This race is over

Have you seen the video _ it is on our web site _ of Commissioner Bret Schundler and other officials making their case at the U.S. Education department for Race to the Top funding. When asked for what was missing from the state’s application _ funding data for 2008 and 2009 _ the team from N.J. was clueless. So, the questioner gave them more time to fund it. About 30 minutes later, they were asked again. The info was not there.

Part of the governor’s point the other day was that New Jersey verbally provided the feds with the required figures at the Aug. 11 meeting. But that did not happen.

This truly should end all attempts to blame the Obama Administation for the state not getting funds and also invite thought on how long Schundler is going to be able to keep his job.

About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

40 Responses to This race is over

  1. I guess we have the answer now

  2. P says:

    If you Lie to the Big Guy, you gotta go. Plus this was Strike Three for Schundler.

  3. Kevin Nedd says:

    When will Christie man up and apologize to the President for his false accusation of how the administration handled this matter?

  4. P says:

    Right after you and Obama apologize for lying to the American people about the stimulus bill, the effect it’s had on the economy, and the worsening state of economic affairs –

    and please don’t cite a CBO report that is full of phrases like “using evidence about the effects of previous similar policies on the economy and using various mathematical models that represent the workings of the economy,” as proof of anything other than the fact that you can use statistics to prove anything.

  5. Bob Grant says:

    There is lots of egg for lots of faces here, including both guys named Ed. Schundler’s lie makes the Governor look like a fool and, after all, Schundler was Christie’s choice for whatever reason. Schundler had to know that the session with the feds was videotaped, so why did he suddenly get so stupid. Harvard isn’t what it used to be.

    However, the fact remains that for screwing up the budget numbers, the application lost 4.8 points, but for not having the support of the majority of school districts and most of the NJEA locals, the application lost 21 points. It’s pretty clear where the problems are.

  6. Kevin Nedd says:


    The data proves the stimulus had a positive impact. It’s your choice to not to believe it. Have a nice day.

  7. P says:

    The data “proves” nothing of the sort, as the CBO admits. They simple used previous events to “calculate” what they believe has happened. And anyone looking at the current economic data who believes that we are currently on the “right track,” is either delusional, or an Obama sycophant, or both.

  8. P says:

    BG – NJ’s submission did have the support of a majority of school districts state-wide, and the NJEA was NEVER going to support any submission that contained real reform. If Christie had submitted what Schundler initially agreed to with the union, NJ wouldn’t even come close to winning.

  9. Kevin Nedd says:


    With respect the CBO, said it’s your opinion. That doesn’t make it fact.

    As for Christie’s $400 million debacle. The scoring of the application clearly show’s the initial one (not the second one put together over a weekend) would have beat out the 10th place winner (Ohio).

  10. P says:

    You don’t have to take my word for it, I quoted the CBO report. They offer no proof, just projecting the estimates of past events onto this one. They don’t even do a comparison to show how the amount of stimulus money, or timing of this package compares to past recessions and then correlate both to past recoveries. Even the title screams “SWAG” – “Estimated Impact . . ” It is, in effect, a guess based on previous guesses.

    As for your “Statement of Fact” about how the submission that Christie rejected would have beaten the one that did go in, I’d love to hear how you came up with that conclusion. How does one get a score for a report that wasn’t submitted?? Did Obama have his people get a copy from the NJEA, score that one and come up with result that’s better than what was received???? And if so can we all get a copy of that new scoring and the video showing how it was done? 🙂

    Your statement – “The scoring of the application clearly show’s (sic) the initial one (not the second one put together over a weekend) would have beat out the 10th place winner (Ohio),” is just more NeddBullShine (does that make you happier Fred?)!

  11. P says:

    One unrelated question – Why did the DR pull your access – ?

    And what does “This community member’s page is currently being reviewed by the editors,” mean? Too much hatred or too many lies, or both??!! Good thing you have your own website for spewing both.

  12. Kevin Nedd says:


    1. The CBO scoring of the impact of legislation (pre and post) is always an estimate. If you chose not to believe the figures, that’s your prerogative. But quite frankly, I don’t think anyone cares what you think.

    2. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if the application Christie rejected that contained both the correct school aid figures and the endorsement of the NJEA (this has been widely reported), it would have at least scored 3.5 points higher than the one hastily prepared over a weekend and submitted. This would have been enough to make up the 3 point deficit to Ohio’s application.

    3. I have no idea what you are talking about. My DR access is working just fine as I have made a couple of comments on articles this morning; IDitto on your “community page” comment – no idea?

