start in a new direction.

It would signal the entrenched leadership of both parties — and the interest groups they regularly represent — that an ill-served and angry electorate demands something better.

The lamentable fact is that the two parties are, themselves, little more than narrow special interests. Their competition for short-term political and/or monetary gain has jeopardized the state’s long-term economic health and left it with a tarnished national reputation.

For disappointed Democrats and Republicans, a decision to vote for Daggett will mean a break with party loyalty — no easy thing. What we’re suggesting is a temporary suspension of that loyalty as a way to begin changing the corrosive culture of Trenton. Daggett would owe nothing to either party establishment; he’d be free to recruit best talent wherever he found it. As he told The Star-Ledger editorial board, he’d feel no obligation to honor the traditional Democratic-Republican deal that requires bipartisan balance on the Supreme Court. He’d apparently take the best he could find regardless of party affiliation — or lack thereof.

Just go read the whole thing.  This is potentially a shot heard round the country.  Daggett is still polling behind Jon “I’m awarding all of Hillary’s delegates to Obama” Corzine and Chris Christie.  But in recent weeks, he’s gone from nowhere to capturing almost 20% of the vote.  It wouldn’t be the first time a state has elected an Independent for Governor, think Jesse Ventura in Minnesota.  But New Jersey is huge compared Minnesota.  There’s still several weeks left for Daggett to make up ground.  I’ve seen Daggett/Esposito signs on my way to work and I understand that his performance at the first debate was really good.

I do worry about Daggett’s intention of taking on the unions, especially the teacher’s union.  But having served on a NJ Board of Ed, I also understand that the union wields a big stick but doesn’t always deliver results.  Lifetime tenure is granted to teachers in my district after 3 years with little or no expectation that they will acquire new skills or expertise for a changing global marketplace.  It does concern me when Daggett pledges to take on the pensions of public servants.   We also need to demand more of NJ’s wealthiest  residents who like the tax system as it is- balanced on the backs of middle class homeowners.  I hope he will address this problem.  The last thing we want is to hobble the unions so much that they cease to be examples of labor strength.  Daggett needs to find a happy medium.

As the Star-Ledger says, here’s the way to take back your government.  What our current crop of politicians need right now is discipline and for the voters to hold them accountable for their bad behavior.  With the election of people like Daggett, we are capable of issuing the parties a warning.  Shape up or it’s four years on the Naughty Step.  And then we keep putting them back on that step until they get the message and do what we tell them to do.  All we lack is the courage and determination to carry through on our warnings.

If we end up with better politicians in the meantime, so much the better.

If you want to help send shockwaves around NJ and the rest of the country, you can contribute to Daggett’s campaign here. The next debate for Governor will be October 16 and will be broadcast on October 18.

Oh, and one more thing for our NJ readers out there.  Jon Corzine and the Democratic party has absolutely no respect for you as a voter.  Don’t forget that Hillary Clinton won our state by 10 points but didn’t get a single delegate from our state at the 2008 Democratic Party Convention in Denver.  Instead, Jon Corzine handed all of our votes, every last one of them, over to Barack Obama.  They didn’t listen to us last year.  That’s why they aren’t listening to us this year.  Corzine is sadly mistaken if he thought we would ever forget the disgraceful behavior of our superdelegates at the Convention.  If you want your vote to actually mean something again, start by throwing this guy out of office:

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79 Responses

  1. We can change laws in Washington state by the peoples initiative process. We changed our election laws so that the top two candidates from each primary go on to the general election. If that is a communist and a green party candidate then thats who we get. The Democrats and Republicans no longer have a God given RIGHT to be on our ballot. We also took many elected offices and made them non partisan. F the 2 party system, they make a life out of Fing us, The People.

  2. Change I can believe in, vote out both corrupt, despicable, anti-democratic parties. I love it. That would be really great if Daggett wins. It would send a great message. And even better than the message, wouldn’t it be something if independents and third parties picked up an unprecedented seats in congress next year. I can dream anyway.

    • Funny how that video of Corzine keeps popping up, isn’t it? At one point in time, there were several similar videos but all of the others have disappeared. I feel like stickying this one to the top of the site until election day.

      Yes, I can dream. There are plenty of candidates on the ballots every year. Not all of the minor party candidates are crazy and not all of the major party candidates deserve a seat. Why not diversify the Congress with a few more socialists and independents?

