New group makes splash in NJ education policy

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:20

    TRENTON — A well-connected, well-funded new group is trying to make a big splash in the politics of remaking New Jersey's schools. Better Education for Kids was launched this year by two hedge fund managers — one a Democrat, one a Republican. The group's political advisers include Gov. Chris Christie's top political consultant and the one-time chief of staff to former Democratic Gov. Jim McGreevey. It's also the New Jersey arm of StudentsFirst, a group headed by former Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Being bipartisan does not make the group noncontroversial. The state's largest teacher's union opposes some of its ideas, including efforts to change tenure. The group spent $400,000 on legislative elections this year and is holding meetings of activists, educators and politicians to try to forge some consensus.