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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pick A Number, Any Number...

Noted education expert "Pitchfork" Bob Ingle has special insight into the tenure process that comes from his many, many years of study on the issue:

The NJEA stuck it thumb into the air and found public opinion is blowing the other way. So the teachers union announced a news conference on how to reform teacher tenure — before Gov. Christie gets it his way. Tenure is where after three years teachers are all but guaranteed a job for life no matter how bad they are or what they do to get into trouble. Union President Barbara Keshishian argued that national arbitrators, not administrative law judges, should decide on dismissal of tenured teachers. Taking courts out of tenure cases would lead to decisions in 60 to 90 days “at a fraction of the cost,” the union believes. That’s reform? Missed it by a country mile. It leaves tenure at three years. If there has to be tenure tenure — and there is a good argument it should be eliminated — it shouldn’t kick in for 15 years or more. The union would be wise to replace Keshishian with someone with better communications skills. She opened a news conference with a statement that went on like “War And Peace” and then in answer to a question she arrogantly proclaimed “We’re the experts here.”  No, you’re not experts. You’re an industrial style union that puts the interests of education and kids in the background while you take care of yourselves and threaten weak-kneed legislators and school board members.
Hey, Bob, here's a wacky idea: why don't you actually make that "good argument that it should be eliminated"?

But, rather that do that, Bob proclaims 15 years as the limit on tenure. This number has been pulled from the think-tank Bob seems to rely on most: The Foundation of Bob Ingle's Butt. Why 15? What evidence or logic leads Bon to this magic number? As usual, he didn't say.

I also really enjoy the swipe at Keshishian's opener - I guess it was too long (like "War and Peace" is long - get it? What an original metaphor...). Keshishian should know that pundits like Bob are not encumbered with long attention spans; it's obviously her fault if he wasn't sufficiently entertained.

Even though he's an expert, and she is not.

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