its April 25th
meeting, the Trenton Board of Education took giant steps toward
privatizing its public schools: laying-off staff and privatizing
special education and other services previously delivered by teachers
and paraprofessionals. More than 400 citizens turned out to protest
these nefarious actions, overflowing the board room and filling up
additional space in a basement venue. The meeting was sometimes
raucous, but one Board member, Dr. Jane Rosenbaum, a Rider University
professor, who was recently re-appointed by Mayor Eric Jackson, was
able to ‘sleep through’ through much of the gathering.
of Rosenbaum’s students and colleagues have also observed her
dozing in campus classes and meetings. They have assumed that she
has low energy or that she may suffer from narcolepsy, a sleep
disorder. (She could possibly be helped with the prescription drug
for narcolepsy, Provigil.) Either way, it appears she needs
professional help. It is apparent that Dr. Rosenbaum is physically
incapable of serving effectively on the Board, especially during this
period of Board-community conflicts.
date, Jackson has strongly backed Rosenbaum and his other appointees
saying that he is “…confident
that they’ll do a good job… It’s a board where you
have to commit and give up your time, a lot of energy to be
sacrificed at times.”
mayor is in error as demonstrated by the sloppy and biased
superintendent’s search, which yielded two finalists, who had
recently been fired for questionable and perhaps criminal actions.
Pursuant to strong community and union pressure, he and the Board
were forced to cancel the search process nine hours before the
meeting where they were to make a selection between the two.
not a single member of this so-called committed Board has a child
enrolled in the Trenton Public Schools (with the exception of Denise
Millington who has a grandchild in the district) which is an
indication of its lack of connectedness to the students, parents, and
broader community for whom they make education policy. In addition,
the majority of the Board, as is Mayor Jackson, is controlled by and
beholden to Gov. Christie and the corporate Cartel education
reformers who have rained down corporate charters and the
privatization of school services on the city of Trenton.
Dr. Rosenbaum has been a loyal servant in these initiatives while
‘sleeping through them,’ only waking up to vote YES for
the latest school privatization remedy designed to address the ails
of the Trenton Public Schools.
Cartel is hell bent on making New Jersey’s capitol city a
shining example of public school privatization with an African
American mayor at the helm. The achievement of this objective will
have an even greater impact statewide and nationally as it has
already been largely accomplished in Camden and Newark, two cities
also headed by black mayors. The Cartel uses these corporate
triumphs as marketing tools as they target other majority-minority
school districts across the country in their continuing national
march to dismantle public education.
results are vivid in Detroit, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Atlanta,
Cleveland, Chicago, and numerous other urban school districts in the
bullseye of privatization. In the wake of this destruction are
hundreds of thousands of unemployed professional educators and
paraprofessionals of color who have been relegated to the scrap heap
of the post-industrial, private-sector dominant contemporary society.
Public-sector employees, public school personnel in particular, are
the present cannon fodder to feed the corporate appetites for more
profits no matter what the costs.
boards are serving as the first level assassins in this crusade as
they have decimated the working- and middle-classes of color in city
after city, and these policies are often implemented by individuals
who look like and claim to represent the people they are exploiting.
The intoxicating nature of racial and ethnic affinity has lulled
communities of color to sleep as their own members stick the knives
in their economic backs over wages, jobs, benefits, and their
snuggling up with education unions and grassroots community activists
and pledging his undying support for public education in hotly
contested primary and run-off races in his first bid for mayor, Eric
Jackson also cut a deal with Cartel school privatization leaders and
promised to help them disassemble the public education apparatus,
receiving considerable campaign funding and in-kind support from all
groups. After taking office, he quietly appointed and re-appointed
the Cartel’s handpicked Board members-- Jason Redd, Gerald
Truehart, and Dr. Jane Rosenbaum-- to carry out the education reform
agenda of corporate charter schools and the privatization of school
who works for a Cartel law firm, and Truehart, who is employed by a
charter school, proved to be aggressive and sometimes condescending
proponents of the plan. Rosenbaum, a Rider University professor,
added heft to the group with membership in her university’s
with the interim superintendent, Lucy Feria, who was a key cog in the
transfer of the Philadelphia Public Schools to the charter school
sector and the layoffs of thousands of public school workers, they
have positioned Trenton to become another New Orleans which currently
has nine public schools left with the rest being turned into voucher
and charter schools.
chair of the Board’s curriculum committee, which handles
special education matters, Rosenbaum has wreaked havoc on the
district’s paraprofessionals—laying them off and
privatizing their jobs, while ‘sleeping on the job.’
Sunday, May 8th, Rev. J. Stanley Justice will honor Trenton’s
paraprofessionals at a Mother’s Day service at his Greater Mt.
Zion AME Church. Many in the Trenton community are urging him to
challenge Mayor Jackson in the next election. Meanwhile at least two
Trenton City Council members are quietly testing the waters for a
mayoral run, and Paul Perez, who was also backed by the Cartel in his
2014 loss to Jackson, has been running for mayor continuously since
upcoming May 15th
rally at the state capitol, to advocate for more state funding for
the Trenton Public Schools, could serve as a sorting out as
prospective candidates gauge the participants’ dissatisfaction
with Mayor Jackson in order to take their next steps.
the Board has announced that it will attend the rally, the question
is whether Dr. Jane Rosenbaum will ‘fall asleep at the rally’
as she does routinely at Board meetings.