    Back on topic – when is Christie going to show some sense of honor and apologize to the President?

  13. P says:

    Last time I checked an “estimate” PROVES nothing, especially an estimate based on an estimate. It really doesn’t matter what I believe, it’s the fact that you tried to use the report as Absolute Proof that the stimulus is working (unless your definition of a “positive impact” is at least one more person is working than if we hadn’t spent almost $800B). It isn’t working, as all of the economic indicators “prove.”

    As far as RTTT, you’re admitting that you guessed, again. To get the NJEA’s endorsement, Christie would have had to submit the entry they agreed to, and you have no proof that it would have scored anywhere near as well as his submission. In fact, it has been “widely reported” that the NJEA favored submission would have lost more points than it gained because it didn’t contain the incentives that Obama was looking for to drive excellence in education.

    As for your last question, already answered, refer to comment #4.

    One other note – The DOE could have awarded money to as many as 15 states, so one is left to wonder why they chose to make the cutoff 10, which was the absolute minimum number of states they said they’d give money to. If they really cared about creating more educational opportunity, they should have made it 11 states and told NJ they wanted it’s plan implemented.

  14. Kevin Nedd says:


    I don’t recall using the words “absolute proof”. These are your words, not mind.

    Does anyone care what you think? I sure don’t.

  15. Kevin Nedd says:


    Here is the former NJ Education Commissioner’s assessment of the initial NJ RTTT application, per the Star Ledger:

    “Schundler said he did give the fed officials, off camera, the understanding that the state spent more on education in 2009 than in 2008. And he said he believed that the compromise plan that Christie scrapped at the last minute would have handily won the federal dollars, placing third in the competition.”

    Now why should anyone believe YOU would have more insight into this matter than the former Education Commissioner?

  16. P says:

    If you’re going to accept Schundler’s version of the story then Obama still owes NJ an explanation as to why his DOE wouldn’t accept NJ’s update to a clerical error. As to the second part of his statement, it’s pure conjecture and the author of the statement is more than a little biased since he’s trying to resurrect his career possibilities after three major screw-ups.

  17. Kevin Nedd says:


    As I have said before, that is your opinion, which by the way isn’t the way this is playing out in the press and public opinion. But keep dreaming!

  18. P says:

    “that is your opinion,” DUH. Almost everything written here is someone’s opinion, including YOUR opinion of MY opinion!

    Trying to dismiss my POV by claiming it’s “just your opinion,” and letting readers infer that yours is instead fact, is a nice try at winning what has become for you a losing argument. Too bad we’re on to your NeddBullShine.

    So you can’t have it both ways, either Schundler is right, and the Obama administration is wrong, OR, Schundler was wrong, and Christie was right in firing him. Pick your poison.

  19. I don’t think I like P’s opionion about Nedd’s opinion .. but that’s just my opinion
    What’s your opinion?

  20. P says:

    Care to elaborate, or just trying to be funny. 😉

  21. Kevin Nedd says:

    Lighten up P. Your giving us way too much material!

  22. P says:

    Nedd, spoke to the governor tonight and he said he’d be glad to accept your apology –

    Just make sure you update your website with phrase, “I sincerely hope the governor will accept my abject apology.”

  23. P says:

    Au contraire, mon frère, looks like you posted too soon (see #23).

    P.S. It’s Y-o-u, apostrophe, r-e . . You’re.

  24. Kevin Nedd says:

    I have nothing to apologize for. Christie is the one who owes the President an apology.

  25. P says:

    NeddSOP – Never apologize, never explain, just keep charging ahead.

    Kinda reminds me of this guy –

  26. Kevin Nedd says:


    As usual you missed the “big picture”. Christie needs to apologize to the President for attacking his administration when as it turns out the problem (for whatever reason) was within his own camp. A man of honor, which I realize you have trouble relating to, would do the right thing and apologize.

  27. P says:

    Ah, Good Old Nedd #5 – Only people like Nedd, who served his country, are men of honor and therefore have the right to comment on such matters.

    P.S. I thought you said that Schundler claimed to have given the numbers to Obama’s people verbally. Are you withdrawing that claim, or absolving them of any responsibility for taking that into account?

  28. P says:

    P.S. This isn’t “Big Picture” politics, just the petty stuff you thrive on.

