Monday, April 30, 2012

Volunteers Needed For Military Assistance Program

The Philadelphia Bar Association honors military personnel and veterans for their commitment to our nation. The Association's Military Assistance Program (MAP) provides pro bono legal assistance to deployed and mobilized military personnel and their families as well as to veterans of recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Attorneys are needed to help service men and women make sure their legal affairs are in order, and to plan for their families in their absence. Legal assistance is needed in a variety of practice areas, including bankruptcy, family law, wills and estates, consumer, employment, housing and tax. For veterans, legal assistance is needed in the areas of veterans’ service related compensation, VA health care and discharge upgrades.
Clients can contact the MAP through a hotline that has been established in the offices of the
Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS). The hotline number is 215-238-6388. These clients will be matched with volunteer attorneys who have registered with MAP.
To volunteer for this program an attorney must be licensed to practice in Pennsylvania; carry professional liability insurance; and possess a willingness to provide pro bono services on short notice. Membership in LRIS is not required to volunteer for this program.
If you have any questions, please contact Association director of public and legal services Charles Klitsch at 215-238-6326 or Download the Military Assistance Program volunteer form by clicking here.

Van Hallen Adds Shows In Philly, Tickets Friday

Due to overwhelmingly popular demand, Legendary rock band Van Halen will perform live on stage at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, July 11. Tickets for the show will go on sale exclusively through comcastTIX on Friday, May 4 at 10 a.m. online at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wells Fargo Center box office.

To meet demand, Van Halen added 18 more shows to their North American tour. The encore performance at the Wells Fargo Center in July comes just months after Van Halen’s March 5 performance for a sold-out Philadelphia crowd at Wells Fargo Center.

Van Halen recently premiered the video for She’s the Woman¸ the second single from A Different Kind of Truth¸ the band’s first original studio album with singer David Lee Roth since the iconic, multi-platinum 1984. Shot during its on-going live tour, the video presents a greatest hits of the band’s concert moments.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1974, Van Halen changed the rock and roll landscape forever with the release of their self-titled, 1978 debut album displaying unparalleled stage presence, revolutionary musicianship, and extraordinary songwriting abilities. With more than 75 million albums sold worldwide, the band's record of achievement is hard to top.   Among a long list of awards, recognition and accolades, Van Halen joins an elite short list of two time Diamond Award honorees in the history of the music industry.  Presented with two Diamond Award RIAA Certified Status' for their albums Van Halen and 1984, the band has produced a repertoire of hits that remain some of the strongest and most influential rock songs ever written that fans will admire for decades to come.

Opening act, Ky-mani Marley, son of legendary Bob Marley, has gained world-wide recognition and praise for his musical style, which transcends cultural and creative boundaries incorporating world music, hip hop, blues, rock, and reggae into one melodic entity. Since 1999, Marley has released four studio albums and an autobiography, a GRAMMY nomination, and in 2009 started the charitable Love Over All Foundation (LOAF), which caters to empowering and educating youth.  Ky-mani Marley is currently putting the finishing touches on his new album, Evolution of a Revolution

VIP Packages will also be available through VIP Nation, including premium seats, exclusive merchandise and more. For more information please visit

'Nice Work' Leads Outer Critics Nominations

Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators covering New York theater for out-of-town newspapers, national publications and other media beyond Broadway has announced its nominees for the 2011-12 season in 24 categories. The new musical Nice Work If You Can Get It (Video shown above) received the most nominations this year.
Celebrating its 62nd season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theater, the Outer Critics Circle is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television stations, and theatre publications in America and abroad.  The winners of the following categories will be announced on Monday, May 14th and the annual awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 24th (4PM) at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.

Outer Critics Circle
2011-2012 Award Nominations

The Lyons
One Man, Two Guvnors
Stick Fly

Bonnie & Clyde
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Blood and Gifts
The School for Lies
Sons of the Prophet

Death Takes a Holiday
Lucky Guy
Play It Cool
Queen of the Mist

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Queen of the Mist

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Bonnie & Clyde
Death Takes a Holiday
Queen of the Mist

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
The Best Man
Death of a Salesman
The Lady From Dubuque
Private Lives

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Porgy and Bess

Mark Brokaw   The Lyons
David Cromer   Tribes
Nicholas Hytner   One Man, Two Guvnors
Mike Nichols   Death of a Salesman

Jeff Calhoun   Newsies
Michael Grandage   Evita
Kathleen Marshall   Nice Work If You Can Get It
John Tiffany   Once

Rob Ashford     Evita
Christopher Gattelli   Newsies
Steven Hoggett   Once
Kathleen Marshall   Nice Work If You Can Get It

(Play or Musical)
Bob Crowley   Once
Derek McLane   Nice Work If You Can Get It
Christopher Oram   Evita
George Tsypin   Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

(Play or Musical)
Gregg Barnes   Follies
Eiko Ishioka   Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
William Ivey Long   Don’t Dress for Dinner
Martin Pakledinaz   Nice Work If You Can Get It

(Play or Musical)
Neil Austin   Evita
Donald Holder   Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Brian MacDevitt   Death of a Salesman
Hugh Vanstone   Ghost: The Musical

James Corden   One Man, Two Guvnors
Santino Fontana   Sons of the Prophet
Russell Harvard   Tribes
Philip Seymour Hoffman   Death of a Salesman
Hamish Linklater   The School for Lies

Tracie Bennett   End of the Rainbow
Tyne Daly   Master Class
Linda Lavin   The Lyons
Nicole Ari Parker   A Streetcar Named Desire
Laila Robins   The Lady From Dubuque

Danny Burstein   Follies
Raúl Esparza   Leap of Faith
Jeremy Jordan   Newsies
Steve Kazee   Once
Norm Lewis   Porgy and Bess

Jan Maxwell   Follies
Marin Mazzie   Carrie
Audra McDonald   Porgy and Bess
Cristin Milioti   Once
Kelli O’Hara   Nice Work If You Can Get It

Will Brill   Tribes
Tom Edden   One Man, Two Guvnors
Andrew Garfield   Death of a Salesman
James Earl Jones   The Best Man
Jefferson Mays   Blood and Gifts

Joanna Gleason   Sons of the Prophet
Spencer Kayden   Don’t Dress for Dinner
Angela Lansbury   The Best Man
Judith Light   Other Desert Cities
Daphne Rubin-Vega   A Streetcar Named Desire

Phillip Boykin   Porgy and Bess
Andrew Keenan-Bolger   Newsies
Michael McGrath   Nice Work If You Can Get It
Patrick Page   Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Chris Sullivan   Nice Work If You Can Get It

Jayne Houdyshell   Follies
Judy Kaye   Nice Work If You Can Get It
Rebecca Luker   Death Takes a Holiday
Da’Vine Joy Randolph   Ghost: The Musical
Melissa Van Der Schyff  Bonnie & Clyde

Judy Gold   My Life as a Sitcom
David Greenspan   The Patsy
Denis O’Hare   An Iliad
Stephen Spinella   An Iliad

(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Robert Askins   Hand to God
Gabe McKinley    CQ/CX
Erika Sheffer   Russian Transport
Jeff Talbot   The Submission

Nominations Talley for 3 or more:

9 - Nice Work If You Can Get It;  7 - Newsies, Once;  5 – Follies, Death of a Salesman, Evita, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; 4 - One Man, Two Guvnors, Porgy and Bess, Tribes; 3 - The Best Man, Bonnie & Clyde, Death Takes a Holiday, The Lyons, Queen of the Mist, Sons of the Prophet;

NOTE: The Nominating Committee attended all of this season’s Broadway productions prior to the OCC Award cut-off date. “Venus in Fur,” “Clybourne Park,” "Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Other Desert Cities” were considered in previous seasons, but new cast members were taken into consideration for this season.

