Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Un-Earned Credits and Degrees

The contract between the Matawan-Aberdeen School District and the teachers union states the following:

Salary guide column changes, based upon newly earned degrees or credits shall be effective on February 1 of each calendar year, where full documentation is submitted to the administration by January 15th of the same year. This shall in no way affect the practice of granting column change credit for September 15th payrolls which are fully documented by September 1 of each year.
Here’s the scenario:

A teacher submits a transcript from Walden University, a virtual college accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, demonstrating he has completed the necessary coursework to entitle him to an upward adjustment on the salary scale.

The contract demands that he submit “full information” of the “earned degrees or credits”.

Has the teacher satisfied the conditions of the contract to warrant a raise? I say no.

At last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, I argued that Walden University does not authenticate the website user beyond a simple username and password. Therefore, we have no idea who submitted the coursework or participated in classroom discussion.

In a brick and mortar school, we know who is attending the class and submitting the work. At Walden University we simply have no evidence whatsoever that the person “earned” the credits or degree.

Since we have two weeks before the school board takes any action, I suggested the board advise the administration to request additional information from the teacher. I said I would be satisfied with any “smidgen” of evidence that the teacher had done any work towards her credits. For example, the teacher could email her work assignments to the administration or the university could provide information that her classes included some element of “in-person” participation as well.

Ultimately, only Mr. O’Connell and Dr. Delaney agreed the administration should inquire if there was any evidence the credits were “earned” but we were rebuffed by the majority. (Interestingly, O’Connell, Delaney, and I also comprise the technology committee.)

Dr. Gambino felt we didn’t have grounds to distinguish between a brick and mortar school versus a virtual school. I believe the situations are entirely different. We are not measuring how much effort is necessary to “earn” a degree. If a person attends one class, he has theoretically “earned” his credits. In an online environment, however, we have no evidence that he ever “attended” a single class or submitted a single assignment.

Anybody with the username and password could have done everything on the teacher’s behalf. Considering the ease, the financial incentives, and the anecdotal evidence of online abuses, this isn’t a farfetched scenario.

Mr. Ruprecht suggested that requesting additional information was nearly akin to accusing the teacher of fraud. I objected to that characterization. We are merely adhering to the plain language of the contract that the teacher provides “full information” that the credits were “earned”. If a teacher’s “word” is sufficient, then why does the contract require “full information”? Why not “any information” or a teacher’s “written notice of completion”? Why shouldn’t we stick to the plain language of the contract?

Mr. Ruprecht also held the board had already established a “past practice” by approving prior online degrees and credits without requesting additional information. I argued that “past practices” could only be established upon informed consent. Since online degrees are a relatively new phenomenon and the board was unaware that teachers could receive credits and degrees without actually doing any work, no “past practice” had been established. On the contrary, approving the current request could establish a past practice and bar us from ever requesting additional information.

I plan to revisit the issue at the next board meeting when we’ll be able to receive guidance from the board attorney. In the meantime, those teachers planning to enroll at cheap and easy online schools should be forewarned. Salary guides are determined by contract and the current contract expires on June 30th. There’s no guarantee the school board will recognize any school of low standing after that cutoff date. After all, the raises for earned credits and degrees were designed to encourage teachers to help students, not to help themselves at taxpayer expense.
>>> Read more!


Anonymous said...


While we hardly ever agree, we are on the same page on this one. I applaud your efforts to curtail teachers' submission of suspect degrees from online "universities" to abuse the contractual pay scale. Even if you are unsuccessful in the instances now before the BOE, please make a point of these abuses in the next contract negotiation.

I do not begrudge teachers the right to advance their education online, especially given the demands all of us have on our limited time. However, I note that those in the teaching profession have significantly more time on their hands in the summer than any other profession I can think of. Certainly, it is not out-of-line to ask that they attend one of the numerous summer sessions at local, brick-and-mortar colleges to further their professional standing (and compensation).

Even if online universities are deemed acceptable, some standard with respect to these degrees must be established in the next negotiation to protect the BOE's limited resources.

Please carry on with this endeavor for the sake of your constituents, Joey. (Even those who usually disagree with you, such as myself). Thank you in advance.

--Concerned Aberdeen Taxpayer

Hold The Pickle said...

Did I read that correctly? In the meantime, those teachers planning to enroll at cheap and easy online schools should be forewarned.

