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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why Weren't Charter Teachers Teaching Today?

I'm sure you will be as shocked as I was to find out that hundreds of teachers were not in school today; instead, they were in Atlantic City!
ATLANTIC CITY -- Administrators and teachers packed Bally's for a 2-day education conference. The event is titled "Navigating Toward Quality Education". Which is the main focus on developing and sharing teaching techniques to help strengthen charter schools throughout the state.

New Jersey educators from through out the state all traveled into the heart of Atlantic City for the fourth annual New Jersey charter school conference. The teachers and administrators totaled over 700 in attendance to watch presentations, and share practices.

[...]
All the teachers that came to the conference teach at 80 different New Jersey charter schools, serving over 27,000 students.
Why, this is simply unbelievable! It's the middle of the school year! Why are these teachers having their conference now, instead of the summer?

You know who's really mad about this? That's right - Chris Christie:
“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.’’
Thank the lord we have a governor in New Jersey willing to stand up and demand that charter school teachers and principals move their convention to the summer, when they have time off...

Whoops! Oh, is my face red! In this quote, Christie wasn't talking about the charter school convention in March; that was Christie in 2010, talking about the NJEA convention in November! Well, I'm sure he'll be calling on the charter schools to move their convention to the summer any minute now...

...just wait for it...

Uh, while you wait, you can visit many of the fine vendors who sponsored the convention, who are not in the least motivated by money and who, unlike teachers who complain about huge cuts to pay and benefits, share Chris Christie's passion for education. Like so many of the reformy, you can be sure their motives are pure.

... still waiting...

Hmm, this may take a while. Maybe you can check into one of the rooms for the conference while you wait:

Hotel & Travel

The 2012 conference will be held at Bally’s in Atlantic City.
Reserve a luxury sleeping room in Bally’s Tower — right upstairs from the conference area!The deadline for reserving a room in our exclusive room block has been extended to Friday, March 16, 2012.
Why Should You Choose Bally’s?
We’ve reserved the best rooms in Bally’s Tower for our conference guests!
If you could build your own private sanctuary in Atlantic City, what would you include? Any amenity you could dream up for your ideal getaway already exists in Bally’s premium guest rooms.
  • Spacious floor plan, which includes a table and chairs
  • Always fashionable art-deco decor, with gold and wood accents throughout the room
  • Modern bathroom with granite-topped sink, custom granite and tile flooring, and a beautifully tiled shower
Reserve your room online today!

Now that's some "passion" I can get behind! But will this luxury be paid for by taxpayer funds supporting charters, or tax-free private contributions supporting charters? Ah, who cares; it all comes from the same pot...

All sessions conclude by 5:00 PM. Hmm, what to do in AC with a free evening? Well, since VAM-based teacher ratings are essentially the same as rolling dice, how about a breakout session on teacher evaluation?

Yeah! I got tenure!

(h/t Darcie - who else?)

ADDING: Christie was in AC today. Hmm...

5 comments:

Miss said...

He probably doesn't care about this for the same reason that he has no problem letting a charter super get paid 2x's the highest amount of the cap exacted on public supers.

Duke said...

Miss: Cha-Ching!

Rita McClellan said...

Do you think some of these charters are in AC hoping to change their luck? Maybe a few rolls of the dice and they will be able to come up with desperately needed money to buy their property or some additional funds lobby the Governor for more finances or to open another charter?

Cris said...

The New Jersey Charter School Association boasts to its conference exhibitors that, "Charter school law grants each charter school autonomy over its purchasing decisions, allowing them to bypass the red tape and roadblocks [a.k.a safeguards and protection from graft] facing most district schools," and that "Most school employees assume multiple roles within their schools (e.g., many leaders will teach classes), empowering more people with front-line, decision-making abilities than typically allowed in district schools." Couple that with no local voice on charter school approvals, and you have completely unaccountable expenditures of your local property tax dollars!!!

http://njcharters.org/conference/exhibitors-sponsors/

Anonymous said...

Duke,
Is it typically for the Commish to waive overnight lodging restrictions?
"Commissioner Waives Travel Regulations: The Association has received a waiver to the travel regulations. This means that schools can reimburse staff for their expenses when they travel more than 50 miles one-way to Bally's in Atlantic City."

http://njcharters.org/conference/wp-content/uploads/doc_waiver.pdf