2011-12 Outer Critics Circle Executive / Nominating Committee
Simon Saltzman (President)
Mario Fratti (Vice-President) Patrick Hoffman (Corresponding Secretary)
  Stanley L. Cohen (Treasurer) Glenn Loney (Historian & Member-at-Large)
 Rosalind Friedman (Recording Secretary) and
Aubrey Reuben, Thomás Gentile & Harry Haun (Members-at-Large)

'Death Takes A Holiday' Paces Drama Desk Nods

On Broadway the Drama Desk Award nominations have been announced and three shows (Death Takes A Holiday, Follies and Nice Work If You Can Get It) lead the way with the most nominations.
The Drama Desk Awards are seen as a preview of the Tonys. Scenes from Death Takes A Holiday are shown in the video above.

Here are the nominations and special awards:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
The cast of Sweet and Sad. Jon DeVries, Shuler Hensley, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, and J. Smith-Cameron are "among New York's best actors, who came together as one unforgettable stage family. Therefore, the individual cast members were not eligible for acting awards in the competitive categories."

Special Awards
To Mary Testa: For over three decades, she has dazzled audiences with consistently outstanding work, including her tour-de-force performance in this season's Queen of the Mist.
To Nick Westrate: His versatility in Unnatural Acts, Love's Labor's Lost, and Galileo was a highlight of the season.
To New Victory Theatre: For providing enchanting, sophisticated children's theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.
To Stephen Karam, the newly created Sam Norkin Off Broadway Award: The profoundly moving Sons of the Prophet confirmed his status as one of the most promising playwrights of his generation.

Note: Because of the abundance of great work throughout the season, the board authorized the increase in the number of nominees allowed in select categories. The Drama Desk Board has decided that music and lyrics that come from another medium and are appearing for the first time on Broadway are eligible. Other Desert Cities and Peter and the Starcatcher were considered for their productions Off Broadway in the 2010-11 season; Venus in Fur and Clybourne Park were considered for the 2009-10 season. Under Drama Desk rules, only new elements in their transfers to Broadway were eligible this season.

Outstanding Play
David Henry Hwang, Chinglish
Dan LeFranc, The Big Meal
Members of the Plastic Theatre, Unnatural Acts
Itamar Moses, Completeness
Lynn Nottage, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Nina Raine, Tribes
Nicky Silver, The Lyons

Outstanding Musical
Bonnie & Clyde
Death Takes a Holiday
Leap of Faith
Newsies The Musical
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Queen of the Mist

Outstanding Revival of a Play
A Little Journey
Death of a Salesman
Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque
Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Lost in Yonkers
Richard III

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
The Threepenny Opera

Outstanding Actor in a Play
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Hugh Dancy, Venus in Fur
Claybourne Elder, One Arm
Santino Fontana, Sons of the Prophet
Joseph Franchini, The Navigator
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Death of a Salesman
Kevin Spacey, Richard III

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Sanaa Lathan, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Linda Lavin, The Lyons
Jennifer Lim, Chinglish
Kim Martin-Cotten, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Carey Mulligan, Through a Glass Darkly
Joely Richardson, Side Effects

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Follies
Kevin Earley, Death Takes a Holiday
Raul Esparza, Leap of Faith
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies The Musical
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Ricky Martin, Evita

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Miche Braden, The Devil's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith
Jan Maxwell, Follies
Audra McDonald, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Kelli O'Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Bernadette Peters, Follies
Molly Ranson, Carrie

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Bill Camp, Death of a Salesman
Jim Dale, The Road to Mecca
Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Bill Irwin, King Lear
Jefferson Mays, Blood and Gifts
Will Rogers, Unnatural Acts
Morgan Spector, Russian Transport

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Stephanie J. Block, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Anna Camp, All New People
Kimberly Hebert Gregory, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Lisa Joyce, The Ugly One
Joaquina Kalukango, Hurt Village
Angela Lansbury, Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Judith Light, Other Desert Cities

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Matt Cavenaugh, Death Takes a Holiday
Michael Cerveris, Evita
Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Patrick Page, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Andrew Samonsky, Queen of the Mist

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Marin Mazzie, Carrie
Jessie Mueller, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Elaine Paige, Follies
Sarah Sokolovic, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Melissa van der Schyff, Bonnie & Clyde

Outstanding Director of a Play
Jo Bonney, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
David Cromer, Tribes
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, These Seven Sicknesses
Sam Mendes, Richard III
Mike Nichols, Death of a Salesman
Tony Speciale, Unnatural Acts

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Christopher Ashley, Leap of Faith
Jack Cummings III, Queen of the Mist
Doug Hughes, Death Takes a Holiday
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Eric Schaeffer, Follies
John Tiffany, Once

Outstanding Choreography
Rob Ashford, Evita
Warren Carlyle, Follies
Breandan de Gallal, Noctu
Christopher Gattelli, Newsies The Musical
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Sergio Trujillo, Leap of Faith

Outstanding Music
Glen Hansard and Marketa lrglova, Once
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Alan Menken, Leap of Faith
Alan Menken, Newsies The Musical
Frank Wildhorn, Bonnie & Clyde
Maury Yeston, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Lyrics
Don Black, Bonnie & Clyde
Jack Feldman, Newsies The Musical
Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Glen Hansard and Marketa lrglova, Once
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Maury Yeston, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Douglas Carter Beane, Lysistrata Jones
Janus Cercone and Warren Leight, Leap of Faith
Joe DiPietro, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Joy Gregory, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Music in a Play
Mark Bennett, An Iliad
Mark Bennett, Richard III
Tom Kitt, All's Well That Ends Well
Gina Leishman, Septimus and Clarissa
Grant Olding, One Man, Two Guvnors
Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik, Carson McCullers Talks About Love

Outstanding Revue
Newsical the Musical: End of the World Edition
The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman

Outstanding Set Design
Jon Driscoll, Rob Howell and Paul Kieve, Ghost The Musical
David Gallo, The Mountaintop
Roger Hanna, A Little Journey
David Korins, Assistance
David Korins, Chinglish
Derek McLane, Follies

Outstanding Costume Design
Gregg Barnes, Follies
ESosa, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
William Ivey Long, Lucky Guy
Jessica Pabst, She Kills Monsters
Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Catherine Zuber, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Lighting Design
Kevin Adams, Carrie
Neil Austin, Evita
David Lander, One Arm
Brian MacDevitt, Death of a Salesman
Kenneth Posner, Death Takes a Holiday
Paul Pyant, Richard III

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Jonathan Deans, Carrie
Clive Goodwin, Once
Kai Harada, Follies
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Jesus Christ Superstar
Jon Weston, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Quentin Chiappetta/mediaNoise, The Navigator
Gregory Clarke, Misterman
Gareth Fry, Richard III
John Gromada, Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Stowe Nelson, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War
Shane Rettig, She Kills Monsters

Outstanding Solo Performance
Baba Brinkman, The Rap Guide to Evolution
Suli Holum, Chimera
Jeff Key, The Eyes of Babylon
Cillian Murphy, Misterman
Denis O'Hare, An Iliad
Stephen Spinella, An Iliad