  3. Daggett sounds like a refreshing change. Sorry to disagree with you, RD, but I think it’s imperative that someone starts to take on the issue of public pensions. The funding of these pensions is killing the budgets of most municipalities around the country. I’ve worked in private industry all my life and have never had a pension. Sometimes there was profit-sharing; sometimes there was a 401K; but there was never a pension. You manage.

    I’d much prefer to see universal health care for everyone–including union personnel, public sector workers, and all the members of Congress–than I would to see pension programs. If you think of what people pay for insurance these days, and then imagine taking that money and putting it into a 401K or some other tax-deferred program, I think we’d all be better off than with private of public pensions.

    • I disagree. The companies that I have worked for have both offered pensions and I am damn glad for it. My 401K might not be worth shit by the time I retire, especially for those of us born at the tail end of the babyboom.
      The problem isn’t that municipal employees get pensions. It’s that too few of the rest of us do. It’s decent and humane to reward a lifetime of work with a liveable income.
      Where I agree with Daggett is that the unions have been able to get tenure for teachers without asking anything in return. And once those teachers are on the tenure track, they get automatic increments and promotions. That makes the cost of those pensions really expensive to the taxpayer. We need to demand better preparation for teachers and accountability before they are tenured. That could potentially save us a lot of money.

      • RD, forgive me if I am jumping the gun, but once again it seems you are on the verge of bashing teachers. My question to you is: What systems are in place to ensure that people in other professions (besides teaching) in New Jersey who are tenured and get pensions undergo continuing professional development and maintain the kind of accountability you are demanding of teachers? I know this seems to be a sore spot for you, but the standard to which you want teachers to be held seem almost to me a “double standard.”

        • You’re forgiven. I’m not intentionally bashing teachers. Especially in the case of the K-8 certified. They didn’t sign up for this. But we are not keeping pace with the rest of the developed world. We are in a crisis mode right now. Don’t take my word for it. Go read what the Bobel winners in medicine said in the NYTimes. We can’t hold onto our technological edge for much longer. It’s not a new phenomenon. This has been at the forefront of my mind for almost 20 years. I ran for BOE based on it.
          As for professional development, teachers are really the exception, not the rule in the working world. I have had to take courses at Princeton in the industrial associates program to keep the job I had. I am continuously learning, reading papers, attending seminars and presenting new and innovative science all the time. We never rest in the learning department. In fact, the whole field of biology is completely different than the one I learned in college. In my previous job, my company had a professor from Rutgers come on site and teach an entire semester of molecular biology. In my area, the working scientists are writing the book on how drug design is done. It’s publish, patent or perish all the time, year after year.
          What I’m hearing from you is that teachers should somehow be exempt from serious professional development. I’ve been telling union members for some time now that that is no longer an option and they should reform themselves before it’s too late. Because it is much easier to keep the benefits that are costing taxpayers a lot of money when you can show that you are the best in the world and are committed to being even better. Petulantly declaring that you don’t need to buckle down and do real professional development, especially during a recession when the people who are paying your salaries and pensions are losing their own, is a losing argument.
          I will defend the teacher’s union to the death on their pensions and healthcare because as the Big Dog said, if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be rewarded. But if it turns out that teachers have been using their union to hide behind when they are inadequately prepared for science, math and technology, then there’s no argument in the world that’s going to sound like anything less than whining.
          Sorry if you feel picked on but a little discomfort is a healthy sign. At least you’re not in full denial mode.

          • Nope, no discomfort here. I gladly partake of professional development…of my own accord…during my summers and at every opportunity when there is a high-quality course offered. As a professional in an ever-changing field, I believe it is my duty to do so. I don’t believe I implied in any way that teachers should be exempt from full-on, continuous PD. I just wanted to know how the “rest of the working world” gets held to the same standard.

          • It’s called performance based merit raises. If you don’t perform, you get a low score during ratings period. If it’s low enough, you are given a performance plan and a limited amount of time to get your act together. Sometimes that includes professional development.
            Now, I’m not saying that teacher’s unions should be subject to this. Given the nature of the fundagelucal crazies and their effect on school boards, this could be very dangerous. But if the union itself doesn’t start cracking down on bad teachers or Illprepared ones, then don’t be surprised if a solution Is imposed on it. Economics will be used against you. Do it yourself.

