Who needs Zoloft? [Do you really want to know? - JJ] We've got Ed. Comm. Chris Cerf, a featured speaker at NJEA's Annual Convention this past November. (Last year, then-Ed. Comm. Rochelle Hendricks declined the invitation.) We've got NJEA Executive Director Vince Giordano telling a Star-Ledger columnist, "this label that we are the organization of 'no' I don't think is accurate. We've turned a corner. We understand our role. We want to be part of the solution." (Last year an NJEA officer sent out a memo that included a prayer for Gov. Christie's early demise.) [Emphasis mine]I really thought we were past this stupidity, but I guess this is the sort of nonsense that is destined to live on like the lie that Al Gore said he invented the internet (he never said he did). So, once again, let's go back to 2010:
I leave it to you, dear readers, to judge whether what I underlined in the third paragraph holds true today."The head of the teachers union in Bergen County sent out an email encouraging his members to pray for the death of the governor" (7:45): Let's lay this stupidity to rest once and for all. Here's the "prayer" that was sent out:"Dear Lord this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor."You would have to be the biggest moron in the world to believe this is a "prayer," and you'd have to be the biggest tool in the world to argue that this was "praying for your death." It's a stupid, tasteless, unprofessional joke that should not have been sent, but it's no more than that.
The head of the Bergen union, Joe Coppola, and NJEA President Barbara Keskishian both apologized to Christie, as well they should. But Christie has held on to this stupid little slur as an excuse to slam teachers with impunity.
What he won't accept is that HE is the governor. HE sets the tone. HE could have been the bigger man, accepted the apology, and moved on. What he chose to do instead is cling tightly to this little tiff and use it as an excuse to slam teachers and humiliate women in public. And he has no problem lying about the content or the context of this "prayer" to use it to his own ends.
The tenure reform bill, specifically the one crafted by Sen. Teresa Ruiz, has endured years of due diligence and focus groups and public hearings and collaboration with stakeholders. Yet the bill appears stalled by NJ Democrats' fear of NJEA's wrath. (NJEA has produced its own proposal for tenure reform that adds a fourth year before acquisition of lifetime job security, neglecting to include key components like accountability and tenure limits.) [emphasis mine]That's just absolutely false. Under TEACHNJ, a teacher can be judged "ineffective" and still keep her job; she loses her tenure status, but can remain in the position. NJEA's proposal forces a school to put a tenured teacher who they claim isn't doing her job through a hearing; if she's found ineffective, she's fired. NJEA's proposal is harsher on bad teachers than TEACHNJ.
Worse, as Bruce Baker points out, there is a "toxic trifecta" of arbitrary accountability measures in TEACHNJ that actually remove accountability for administration and school boards when they make poor personnel decisions.
Further, the NJEA's proposal sets "tenure limits" by capping the time for hearings and putting the cases before qualified arbitrators.
I'm not saying the NJEA proposal couldn't be improved. But it's a testament to the intellectual bankruptcy of the reformies that they won't even have an honest conversation about their proposal. The best they can manage is to keep spewing the same old zombie lies.
"NJEA doesn't want reform... NJEA prayed for Christie's death..."