Did a Board of Education member just start the negotiating process on his blog?

Hell of a tone to set, Joey!

Aberdeener said...


I stand by my statement.

Anonymous said...

"those teachers planning to enroll at cheap and easy online schools should be forewarned. Salary guides are determined by contract and the current contract expires on June 30th. There’s no guarantee the school board will recognize any school of low standing after that cutoff date. After all, the raises for earned credits and degrees were designed to encourage teachers to help students, not to help themselves at taxpayer expense"

I did not go to Walden - I went to a school out of state - BUT

1. Why are you allowed to talk about this to the public? Your agenda again.... Your opinion in a public forum which may/will mislead the readers. Do you ever think that someone may read your biased opinion and be swayed because you are on the BOE.


2. Do you know that MOST EVERY COLLEGE offers on line courses- so should every course be investigated

3. Do you even know what WALDEN asks for out of their students? Ask one of the teachers what they had to do to earn a degree from there instead of coming off like a know it all.

4. IT IS NOT CHEAP as you put it - and SURELY NOT EASY - you would not know.

5. Why do you HATE the teachers of this district so much? What did any of them do to you? You just moved here.

People wonder why there is a negative interaction between teacher and administration at negotiation time. A BOE member, often openly criticizes teachers on his personal forum and has for months and now calls them cheaters.

6. Do not complain about money when you voted to give upper administration HUGE RAISES in your first vote.

2011 can't come fast enough for you to leave this board and go bother some one else which YOUR 10000 opinions - 10 of which have non biased merit.

Aberdeener said...

I've discussed Walden University several times. This is not a new opinion and I didn't forfeit my first amendment rights upon becoming a board member.

Walden is cheaper than most other schools, including online institutions. It's so poorly regarded that not a single major publication even bothers to rank it.

A teacher who gets his MA+30 at Walden earns an extra $9,500 per year plus the pension benefits and tuition reimbursements. Not only is this an extraordinary waste of taxpayer dollars but it's also a terrible waste of an opportunity to get a real education that might actually help our students.

This is not an attack against online education. It's an attack against cheap and easy schools that undermine the basic premise that a degree means something.

Anonymous said...

To start, you only answered the 1/10 of the previous posters allegations.

I believe months back you were against DIPLOMA mills.

When you were educated on what our district's teachers have it seems you have changed your tune to attacking Walden. Most of our teachers did not go to diploma mills.

You just like to stir the drink to make a name. You do make good points in many articles - but this is ridiculous.

I agree with the above that you are adding a negative air to the teacher-administration atmosphere. It does seem you have a vendetta against MARSD teachers.

Aberdeener said...

I have never called Walden a diploma mill. Diploma mills are unaccredited universities. Walden is accredited. And my position on Walden, Marygrove, and the like have never changed.

Anonymous said...

What the hell are Walden and Marygrove?!? They sound like floral scents from Yankee Candle... Is Anon-Teacher really saying that teachers deserve a $10,000 per year raise for getting a degree from Walden or Marygrove?!?

A chimp with a pencil could get a degree from Walden or Marygrove. To pretend otherwise, makes me hope Anon-Teacher teaches nothing more than finger-painting to kindergarteners in MARSD...

"Do you even know what WALDEN asks for out of their students? Ask one of the teachers what they had to do to earn a degree from there."

Are you f'ing serious? Here's Walden's admission requirements for their Master's program, taken directly from their website:

"Master’s General Admissions Requirements

1) A bachelor’s degree or equivalent
2) Two professional references

Additional exceptions and requirements may apply.

Find out if you’re eligible by calling an enrollment advisor today at 1-866-492-5336."

After reading about Walden's standards, I wasn't sure if they were trying to sell me a Master's degree or a Snuggie...

Anon-Teacher, you are a joke, as are your colleagues, who are bleeding Matawan and Aberdeen's residents into financial ruin. Try working a summer and then ask for your 5% pay raise...

Anonymous said...

Joey you hit a nerve with the anonymous posters who are teachers. What is disappointing is the support you are getting from the rest of the board. This tells me that support in the contracts coming up will also not be strong. Why not have a public meeting to find out what the positions of the taxpayers are on these negotiations and for once the "elected" officials can represent the public opinion on such an important matter. This unearned credits and degrees is just the tip of the iceberg, and yet you get no support. It is time we had a board of education who stands up for us against this union machine.