Unique Theatrical Experience
Give Me Your Hand
Gob Squad's Kitchen (You've Never Had It So Good)
The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill, Vol. 1: Early Plays/Lost Plays
The Ryan Case 1873

Death Takes a Holiday: 10
Follies: 10
Nice Work If You Can Get It: 8
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark: 6
Leap of Faith: 6
Queen of the Mist: 6
Richard III: 6
Carrie: 5
Death of a Salesman: 5
Evita: 5
Newsies The Musical: 5
Once: 5
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess: 5
Bonnie & Clyde: 4
An Iliad: 3
Chinglish: 3
Gore Vidal's The Best Man: 3
One Man, Two Guvnors: 3
The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World: 3
Unnatural Acts: 3
A Little Journey: 2
Jesus Christ Superstar: 2
Misterman: 2
Noctu: 2
One Arm: 2
The Lyons: 2
The Navigator: 2
Tribes: 2

The 57th Annual Drama Desk Awards will take place June 3 at 8 PM at The Town Hall in Manhattan.

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 "to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York," according to press notes. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics organization to honor achievement in the theatre with competition among Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

Christie Endorses New Ed Assessment Standards

Taking another step to implement a comprehensive education agenda to put the opportunity of a quality education in the reach of every child in New Jersey, Governor Christie today endorsed a series of recommendations to increase the number of graduates and ensure that all students graduate from high school truly ready for college and career.   These recommendations, contained in a report released today from the College and Career Readiness Task Force, will transition New Jersey away from the current high school assessments – High School Proficiency Exam (HSPA) and Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) – to a new series of end-of-course assessments that measure student readiness at each grade level.  These new measures will provide a powerful tool for schools to identify students in need and target individual supports to put them on track for high school graduation.

Paired with the phasing in of a new, federally mandated methodology for calculating the graduation rate, Governor Christie’s reforms will ensure that graduating from high school in New Jersey means having the skills and knowledge to be ready to enter college or the workforce, and that educators have the tools to help students get there.

“Preparing students for college and career is not only a moral imperative, it is an economic necessity to keep New Jersey competitive given the demands of the 21st century.  In too many areas of our state – often in our lowest performing districts – when students graduate high school they are not truly ready for college or a career.  These new graduation requirements will better measure college and career readiness so that a high school diploma earned in New Jersey is the gold standard for the country,” said Governor Christie.

Twenty-four states, including New Jersey, are moving toward end-of-course assessments for language arts literacy and math to be implemented in the 2014-15 school year as part of their participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). For the first time, these new assessments will create a common set of expectations among K-12 educators, higher education, and the business community to ensure that when students graduate from high school they are ready for the next step of their education or their career without the need for remediation.  These new assessments will not only measure the knowledge that students have attained, but half of the tests will also measure how well they can apply that knowledge to real-world situations through writing and the use of critical thinking skills.

The Obama Administration has provided financial support and fostered the development of these new assessments through this state-driven PARCC consortium. Ultimately, these new graduation requirements will ensure that a New Jersey high school diploma is a meaningful measure of college and career readiness, increase the number of students that graduate high school ready for the 21st century, and align the K-12 and college experiences to ultimately increase the number of college graduates in the state.

“I applaud leaders from K-12 education, higher education, and the business community for their work in coming together and making thorough, thoughtful and meaningful recommendations to modernize our school system.  Every child who walks off the graduation stage in New Jersey should do so with a diploma in their hand that symbolizes to colleges and employers that they are truly ready for that next stage of their life,” said Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf.

Adopting A Better, More Complete And Transparent Measure Of The Graduation Rate

For the first time, New Jersey has calculated its high school graduation rate using a new federally mandated methodology for the 2011 cohort of students.  This new methodology, called the “four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate,” is required of every state in the country and presents a more complete, accurate and transparent way of calculating the high school graduation rate.

Until now, the graduation rate for a given year was calculated by taking the number of students in a graduating class and dividing that number by the graduating class total plus the number of drop-outs in the class over each of the four preceding years.  This graduation rate methodology contained flaws that are widely considered to result in inflated rates, in large part because of some districts’ under-reporting of drop-outs totals.  Under this system, last year’s statewide graduation rate was a reported 94.7%.

This year’s graduation rate was calculated using a more thorough method of accounting that is being adopted as a national standard for all students who began high school four years earlier.  Under the new system, districts will be responsible for tracking student-level enrollment data using the statewide data system NJSMART, including students that transfer out of the school and that register in another New Jersey school or another state, students who emigrate out of the country, and any student deaths for the four years of each class of students, beginning in the 9th grade.  If a district is able to provide documentation for one of these changes, these figures will be subtracted appropriately from the total size of the cohort as an entering 9th grade class.  The size of the graduating class will then be divided by this figure.

Under this revised methodology – already in place in 34 other states this year and being implemented in all 50 states after that – New Jersey’s graduation rate in 2011 stands at 83%.

“New Jersey continues to rank among the top states in the nation by any number of measures, and we owe our outstanding educators and school leaders a debt of gratitude for that.  But the new 2011 graduation rate presents us with a more accurate picture of the true level of high school completion across the state, and we encourage all districts to study the data carefully to help target their investments,” said Acting Commissioner Cerf.  “This does not mean that fewer students received a diploma this year than last year; in fact more students received a high school diploma in 2011 than 2010.  But it does mean that when we count accurately, the true graduation rate in New Jersey is 83 percent.”

Because this is the first year that New Jersey is using the new methodology to calculate the graduation rate, direct comparisons to previous year’s rates are not possible.  Rather, it represents a different and fuller measure of the graduation rate for the state.

New Graduation Requirements To Better Measure And Prepare Students For College And Career

While New Jersey students are graduating from high school at high rates, there is significant evidence that even high school graduates are not truly ready for college and career.

College Ready

·         90% of students in Bergen and Essex County Community Colleges need remediation before taking a college course;
·         1/3 of students at Rutgers need remediation;
·         Only 25% of students who take remediation courses graduate college within 8 years.

Career Ready

·         The Chamber of Commerce reports that only half of recent high school graduates could pass eighth grade mathematics aptitude tests, the gateway to entry level jobs;
·         Businesses spend substantial time and money to train entry-level high school graduates.

In October 2011, Acting Commissioner Cerf convened the College and Career Ready Task Force, comprised of experts in public education and business community leaders, to clearly articulate the knowledge and skills that students should master to be considered ready for college and the workforce.  The Task Force also reviewed both graduation requirements and high school assessments to see if they were consistent with college and career readiness goals, appropriately and meaningfully measured progress along the way, and aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) adopted in 2010.

The Task Force found that the current high school tests – the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPA) and Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) – are not aligned to the CCSS and therefore are not the right assessments to measure college and career readiness.  As a result, students who are able to pass HSPA are often still in need of remediation in college.

To address this problem and give educators a powerful tool to identify early on students who require assistance and the specific areas in which help is needed, the Task Force recommends that New Jersey migrate to end-of-course exams in high school that will measure college and career readiness in each grade and each subject.

“Not only does this change have the potential to actually decrease the number of tests that students will need to take, since most districts already offer their own final exams for each course, but these new assessments will be able to identify whether students can apply their knowledge to the real world in ways that did not previously exist before.  When students cannot accomplish this goal, these assessments will provide new opportunities for schools to target instruction to the needs of individual students and put them back on track for graduation,” said Acting Commissioner Cerf.  “This new assessment system will build a true K-16 continuum that will better prepare students for college and career and eliminate the need for costly remediation that lowers college completion rates once students enter college.”

The new end-of-course exams are preferred by both higher education and the business community and will differ from previous exams in two important ways.  First, they will measure the mastery of knowledge and skills at the end of a specific course, such as Algebra or Geometry, rather than folding all subjects into one comprehensive 11th grade exam as is the case under HSPA.  Second, these exams will not simply measure the knowledge students have attained through traditional multiple choice questions, but rather half of the exams will measure the application of knowledge and critical thinking skills through essays and other problem solving questions, providing more robust information about whether students are truly college and career ready across grade levels.

In partnership with institutes of higher education, students who pass the assessments will demonstrate a true readiness for college or a career at each grade level and will not need remediation when they enter community colleges.  For students that do not pass the assessment, educators will be given new and unprecedented opportunities for individualized remediation at each grade level.  Those students will then be able to retake only the part of the assessment that they did not pass, putting them back on track for a high school diploma.

In order to develop a transition that will give both students and schools a chance to adapt to the new assessments, the state will transition to the new assessments over several years.  Students currently in high school will continue to take the HSPA and AHSA for graduation to maintain continuity for students and schools.  Students in grades 5 through 8 will pilot the new assessments but graduate based on a robust transcript while the state adapts to the new assessments.  Students currently in 4th grade will be the first cohort to graduate based on the new end-of-course assessments.

The development of end-of-course assessments aligned to the CCSS is already under development through PARCC in both language arts literacy and math in grades 9-11.  New Jersey is on the governing board of PARCC, which has committed to making these assessments ready for the 2014-15 school year.  The Task Force also recommends that the Department of Education develop and administer end-of-course assessments in science and social studies, but they should not be mandated and districts should be able to establish their own assessments if they meet the state’s standards.  The Department is reviewing this recommendation.  New Jersey will also migrate to the new PARCC end-of-course assessments to replace the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) in 2014.

Over the next several years, the Department of Education will work to identify both the number of end-of-course assessments required for graduation and the passing scores for each assessment over several years of administration.

A copy of the College and Career Readiness Task Force report can be found here:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Video: President Bush Rides With Wounded Warriors

Mary Pat Christie Honors Brick Stars, DePalma

First Lady Mary Pat Christie left)  joined by Brick Star players, coaches and volunteers in honoring  New Jersey Hero Alex DePalma (third from right) in this photo on the ice.

With 25 years coaching experience, Alex DePalma was searching to make a difference in a new arena. So in 2009, he began the Brick Stars Challenger Program to bring together children and adults with developmental disabilities for an hour each Sunday to teach them to play and enjoy the game of ice hockey. To honor the commitment, success and remarkable growth of the Brick Stars Challenger Program, First Lady Mary Pat Christie today joined Alex DePalma on center ice at the Ocean Ice Palace in Brick to name him the fourth New Jersey Hero of 2012.

“Through the game of hockey, Alex has found a creative opportunity to encourage children and adults with Autism and other developmental disabilities to learn valuable life skills that will help these players overcome challenges in becoming more confident and independent individuals,” said Mrs. Christie. “Seeing the joy each skater is experiencing as well as the pride expressed by their parents makes this an incredibly inspiring program. I am proud to name Alex DePalma our New Jersey Hero for the month of April.”

The Brick Stars Challenger Program is for participants between the ages of 5 and 21 who have a developmental disability, such as Autism. The program, which helps players learn fundamental skills, began with just 8 players in 2009. By the end of the first season, it had a total of 25 players, making it the fastest growing special needs program in New Jersey.

“When I received a call that I had been selected as the New Jersey Hero for the month of April by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, I was extremely honored and very proud to represent our Stars Challenger Hockey program,” said Brick Hockey Club ACE & Stars Director Alex DePalma. “The players and parents involved in the Stars program show amazing courage and determination every week, inspiring and enriching the lives of all who volunteer their time to teach these amazing kids how to play hockey. They are truly our heroes.”

The Brick Stars Challenger Program is part of the Brick Hockey Club Organization and is a 501c (3) organization. Coaches are USA Hockey certified and the program is operated by volunteers consisting of local coaches, current and past Hockey Club members as well as local high school players.

New Jersey Heroes is an initiative of First Lady Mary Pat Christie that showcases the positive and unique ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey and their communities. To nominate a hero, go to and follow the application instructions to submit the person you believe is a true New Jersey Hero.

In addition, Autism Awareness is an advocacy area embraced by Mrs. Christie to bring greater understanding of the developmental disability. Throughout the year, she highlights the innovative work being done by organizations throughout the state to serve people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

For more information about Brick Stars Challenger Program, visit

Video: Had Enough Of The Celebrity Presidency?

Young Voters' Love Affair With Obama Waning

After two days of campaigning on college campuses, it’s clear that enthusiasm for President Obama is down sharply among young Americans. With one of every two recent college graduates unemployed or underemployed, President Obama won’t be able to skate by on empty rhetoric and campaign promises – he’ll have to run on his failed record of high unemployment, skyrocketing gas prices, and mountains of new debt.

President Obama’s Recent College Events Were Met With Sinking Poll Numbers And “Fizzled” Enthusiasm Among Young Adults:

“There Were Indications That Enthusiasm Was Sharply Down Among Members Of The So-Called Millennial Generation, With The Sagging Economy The Main Factor.” “But as the president embarks on a three-state tour of college campuses to press Congress to act to preserve low interest rates on student loans, there were indications that enthusiasm was sharply down among members of the so-called millennial generation, with the sagging economy the main factor.” (Michael A. Memoli, “Poll: Young Voters Prefer Obama, But Enthusiasm Has Waned,” Los Angeles Times, 4/24/12)

“Republican Registrations Among 18 To 24 In North Carolina, Colorado And Iowa Have All Increased Since 2008…” “Republican registrations among 18 to 24 in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa have all increased since 2008, according to data provided by the RNC via the three state secretaries of state offices. In Colorado, young voters registered Democrat at almost a 2 to 1 split. In 2011, that gap has been narrowed to almost 1 to 1, with 11,542 Democratic registrations vs. 11,573 Republican registrations. In Iowa, Republicans lead in 2011 voter registrations amount young people, overcoming an almost 2 to 1 advantage in 2008.” (Byron Tau, “GOP, Romney Hopes To Recapture Some Of The Youth Vote From Obama,” Politico, 4/24/12)

“The 75 Percent Rating [President Obama] Enjoyed In 2009, The Year He Took Office, Has Dropped To 57 Percent, According To Gallup.” (Philip Elliott, “Once Obama’s, Younger Voters In Play This Election,” The Associated Press, 4/25/12)

President Obama’s North Carolina College Event “Didn’t Compare To His Appearance On Campus Four Years Ago Before A Much Larger Crowd.” “Once Obama took the stage, the capacity crowd of 8,000 cheered loudly, but it didn’t compare to his appearance on campus four year ago before a much larger crowd. And interviews with more than a dozen other college students like Walsh and Fleishman indicate that support for Obama, though strong, is infused with less enthusiasm.” (John Frank, “Youth Vote Still Favors Obama, But Enthusiasm Is Waning,” Raleigh News & Observer, 4/25/12)