    • Because some do not have a pension is not a reason to think they are something we can/should abandon. The real answer is that everyone, or at least more people, should have pensions.

      The alternative is simply part of the race to the bottom for the middle class.

      • It’s fine to talk about pensions in a growing economy with plenty of jobs and where prices can just be passed on to consumers. But we all pay for those pensions–either in higher taxes, for public pensions, or higher costs of goods, for private pensions. Pension funding is a major source of corporate bankruptcies. I prefer profit sharing for corporations rather than defined benefit programs.

        Pensions sound like a great idea, but the money has to come from somewhere. At least with Social Security working individuals pay into the fund over a lifetime of work, and the amount you receive is not guaranteed based on the salary you earn. Also, both pension and profit sharing programs have been overregulated by government since the 1980s. It used to be that the company could determine when you qualified to become a plan member. That in itself, helped to encourage loyalty and longevity. Now, the government mandates a much faster vesting, so companies are likely to reduce benefits to compensate. Again, it all sounds fine in principle, but the risks and regulations often end up making pension programs unappealing to companies, no matter how appealing they are to the rest of us.

        • Not to mention that pension funds in both government and private companies are vastly underfunded now. Almost no company in the US fully funds it’s pension obligations and if that doesn’t change then when enough employes retire, either they will wind up getting a small percentage of what they are planning to get or the taxpayers will fund that private retirement.

          By the way, I fully support defined pension plans but they need to be more transparent and fully funded to be good for their members.

          • For the most part, 401ks and other market-based retirement vehicles were an early handout from the government to the banks; the banks got tons of money funneled their way without all those pesky regs on reserves and safe investing. As the impending health care “reform” mandates are just a big near-monopoly guarantee for the insurance cos, 401ks were just a big fund of other peoples (read: us peons’) play-money for the big investment banks.

            Given the enormous losses 401k holders, esp. folks nearing retirement suffered because of the giant economic fail last year, it’s surprising anyone would denigrate pensions. Years of savings were wiped out in a few moments last fall, and more in various convulsions after.

            That teachers and unions get stuff the rest of us don’t is no reason to take it away from them; it’s a reason to agitate for everyone to get the same kind of economic security for retirement. (the tenure issue is a bit different than the pension one). Plus just on a moral level, you just can’t go scr*wing around with people’s pensions now, after they’ve been relying on the part of their compensation deferred to them for years.

            One thing about pensions and other benefits; folks discuss them as if they’re some sort of extra prize that some people get and others don’t. Even by the standards of the most pro-capitalist, anti-social safety net shouters, though, they are really just other labels for compensation. They’re not really ‘extra’.

          • Take it away from them? WTF does that have to do with companies underfunding their employee’s pension funds? If insufficient funds are in the fund, the employee pensions can’t be paid by them.

            If you want to complain to someone for “taking their pensions away”, I suggest a good place to start is with corporate management. They have been generally derelict for decades.

            Pensions have been screwed around with since the corporate takeover binge of the ’70s. It’s not anything new.

        • RalphB — sorry, I misnested my comment. I was trying to respond to grayslady comment about how pensions are “draining” municipalities, etc. I think the private market has been pretty well proved a disaster + epic fail for retirement savings. Of course, I have no problem with preventing corporate mismanagement of pension funding.

          I think trying to pit pensions against “the rest of us” as if somehow people with pensions are the enemy sucking food out of our very children’s mouths is a very bad, false dichotomy.

          • My apologies for being obtuse. I believe everyone should have a defined benefit pension. The 401K type plans are fine in addition but not in place of them. Seems we are in agreement.

      • 👿

        • Absolutely! We are literally being robbed.

          • Yeah, it’s amazing how we can never afford anything that supports a decent standard of living.

          • Yes but unfortunately so many people are easily coaxed onto the guillotine platform as they nod and agree with all of the arguments about why we must reduce or eliminate this program, that program, SSI, medicare, pensions, etc. Where is all of the outrage that there wasn’t a peep about “affordabliity” or “viability” when the TARP funds were handed over?

    • I make substantially less as a state employee than I would in private practice. Traditionally the benefits for working in the civil service arena were a sop to make up for the big difference in take-home pay. But my healthcare benefits are mediocre compare to those of our state’s private companies with a similar number of employees. Take away the pensions and no one will want to work for a gov’t job.

      Unless, of course, you can get campaign contributions$.

  4. Wow! What a breath of fresh air. I hope it’s catching.

  5. I suspect the vast majority of the country does not want to be represented by the views of Limbaugh or Kos. But what are the options. You have Drudge or Huffington. Fox or MSNBC. Journalism is imploding. The biggest priority for mainstream newsmedia right now is financial survival, so they will play to lowest common denominator emotions. There is no sensible dialogue or voice of reason out there. People are desperate, badly informed, and listening to whoever is making the most noise or promises. Just hoping and waiting for their messiah to walk over the ridge. I noticed Potus decided to go to church today instead of playing golf.

    • You know, I don’t have to know what the president is doing 24/7. I don’t begrudge him downtime either. The job is enormously exhausting.
      But what I really don’t want to see is his mug on TV every lunch hour when I go to the cafeteria. He’s always giving a speech and it’s always televised and personally, I could just care less. His oratorial skills have never impressed me and I’m sick to death of hearing words but seeing no fricking action on anything I care about.
      No one I know is paying the least attention anymore. The Olympics trip was the last straw. He has better things to be doing with his time than lobbying for the city of Chicago.
      So far, his performance in office is no better than Bush’s

  6. What the country has needed for some time is another ‘shot heard round the world.’ I think the The New Jersey Star-Ledger just fired that shot. Congratualtions NJ and I hope Daggett wins. Last I looked he was in third place in the polls. I hope this endorsement gives him the boost necessary to win.

    I also hope this type of thing is contagious. I agree with the editorial board. The two parties in America today are just flip sides of the same corrupt coin. We need to send a strong message to every politician in America and especially in Congress. We will no longer put up with your crap and we will vote you out. That is what I did last November. I did not vote for any incumbent. It was my tiny revolution agianst what is going on in D.C.

    • Actually, its the voters of New Jersey that will fire the shot, if they so choose, next month. I’ve always questioned the value and importance of newspaper endorsements. But whatever the value, it’s important for people to consider abandoning both major parties. They’re both equally bankrupt.

  7. I love how he emphasizes “unanimously”. What a pig! Vote Corzine out.

  8. A vote for Daggett is a vote for Corzine, S-T-U-P-I-D!

    • Don’t blame her because Blue state Republucans are too S-T-U-P-I-D to nominate candidates who are appealing alternatives to lousy Democrats. It’s no one’s responsibility to validate their mistakes.

      • No kidding. If the GOP wants to win in blue states, they should nominate more moderate candidates. Kind of common sense to me.

  9. Thanks RD – I put the link to that article on the previous thread this AM – and was thrilled to see the headlines in the Ledger this morning.

    Perhaps they will begin to get the message???

  10. Republicans are stupid. That is not what I meant.
    Corzine should have done the right thing. It was Hillary`s time. The slimeball didn`t. How we all wished someone would have done the right thing. In a short amount of time we in NJ get to have a payback moment to slimeball Corzine and 0bama and we have to think about who we are voting for? Why should we? We owe the democrats nothing. I intend to hold my nose and pull down every R that I can. It`s payback time. And you know what they say about paybacks. They think we will never vote for the Republican. Well I thought that they would never give Hillary`s delegates to 0bama. A vote for Daggett is a vote for Corzine and that ba$tard is losing if I have anything to do with it.
    That`s my rant!

    • You know, I’m agonizing over this and felt the same way. But I’ve decided to vote for Daggett because both parties need to get a message from NJ constituents and I think support for Daggett is the best way to send that message.

      • People from all across America may donate to Daggett if the Independent message gets out. That would make it an shot from all of Americans who are tired of this two party system which is identical to each other.

        • I hope you are right. As it is, those of us who think outside the R or D box are between a rock and a hard place. Yet, I know there are millions out there who are disgusted with having to choose between two mediocre party-serving alternatives.

          • I will be voting for Daggett and have mounted a campaign of my own to get folks out to vote for him and donate money to his campaign.

            RD said: If you don’t perform, you get a low score during ratings period. If it’s low enough, you are given a performance plan and a limited amount of time to get your act together.

            hmmmm – just like in business – how unique! 😉

  11. Hillary Clinton helps forge historic peace accord between Turkey and Armenia.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036034/ns/world_news-europe

    I’m sure a Nobel prize can’t be far behind.