Anonymous said...

"Un-Earned!!!" Bash and burn. Bash and burn. Bash and burn. This place stinks like sulphur. Please, try a new tactic! Is denigration and opposition your one and only solution to every problem? This blog makes it seem so. Our children love their teachers. They are professionals who hold positions of authority and need respect to do their jobs correctly. Please, don't set them up here as the evil enemy to be vanquished! Let's nip that destructive tendency out, right here and now. Investigate the credits and degrees, of course! Reveal the results in order persuade your fellow board members. But don't dangle the accusation that teachers are helping themselves at taxpayer's expense in front of your pack of rabid commenters! Push that button and they will tear the morale of our children's school system to shreds, you know it. WE all know it. Continue in this vein, and you will prove that is your goal.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anon at 10:30

You talk a big game. But your post makes you look like a bigger joke.

1. If you don't know what Walden and Marygrove are - then how do you know a chimp could do it.

2. The poster said that there is a lot of work involved in earning the degree- no one said anything about the admission process.

3. It is not a 10,000 dollar raise- or maybe you cannot read and that is the problem. Nor has a 5% raise been given in recent memory- you ignorant jerk.

4. If you think that teaching is all about summers off - then you should quit your job and join the profession. 135 different kids with 135 types of personalities, 135 learning styles, 135 home situations, 135 different ways to reach each kid and meet each 135 different needs.
No one is looking for a pat on the back or recognition- we chose the job and are happy to do - but idiots like you and your misinformed statements make it harder and harder everyday.

Did you vote in the election? Did you run against the Aberdeener? Did yo u show up at more than one meeting last year? I think we all know the answer

Hold the Pickle said...

Anybody with the username and password could have done everything on the teacher’s behalf. Considering the ease, the financial incentives, and the anecdotal evidence of online abuses, this isn’t a farfetched scenario.

Does your anectdotal evidence pertain to MARSD?

Are you suggesting that the teachers of MARSD are convincing people, who have nothing better to do, to get online degrees for them?

Why would anybody, as you suggest, take the time to get a degree for someone? What does that "anybody" get out of it?

Aberdeener said...


We've recently had a superintendent and two directors knowingly employed without proper certification, not to mention a tech director who only had a high school diploma. In the last few years, not a single teacher has pursued an online degree from a reputable university. And, especially considering today's economic environment, I'm guessing it's not too difficult to hire a Walden alumnus to modify and resubmit his own work under a different username.

The contract requires "full information" that the credits were "earned" and I want nothing less.

Online Courses Rock said...

The world is heading in the online school and courses. They're just as demanding as being in a classroom. I spent my nights and weekends working my butt of in the courseroom because of the required amount of work.

Unfortunately, some us of cannot get to the school because we have children at home and we work full time. So instead of not pursuing another degree we should stay at home and do nothing?

Even in a regular setting you can pretend to be someone for the whole class. Unless you are required to show ID everytime you walk into that classroom they cannot prove that is you either.

Until you are logged into a courseroom and see the amount of work we have to do, you should probably keep your mouth shut.

A lot of colleges now have online courses for the students even if they're staying on campus. They are not required to ever attend a regular class setting. Even Monmouth University has a lot of their teacher education master's program online as well. All you have to do is show up to one class at the beginning of the year and the rest is online.

You, Mr. Warren, need to come to terms with the year 2009.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener, Please, if you care for our children at all, please keep school business away from this blog. The level here is towards the gutter. Do not drag the children's matters down here! Its not right.

Aberdeener said...

You're comparing Walden to Monmouth University? Monmouth is a tier 1 university. Walden isn't even ranked.

If you want an online degree, how about Seton Hall? Oh, but that program "requires two on-campus weekend residency visits, which afford you the opportunity to meet face-to-face with professors and your peers in the program" so it might not fit your schedule.

On the other hand, at least we'd know you "earned" your degree.

Anonymous said...

Dude, are you serious with that response. What about people that have families to raise. Yes you're right I can hire someone to go up and meet face to face on the weekends for me just as easily as having someone log in for me. You are really obsured. You should encourage people to continue their education and not discourage. Did you know we are in a recession? Did you know that not everyone can afford Seton Hall University? I have three children, I work full time, my husband works full time, and he picked up weekends so we can support our family right now. So as of now, online courses are the best fit for me. If you'd like to pay my education along with all of the teachers in your school district than HOORAY for you!

