Braun’s brawn: Newark funnels cash to Turnaround’s failures

Alison Averra

TFC’s Alison Averra (Cami’s bosom bud)

Newark’s school bosses have decided to schlep another bag of cash over to Turnaround for Children Inc., according to

Like, really?

Turnaround has Newark in its pocket?

You don’t say.


“From 2012 to 2014, the two years of the “Renew Schools” experiment, the percentage of students at Chancellor Avenue passing the state NJASK tests in language arts fell from 30.6 to 20.7 and in math from 47.3 to 38.4. At Cleveland, the drops were 25.3 to 21.6 in language arts and 41.1 to 26.6 in math. Passing rates at Thirteenth Avenue fell from 18.3 to 17.3 in language arts and from 24.3 to 20.1 in math.”

Stay tuned…

ITI’s chief to Turnaround: “Pam, can I borrow your Rolodex?” (LOL)

A tekkie lobbyist under fire for failing to consult educators on hiring minorities is fresh off settling a lawsuit brought by one of his competitors, who claims the lobbyist wasn’t very diverse in establishing his own contacts.


dean garfieldGarfield

Dean Garfield of the Information Technology Industry Council recently settled a lawsuit brought against ITI by TechAmerica, according to

Seems Dean’s group took TA’s Rolodex.

A guy who fails to hire minorities also isn’t very diverse in cultivating his own tekkie sources?


Maybe Dean needs to consult Pam Cantor at Turnaround for Children Inc., whose Rolodex includes a link to this blog:

And now this:

The Hill is also reporting on Dean’s being forced to defend his group’s alleged failure to hire minorities.

“When it rains, it pours.”

Pam Cantor has a friend? USA Today tekkie scribbler also full of falsities

After USA Today blasted Silicon Valley for failing to hire minorities, an alleged tekkie tried to do a comeback with a defense.

But Dean Garfield‘s attempt was even more anemic than the paper’s original editorial:

Can this be?

Can Turnaround for Children Inc. actually have met its match – someone whose vacuousness eclipses even Pamela Cantor‘s?

Nah, can’t be.

Oh, yes it can be.

The credit for this catch goes to Abigail Shure, a veteran Newark teacher who’s been in the trenches for public education for decades.

Shure fired off a letter to Garfield, who masquerades as the top dawg at the Information Technology Industry Council.

“Both the editorial and the op-ed are lacking in specifics on how to engage the educational community to attract black, hispanic and female candidates to pursue tech careers,” Shure said.

We tried to wake Garfield from his slumber but got no response to either emails or tweets.

USA Today started the fight this way:



Free lunch for Turnaround?


While Turnaround for Children is trying to show Newark how to educate kids (LOL) the district is eating the taxpayers for lunch.

That’s the view of the teachers union, judging from this generally circulated email that went out to the masses.

From Newark teachers union email re: “wasteful spending.”

Subject: Newark’s State-Appointed Superintendent continues to waste NJ Taxpayers money–266285271.html

Budget cuts and tight resources plague Newark public schools, but even in these tough economic times, the Newark Public Schools District has approved tens of thousands of dollars a month in spending on take-out food and catering, NBC 4 New York’s I-Team has found.

An I-Team review of district spending over a 15-month period ending in May found that Newark administrators spent more than $330,000, or an average of about $22,000 a month, on food from places like Sandwiches Unlimited, SuzyQue’s BBQ and King’s Family Restaurant and Catering even as it faces a $42 million budget gap.

In the spring, hundreds of Newark high school students walked out of class to protest budget cuts. More cuts are expected.

According to budget estimates posted on the Newark Public Schools website, per pupil spending on supplies and textbooks will go down by 30 percent next school year, from $501 to $372.

There will be an 11 percent reduction in overall spending on building maintenance, from $77,168,701 to $73,737,144. Budget projections also show a 34 percent decrease in spending on guidance counselors, from $3,374,792 to $2,047,967.

“We sit in classrooms where there aren’t enough desks to fill every student,” said Khadija Bhatti, a sophomore student who participated in the protest. “We don’t have adequate supplies of paper and necessary supplies to supplement us throughout the day and then there’s money being spent on arbitrary things such as catering and food.”

Newark Public Schools have been under state control since 1995. Last month, Gov. Chris Christie re-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson.

Anderson declined to answer questions about the restaurant bills. But school spokeswoman Vanessa Rodriguez said that the food is largely used to encourage parent involvement and to recognize students for their achievements.

“Ninety percent of what we have spent in these events happens at the school level. And it happens with teachers and it happens with students and families,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also pointed out union rules that require food service to be available for teaching staff members who stay late to attend parent teacher conferences.

Joseph Del Grosso, president of the Newark Teachers Union, said schools routinely fail to provide food for teachers at after school meetings. He also pointed out that parent teacher conferences only take place twice a year. The I-Team found take-out food charged every month.

“While we in schools are living hand to mouth, the superintendent is out catering affairs,” Del Grosso said.

Rodriguez said despite criticisms about stretched resources, she believes students have what they need to learn.

“Going into next year, our students will have what they need. That is our No. 1 priority.”

Mike Maillaro

Director of Research and Communication

Newark Teachers Union

“Stay strong, stay focused, stay united”

CC: Commissioner Hespe

CC: NJ Board of Education

CC: All legislators

CC: All press contacts in NJ and NY

CC: NTU Staff, Executive Board, and Membership

‘It’s snow big deal:’ Turnaround for Children Inc. laughs off another missed opportunity to educate kids

Turnaround for Children Inc.’s hot-from-the-oven chief operating officer Ali Avera apparently thinks missing another day of school due to the white stuff is snow big deal.

