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, February 15, 2012

Ed Reform: Its All About Politics

Just in case you had any doubts left:

That's the NJ Republican State Committee, going after a union official for saying something admittedly dumb. No, they aren't going after a Democrat; they're going after the head of a teachers union.

Right after the obnoxious echo chamber (life's not always fair... life's not always fair...) comes the true mendacity of the ad: that the "achievement gap" is the result of... what? Unionization? Vince Giordano? Not enough standardized testing?

As I've said, the "achievement gap" is a terrible way to judge the effectiveness of a school system. West Virginia has a tiny achievement gap and all of NJ's student groups blow the doors of their student groups: white students, black students, poor students, non-poor students. Should we demand our white, non-poor students do worse so we can close the "gap"?

The Republican party hates unions because 1) they represent middle-class working people, and 2) they are the bulk of the volunteer, GOTV forces for the Democratic party during elections. Reforminess is simply an excuse for Republicans to consolidate power.

Count on a lot more of this nonsense in the brave, new, Super-PACish future we have coming.


Dr Phrogg said...

Recent research shows that most of the achievement gap is linked to poverty. It is not the responsibility of either teachers or the union to solve that one. One school in our town stays open with volunteers during vacations, not for classes, but for food. (Volunteer union members, not greedy union members.) Otherwise the kids don't eat for a week. Feeding them properly would cost too much and the rich might not be able to afford their yacht. When the reformers solve that part of the equation, come back and see how education is doing.

Anonymous said...

This constant swift boating and demonization of Vincent Giordano is a very obvious effort to bully and intimidate the NJEA into silence. Our bully governator jumps at any opportunity, no matter how minor or trivial, to jump on the NJEA and portray it as an evil, corrupt, bloated and overpaid thuggish union. Giordano's remark was a totally inoffensive, innocuous minor bit of nothing. It did not warrant this huge overreaction by Christie and company. It's like going after a butterfly with a sledge and hammer. Christie has the bully pulpit and the right wing echo chamber (NJ 101.5, Fox News, WOR, WABC, all of hate wing radio) to magnify a mole hill into Mount Everest. The total unionization rate for this country is down to about 11.9%. The GOP and the right wingers won't be satisfied until we have a zero unionization rate.

Anonymous said...

I think it is inbounds to make the OSA (school choice issue a Democrat/Republican one as the bill is supported by literally every Republican in the Legislature, no?

Jazzman, unfortunately I think Mr. Giordano spoke from the heart in a way that came off as a complacent excuse for inaction rather than a sympathetic statement about life.

As far as politics, probably the single most vociferous voice against school choice is Democrat Ron Rice, representing an inner city Newark district. Yet Ron Rice's own son managed somehow to be attend Pingry, the state's most expensive privated high school, close to two hours away from Newark.

Wouldn't you agree that this indeed shows the Democrats' acceptance of "life is unfair"? And, by the way, for your own blogging/journalistic integrity, can you tell us how a Newark ex-cop's son goes to Pingry? Seems like maybe something more than "unfair" could be involved there, huh?

Anonymous said...

Do the Republicans really want the kids in the wealthy suburbs to achieve at the same levels as kids in Trenton? If so, vote Republican. Christie and Cerf want equality of results not opportunity. please see Cerf's memo on the achievement Gap posted not the NJDOE website.

Dan F said...

I just read the statement referred to in the post above and was surprised. I am a Republican who is married to a teacher. Her and her friends have been yapping about the Governor's desire to end public education for two years now. She asked me to read the memo and post a reply.

So, I think the NJEA and their Bloggers would be smart to make handouts of this statement. I for one, did not move to my neighborhood and do not pay the property taxes I do to get "average" tests results!

Their Damn well better be an achievement gap, I spend a great deal of time to help create it. Go ahead, call me an elitest, or a racist.
Ironically, the union guy and I agree, life is not always fair!
He has to worry about PC bullcrap, I do not.

Duke said...

Anon #2, how you managed to connect Ron Rice's son to this post is beyond me.

Dan, I actually agree with Cerf on one thing: all kids can learn and achieve. Race and economic status should have nothing to do with it.

But the notion that the teachers in Chatham and Franklin Lakes and Cherry Hill are so much better than the ones in Asbury Park and Trenton and Paterson is absurd. You moved to a place where the community and the families have the ability to provide all the necessary prerequisites for kids before they even enter the school doors.

That's where the focus should be. That's what all kids need and deserve.

Thx everyone for posting - good stuff.

Dan F said...

Sure all kids can learn. total agreement here, BUT, do you really expect schools to compensate for the advantages
That wealth brings? I do not see how it could ever happen. The advantages are too great for any school to overcome. It's noble to try, and good will come from the efforts though.
this guy Cerf sound like a communist thinker to me.

away I will go, this stuff is beyond me..

Duke said...

Dan, agreed - the schools cannot do this alone. We agree; I just cast it differently.

Thx for stopping by!