Some of these posts are ridiculous and for you to let people put down the teachers in your district is awful.

To the post that said teachers have summers off. You get your a** into a classroom and see if you survive a week of what we go through.

Hold the Pickle said...

"We've recently had a superintendent and two directors knowingly employed without proper certification, not to mention a tech director who only had a high school diploma."

This is not anecdotal evidence of teachers abusing an online degree program. If you are going to accuse teachers of nefarious behavior, you should have some evidence to back it up.

"I'm guessing it's not too difficult to hire a Walden alumnus to modify and resubmit his own work under a different username."

Please tell me you are not serious with this statement. You are guessing? This means you have no proof. Just as I have no proof that you actually write this blog. Therefore, I'm guessing it's not too difficult to hire someone to write a blog for you to express your opinions.

Aberdeener said...


I don't get paid for writing this blog so it's irrelevant whether I'm the author or it's being ghosted. Nor do I have to prove fraud to enforce the terms of a contract.

As for the anon teacher, thanks for proving my point. It's irrelevant to you that Seton Hall has professional accreditation or that Walden has a terrible reputation. Nor do you care that your Walden education could cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career whether or not it actually helps a single child.

If the real issue was the cost of tuition, you'd be fighting for a higher reimbursement rate, which I'd support. But instead all you care about is getting an undeserved raise on the cheap.

mom and middlesex county teacher said...

The sad thing is if a---

started a blog
criticized the administration and BOE and accused them of lying and complained about their salaries and what not - they would be fired!!!!!

This blog is abuse of power. 2 weekend visits to a college are good enough? Yes Seton Hall and Monmouth are nice but THEY ARE EXPENSIVE - overpriced to a certain point as well. You say you understand the economic climate when it comes to taxes but not when someone on your staff decides to better their classroom??


I cannot believe this. I agree with the other post above- on line degrees are the way of times plain and simple.

The walden courses take 18 months- and the courses and assignments change from what I beleive every year- it would take ONE HELL OF A FRIEND to do all the work.

Do you know that the HS allows summer school on line? If you are SO CONCERNED with academics wouln't you be worried that the importance and validity of a Matawan diploma is lessened if courses taken on line are cheated too???

You have some audacity.

Anonymous said...

Isn't one of your colleauges the recipient of an on line degree?

Do you question whether he actually took the classes?

I believe he did - but according to your posts - do you call him a liar to his face?


IF A TEACHER DID WHAT YOU DO ON THEIR OWN PERSONAL BLOG they would be licking the floors at Ravine Drive school to keep their job.

Aberdeener said...

Lovely. Another teacher fighting for the right to get the cheapest degree he can find and then demand his raise.

As for that "poor teacher" who would get fired if he criticized the administration and BOE, puh-lease. A tenured teacher hasn't been fired in the State of New Jersey in over a decade.

Anonymous said...


YOU ARE SO FAR FROM REALITY is not even funny.

Aberdeener said...

Oh, we're gonna play this game again? Can't defend Walden so attack Dr. Gambino's credentials?

Dr. Gambino doesn't get one taxpayer cent for his online degree so it's none of your business or mine.

Now, how about you telling me what a wonderful school Walden is? For all the griping, I've yet to see one comment suggesting the taxpayers are getting their money's worth.

Anonymous said...

www.aberdeener.com is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading www.aberdeener.com every day.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Gambino works for the State of New Jersey. HIs entire salary is taxpayers expense.

Anonymous said...

After reading what was written - the poster was not criticizing Dr. G.

They asked if you confronted Dr. G with your dislike for on line courses and the easiness you think it could be to chear.

Do not manipulate what was written. I also agree with another poster above who thinks you do have it out for those who teach in this district from the months of blogging insinuating such.

My kids love their teachers- maybe if you spent some time to get to know a few you might have a different outlook.

Anonymous said...


I will readily agree to go to Seton Hall, Monmouth , or a summer institute at Harvard if you are serious about raising the reimbursement. Full tuition for those expensive universities and timestamped evidence of when I enter and leave at full tuition? You've got a deal. Will you be suggesting that at the next negotiations?

Anonymous said...