    • As someone of Armenian descent, I couldn’t be more thrilled, especially if this peace accord results in an open border and more jobs for the Armenian – particularly on the pipeline.

      That being said, I hope both presidents have good security. 😦 Sentiment is likely to be running VERY high in both countries.

      Congratulations, Madame Secretary – if anyone deserves the Nobel, it’s you and your husband.

  12. this is a very good post the people need to rember what happened at the dem roll call . & a message needs to be sent the dems in power this guy Jon Corzine needs be made an example of . he needs to be voted out

  13. Well said Valhalla!

  14. This is huge, RD! I hope the voters of NJ send a message loud and clear.

  15. Independent candidates have a very difficult journey. Even if they are elected to a governorship or other post, they have the problem of being odd person out because they do not have party affiliates to help them or to cover their back. If Daggett were to be elected he would have a hard time getting anything done legislatively—big problem for a governor.

    That does not mean his candidacy is not a breath of fresh air. If we had an independent running for Gov. in CA who had some bonafides and some cred I would vote for him or her in a heartbeat.

    On the defined benefit pensions plan: I have such a plan. I contributed 8% and my employer contributed 8%. Those funds are invested in the CA pension system, STRS. I can tell you that this plan is a godsend. You do not make a lot of money—you don’t get rich in public employment—but knowing I have a solid retirement check coming in each month is very helpful. I also have IRA rollover accounts from my 401 plans—but those plans are nothing compared to that solid defined pension.

    I agree with you completely RD on the issue of continuing education requirements for educators. Of all the professions, teachers, school administrators, counselors, librarians—-should hold professional credentials and they should have to update their status with continuing education units they pay for annually. If one is a professional educator, then one should be dedicated to continuing learning.

    I think you will find that most states, thanks to NCLB, do require professionals in education to complete additional coursework to update their credentials. I believe this is a requirement that the Bushies and Kennedy put in for NCLB. I know it is the case in CA and I would think NJ would be at least at that level. Actually, the credential rules under NCLB are pretty demanding and at times confusing. They are enforced in CA because you can not get state $$$ for educating students if you do not have credentialed teachers. Part of the Annual Yearly Progress and Annual Program Improvement scores for schools throughout the US is the school’s report on teacher credentials. The requirements are especially demanding for any college prep type course such as in the sciences, languages, maths, history/social science.

    • The problem with CEUs in NJ is that they frequently get awarded for in-service day programs, not serious study in a much needed area of expertise. In the real working world, you couldn’t get a raise or promotion based on this kind of CEU but in the NJ teaching world, such increments are automatic. That makes pensions very expensive with very little return on investment. That’s got to stop.
      What’s sad is that in my daughter’s school, there is only one teacher, a former Bell labs scientist who made teaching his second career, who Is qualified to teach upper level math to 7th and 8th graders. It’s not his fault that there are far more qualified students than he can teach. His classes are overcrowded. But there is no other middle school teacher who has bothered to train him/herself to help out. I have to give the guy a lot of credit. It can’t be easy to do in three years what the other teachers haven’t done in decades on the job. There are kids who won’t get into his class for lack of space and parents who will spend a fortune this summer for math programs at the local prep schools like I did with Brook this summer. But that’s what the lax CEU policy has lead us to- teachers who know pedagogy but not real, desperately needed knowledge.

      • Then we need to be given paid sabbaticals in order to undertake these kinds of long, deep studies. You cannot continue to teach full-time and do this kind of study. I invite anyone who thinks otherwise to give it a go.

        • Lol! 13 years ago, I worked a full time job, took graduate courses at night at Princeton, had a baby and served on the Board of Ed complete with committee assignments. I was in the zone. Yes, it’s hard. But at least teachers have the summer off. I can’t work up much sympathy for you. I’m sorry.

          • And I walked to school in the snow, barefoot, with no coat and no food in my tummy. I don’t want to have a pissing contest with you, RD. I believe in what you are saying regarding teachers’ general lack of content knowledge–particularly in the fields of Math and Science. However, the real reform needs to happen in the teacher prep programs. The blame and responsibility does not lie solely with the teachers. Most of us are more than willing to devote our “summers off” to PD. Most of us care deeply about our students and their development. We are products, though, of our own educations.