UNC-Chapel Hill Student, On Young Voter Enthusiasm For President Obama: “Fizzled.” “The UNC-Chapel Hill freshmen were too young to vote in 2008, but they were big Obama supporters, magnetized they say by his star quality. ‘Since 2008, I think you can really say it’s ...’ Walsh started, pausing to think. ‘Fizzled,’ Fleishman inserted.” (John Frank, “Youth Vote Still Favors Obama, But Enthusiasm Is Waning,” Raleigh News & Observer, 4/25/12)

CU Professor Kenneth Bickers: “There Doesn’t Seem To Be The Same Sort Of Visual Excitement As You Walk Across Campus.” “‘What I hear from students is not about student loans but anxiety about jobs,’ said Kenneth Bickers, a political science professor at CU. ‘There are just a lot fewer stickers on clothing, computers and backpacks. There doesn't seem to be the same sort of visual excitement as you walk across campus.’” (Kristen Leigh Parker, “Anticipation To Hear Obama Great, But Support Not As Evident As In 2008,” Denver Post, 4/24/12)

Why Are Young Voters So Down On President Obama? They’re Struggling To Find Work In The Obama Economy:

“Young Americans Graduating From High School And College Over The Last Several Years Have Been Confronting One Of The Worst Job Markets In Decades.” (Josh Sanburn, "Fewest Young Adults In 60 Years Have Jobs," Time, 2/9/12)

More Than Half Of All Recent College Graduates Under The Age Of 25 Were “Jobless Or Underemployed, The Highest Share In At Least 11 Years.” “About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.” (Hope Yen, “1 In 2 New Graduates Are Jobless Or Underemployed,” The Associated Press, 4/22/12)

“Only One In Four U.S. Teenagers Held A Job In 2011, The Smallest Percentage In Decades And Half What It Was In 1999-2000.” “Teenaged workers, whether it was students seeking summer jobs or school dropouts and graduates looking for full-time work, were particularly hard-hit by joblessness. Only one in four U.S. teenagers held a job in 2011, the smallest percentage in decades and half what it was in 1999-2000.” (Andrew Stern, “Job Market Hurt Teens Most: Study,” Reuters, 1/24/12)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Video: Amazing Half Court Hoops Shot By Scott Brown

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is an amazing guy.
But though he may look darn near perfect to some, he faced some real hardships growing up.
In many ways, basketball rescued him by introducing him to coaches and mentors who helped him overcome some of the obstacles life placed in his path.
Senator Brown is unfazed by fame and with a natural grace he willingly shares his journey with others.
He talks about his inspiring personal story to groups of young people as a way to encourage them to believe in themselves.
Scott Brown has made some pretty big plays in his life, both on and off the court.
On Friday, in front of a group of excited kids at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center, Scott made another big shot: draining a half court bomb.
No matter how you slice is, this guy is a proven winner.

Georgetown Won't Cave On HHS Mandate, Etc.

Below are the complete contents of a letter to students from the President of Georgetown University in Washington, DC:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
I write to you regarding Georgetown’s health insurance and contraceptive coverage in our plans.  Many members of our community have expressed different perspectives on this issue.  I am grateful for the respectful ways in which you have shared your opinions.
As you know, like most universities, Georgetown requires that students have health insurance. Students are not required to purchase their health insurance through Georgetown University and are free to acquire health insurance through a third party. The student plan offered by Georgetown is consistent with our Catholic and Jesuit identity and does not cover prescription contraceptives for birth control.  It does provide coverage for these prescriptions for students who require them for health reasons unrelated to birth control, as determined by a physician.
After thoughtful and careful consideration, we will continue our current practice for contraceptive coverage in our student health insurance for the coming year, as allowed for under the current rules issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
There will also be no change to the University’s approach to contraceptive coverage for employees for 2013.
We will be monitoring further regulatory and judicial developments related to the Affordable Care Act. I hope this is helpful in clarifying a matter of concern to many of you.
You have my very best wishes as we conclude our academic year.
John J. DeGioia
Georgetown University

Video: How Obama's Promises Fizzled Out

Women Bear Brunt Of Failed Obama Economy

Nearly four years after first appearing at the DNC’s women’s issues conference, President Obama is back to offer the same empty rhetoric and broken promises. After more than three years of the President’s failed economic policies and nearly a million more unemployed women workers, women voters – like all Americans – realize we can’t afford four more years of President Obama

By now, women should know better

Candidate Obama At The 2008 Women’s Issues Forum: “More And More People Can’t Make Their Mortgages Or Fill Up Their Gas Tanks Or Save For College Or Retirement.” OBAMA: “And I know that as we face this global economic crisis more and more people are being pushed right to the edge. Businesses are struggling. Many small businesses, women-owned businesses, are going to have difficulty getting credit, difficulty keeping up inventories. Many are laying off workers or closing their doors. More and more people can’t make their mortgages or fill up their gas tanks or save for college or retirement.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks, Chicago, IL, 10/11/08)

How Have Women Fared In The Obama Economy? Nearly A Million More Women Are Unemployed:

Working Women Represent More Than 92% Of The 740,000 Jobs Lost Since President Obama Took Office. “The figure comes from a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that says there are 740,000 few non-farm payroll jobs since Obama took office in 2009, and that 683,000 women lost jobs in that same time frame.” (Jonathan Easley, “Romney: The War On Women Has Been Waged By Obama's Economic Policies,” The Hill, 4/10/12)

Women In The Private Sector Have Fared Even Worse Under President Obama—Representing 150% Of Private Sector Job Losses Since January 2009. Since January 2009, the country has lost a total of 161,000 private sector jobs. Female private sector jobs account for 242,000 of the jobs lost. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics Website,, Accessed 4/11/12)

The Unemployment Rate Among Women Has Increased From 7.0% In January 2009 To 8.1% In March 2012. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics Website,, Accessed 4/11/12)

Under President Obama, The Number Of Unemployed Women Has Increased By 858,000.  (Bureau Of Labor Statistics Website,, Accessed 4/11/12)

According To A Pew Research Study, “Women Are The Only Group For Whom Employment Growth Lagged Behind Population Growth From 2009 To 2011.” “Out of all the groups represented in Pew's survey — including blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians — women are the only group for whom employment growth lagged behind population growth from 2009 to 2011.” (Vicki Needham, “Slower Jobs Growth For Women Voters Could Cost Obama In Election,” The Hill, 3/25/12)

How To Help Preserve Our Most Cherished Freedom

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

When the Bill of Rights was ratified, religious freedom had the distinction of being the First Amendment. Religious liberty is indeed the first liberty.
This is our American heritage, our most cherished freedom.
If we are not free in our conscience and our practice of religion, all other freedoms are fragile. If our obligations and duties to God are impeded, or even worse, contradicted by the government, then we can no longer claim to be a land of the free.
Is our most cherished freedom truly under threat?
Among many current challenges, consider the recent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. 
For the first time in our history, the federal government will force religious institutions to facilitate drugs and procedures contrary to our moral teaching, and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption. 
This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. It is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. It is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception and sterilization, even when it violates our religious beliefs. 

What can you do to ensure the protection of religious freedom?
To learn more about our first freedom, and to send your message to HHS and Congress telling them to stand up for religious liberty and conscience rights, go to today! Thank you for joining the effort to end this unprecedented government coercion of conscience and intrusion in religious affairs.