Hey Joey, nice work. You give raises to administrators "BEFORE" they produce any tangible results. Those raises in themselves are too high giving what the economic climate is. Now you attack the teachers right before contract time. Good job, what way to start, you shouldn't even bring these things up on this venue. Wow, what a great board member you've become.
Joey, you're really not being controversial - you're being an idiot!

Aberdeener said...

Yup, not a single person will defend Walden University. No, I will not get into the administrator raises again. Yes, I do support higher tuition reimbursements for colleges with professional accreditation.

By the way, why the resistance against emailing a copy of your homework assignments to demonstrate you did the work? Since everything's online, you should have the files on your computer and it wouldn't take more than two minutes.

Anonymous said...


Aberdeener said...

The district doesn't maintain a history of where teachers get their degrees. However, last year about 3/4 of our teachers were getting their degrees from low-regarded online schools.

The point here isn't to take away their raises but to end this practice. Teachers get huge degree-based raises because those degrees are supposed to mean something.

Anonymous said...

bc that would not be enough for you. you would then become the great almighty evaluator of assignments. hey mister bd member how about starting with something more basic like having ALL district employees sign in/out every day. bet you could find a savings there.

Aberdeener said...

The administration would not be evaluating the work. We just need an indication that the teacher did something to "earn" the credits/degrees. That's what the contract says.

Anonymous said...

What is the break down? 3/4 is not and answer.
How many teachers are employed in this district?
How many teachers have on line degrees?
or as you call it cheap degrees.
You started this debate this is easy, you are the Boe member and you have the stats to answer this question.

Aberdeener said...

No, the stat's aren't available. You'd have to go into every teacher's personnel file and look it up one by one. I know because I tried to get these numbers last year.

Last year, three quarters of new degrees and credits came from the "cheap and easy" online schools.

Thankfully, we've seen far less this year.

Anonymous said...

What board members will be negotiating the new contracts and how does a taxpayer let these members know what they want to see in these contracts especially in the areas of benefits and percentage increases. It seems you never ask the public for what they would like, especially in these economic times. Since Donoghue is on the payroll his opinion doesn't matter, but how does one find out what the rest of the board thinks in terms of what the public wants. Or does that not matter, and they will decide what is best for us.

Anonymous said...

You got it. That is what elitists do. We are stupid and don't know what we want so they will decide for us.

Aberdeener said...

Prior Anon,

You've got a number of good questions so I'll try to answer them point by point. But, I gotta warn you, you're not going to like the answers.

You're correct that some board members will recuse themselves from any involvement in the negotiation process if they have a household member who's part of the NJEA.

Will the board hold a special session for community input prior to negotiations? Unlikely. The current contract expires June 30th. If we did have a special session, it would need to be scheduled soon and none of the board members have proposed such a meeting.

If someone does wish to comment, he can speak at the open mike during one of the board meetings or comment on this blog. I'll be writing a piece discussing some of the issues and the process next month.

Does the board care about your opinions? Maybe. The major cost drivers are salaries and health. After that, we want to give the superintendent as much flexibility as possible. Lastly, the board would like the contract to reflect our policy preferences.

We'll be conferring with the attorney, other districts, and the administration for advice.

If a member of the public has a suggestion, his ideas will likely go on the list next to the board members', i.e. last. If he has information on what another district has done, that could be of great value. And, if several people support the board, that may help us stay the course and convince the union to not demand too much.

I wish I could be more encouraging but you see the difficulties I have and I'm on the board.

Anonymous said...

2009 Rankings Of Online Colleges And Online Universities
Rank College Score
# 1 Boston University 114.2
# 2 California University of Pennsylvania 111.2
# 3 Abilene Christian University 110.6
# 4 Iowa Central College 109.8
# 5 Bowling Green State University 108.2
# 6 AT Still University 108.2
# 7 Northeastern University 108.2
# 8 New England College 107.8
# 9 Norwich University 105.4
# 10 Strayer University 104.9
# 11 University of Maryland University College 104.7
# 12 City University 102.6
# 13 San Joaquin Valley College Online 100.9
# 14 Capella University 100.1
# 15 Liberty University Online 99.2
# 16 Western Governors University 98.8
# 17 Jones International University 98.4
# 18 Kaplan University 97.2
# 19 University of Phoenix 95.5
# 20 Grand Canyon University Online 95.4
# 21 Saint Leo University 93.4
# 22 Colorado Technical University Online 92.5
# 23 Ashford University 90.9
# 24 Walden University 89.9
# 25 Pinnacle Career Institute Online 87.9