          • I can’t argue with you there. Schools of education are behind a lot of the problem.
            I know it isn’t easy. But you should know that you are not alone. As long as teachers make a real effort towards reform, there will be people like us who will be on your side every step of the way.

      • RD you have put your very informed finger on the heart of the matter. It is not just about continuing education units but “what/which” continuing education units. And there you are up against a world of tradition bound attitudes and practices that are not just the unions. It is the whole enchilada of teacher education. It is 75 years of teacher salary schedules that incentivise teachers to continue and improve their education bonafides, including earning advanced degrees. But the tradition is basically to do courses or pursue degrees that the individual wants to pursue that may have nothing to do with what the person is teaching or the knowledge skills the school needs.

        You mention a scientist who is a great teacher for upper level maths in 7 and 8th grades—-many students (and I’m sure their parents) wanting to sign up. So why are we not thinking out of the box with the technology available today? Why is that teacher not available via online resources and modern technology to many more students? Why does that teacher not have a team of younger teachers who are new to the profession (or needing to improve their grasp of the math to be taught) who support the master teacher with direct student contact and learn from him as he presents to a much larger audience. Why are his lessons not posted on the school web site so students (and other teachers) can bring them up to study? Why is that teacher not paid on the number of students he is able to reach out to and the number of other teachers he is mentoring? One reason: professional jealousy—why does Joe get those advanced classes with the “good kids” and I get the goof-offs and the gangsters? Another reason: unwillingness to look at master/mentor relationships. Another reason: a whole truckload of college education departments who are invested in a pile of courses focused on pedagogy, not subject matter knowledge. One real problem: academic knowledge and the ability to translate that knowledge and engage young minds do not always (and in math, not very often) come in the same package.

    • Why are teachers held to such higher standards than other professions, jangles? “Of all the professions…”?? What about doctors, nurses, pilots? They are all directly in charge of other peoples’ lives. I am not saying that we (teachers) should NOT be held to high standards…I hold MYSELF to high standards and don’t need anyone forcing me to do so. I just don’t understand. If my profession is above “all professions” in that I need the most intensive and endless training, why in the hell don’t we get paid more?

      • They’re not – my son is currently working on his masters degree while working a fulltime job and being the dad of two little ones and a husband to a gal that loves him.

        Nope, no one gets off easy once in the workplace – if you need to learn to get ahead or to offer more to those who depend on you – then you just go ahead and do it. Many of us have.

        • Yes, I too, have. Two masters degrees and 20 years teaching experience, and I still don’t make nearly as much money as I would with those kind of credentials in just about any other profession.

      • You should move to NJ if you want better pay. 13 years ago when I was on the BoE, the average pay in my average suburban district was $55k. The bennies are VERY generous.
        I don’t think anyone could argue that it’s more necessary for teachers to undergo professional development. But it’s surprising how many I have heard from who think they deserve mire money for doing it. That shit doesn’t wash in the real world. It’s not enough to get more education. You have to be able to apply it. You do not deserve an automatic increment simply because you attended 3 in service days. If you took more math courses so you could teach geometry to eighth graders, that would be worth some extra money. Some forms of effort are worth more than others.
        All I’m saying is that the union should be very careful about using the extra compensation for extra professional development. Not all CEUs are created equal and those of us in the real working world know it. It’s hard to slip this past us nowadays when our own jobs are on the line. What the unions have been demanding is unsustainable without some real, tangible improvements in teacher preparation.
        Don’t blame us, we’re just messengers.

      • I don’t dismiss at all the pay issue. My comment only goes to my own philosophy about learning. To me learning is the very essence of what teachers do and it is the essence of what makes us human—to learn is to grow, to change, to be human. Somewhere along the way those doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots, military men and women—somewhere they have teachers and if those teachers have the knowledge, skills and commitment they may inspire great leaders, thinkers, doers. They may be the person who supports, encourages and guides the worker, leader, inventor who makes a difference in our lives. Do you not think that is a sacred duty of the educator? The gift to the future—is that not a reason to put that teaching profession at the very apex of all professions that grow and become from it?

        • Yes, jangles. That is why I remain in this profession. However, terms such as “sacred duty” and “teaching is a calling” serve to reinforce the fact that teachers, like nuns, are just supposed to want to give their all out of the goodness of their hearts…no matter how pitiful their salaries.