McCain 'Shame On Obama' For 'Spiking The Ball'

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on President Obama's decision to play politics with the one year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death:

"Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad. This is the same President who once criticized Hillary Clinton for invoking bin Laden 'to score political points.'
"This is the same President who said, after bin Laden was dead, that we shouldn't 'spike the ball' after the touchdown. And now Barack Obama is not only trying to score political points by invoking Osama bin Laden, he is doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get reelected.
"No one disputes that the President deserves credit for ordering the raid, but to politicize it in this way is the height of hypocrisy.
"The Obama campaign asks whether Mitt Romney would have made that decision. Of course they want to focus on this one tactical decision because the other decisions this President has made have harmed our national security.
"He turned his back on the people of Iran when they rose up to end their tyrannical, terrorist-supporting, Holocaust-denying government, giving them no assistance as they were crushed in the streets.
"He has repeatedly thrown our ally Israel under the bus and jeopardized our shared security interests.
"He tried to bring Khaled Sheikh Muhammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and other Al-Qaeda terrorists into the middle of New York City to stand trial in a civilian court.
"He disregarded the advice of his military commanders and pulled all of our troops out of Iraq, and Al-Qaeda is making a comeback there as a result.
"He disregarded the advice of his military commanders again by telling our enemies that we are leaving Afghanistan and then putting our mission and our troops at risk by short-changing our commanders on the ground.
"He watches passively while the Assad regime in Syria, Iran's closest ally, kills thousands of its own people in an unfair fight, and his response to this mass atrocity is to create an 'Atrocities Prevention Board.'
"With a record like that on national security, it is no wonder why President Obama is shamelessly turning the one decision he got right into a pathetic political act of self-congratulation."

Read more:

Obama: Still 'Not Ready' For the Job

In 2007, Joe Biden said then-Sen. Obama was "not ready" to be President. Given our current economic state, it's clear he's #stillnotready.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Big, Fat Cat Who Bankrolls Obama

Have you heard about the Big Fat Cat who bankrolls Obama and Obamaville?
No I'm not talking about Mr. Leftist Rainmaker George Soros.
And I'm not talking about those Hollywood types like George Clonney, Tom Hanks and others who seem to be able to drop by the White House anytime they please.
Nor am I talking about the well-heeled gang at Goldman Sachs who are there whenever Obama seems to need a new infusion of dough.
Sure, all of these types have donated zillions to Obama's projected (and unprecedented) one billion dollar campaign fund.
No, I'm talking about the Boss of the Swiss Financial Giant known as UBS.
This guy is the key executive of the largest Swiss bank in the world.
His name is Robert Wolf and he's not only a big-time Obama cash bundler but he's also one of the president's favorite golfing buddies and a go-to chum.
As you might expect, he doesn't like to have his name bandied about but these kinds of things happen when you bundle more than half a million dollars for the president's re-election campaign. And, we're still in the early stages of fund raising.
And yes, there is a Soros connection. Obama and Wolf first met in 2006 in a conference room owned by Soros. Ain't that sweet?
Anyway, Obama eagerly courted Wolf from then on and it turned out to be a marriage made in bromance heaven. Wolf raised more than half a million dollars for Obama's 2008 campaign and then UBS gave an additional $532,000 to Obama's first presidential campaign.
Wolf said he simply found Obama's "rock star status" to be "very exciting." See, it was just an innocent crush.
Of course, upon taking office Obama appointed Wolf to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board which meant that Wolf played a role in helping to craft the controversial $787 billion stimulus package -- the stimulus that never stimulated.
Shortly after Wolf was appointed UBS admitted to conspiring to defraud the IRS and agreed to pay $760 million to ward off a federal probe into its activities.
Then, Wolf got named to the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Your remember those quaint notions: more jobs and more competition? Once upon a time those words really meant something.
Oh, and this too: Wolf has personally contributed almost $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2007, including at least $9,100 to Obama and more than $115,000 to the Democratic National Committee. And recently Wolf hosted a $35,800 per-plate dinner for Obama in Manhattan.
All this while Obama rails against monied, vested interests and attempts to present himself as a man of the people. Oh, yeahhh . . .

Column Reveals Ominous Pattern Of Intimidation

Kimberly Strassel has a wonderful column in the Wall Street Journal today -- very revealing, detailing some very troubling developments.
Here's how the column begins:

Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.
Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. His campaign brands you a Romney donor, shames you for "betting against America," and accuses you of having a "less-than-reputable" record. The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.
Are you worried?

Click here to read the entire column. You'll be amazed -- and maybe even a bit frightened.

Sad, But Under The Las The Unborn Don't Matter

If you want to exercise dominion over someone, strip him of his humanity. In some cases, it’s not just a metaphor. Africans were brought here naked, in chains. But that’s rare. Usually, the dehumanization has little to do with exterior insults and more with intangibles, like abusive psychologies and oppressive laws. Blacks were still slaves under Jim Crow, even though they were clothed. Women were second-class citizens until we obtained the right to change government, that precious vote, but even before the 18th Amendment we were fashion plates.
No, the real way to debase and demean another human is to

To read the rest of Christine Flowers' superb column in the Philadelphia Daily News please click here.

Runyan: Vow To Preserve SS And Medicare Stands

Following is a special message from New Jersey Congressman Jon Runyan:

Dear Friend:

Last week, the trustees of Medicare and Social Security issued a report confirming what I and my Republican colleagues in Congress have been saying for the past year and a half.  Absent reform, Medicare and Social Security will soon become insolvent and unable to pay out benefits to the millions of Americans who depend on them.

The trustees’ non-partisan report states quite clearly that if Medicare continues on its current path, the program will begin operating in the red in 2024, and Social Security will follow in 2033.

Given these indisputable facts, it’s unfortunate that my opponent, Shelley Adler, continues to try and score cheap political points by scaring seniors, and trying to fool them into believing that someone is going to eliminate Medicare or Social Security.

Not only is Mrs. Adler’s rhetoric irresponsible, but it’s also been proven false.  In fact, non-partisan fact-checking organizations like Politifact called her Medicare attacks “The Biggest Lie of 2011.”

You deserve better.

That’s why earlier this year, I was proud to support a fiscally responsible budget that put Medicare and Social Security on sound fiscal footing.  A budget that protected these important safety net programs for current retirees and those nearing retirement, while making sure they will still be there for our children and grandchildren.

During my last campaign, I vowed to protect and preserve Medicare and Social Security.  As Congressman, that is exactly what I have done.  I refuse to look the other way, while these programs lurch towards insolvency, leaving future Congress’ with only two choices – deep benefit cuts or steep, job-killing tax increases.

If Shelley Adler wants to attack me for having the courage to do the right thing, she can have it, but I think she’s underestimating the intelligence of the people she hopes to represent.

The people of Burlington and Ocean counties deserve a representative who does not bury their head in the sand and pretend problems don’t exist.  They deserve a representative who sees the entitlement crisis for what it is, and has the courage to do what is necessary to keep Medicare and Social Security solvent for future generations.

It is my honor to serve you, and to be that Congressman.

Jon Runyan

Christie Video: Read The Democrats' Fine Print!

