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

Friday, July 20, 2012

For the Record: Cerf Is AGAINST Publishing Teacher Evals

I feel like I need to get this on the record right now:

Over the past couple of days, the press is suddenly interested in whether or not New Jersey's teacher evaluations will be published publicly (see stories here, here, here). I'd first point out that all of this really traces back to a single story, co-written for Gannett by two reporters, that's made it's way to a variety of outlets; such is the media world we live in that a single piece can take up such bandwidth.

I'd also like to remind everyone that the reviews of the release of teacher evaluations in Los Angeles and New York City have been worse than the reviews for Adam Sandler's last few movies. Even Andrew Cuomo pulled back on revealing teacher ratings to the public, and he's as reformy as it gets.

But there's one other important point to be made that the Gannett story left out: ACTING NJDOE Commissioner Cerf is already on the record opposing the release of teacher evaluations:
Yesterday, acting education commissioner Chris Cerf tried to quell worries and said he would be against public disclosure of individual teachers' scores.
"I don't believe in that," Cerf said in an interview last night. "It is counterproductive, and I believe it is not something we should put out. And especially putting that out in isolation, it's against everything we want to do."
When pressed whether any ratings for individual teachers would ever be made public by the Christie administration, Cerf was reluctant to promise but said he would be against it. And he didn't rule out the courts potentially intervening.
"That's not my inclination," he said. "Based on what I know now, I wouldn't." [emphasis mine]
If Chris Christie conditionally vetoes this part of the Ruiz tenure bill, he will be flying in the face of the specific recommendation of his own ACTING Commissioner.

I wouldn't put anything past Christie at this point, but it would be pretty remarkable to see him cut the legs out under his own man just to stick it to the unions.


mikedad97 said...

Didn't he make the same comment when the discussion was about NYC teachers? He was the one who initiated collecting the data, right?

Karen Foster said...

I say we give Christie and Cerf performance evaluations and publish them.
The NJ 101.5 goons are preaching about publicizing the results but they are missing the whole point that they are too inaccurate to have any merit.

mikedad97 said...

what results? we have districts doing PILOT programs to see if it works BEFORE it's rolled out. Those guys just raise my blood pressure.

probably C students somewhere who cut school to go to the movies. like I did.

Duke said...

Mike, he sure did. Bloomberg had always wanted them released, and what the Generalissimo wants, he gets.

I can't speak to differences in public employee law between NY and NJ as to whether the courts would say any ratings like these would be exempt from OPRA in this state. But if you make the ratings, someone is going to try to get them - this will almost certainly wind up in court at some point no matter what.

Karen, 101.5 became far more palatable when they finally fired the odious Casey Bartholomew. But Gearhart has proven over and over he really doesn't get eduction policy at all.

And I never hear anyone from NJEA or ELC or any group that doesn't follow the reformy line on that station. Hey, if they want me to do a weekend show, I'll talk to them - Im cheap!

Thx for commenting, both of you.