Tenure: You can mess around with the number of years, add a "mentoring" year, whatever. The most important thing is that teachers must be able to appeal a dismissal under tenure to an authority outside of their district. Remove this provision, and teaching stops being a profession and starts becomes a cronyism job.Gov. Chris Christie yesterday put out his now-familiar call for the Democratic-controlled legislature to act on what he said are the state's priorities, starting with his package of proposals on teacher tenure, charter schools, and school vouchers.The Democratic leadership, for its part, put out its schedule for the next two months, starting next Monday.And for all of Christie's prodding, which is expected to continue today with an education event in Secaucus, the legislature is actually pretty far along on several of the governor' core proposals.True, they contain significant Democrat-induced elements, but the chances of passage for at least some of them are pretty strong. [emphasis mine]
Nothing is more important to a tenure law than this. Any legislator who passes a tenure law without it is guilty of turning school districts into Tammany Halls.
Charters: It's laughable that anyone out there really thinks that more charter schools will help student achievement; the evidence says they will not. If you want a few more, fine, but no charter schools without local approval; that's absolutely necessary. You can't ask a community to fund a boutique charter school at the expense of their students.
And for-profit operators need to stay out.
Vouchers: Again, the people who push this stuff are either deluded or dishonest: private schools do no better than public schools when you account for student differences. And I hate to tell all the ministers pushing this, but the First Amendment is awfully clear about giving money to churches - not that a little thing like the Constitution ever stops our "originalist" judges anymore.
I've really got to wonder which corporations want their names attached to the fly-by-night operations that voucher cheerleaders see springing up if OSA passes. Why would a corporation take the risk of associating their good name with a school that could turn out to be a train wreck?
One more thing: look at this list above. Take a good, hard look.
Does anyone reading this really believe any of this nonsense is going to do a damn thing to improve student performance in New Jersey?
Again: look at the differences between our highest-performing and lowest-performing schools.
(h/t Bruce Baker)
We know what we need to do to help kids in this state. Our overlords just don't want to do it.
Try and tell me I'm wrong.