- Caffrey was given a platform multiple times in the Star-Ledger to opine that tenure is "...the single greatest impediment to education improvement in New Jersey, without a doubt," even though she hadn't even served one year as a superintendent in New Jersey.
- When Caffrey was accused of malpractice by her board, B4K - the New Jersey reformy lobbying group with deep-pockets and ties to Michelle Rhee's Students First - rushed to put out an ad campaign in her defense. It remains unclear whether the Perth Amboy schools have financial ties to B4K's or SF's backers, although there is substantial circumstantial evidence.
- Despite her previous calls to, as Tom Moran put it, "...end tenure, to pull it out by the roots and to spread salt over the patch of earth where this weed once grew so that nothing like it can rise in its place, ever," Caffrey has been happy to appeal her firing by the PABOE to ACTING Commissioner Chris Cerf, an act I find massively hypocritical. His latest response to her case mirrors the current tenure law so closely that I am amazed that either Cerf or Caffrey would ever consider revising the law in the future, let alone rescind it.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who is fascinated by all of this. In response to both the PA teachers union, and the rumors that Caffrey says are "swirling around" her district, she has posted a blog entry addressing her experience and connections.
If you've followed the case here or elsewhere, you really should read the post. And then realize Caffrey has not addressed any of the following:
- What qualifies her to say that tenure is the "...single greatest impediment to education improvement in New Jersey" when, by her own account, she has scant experience as a principal or superintendent in New Jersey schools? While I do find it interesting to hear the views of a neophyte superintendent on the issue of tenure, why should she get multiple appearances in New Jersey's largest newspaper to make the case before hundreds of more experienced administrators?
- A member of the PA school board directly contradicts the anecdotes Caffrey used to make her case in these anti-tenure pieces. Is Caffrey saying he is lying? Does she dispute his contention that publishing unconfirmed stories about her staff was bad for their morale?
- Does Caffrey feel it's appropriate for B4K - a lobbying firm that shares her views on tenure, yet has ties to Students First - to wage a public campaign on her behalf? Can she confidently say that there are no financial conflicts of interest between B4K's and/or SF's funders and the Perth Amboy schools?
- If so: does Joel Rose's New Classroom's still use Wireless Generation as a contractor? New Classrooms has a $60K contract with the Perth Amboy schools. Wireless Generation is owned by Rupert Murdoch, reportedly a funder of SF. SF and B4K have "partnered" in New Jersey. And B4K paid for Caffrey's PR campaign:
- Finally: was Tom Moran wrong when he said you want to "...end tenure, to pull it out by the roots and to spread salt over the patch of earth where this weed once grew so that nothing like it can rise in its place, ever"? What is your position now on tenure for teachers? Should they, like you, have the chance to appeal personnel decisions to a third party outside of their school district?
Because if Caffrey and her backers don't believe every teacher and principal deserves the same protections she's enjoying, well...