          • I’m not sure I am willing to buy into that. I think teachers salaries are not as bad as they were at one time and in some places they have become pretty good. But part of the salary issue also needs to be honestly addressed by teachers. Look at the work year of other professionals—that has always been a huge give away by teachers and saying “I spend my summers going to school and preparing—-” doesn’t cut it. Teachers need to think like professionals—how do I/we impact the bottom line? How do I/we add value to the organization? Is a teacher who sees 20 students each of 5 periods–100 students/day—more or less valuable than the one who sees 150? How about measures of annual student growth? What role should that play for the individual or the teaching team and how could you implement that fairly?

          • Seasonal employment really isn’t that easy to get. If you expect teachers to survive on no pay in the summer, the only jobs they’ll be Able to get will be min wage. Probably few people will go to the expense of 4 years of college and a master’s for that. Good luck getting anyone to go into the field. Around here, they want to force aids and hellers to have degrees, even though those are virtual minimum wage positions. If we value education, we need to pay for it all year round.

            And it’s not professional jealousy. Put yourself in their place. I’ve had teachers who practically jump up and down and get nothing back in response. It’s nobody’s fault, god knows we all have our problems and lots of kids are beaten down by life at a young age. But how long do you think it will take for that teacher to have had it? You can’t go day after day without any acknowledgement. If all the good students go to the same person, you will have more turnover than you can imagine.

          • teachers don’t receive pay during the summer unless they are teaching summer school.

    • At this point we have a legislature in NJ who are very complacent and just do whatever they darn well please without reflecting what voters seek.

      Perhaps if someone like Daggett who has worked with many of them in the past – on both sides of the aisle they may realize that folks are fed up with their nonsense and start paying attention – and in 2010 we all have an opportunity to “vote the bums out

  16. ooops, meant: Perhaps if someone like Daggett who has worked with many of them in the past on both sides of the aisle get’s elected…

  17. I do not have much hope that either party has the capacity to learn anything. The Democrats over reached and dismissed one of the best Dem presidents we have ever had and went on to lose the congress. The Republicans took power and then over reached in their own way and lost the presidency and the congress. The Democrats are back in power and are over reaching once again and will probably lose some power. They are all about partisan advantage. They are not at all interested in working on solutions to national problems. They are corrupt in their thinking and their practices. We need a revolution.

  18. We must be careful of what we wish for and because of a third party candidate, we in Texas, returned to office a very right wing Governor with only 39%of the vote. The New Jersey polls is almost showing those kind of results. If Daggett continues to drain off Christie votes that is the results you can expect and you will be stuck with Corzine.Think twice of how you are going to vote and what the results of that vote will bring and you might not want to even vote in that race..

  19. JB,

    To vote for the lesser of two evils is to vote for evil.

    If there are only two choices, ceteris paribus, it’s better to choose the D.

    s

    • Simply tacking a letter on the end of a name isn’t a qualification

      • SoD,

        I added the qualifier “all things being equal”/ ceteris paribus as the reason for choosing D over R, if one MUST make a choice between the two. If one does not have to make a choice between the two, then one can choose other than an “evil.”

        s

        • Even so, “all things being equal” should never be. That was my point. If “all things [are] equal” why would one be better than the other? It just verifies what we found out this go round.

      • It sets a really low standard for politicians too. We need good leaders, not bad ones whose only virtue is that they are “better” than the alternatives.

        Isn’t it really sad that the Failbots’ best argument for Obama is that he is “better” than McCain would have been?

        If if you assume that they are correct, wouldn’t you expect a “transformational” POTUS to have some objectively positive accomplishments?

        (I try to average one “quote” per sentence)

  20. This endorsement from a major newspaper is a very good sign. I hope it’s just the start to serious attention for 3rd-party candidates across the country.

  21. Great post!!

    I agree with the commenters here that Daggett is the only viable chance for change.

    I put some of the comments on my blog at http://njelection.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/bloggers-on-impact-of-star-ledger-endorsement-of-daggett/

  22. Also, I encourage every one to get involved. Support this candidate any way you can, even if you don’t live in new jersey or are too you can cyber volunteer and spread the word online.

    Learn how here http://njelection.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/chris-daggett-campaign-15-ways-to-help/

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