Earwitnesses at the County tell GA that Mark Toback's letter to Christopher Cerf is making waves- but not for his views on the HoLa charter renewal. What's getting a lot of attention is the role of Dr. Anthony Petrosino in Hoboken school-politics and his blog in leading a campaign against the Hoboken School District and the Kids First majority.
Earwitnesses tell GA that Dr. Petrosino's blog post, 'Attachment B' is raising eyebrows at the County and beyond.
Petrosino, is an Associate Professor and STEM Advisor at the University of Texas in Austin, and formerly worked in Hoboken as Assistant to the Superintendent Jack Raslowsky; Petrosino continued teaching in Austin while employed in Hoboken. His contract was not renewed in 2009, and in 2010, Petrosino sued the Hoboken Board of Education for back-pay. He lost. Then the Hoboken Board of Education sued Petrosino for over-payment. They won a judgment of $3,200.
Needless to say, animosity between Petrosino and the Kids First School Board deepened and hardened. It seems to GA that for Petrosino, destroying Kids First has become an obsession.
After his dismissal from Hoboken, Petrosino's blog, The Hoboken Curriculum Project became Dr. Petrosino's Education Project, a bitterly partisan anti-Kids First political attack blog leaning heavily on the academic bona fides of Dr. Petrosino to lend its contents credibility and weight. Over time, Petrosino's blog has been referenced repeatedly by partisan political operatives and opponents of Kids First, and many believe he blogged as Passkey on Hoboken Patch.
Petrosino has lent his name and credentials to what is essentially a Hoboken-centric propaganda blog every bit as partisan and tilted as Hoboken411 (minus the dwarf jokes).
There is nothing wrong with being a political partisan and blogging about politics, if that's what Petrosino is- a political blogger.
But to present blatant distortions and misinformation under the guise of academic research and to use these distortions to bludgeon political opponents is in GA's view, dishonest, manipulative, and cheapens his actual academic works.
Dr. Toback's impact statement to Christopher Cerf included a Petrosino blog post called "Statistical Analysis Shows Out of District Placements in Hoboken City Schools Under Kids First/Carter/Toback Leadership is Much Higher Than Years Before". Toback called it a "political tool" and "unfortunate" because Petrosino excluded elementary 'data' in his academic analysis (which included bar graphs and mathematical calculations). The inclusion of the data omitted by Petrosino would have undermined his politically-motivated narrative.
Here is what Toback told Cerf:
Petrosino's misleading bar graph:
Petrosino's faulty mathematical analysis:
|looks impressive to the layman|
Dr Petrosino's attack on "political group" Kids First:
One could drive a truck through the holes in Petrosino's claims Kids First have "overseen an unprecedented decline in the quality of education objectively measured by the State of New Jersey and the Federal Government) as well as an increase in district costs from $59.1 million to $64 million". One can also see the genesis of ALL political operative talking points on Hoboken blogs as originating from the partisan political writings of Dr. Petrosino.
So GA suggests that Petrosino call it what it is, drop the high falutin' bar graphs and mathematical analyses. Petrosino is a political operative working against Kids First; he is fully engaged 'in the game'.
So what's in it for him? Is he coming back to Hoboken?
According to his 2010 deposition in his lawsuit against the Hoboken Board of Education Petrosino has one foot in Texas and the other in Hoboken:
In any case, it looks like the political machinations of Dr. Petrosino are attracting attention outside of Hoboken.
And that may be the lasting impact of the Toback letter.