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

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chris Christie: Teacher Insulter

One more thought about Jane's Roh's pieces in the Courier-Post this past weekend - the pieces that featured such sagacity from yours truly... (oh, let me have a little fun, OK?)

The teacher known as StoptheFreezeNJ said he was driven into anonymity after starting a Facebook group criticizing Christie. While the governor himself has never publicly insulted teachers, many of his admirers do so freely on the Internet. [emphasis mine]
Oh, really?
“I love the public schools but the fact of the matter is there is excess and greed there,” said Christie, during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box. 
Or how about:
The state teachers union said--they had a rally in Trenton against me. 35,000 people came from the teachers. You know what that rally was? The "me first" rally. "Pay me my raise first. Pay me my free health benefits first. Pay me my pension first. And everybody else in New Jersey, get to the back of the line." Well, you know what? I'm not going to sit by and allow that to go unnoticed, so we'll shine a bright light on it, and we'll see how the people react. But I think we are seeing how the people of New Jersey are reacting, and that's how you make it politically palatable in other states in the country. Just shine a bright light on greed and self-interest. (emphasis mine)
Or my personal favorite:
 "Scaring students in the classroom, scaring parents with the notes home in the bookbags, and the mandatory 'Project Democracy Homework' asking your parents about what they're going to do in the school board election, and reporting back to your teachers union representatives, using the students like drug mules to carry information back to the classroom, is reprehensible." (emphasis mine)
I think any fair reading is that Christie, in each of these cases, was insulting teachers and not union officials. He's certainly not talking about Barbara Keshishian's pension in the second example. The "reporting" in the third is to union officials, not by union officials.

I will not let this guy off easily for this. He's insulted teachers, not just teachers unions. It's indisputable.


CommutingTeacher said...

Didn't he also wax eloquently about teachers not caring about students as they 'party' in Atlantic City at their convention? I also believe he said something about teachers just needing to breathe to get a paycheck. From a better person I would have been insulted but from that windbag I just became angrier. Enough with the vilification.

darcie said...

This is the one I love the best, because he is taking it straight to the kids. He is like the bad parent that uses the kids as a weapon to send a message to their ex. Belittling teachers to kids in Trenton at a Boys and Girls Club is about as low as it get. I wish this video still worked, it's astonishing. Here's the dialogue:

“These teachers have all summer off. Can’t they have their convention during the summer?’’ the governor said as he spoke to a clutch of high schoolers surrounding him.

“They got to get two days off from school because, you know, they don’t get enough time off now, right? They get two weeks off at Christmas, they get all the different holidays, then they get all the summer off and now they need two more days.

“Why do you think that is? Do you think If they cared about learning where would they be today?’’

Ashley Batts, 16, a Trenton Central High School sophomore answered “in school.’’

“That’s right, in school, baby, they would not be down there in Atlantic City having a party — because that’s what it is.’’


Duke said...

darcie, you nailed it.

I think we need a post where people can add there own.

Lisa said...

This "summer off" thing that our governor promulgates makes me nuts, and is a prime example of how we need to "reclaim the lexicon," as I often rail. It's NOT a "summer off", and it's NOT a "vacation" for the teachers. It's a FORCED UNPAID FURLOUGH.

I, like many,--and especially now--need to get a second job during my furlough. Few, like summer school, are full time or last the whole summer, unless I can compete with kids to wait tables or sell cosmetics in the mall, which is difficult because employers prefer the kids who can continue after September. I stress from mid-August to mid-September eating mac and cheese, which is also when I need to spend more for my own kids going back to school/college and on what I need to set up my classroom.

IT'S NOT A VACATION. It's the most stressful time of the year for me, and I haven't been able to take a family vacation since I returned to teaching over ten years ago.

I, again, like many, am one of those teachers Christie and the "disinformers" claim to want in each classroom: "A" student, highly selective (and expensive) university graduate, graduate school, the type my principal wants to mentor new teachers and train student teachers. And the type State testing would dismiss, despite the high achievement and rapid advancement of my special ed students. Not only can't I afford to stay in the classroom much longer, but the constant insults and disrespect is crushing my soul and sapping the joy I used to get, the reason I left my much higher paying corporate job to return to something more "honorable" and meaningful to me.

I and my own kids (honor students, thankfully now in college), got a top-flight public education here in NJ. I'm also a second generation teacher who guided my own children away from teaching. I am so deeply saddened how politics, greed, and this culture of disrespect are destroying the probability of the same top education for any future grandchild of mine and our next generation--and future teachers.

darcie said...

thank you duke for all of your work. i really appreciate your bog and all that you're doing. happy to lend a bit here and there to the cause.