New Documentary Exposes Mass Corruption in New Jersey Public School System


Over the weekend, I spoke at a conference in Philadelphia hosted by Students for Liberty, an impressive, rapidly growing national affiliation of libertarian-minded college students. One of the other speakers was Bob Bowdon, the occasional "reporter" for the Onion News Network (where he goes by the character name Brian Scott) and host of a forthcoming talk show on PBS.

Bowdon was speaking to promote The Cartel, a serious documentary he produced exposing some jaw-dropping corruption in the New Jersey public school system. New Jersey spends more education dollars per pupil than any other state, which Bowdon says made the state ideal for a documentary showing how much of that money goes to waste—and how little it buys in terms of actual education.

Here's a trailer:

Reason on education here. Our dizzying illustrated flow chart showing how to fire an incompetent New York City public school teacher here.

NEXT: More Stimulus Shenanigans

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  1. corruption = democrat party

    corruption = republican party

    corruption = teachers union

    corruption = any union

    corrution = support for public education

    1. corrution = support for public education

      Misspelling corruption while railing against public education. Someone’s going to make fun of that irony.

      1. Touche.

        1. Libertymike, you did that deliberately, didn’t you? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

        2. To your larger point, I agree. I endured ‘public education’, and it was a prison for my mind. It wasn’t until a couple of years after I graduated that I read Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto and realized I was perceiving school correctly; I felt twelve years of lingering social conditioning slide off my shoulders in the hour or so that it took to read and consider that book. Like Gatto, I simply do not consider school and education to be the same thing.

          Incidentally, his book The Underground History of American Education is reproduced in full on his website here.

          1. It dawned on me the other day that most of the political and economic crap people believe is taught to them in public schools. Young children absorb information like a sponge. It’s not just facts and figures, they also absorb culture, philosophy, etc. It’s during this time that the state demands they be placed in indoctrination centers for half the day.

            This is why so many adults are sheeple. Their basic political vocabulary was given to them by agents of the state. That’s why it’s so hard talking to them, because they are talking a different language.

            What are they being taught that just ain’t so? Profits are evil. Businesses exploit workers. There are just. Self interest is wrong. Human rights are more important than property rights. Politicians are higher life forms. Feelings are superior to facts.

            1. They are also taught from a very young age that green slips of paper are “money” and that a dime consisting of 0.013$ of copper and 0.003$ of nickel (total 0.016$) is somehow ‘worth’ more than a nickel consisting of 0.024$ copper and 0.021$ nickel (total worth 0.045$), and other such patently and obviously false absurdities.

              When the units of monetary measure themselves are rubber yardsticks, what else can we expect of people but complete misunderstanding of money, finance, credit, and the differences between them?

  2. Looks pretty good. In Massachussetts they will cut anything before they reconsider the realism of the promised pension benefits.

  3. The link to the PDF for the “How to Fire a Teacher” flowchart requires a login because it’s on the “oldsite” server.

  4. Corruption in New Jersey? I call shenanigans!

  5. Corruption in New Jersey? I call shenanigans!

  6. Is anyone actually surprised by this? I mean really. Corruption at ANY level in US government is bliss!


  7. How ironic that a bot could produce a more coherent sentence them some of the Jersey school system grads…

  8. I’m also concerned with the fact that you can’t pump your own goddamned gas in that state. I think they have a state-wide ban on cell phones while driving.

    In other words, if I’m in Jersey, I’m on my way to Philly or NYC.

    1. Oregon was like that. I got yelled at for pumping my own gas. The next time we gassed up, my buddy and I pulled up to the gas pump and made eye contact with the attendant inside the gas station. He was on the phone laughing, looked right at us, and kept right on talking. We sat there for about the length of a song and started honking the horn. He looked up at us, and kept right on talking on the phone. Two other cars pulled up and he finally walked out to pump our gas, unapologetic. Six minutes after we arrived, we started being refueled.

      Oh, and the price was higher, to pay for that guy

      1. If you had started to pump your own, he would have been out there in half a second stopping you.

        1. Sounds like modern government.

      2. Oh, and the price was higher, to pay for that guy

        Actually it is weird and counter intuitive but gas is more expensive in Washington state.

        It can probably be explained by Washington’s sales taxes and fuel taxes.

    2. I’m a NJ native and I hate the lack of self-serve too. The only thing that makes it a little better is that the gas is about 40 cents cheaper per gallon than NY.

    3. Wait…what?

      You can’t pump your own gas? Like it’s illegal?

      1. Yes. NJ and OR are the only two states where it is against state law to pump your own gas.

        1. Absurd. Insane. Obtuse.

      2. my wife’s never pumped her own gas. there are millions like her in the state. hell, i was 19 before i ever had to do it.

  9. Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.

  10. Looks like a great movie. I’m cautiously hopeful that Christie can help NJ a little.

  11. This reminds me of a guy I met at the race track years ago. He’d been a school teacher, and a member of the Republican Party machine on Long Island. He described corruption as the purpose of educational institutions in the area, not an unfortunate externality.

    To his credit, he was not happy about it.

  12. I have two kids that go to a central Jersey school system. My kids are smart and their mother (my ex) is very involved and keeps them on their toes but the school is a dump, the property taxes are so high it must be a misprint and the vast majority of my kids friends can barely read and write. All of this is combined with the fact that the teachers, administrators and politicians are all CONVINCED they are at the pinnacle of American education. One of the nearby inner-city districts spends something like $40K per student per year. They have new buildings, new pools, new football stadiums — and a virtually 100% dropout rate. All of them: Dopes.

  13. I was born and raised in NJ and finally got out of that place just before my 36th birthday. As a prodcut of the NJ public schools, this doesn’t shock me in the slightest. The schools I went to were mostly crap. And I didn’t live in a bad area – it was just full of inept, lefty idiots. And I dealt with many teachers who I knew, even then, were just not all that bright. I hated most of my school years. They were awful. And I was mostly bored most of the time, because they teach to the lowest common demoninator.

    1. Ha! Product, not prodcut. Fat-fingered the keys.

    2. And I was mostly bored most of the time, because they teach to the lowest common demoninator.

      Haha, trust me, New York was no different. You can thank Every Child Kept Behind, and all of its state equivalents.

  14. Anybody else try to check out the linked “how to fire an incompetent teacher” flow chart? I’m getting a username/password prompt when I try to view the actual chart. Help?

    1. Same here. Waiting for the Server Squirrel to come to our aid.

    2. Remain where you are, unauthorized attempted user. Authorities will arrive to assist you soon.

      1. Ahhh, the soothing warmth of helplessness. Yet another case where authority is the answer. When will you nutjob libertarians learn?

  15. Here’s a link to the How to Fire an Incompetent Teacher document if someone else hasn’t posted it or fixed the link:…..nt-Teacher

  16. Distribution only by theater? Nobody is going to see this that way. How about a national PBS airing?

  17. NPR covered grade and test fraud in Camden NJ back in 2006.…..Id=5637480

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