The overall purpose of these rankings is to create a standardized and trustworthy method to rank online institutions based on reliable statistics. These ratings will allow potential students to better judge the schools they are considering attending and make a more educated decision in the end. The following criteria were used to rank the schools:

Accreditation: Regional accreditation is widely considered to be the most selective and prestigious of all accreditation types. It also serves its students better by allowing them to transfer credits between institutions easily. Therefore, schools with this accreditation were ranked higher on our list.

.The statistics used in the online school rankings were gathered from The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This site is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education.


Anonymous said...

Here is the other half

Overall Rankings - Methodology - Metric Data

Today, there are thousands of online colleges available for higher learning. Like traditional universities, they vary in reputation and academic prestige, but due to their recent rise in popularity, few well-researched comparisons and ratings are available on different schools and programs. Our online college rankings system is designed to remove this veil from online education. We strive to not only help aspiring students make informed decisions when choosing a program, but also for online schools to be held to the same standards as traditional universities. Through examining accreditation statuses, tuition costs, student-to-faculty ratios,


The overall purpose of these rankings is to create a standardized and trustworthy method to rank online institutions based on reliable statistics. These ratings will allow potential students to better judge the schools they are considering attending and make a more educated decision in the end. The following criteria were used to rank the schools:

Accreditation: Regional accreditation is widely considered to be the most selective and prestigious of all accreditation types. It also serves its students better by allowing them to transfer credits between institutions easily. Therefore, schools with this accreditation were ranked higher on our list.

Cost of Tuition and Books: The cost of a higher education is a huge factor for many when deciding

Metric Data

The following table shows the breakdown of the data for our determining factors. To save space, we abbreviated the names of the columns and the colleges. By clicking on the college name, you will be taken directly to the school's information page to learn more about the institution.

The rest of the abbreviations are explained here— RA: Regional Accreditation, TTC: Total Tuition Cost, # S: Number of Students, # FF: Number of Full-Time Faculty, # PT: Number of Part-Time Faculty Instructors, SF: Student-to-Faculty Ratio, GR: Graduation Rate, RR: Retention Rate.

School RA TTC #S #FF #PT S/F GR RR
Abilene Christian University Yes $20,080 4,675 222 30 19 57% 74%
Ashford University Yes $16,090 10,568 45 703 14 41% 45%
AT Still University Yes $40,367 2,880 89 352 7 83% 60%
Boston University Yes $37,910 32,053 2,394 1,189 9 82% 91%
Bowling Green State University Yes $12,542 20,684 921 329 17 57% 76%
California University of Pennsylvania Yes $8,214 8,206 289 99 21 49% 79%
Capella University Yes $12,560 21,773 102 5 203 50% 60%
City University Yes $14,192 3,566 27 1304 3 50% 60%
Colorado Technical University Online Yes $11,536 21,876 5 611 36 50% 60%
Grand Canyon University Online Yes $17,710 13,415 52 346 34 46% 69%
Iowa Central College Yes $4,450 5,731 76 259 17 30% 58%
Jones International University Yes $12,040 1,588 0 110 14 50% 60%
Liberty University Online Yes $4,700 38,000 340 485 33 45% 71%
New England College Yes $27,322 1,460 56 121 8 45% 66%
Northeastern University Yes $34,621 24,434 0 836 29 66% 91%
Norwich University Yes $27,064 3,442 122 188 11 48% 77%
Pinnacle Career Institute Online No $12,569 525 13 29 13 67% 52%
Saint Leo University Yes $18,085 13,788 98 951 13 41% 70%
San Joaquin Valley College Online Yes $12,790 436 1 40 11 54% 85%
Strayer University Yes $14,595 35,754 159 1699 19 54% 78%
University of Maryland University College Yes $13,360 32,540 237 1378 20 50% 58%
University of Phoenix Yes $12,340 224,880 0 13,419 17 50% 61%
Walden University Yes $16,000 29,455 67 1,026 27 50% 60%
Western Governors University Yes $6,770 9,022 154 6 56 37% 78%

Aberdeener said...

This is funny.

