Consolidating towns

In other words, we've come kicking and screaming into the "transformation" phase.But this is the Consolidation is a response to the notion that our problem is essentially one of efficiency.Many of today's school districts are geographically huge, especially in rural areas.Increased size means more bureaucracy and more red tape, increasing the distance between teacher and administrator, between classroom and parent.Our biggest problem as a nation right now is that our places are generally all vulnerable to the same things.

They would send their kids to Ocean schools in return for a per-pupil payment of about ,000 per year.

But clearly, if we want innovation, we have to embrace failure. What if we gave a bonus to the communities that were most successful if they agreed to "adopt" one of the failing communities and walk them through a restructuring? Consolidation will not get at the core problems that our cities face.

The near-term increases in efficiency will mask the lack of innovation and the homogeneous outcomes that make all our cities vulnerable to the same Black Swans.

Before this goes any further, let me warn all involved about the nature of such transactions. There are two types: weddings of attraction, into which both partners enter willingly; and shotgun weddings, in which one party takes part only because of compulsion.

The latter describes one Monmouth County town that I covered in the waning days of the Corzine administration, Loch Arbour.

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