UPDATE: The Journal News has updated their story to note portions of Smith's Op-Ed appear to have been lifted from a journal article by Franklin B. Walter and Scott R. Sweetland titled: “School Finance Reform: An Unresolved Issue across the Nation.” It appeared in Education in 2003.
The bad news just keeps on coming for Fred Smith, former New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent, who left New Rochelle last year after learning his contract would not be renewed and took a position as Superintendent of the Pocantico Hills Central School District, a position he suddenly resigned last week for undisclosed "personal reasons".
The Journal News is reporting that Fred Smith, while serving as Assistant Superintendent of New Rochelle Schools, lifted portions of an article on tax policy by a Canadian professor written in 2005 and submitted them as his own in an Op-Ed published in the Journal News in 2008. Smith's unexpected resignation last week, just four weeks after Talk of the Sound disclosed an email exchange in which he revealed the existence of a report on the lack of educational equity in New Rochelle, a report New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak claimed, under oath, did not exist.
The superintendent, Freddie D. Smith, published a piece on school financing Jan. 23, 2008, that started: "Public elementary and secondary education in the U.S. was founded on the principles of local financing and local control."
The same wording appeared at the beginning of a book review that was written for the National Tax Journal in 2005. The only difference was that "United States" was spelled out in the journal.
In all, the first two passages from the book review showed up almost verbatim in Smith’s article for the editorial page of The Journal News under the headline, "State school finance systems help create inequities among schools."
There were only minor changes in the wording.
The Journal News has published a side-by-side comparison of the two articles on LoHud.com.
The original article from the National Tax Journal, a book review of Helping Children Left Behind: State Aid and the Pursuit of Educational Equity from MIT Press, was written by by A. Abigail Payne, an economic professor at McMaster University in Canada. Payne told the Journal News she had no knowledge that her words were used by Smith in his Op-Ed.