Here's the website you're quoting - GuideToOnlineSchools.com.

So, here we have a website that nobody ever heard of, they ranked 25 random online schools using metrics that have nothing to do with education or student outcomes, and even here Walden is ranked 24th out of 25 colleges.

As I said, pretty funny.

Hold the Pickle said...

What constitues "cheap and easy?"

Will this be a Joey Warren or Board of Education definition?

Aberdeener said...

I'm willing to recognize any of the following programs -
1) Any in-person masters program at an accredited university
2) Any online program from a school when that school ranks in the top 50% in a nationally recognized publication
3) Any online program that has professional accreditation from the NCATE.

If a program can't meet any of those criteria, I doubt it adds any value to our teachers.

Anonymous said...

I think all of your college degree's are just about equally worthless! I don't believe any of them higher degree's(regardless of where they came from) make a better teacher, or benefit the children of this school district.

Anonymous said...

So because the HIGH and HOLY Joe Warren deems colleges and tuitions paid useless - we must all agree?

What about someone's question pertaining to summer school on line courses being allowed?

And your tone here suggests very strongly that you do not trust the teachers in your district and basically are calling them liars, cheats, and theoretically thieves.

I am not a teacher- my opinion is coming from someone who works in the field of law.

******HERE IS THE BEST QUESTION which you won't answer (my prediction).

Joe W. works at company XYZ. He sees an opportunity to earn a degree, a masters, to enhance what he does at XYZ. At the end of the process he will receive a raise because of the extra education.

But Joe W. has a family, a job, and a home to care of. He cannot find the time to attend a face to face school.

You are telling me that Joe W. would not attend a school, earn a masters, enhance his profession, and even get a raise because he does not beleive in online learning?

GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Let's hear your excuse filled and elitist answer.

Aberdeener said...


Why don't you read my response at 5:59 or any of my prior posts regarding online degrees. My issue is with the cheap and easy online degrees that bring no value to the classroom.

Once again, nobody is defending Walden University. Instead, all my critics appear to be fighting for a teacher's right to enroll in the cheapest and easiest school he can find so he can get his raise. Students and taxpayers are irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please wake me when Joey's term is over? or, when he goes back where he came from? Thanks

Anonymous said...

"I think all of your college degree's are just about equally worthless! I don't believe any of them higher degree's(regardless of where they came from) make a better teacher, or benefit the children of this school district."

Looks like the above poster don't have any of them there higher degrees.

Masters degrees are important. Keep up the fight Joey to have them mean something to our students; not just the teachers pay check.

Robert A said...

Online learning is the wave of the future. It is people like you who would like to keep education stuck back in the 1950's when filmstrips were advanced technology. Wake up - we are becoming an online world and those who are left behind will stay stuck in the stone age. I am sure that MARS wants their teachers to be technologically proficient, but not allow them to earn a degree online? Sounds like a bit of hypocrisy, don't you think? I am a teacher at a nearby district and I am getting my advanced degree online and it is definitely more work than going and sitting in class for 2 hours once a week. Have you ever even investigated what goes on in a distance learning scenario? With some of the stuff that I hear about coming from the leadership of this district, it is no wonder that MARS kids lag behind their peers at other Monmouth County schools.

Anonymous said...

Robert, What online university are you using? And what was that decision based on?

MARSD kids lag behind their peers, because previous administrations never cared about pushing them beyond the bare minimum requirements. Thank goodness that seems to be changing.

Anonymous said...

I notice Nova Southeastern (the online University from which BOE Vice-President received his degree)is not ranked on the list of colleges at all. Isn't this sort of a contradiction of practice?

Anonymous said...

You want proof of the coursework completed? Then just ask for it. I bet there isn't a teacher out there, in any district, who isn't so proud of the amount of work they put in to complete their online degree that they wouldn't love to show your their final portfolios and papers. But seriously- shouldn't the superintendent be looking for this kind of information, not BOE members? Do all the BOE members have advanced college degrees in education that make them "qualified" to evaluate the effectiveness of these online courses? Just askin'

Aberdeener said...

Nobody on the board would be reviewing a teacher's papers. Nor would anyone in the administration be evaluating those papers. The question before the board was whether we should advise the superintendent to request to see those papers. Only three board members believed we should.

Anonymous said...



you lose

shut up.

next item

Anonymous said...


