April 2, 2004 |
Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Vicki Phillips yesterday stood by her decision not to release middle school teacher test results for the state's 501 school districts. In a telephone interview, Phillips said that many districts - unlike Philadelphia - have few teachers taking the tests, and that releasing the data could breach teachers' confidentiality. She also contended that the employment records used to compile the data could contain inaccuracies and outdated information that would need to be weeded out by local districts.
October 23, 2003 |
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is questioning whether the United States is winning its war against international terrorism. "Today, we lack the metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror," wrote Rumsfeld, one of the main architects of the campaign, in a confidential Oct. 16 memo to his top civilian and military advisers. "Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than [are] deploying against us?" Rumsfeld later said: "It's pretty clear that the [U.S.
July 26, 2003 |
I have just finished an advanced speed-reading course and gone through this morning's 405 spam e-mails. If I might briefly sum up: Mr. Ndeke Oblongo, a victim of unspeakable political persecution, finds himself temporarily short of funds. Anyone who sends him a modest advance of $100,000 will experience a dramatic enlargement of his mortgage by several inches and a shortening of his penis by many years. Or was it the other way around? Mr. Oblongo, who confidently expects to inherit King Solomon's mine next week and will reward investors with a 10,000 percent return on their outlay, will even send along a consignment of super-low-priced printer cartridges with a lifetime supply of Viagra couriered to your door by two hot nymphets for use with same.
April 24, 2003 |
The school board is considering a draft recommendation of proposed changes to its closed-to-the-public committee system and other procedural matters. The draft, prepared by Board Solicitor Reese A. Davis, was discussed at an executive session before Tuesday night's public board meeting. Chase F. Gibson, the board's president, said the recommended changes likely would be given a first reading at the May 13 meeting. Gibson would not elaborate on the proposed changes, but he said last month that the board would review confidentiality issues and "the recently questioned, but never actually legally challenged, liaison committees of the board.
October 24, 2002 |
I deleted the first e-mail reminders that the deadline to register for my 15-year high school reunion was rapidly approaching. Could it possibly be that long? When the first mailer came regarding interest for a reunion, I e-mailed to get more information on old classmates. I wanted to know what they were doing now. How had they changed? As time passed, however, my interest waned. Did I really want to get in a room with a bunch of people I hadn't talked to in more than a decade and listen to '80s music, and, inevitably, our prom song?
July 16, 2002
By Carl Golden When Gov. McGreevey used an executive order to shut off access to potentially thousands of government documents (only 24 hours after the new Open Public Records Law went into effect), he irked those who fought for the new statute, but he also sharpened the focus on the near impossibility of drafting a law that satisfies everybody. The futility of using statutory authority to define with precision the public's right to see each and every document produced or maintained by government entities has been made clearer by McGreevey's action.
March 1, 2002 |
A House panel released documents yesterday that lawmakers said raised doubts about former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling's testimony that he knew little about the financial setbacks that led to the energy company's collapse last year. The documents, released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, cited confidential testimony by Enron executives that Skilling was briefed about a series of transactions that concealed massive debts and propped up the company as it was losing money.
February 8, 2002
Enron, Cheney and the energy task force Unless the General Accounting Office has specific allegations of fraud or corruption perpetrated by Vice President Cheney's energy task force, it should back off ("The risk of White House secrecy," Feb. 3). Otherwise, it is simply involved in a fishing expedition. That the GAO reduced its original demands is irrelevant. Fishing is fishing, regardless of the method one uses. There is no parallel between this situation and Hillary Rodham Clinton's health-care debacle.
January 21, 2002 |
The U.S. Supreme Court is mulling over whether peer grading violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Its decision could open a Pandora's box of issues, including publishing honor rolls, posting graded assignments on a bulletin board, or allowing students to hand out graded work. Here's what it might sound like in a classroom if the court rules against peer grading: Good morning, class. Today you may notice a few changes around the school. These changes are in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on student confidentiality and parental rights.
December 24, 2001 |
Like many local politicians, William W. Bain serves two government systems. He is the mayor of Deptford. He is also a confidential assistant to the director of the Gloucester County Buildings and Grounds Department, a job that pays $56,494 a year. Curtis H. Noe was voted out as mayor of Pine Hill in 1999, but he retained his county job. He, too, is a confidential assistant, in the Camden County insurance department, a job that pays him a salary of $55,302. Bain and Noe are examples of how county politicians in Camden and Gloucester Counties use a provision in state employment laws to give political allies and their families jobs that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.