by James J. Devine
Perth Amboy Superintendent Janine Caffrey’s departure is welcome news for the Bay City’s residents, who have suffered the indignity of having Republican Christie administration officials repeatedly overturn the decision of elected representatives during her brief but controversial tenure.
School board members learned quickly that they had made a mistake hiring Caffrey, who came at the recommendation of the New Jersey School Boards Association.
Caffrey had a political agenda aimed at busting up teachers’ unions and privatizing school functions, turning operational services over to corporations seeking to profit off the investment taxpayers make in children.
The insubordinate, sneaky and self-righteous manner in which she conducted herself set Caffrey apart from responsible leaders in education but even after a tumultous start, some Board of Education members were reluctant to fire her.
Among those urging action early on was Mark Carvajal, who is now the school board president. Although Carvajal pressured two other board members to act on terminating Caffrey, he failed to join the majority voting to let her go and subsequently flip-flopped again.
When Caffrey gave the Board of Education an ultimatum of renewing her contract before the upcoming election or saying good-bye, Carvajal had just about enough.
Caffrey filed largely unfounded ethics complaints against a majority of Board of Education members, revealing a fantasy in which her obvious and vocal critics comprised some sort of secret conspiracy.
Caffrey’s imagination failed to account for the simple fact that her position of disrespecting educators while selling out children is detestable on its face. Nobody needs to engage in a conspiracy to sense malice and antipathy toward someone whose purpose is malignant.
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