  29. Kevin Nedd says:


    You don’t read very well do you? In his statement to the Star Ledger that I quoted above, Shundler claimed to have told the feds (off camera) that 2009 school aid figures were larger than they were in 2008. He didn’t say he gave the actual figures. So we are still left with governor who wrongly criticized a sitting President, which is big picture politics. Christie needs to do the honorable thing and apologize.

  30. P says:

    So the Feds knew that NJ should get credit for that one area, but they gave them a goose-egg instead, and deprived NJ’s school kids of a serious chance to see some serious improvements to their educational experience. Sounds like petty bureaucrats to me, just like the Gov called it.

  31. Kevin Nedd says:

    Nice try P, but a you can see from the tape, NJ didn’t have a clue as to what the figures. You can defend Christie all you want, but everyone else know he was wrong to blame the President.  This fall when the GOP rolls out “remember New Jersey”, Dems can respond with “remember the $400 million”?

  32. P says:

    I’m sure that your “remember the $400M” will be the turning point where the oncoming tsunami was reversed –

    But I’m still waiting to hear if you believe, as you keep noting to bash Christie, Schundler’s claim that he gave the Fed (off camera) the info they were looking for. Because if you believe that, then I’m not sure how you defend the Obama administration except if you are a fan of Petty Bureaucrats. And if you no longer believe Schundler, why you can’t admit that, unless it weakens your attempt to bash Christie.

    In the end, this is all about Nedd’s favorite tactic – Ask over and over and over again (like a 3 year old) the same question even though he’s been given a response, in this case – Never. Meanwhile, NJ’s kids continue to receive a mediocre, overpriced education under the control the public education monopoly. Here’s another great example of why things need to be fixed –

    And here’s the nut graf –

    “The findings that result from the extensive data we collected and the portfolio information we reviewed is disturbing. While there were many struggling students whose teachers and counselors provided good evidence of work accomplished and a record of appropriate courses and local interventions, there were other students, unable ultimately to evidence even simple math skills, who were unimaginably recorded by their schools as succeeding in Algebra II or even Calculus. Equally dispiriting, there were students whose records showed failure after failure in Algebra I, or English I, who were never provided appropriate courses or interventions over the years. Finally, some students with the requisite skills had to call themselves because their school would not prepare an appeal, and we had parents in tears because they could not get anyone to review matters at the school. Clearly, for the sake of these children and their families, changes need to be made.”

  33. Kevin Nedd says:


    A little advice. When you are in a hole, stop digging. As I quoted above Schundler’s claim was only that he told the Feds (off camera) that 2009 school aid spending was greater than 2008. He didn’t claim to have provided actual figures, which is what the application required. Thus NJ didn’t deserve all the points for that section, which ended up bumping the application out of the money. So yes, we are back to the original point…Christie owes the President an apology.

  34. P says:

    Where I’m standing I can see for miles and miles and miles.

    As for figure vs. facts, it’s still a shame that the kids in NJ (and everywhere for that matter) will lose out on some important ides that could have moved Public Education ahead in NJ & the USA, and it is in no small part to the inflexibility of the Petty Bureaucrats in WDC.

  35. Mark in Rockaway says:

    “As for figure vs. facts, it’s still a shame that the kids in NJ (and everywhere for that matter) will lose out on some important ides that could have moved Public Education ahead in NJ & the USA, and it is in no small part to the inflexibility of the Petty Bureaucrats in WDC.”

    A good idea is a good idea, whether or not a taxpayer-funded incentive/bribe existed to implement them. If NJ can accomplish some of the ideas in the RTTT application on their own without federal oversight and the resultant costs, great!

  36. P says:

    I guess, contrary to Nedd’s “popular” opinion (post #17), this issue isn’t hurting Christie in the polls –

    Governor gets some of the blame, but sees his approval rating go up from 51% – 57%. Maybe he needs to pick another fight. Steve Sweeney/Sheila Oliver, batter up.

  37. Kevin Nedd says:

    Not true… The ideas are there for anyone to implement. Perhaps next time Christie will show more leadership and submit a complete application for funding like the winning states did. Christie’s screw up is what hurt our kids.

  38. P says:

    But the money to build things like usable databases, or extra money for merit pay isn’t. Christie should just announce that since the Feds won’t cough up the cash, he’ll just hold back more of the school aid funds to fund these initiatives internally. A couple of hundred million for a couple of years is peanuts compared to the $8B that still goes out the door.

    Throwing more money at school districts has been a proven loser, especially the Abbotts, so redirect the money to a place where it would be better spent –

  39. Kevin Nedd says:


    This thread is dead. The action is on the “Schundler not going quietly” thread.

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