Aberdeener said...

The last time I raised something, I lost 8-1 and then got action on all three items. If you think this issue is dead, you haven't been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we know Joe, you are a hero. A true legend, in your own mind.

Father of ARTIST said...


you get hours towards a degree and
So You get more money? DOes it change the course? The teachers ways,Shouldn't this be proven?
NO ENTITLEMENTS,with my money please.
IN PHOENIX. I paid $1,200.00 for the entire year.
The schools and teachers were happy and gorgeous the curriculum was #1......I had a LARGE home 3 baths 4 bedrooms,sunken living room,tile roof kitchen was 11x32......deck,balcony,loft,walk-in closets,even a phone in the toilet! pool,hot tub cascading...Into the Large Play Pool.
Beautiful grounds and community no crap.

Here We pay $1,000.00 Per MONTH! WHY DOES a street cleaner come around here? so much waste........... I see no difference to the GOOD HERE..just lies and abuse of power.


MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE Schools here have been sub standard! 75% of what I witnessed HERE IN MATAWAN.

What is RELEVANT( with the class the teacher is taking) to the RIGOROUS CURRICULUM supposedly being TAUGHT so they can say the school did it ALL?" hehehe

like my child's pre cal teacher"as she told us my daughter would not ...

"not finnish the class even though
MY CHILD HAD A 94% or so,
THE SCHOOL DID NOTHING WHILE SHE got her freaking RAISE simultaneously I SAY She didn't deserve it! I saw nothing more that teacher was worth than a first year teacher.......

She was rude and selfish to boot! BOOT THEM OUT IF THEY DONT PRODUCE! stop teaching to a dang test..THIS means the teacher cant do anything else and not fair to the fast learners..
WASTED TIME at school.too many hours wasted.
THE special needs a JOKE! they try their hardest to keep you from the real HELP I SAY HELP YOUR SELF and get rid of them

PRIDEFUL PEOPLE get OUT NOW! stop doing what you tried to do to us..Maybe now to the others GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT! People use your own doc and get it done yourself! and then we have the TRANSPORTATION WASTE"
on the special needs one at a time chauffeurs.
WHERE ARE THESE SPECIAL CONTRACTS THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO KNOW! and did in 2006! well? I am done for now..ITS JUST SICKENS ME>>what I had and what is here and how it is just so shitty!

Anonymous said...

Then go back to fingerpainting with the other mental patients in your sunken living room in Arizona...

Oh, the irony of "THE special needs a JOKE!"...

Couldn't have put it better myself outsideartist, you are a joke...

Anonymous said...

you guys are all cwayzee with too much time on your hands. you need to do something constructive like maybe sign up for an online course through Walden University and then get back to us.

Anonymous said...

How is it that you are such an expert on Walden? Are you a graduate? I have a degree from Walden and I'm proud of that. I use much of what I mastered in my courses in the classroom. I believe I got out of it what I put into it. When I made the decision to go to Walden over Kean Univerity (a face to face/brick and mortar school)part of the decision had to do with traveling and adding an extra hour to the commute to wait for a parking spot. Walden was more eco-friendly. (Many brick/mortar schools have on-line classes too - this is the 21st century!) One of my thoughts was that I could spend more time on course work if I was not driving up and down the parkway - and that I did. I put many honest hours into my work. In doing so I gave up quality time I could be spending with family for the good of my students and profession. Having this degree has given me the opportunity to continue my education toward another certificate at Kean University. Graduate classes are graduate classes none are cheap and easy. I'm glad I don't work in this district where there is so much negativity focused on continuing education. Rather ironic - you can keep your poison board member - I hope he's not contagious.

Aberdeener said...


Happy Thanksgiving :)

Anonymous said...

did some research...Walden University is ranked quite well by several different sources.
see websites below.





Aberdeener said...

Edegree is just a rehash of OEDB.

The OEDB is a website that promotes online degrees and its ranking system doesn't include quality of education but does include many factors that have nothing to with education, like years of service.

WhichUniversity is a blog post that's copied from an article on Article Base that was written by a guy who works for a site that promotes online degrees where Walden is heavily advertised.

World Ranking cites surveys without links but none of the surveys references quality of education.

I appreciate your efforts but the fact remains Walden doesn't even crack the top 1000 universities in America; it's not ranked by a single national publication.