I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bob Braun is Shrill

Oh, dear... why must Bob Braun keep bringing up all these pesky facts?
Here’s another fact this newspaper’s fact-checking feature said was "mostly true" — only 17 tenured teachers were fired for incompetence in the last decade. Christie used it to defend the elimination of tenure. The fact of 17 dismissals after trials might be true, but the question is wrong. The right question is: How many teachers leave for any reason? Maybe counseled out. Threatened with embarrassing charges. Figured the job was too tough. The answer — 50 percent in the first five years, up to 75 percent in some states.
It’s like characterizing the crime problem by counting only criminal cases that actually go to a verdict when it’s known more than 90 percent of charges are resolved through plea bargains. Most teacher problems also are resolved informally, without trials, inexpensively.
Christie’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, says a comparison between plea bargains and tenure trials is "ridiculous." He says the state lacks a "uniform manner of evaluating" teachers. He also says the governor believes "the vast majority of teachers are doing great work," but blames unions for protecting "bad ones."
I'm no lawyer, but I'm almost 100% sure there is no "uniform manner of evaluating" plea bargains. In any case - once you fire those "bad" teachers, Mike, who's going to replace them? Especially after you raise the retirement age, slash pensions, gut health care, and cut teacher pay by at least 10%?

Read the whole thing. Braun is one of very few in the state commentariat who actually gets it. 


czarejs said...

You mean after all that people's won't want to be teachers? Come on they'll be lining up in droves.

joeswell said...

You know, there will always be plenty of people willing to take any job for any pay. Despite all the teacher bashing, there will always be people willing to "scab" to get employment. "They," AKA "management," want things this way. People will only stay in the "profession" a couple of years and "move on." Salaries can be kept low, with lousy health benefits and a cheap 401K "retirement" plan. Without a union, "they" can bring teaching salaries down to the Walmart range or lower. If "they" could "outsource" these teaching jobs, "they'd" do it in a New York minute.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately joeswell, you're right. The awful part of this is the poorly educated students that will graduate and be incapable of finding a job once all of the teachers who work hard, and actually care, are driven from the profession. As a parent of children who have several more years of schooling, I am concerned. Fortunately, as a teacher who cares about her students as much as her own kids, I feel my kids will be the lucky ones. They at least have parents who care and are able to educate them when the public school system fails. However, with all of the cuts I am about to take to my own pay, I wonder if I will have the time since I will need another job to cover the income loss I am about to incur if this latest bill passes.