Welcome Home Troops And Other Top Events

There are four fine events coming up in the next seven days and we want to make sure to tell you about them:

Perhaps he most noteworthy is Dom Giordano's Welcome Home the Troops Parade in downtown Media, PA this Saturday (see details and link below).
This Friday night (tonight), Ann Coulter, Bill Bennett, and Hugh Hewitt will make an appearance at the University of Pennsylvania.
Next week, John Stossel will speak at the Union League and Chris Stigall will host Jon Runyan in Cherry Hill.
Hope for Change Tour 2012
When:  Friday, April 27, 7 PM, Doors Open 6:30 PM (Reception, 5 PM)
Where:  Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania, 34th and Spruce Sts.
Who:  Ann Coulter, Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt
Cost:  Tickets, $25-$99
Sponsored by:  990 AM, WNTP
For More Information:

Welcome Home the Troops Parade
When:  Saturday, April 28, 3 PM
Where:  Media, PA (Downtown)
Free and open to the public
For More Information:
Philadelphia Freedom Center Presents John Stossel
When:  Wednesday, May 2, 12 Noon-1:30 PM
Where:  The Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia
Cost:  $50
For More Information:
Chris Stigall's Red Meat Tour with Special Guest Jon Runyan
When:  Thursday, May 3, 7- 9:30 PM,
Where:  Woodcrest Country Club Cherry Hill, NJ
Cost:  $40
Sponsored by: 1210 AM, WPHT
For More Information:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Christie Appints Board, Council Members

Yesterday, New jersey Governor Chris Christie filed the following direct appointments with the Secretary of State’s Office.


Certified Public Accountants
Reappoint John F. Dailey, Jr., CPA (Voorhees, Camden)
Appoint Jorge A. Caballero, CPA (Long Valley, Morris)
Appoint Harold Model, CPA (Springfield, Union)
Appoint Michael H. Runge, CPA (Manasquan, Monmouth)
Appoint Sara L. DeSmith, CPA (Montclair, Essex)
State Government Representative
Appoint Ainsley A. Reynolds, CPA (Somerset, Somerset)

Earlier this week, Governor Christie also filed the following direct appointment with the Secretary of State’s Office.

AFL-CIO Representative
Appoint Michael Cleary, CPA (Middletown, Monmouth)

Classic Christie Video: The Answer Is 'NO!'

Facts Show Obama Has Failed America's Youth

Kyrillos: Bullying Shows Need For Tenure Reform

New Jersey State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth), prime sponsor of the "School Children First Act" which reforms New Jersey's tenure system for educators, issued the following statement regarding reports that several Cherry Hill elementary school teachers and aides were recorded bullying a student with autism:

While at least one teacher's aide was dismissed by school officials, the father of this student alleges, and news accounts confirm, that other teachers and aides involved were simply reassigned.

If true, the incident is an indictment of our current system of tenure protections in public education.

There is no instance in which it is acceptable for a teacher to bully or abuse a student in that manner, nor when a witness to such behavior should not report their colleagues' misconduct to school administrators.

Nobody directly involved with the abuse of Akian Chaifetz, or who witnessed the abuse without reporting it, should be employed in a classroom. We need to reform protections to ensure that these individuals can be swiftly terminated, rather than just shuffled around.

Autistic Student Bullied: Video And Shock Audio!

We rarely post such a long video or audio here.
But this is an exception -- an exception that warrants your attention.
This is the tale of a Cherry Hill, New Jersey father who says he was so desperate to save his 10-year-old autistic son from what he calls the bullying of teachers that he sent him to school with a hidden tape recorder.
You'll hardly believe the shocking things the teachers were apparently caught saying.
The father took the audio to the Cherry Hill School District, where officials fired one of the teachers involved after hearing the tape.
He also made this YouTube video and Facebook page exposing the outrageous behavior. He says school districts should weed out teachers who shouldn't be in a classroom.

Top College Rugby Teams Coming To Chester, PA.

Sixteen of the nation’s premiere collegiate rugby teams will meet in the USA 7’s Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) at PPL Park in Chester, PA, on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3.
The tournament features 16 elite University teams competing in 38 matches over two days, in exciting pool play format. Participating teams for the CRC have been chosen based on their quality of rugby, fan following and the potential for exciting rivalries. Several teams are returning for the 2012 CRC, including Army, Navy, Notre Dame, and 2011 Champions Dartmouth. Local favorites Penn State and Temple will also be returning, and will now be joined by Delaware. The field is rounded out by top teams, Cal, Florida, NC State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Maryland, Life University and "Red River" rivals, Texas and Oklahoma.

Rugby is the newest sport to be admitted to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and the CRC showcases some of the USA’s top Olympic contenders.
Tickets for the two-day event of rugby, live entertainment, gourmet food, interactive games and activities are on sale exclusively through ComcastTIX. One-day and two-day passes, starting at $18, can be purchased online at, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the PPL Park box office.

USA Sevens LLC owns and operates America’s premier rugby event, the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament. Held annually, the event is one of the nine international stops in the HSBC Sevens World Series. With an attendance of over 50,000 during the two day event, it is the largest annual rugby event in North America and one of the fastest growing rugby events in the world. The CRC in Philadelphia is the largest domestic rugby event in the USA

Global Spectrum ( manages PPL Park, as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20-million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.

Top Former Defense, Security Officials Back Romney

Mitt Romney announced today the support of former Secretary of Defense and National Security Advisor Frank Carlucci and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.

Between them, Carlucci and Hadley have deep experience in top posts at the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

“It is a privilege to have the support of two such outstanding public servants,” said Mitt Romney today. “There are few leaders who have such distinguished records working in high office to protect this nation. From their time as young officers in the Navy to their many years advising presidents on a broad array of national security issues, Frank and Steve have served our country with great distinction. I am honored to have their support and grateful to have their counsel.”

Announcing his support, Carlucci praised Romney saying, “Governor Romney understands that America’s future security depends on restoring our economy and maintaining a military and diplomatic posture that advances both American interests and American values. Indeed, in the tradition of Ronald Reagan, Governor Romney grasps the deep interconnection between the two. I had the honor of serving President Reagan and I know something about his extraordinary leadership abilities. Mitt Romney has similar extraordinary qualities as a leader. At this moment of great global uncertainty, we urgently need him in the White House.”

Hadley echoed Carlucci’s sentiments, hailing Governor Romney’s leadership skills. “Having worked for many years at the highest levels of the U.S. government, I recognize in Mitt Romney the makings of a great president. Over the course of his career, Governor Romney has tackled a wide variety of problems and challenges, and at every step of the way he demonstrated discipline, intelligence, judgment, and courage.”

Background On Frank Carlucci And Stephen Hadley:

Frank Carlucci served as Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1989 and National Security Advisor from 1986 to 1987.  He was Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1981 to 1983, and Deputy Director of the C.I.A. from 1978 to 1981. Prior to his service at the C.I.A., Secretary Carlucci served as Ambassador to Portugal from 1975 until 1978, and Director of the Office for Economy Opportunity from 1970 to 1971, among other posts. Carlucci graduated from Wyoming Seminary in 1948, Princeton University in 1952, and Harvard Business School in 1955 after two years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He began his career in the Foreign Service, serving from 1956 until 1969.

Stephen Hadley served as National Security Advisor from 2005 to 2009.  He was Deputy National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005 and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy from 1989 to 1993. He served as counsel to the Tower Commission from 1986 to 1987 investigating U.S. arms sales to Iran in 1987, on the National Security Council staff from 1974 to 1977, and in the Department of Defense from 1972 to 1974. Hadley graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell in 1969 and from Yale Law School in 1972, after which he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy until 1975.

Economy Sluggish, Jobless Claims Remain High

And so the economy remains sluggish.
How do we know this?
Well, the new jobless figures are out and they're not good.
In fact, jobless claims barely changed. Claims fell by 1,000 to 388,000 in the week ended April 21 from a revised 389,000 the prior period that was the highest since early January, just released Labor Department figures show.
Forecasts had called for a drop to 375,00. That didn't happen.
Fewer layoffs are needed to lay the groundwork for more hiring. That isn't happening either.
The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure from 386,000. Claims in the week ended April 14 were the highest since Jan. 7.
In fact, none of the figures look good. None of them.
The four-week moving average, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figures, climbed to 381,750 last week, the highest since Jan. 7, from 375,500.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose to 3.32 million in the week ended April 14 from 3.31 million.
And there's more: Employers added 120,000 jobs in March, half as many as in February and the fewest in five months.
The economic record of the Obama administration is dismal. And Americans know it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Last Night's Stark Contrast: Romney vs Obama

Last night provided one of the sharpest contrasts between two candidates that I've ever seen -- two different men, two styles of leadership, two approaches to America, the world and its problems.
While Mitt Romney spoke intelligently and soberly of the difficult problems facing America, President Obama clowned around on a late night comedy show.
While Romney relayed the stories of real Americans struggling to make ends meet, Obama burnished his image as a celebrated wunderkind -- the super-cool-cat with few cares and fewer concerns.
While Romney laid our a clear vision for America and sought to challenge and inspire his fellow citizens Obama played it all for laughs, with a touch of irony and ennui thrown in for good measure.
Look at the contrast.
It's all there for you to see.
The choice couldn't be more clear.

The Speech: Excerpts From Romney's Remarks, 4/24

Mitt Romney delivered an incredibly effective speech last night.
He was sharp, precise, inspiring, potent.
Here are some excerpts:

Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.

For every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to her kids that she needs to take a second job … for grandparents who can’t afford the gas to visit their grandchildren … for the mom and dad who never thought they’d be on food stamps … for the small business owner desperately cutting back just to keep the doors open one more month – to all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer.  A better America begins tonight.
Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better! The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it’s not the best America can do! . . .

Four years ago Barack Obama dazzled us in front of Greek columns with sweeping promises of hope and change.  But after we came down to earth, after the celebration and parades, what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama?

Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one?  Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job?  Do you have a better chance to get a better job?  Do you pay less at the pump?

If the answer were “yes” to those questions, then President Obama would be running for re-election based on his achievements…and rightly so.  But because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions.  That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time.  But not here and not now.  It’s still about the economy …and we’re not stupid. . . .

When it comes to the character of America, President Obama and I have very different visions.

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars.  He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

We’ve already seen where this path leads.  It erodes freedom.  It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit.  And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help.  Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty.  Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages. . . .

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents - some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.
In the America I see, character and choices matter.  And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded.  And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace. . .

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can't get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision. We will restore the promise of America only if we restore the principles of freedom and opportunity that made America the greatest nation on earth. . . .

Many Americans have given up on this President but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America. . . .

In the days ahead, join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger, the help wanted signs can be dusted off, and we can start again.

And this time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.

There was a time – not so long ago – when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

Those days are coming back. That’s our destiny.

Romney Video: Obama Has Failed Young People

Romney: America's Best Days Are Still Ahead

Following is a special message from Mitt Romney:

Thank you Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York! And tonight I can say thank you, America. Together, we will win on November 6th!

Americans have always been eternal optimists. But over the last three and a half years, we have seen hopes and dreams diminished by false promises and weak leadership. Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.

To all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I've met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer. A better America begins today.

Today is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in his or her heart that we can do better! The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it's not the best we can do!

There was a time -- not so long ago -- when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

Those days are coming back. That's our destiny.

We believe in America. We believe in ourselves. Our greatest days are still ahead. We are, after all, Americans!

Join me in the next step of our great nation -- donate $10 today:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Christie Appoints Anti-Bullying Task Force

Acting on his commitment to ensure schools provide safe learning environments for children, free from harassment, intimidation and bullying, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today named his four members to the state’s Anti-Bullying Task Force called for in the Anti-Bullying Law of Rights. Originally signed into law in January 2011, portions of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights were found by the Council on Local Mandates to pose an unfunded mandate for school districts. Working in a bipartisan manner with the legislature, Governor Christie signed a legislative fix in March 2012 to address concerns cited by the Council. In addition to the creation of the Task Force, the measure also appropriates $1 million into the “Bullying Prevention Fund,” to financially support school districts as they implement the law.

The Governor’s four appointments are: Rutgers University’s Bullying Prevention Institute Director Bradford C. Lerman, Psy.D. (Westfield, Union); Bancroft President and CEO Toni Pergolin, CPA (Penn Valley, Pennsylvania); East Hanover Township Public Schools Superintendent Joseph L. Ricca, Jr., Ed.D. (Morristown, Morris); and New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association Executive Director Patricia Wright, Ed.M.(Spring Lake, Monmouth). These direct appointments do not require Senate confirmation and members will serve without compensation.

The Anti-Bullying Task Force is composed of seven members with experience or expertise in issues related to school bullying who will review and assist with the law’s implementation. The Governor appoints four members with the remaining three individuals appointed one each by the Senate President and the Speaker of the General Assembly, as well as one appointed jointly by the Senate President and the Speaker of the General Assembly.

Exclusive: Obama's 'Internals' Are Dismal

This is about President Obama's internals.
No, we're not talking about his medical condition or his current state of health. And even if we wanted to talk about that, we wouldn't be able to because Obama has never released his complete medical history or records.
Anyway, that's for another day and another post.
What we're talking about here are his internal poll numbers.
And we've been told by more than one person that the Obama campaign is in a state of near apoplexy because the president's internals look bad -- real bad.
In polling, the internals are a campaign's own polls -- the surveys that the campaign itself conducts to find out how its candidate is doing at any one time. Campaigns usually don't like to talk about their own polls (their internals) because the information gathered from these pols helps the campaign plan strategy and determine which issues to stress, which course to take and even what to say and how to say it. If they start revealing this information then it could tip off their opponents regarding future tactics and initiatives.
And campaigns are particularly reluctant to talk about internals that don't look good for their candidate.
Well, our sources tell us that the Obama internals show the president failing.
And the president's team is worried -- very worried.
People who are in a  position to know tell us that this November's election could be a rerun of the Reagan-Carter matchup of 1960.
Everybody said that it would be hard to beat the incumbent Carter. And, to be sure -- it wasn't easy. But even though the media kept predicting a very close race it turned out quite differently.
Reagan won handily. He swamped Carter.
Back to 2012: Some people now feel that Obama may be facing a similar scenario. They foresee a Romney win by anywhere from three to six percentage points -- maybe even seven.
And they say that this is borne out in some internal polls. They tell us that the polls show a clear trend and the trend is not good for Obama.
Now, I'm not saying the election's over. Not by a long shot.
And I'm not saying that Obama and the Democrats are going to concede anything. No way.
This will be a long, grueling, nasty campaign. And Obama & Co. will say and/or do anything to win. Anything.
But -- lest you feel in the least bit wary or even discouraged (or lest you begin to believe the conventional Big Media line about Obama's invincibility) I want you to know about these reports on these internal figures.
Know that Romney is well-positioned right now. People are not happy with Obama. And Romney's a very strong candidate -- and very ready to win this thing.