Such a joke that Avera – who just began her job as TFC’s chief whatever officer – authorized TFC underlings to post this photo on TFC’s Facebook page touting what she decided to do with time she otherwise might devote to reaching kids at risk in TFC’s so-called partner schools.

“If you’re snowed in, it’s perfect day for making snow angels! Look how much fun our COO, Ali, and her daughter are having! Where’s your picture?”

If you're snowed in, it's perfect day for making snow angels! Look how much fun our COO, Ali, and her daughter are having! Where's your picture?

While some kids went to school, TFC execs played in the snow.

What a bunch of flakes.

When it comes to Turnaround for Children Inc., the joke’s on the kids.

Pesky test-score droop: Turnaround for Children Inc. needs to learn ‘when you’re in a hole, stop digging.’

joke's on you

Hey – remember those awful NYC test scores in Turnaround for Children Inc.’s “partner” schools?

Here’s a reminder in case you forgot:

bronx charter school for excellence test scores

TFC doesn’t want you to remember those failures.

So its latest Facebook post tries to trumpet “a unique collaboration” that is “taking teamwork to a whole new level.”

Maybe they mean taking teamwork to a hole.


Here’s the video with lots of LOLs:

“Working as one cohesive team, the teachers are sharing best practices learned from Turnaround with Children and collaborating on lesson planning to improve literacy for their students,” says TFC’s self-serving post.

So P.S. 85 and Bronx Charter School for Excellence collaborating with Turnaround for Children Inc. to improve test scores.

As you see at the top of this post, TFC had no success in Bronx charter School’s efforts to educate its kids.

And let’s remember the results in P.S. 85:

ps 85

Education Week: ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ Ed Week chief kills her golden goose

ed week muzzlesYou call this a newspaper?

Ed Week’s chief editor has a new way to stifle dissent – create a paywall.

virginia edwards mugVirginia $253,000-a-year Edwards

Edwards emailed us proudly announcing that to have full access to the site, readers will have to subscribe.

ed week subscriptionEd Week feels the best way to disseminate information, stimulate discussion and promulgate formation of opinion is to force prospective readers and contributors to spend $69.

In case you forgot, we previously took on Ed Week for refusing to publish our op ed or letter disclosing the truth about Turnaround for Children Inc.’s abysmal failures in attempting to reach at-risk school children:

On its own website, Ed Week says it is “recognized as the premier source of news, information, and analysis on American pre-collegiate education.”

Ed Week calls itself a “news organization that provides distinctive staff-written original reporting while also aggregating high-quality content from other sources.”


Our blog was the beginning of the end for Ed Week’s being the alleged “premier source of news, information and analysis on American pre-collegiate education.”

Chalk another one up for us.

Register your protest at Ed Week’s new policy killing dissent – the bedrock of good journalism when the free flow of ideas is encouraged, not stifled.

Email Virginia $253,000-a-year Edwards:

virginia edwards stifling

BULLETIN: Turnaround for Children Inc. finally admits failures

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

After months and months of denying its failure in NYC schools, Turnaround for Children Inc. is now admitting defeat?

Editor’s note: The NewarkSchoolsForSale blog team is in debt to its staff researcher for unearthing this startling development:

Tears at Turnaround for Children Inc.

But Gary Stern, author of the Bizjournal article, clearly checked his facts before he went to press.

Hats off to Stern.

Gary M. Stern

turnaround admits failure

Does this look like passing to you?

And Felsen discloses that Turnaround operates in the poorest schools?

Oh! Had no idea, Kate.

kate felsen mug


TFC CEO Pamela Cantor and TFC Chief Flakker Felsen think these scores are passing.

Are any of their kids in schools with scores like these?

Maybe Columbia PhD $377,000-a-year Osher of can take a peek at the data.
osher mug

Us mere mortals here with sheer BA’s cannot figure out how to convert the data from Turnaround for Children schools in NYC into passing scores.

The facts about failing NYC test scores:

Education Week’s $13 million funders now hearing our plea for transparency; Cohen seeking to ‘tear down this wall;’ Ms. Edwards, grant us editorial balance on your Turnaround for Children Inc. whitewash

virginia edwards mug

Virginia $253,000-a-year Edwards

Prez of Education Week

What perspective is Ed Week attempting to silence?

Does Ed Week support the education-reformer view that ordinary citizens and taxpayers should not participate in the national-education bet?

Instead we should follow the long-debated, top-down assembly-line format whereby we each deal only with our individual widgets?

Select machers such as Vander Ark and Hess are allowed to pontificate at will. No balance is needed since they are in the know.


We have emailed all 16 philanthropies supporting EdWeek appealing to them to urge EdWeek to publish our op ed or letter disclosing the truth about Turnaround for Children Inc.’s failures.

ed week email

ed week funders

Top salaries at EdWeek.

ed week sals==

Pamela Cantor, the prexy of Turnaround for Children Inc., likes Vander Ark’s one-sided editorials.
But test scores of children studying in TFC partner schools are plummeting.

Vander Ark’s version of creative writing:

cohen and vander ark go back and forth

Here’s our version – of the truth:

Match made in heaven – Cantor and Vander Ark.

cantor and vander ark


EdWeek is making so much money it is now charging teachers – the ones whose jobs they are after – for articles.

ed week charging teachers