Starting over means not just closing these schools, but doing away with teacher tenure and replacing it with merit pay attached to student performance. It also means opening more charter schools. Blocking the way is the New Jersey Education Association, according to Christie. The NJEA is the Big Bad Wolf.
Maybe there is some truth to that, but there isn’t just one wolf bearing its teeth on the path to grandma’s high-property-taxed house. Let’s face it: Chris Christie isn’t Little Red Riding Hood.
Two hundred failing schools is unacceptable. But the state Department of Education’s website lists a total of 2,485 schools in New Jersey. That means less than 10 percent are failing. It would seem that the majority of schools, and the teachers inside them, are doing rather well. No doubt, students in failing schools can take little solace in that.
Read the whole thing. Unfortunately, while he's starting to catch on, he's not quite there yet:
I agree 100 percent with the governor about tenure. I do not believe in guaranteed jobs for life. I do not accept the notion that the current form of tenure allows for the removal of poor-performing teachers. But eliminating tenure without having a viable alternative that does not leave teachers vulnerable to the whims of angry parents and school board members with agendas is equally unacceptable.
The governor can close every poor performing school in New Jersey tomorrow and replace them with a charter school and there will still be failing schools because if those schools are required to teach everybody, they will have some students who will not get with the program. And if these charter schools toss out the students who do not meet their schools’ criteria, where do these students land?
The leadership of the NJEA remains a good target because it has been inflexible. It has put its interests ahead of it members. But less than 10 percent of the schools in New Jersey are chronically failing. If teachers, and yes, the NJEA, are to blame for 200 failing schools, they are also responsible for 2,285 schools that are succeeding.Al, if you're going to make that charge - serious one - against the NJEA, you'd better back it up. If you don't, you're still playing the "one-side/other-side" game. That may be nice for style points, but, as you are starting to understand, it's not necessarily the truth.
Until you acknowledge that, you're still stuck in the soft, squishy middle: