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, May 16, 2012

Perth Amboy Follies Update

The saga of anti-tenure-for-teachers-but-pro-due-process-for-herself Janine Caffrey and the BOE of Perth Amboy continues. When last we left, Caffrey had been reinstated as the superintendent by ACTING NJDOE Commissioner Cerf, despite the board's vote to remove her. And Cerf has retained the right to act as the final arbiter in this matter, despite the fact that it's clear the board doesn't want her.

Now, it appears that the teachers would also like her to pack her bags. From the local union's website:
As many readers know, Perth Amboy has become embroiled in a political struggle between the Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Janine Walker Caffrey. We will not comment on the various accusations being made by the respective parties. Our role is to educate and care for children through the service of our members, not to be drawn into political squabbles. We must report, however, based on a poll of our leadership cadre, that a vast majority of those leaders, 73% of poll respondents, expressed a loss of faith, trust and confidence in Dr. Caffrey. How can anyone really lead in the absence of such crucial elements? We were the organization, on the heels of her November op-ed, urging her to consider the damage she inflicted, to heal the wounds she had caused and work to regain the staff’s trust. There was still time to do it then. We hoped to see that she could do it and really wanted to, knowing that to have any chance at redemption she needed to. Sadly, that did not happen.
Though the Federation had an advisory role, as a community stakeholder, in the selection of Dr. Caffrey’s immediate predecessors, John M. Rodecker and Dr. Pablo Clausell, we had no such role in the selection of Mr. Rodecker’s successor. Had that opportunity existed, we would have had the opportunity to offer our vision for what we thought the District’s needs actually were. Those needs are, in my view, more acute now than they were just 10 months ago. Perth Amboy has sadly regressed from being a District in Progress to a District in Crisis. In the midst of all the drama, with daily media reports and people taking sides and keeping score, our members focused on their first priority: taking care of 10,000 kids. While state testing was going on as the Superintendent was put out on leave, our members went to work as they always do. When she was reinstated, there were some who wanted us to picket, to protest, to wear buttons or union colors and to become part of the escalating fray. Our members needed to be the adults in the room. That’s what they do --- every day. [emphasis mine]
Hey Tom Moran - did you catch that? When you crowned Caffrey the Queen of Gutting Tenure in your Star-Ledger op-ed pages, it actually had an effect - a negative one. Maybe it wasn't such a great thing for you to reprint uncorroborated stories about drunk teachers on Caffrey's word alone; maybe you should have talked to some of the stakeholders who directly contradict Caffrey's story.

Unfortunately, Tom is always ready to expect the worse from teachers unions:
This is a cautionary tale about how politics can derail school reform. Because when you try to change the way schools do business, it upsets the adults every time.
Some of that is based on old-school greed. Teachers unions, for example, generally want sturdy raises every year and no accountability. Some of it is genuine, based on skepticism about charter schools or tenure reform. Some, especially in Newark, is rooted in suspicion of outside influences.
Nice. That's the reward you get for being the "adult in the room" these days.

No matter what, at least the PA teachers union can hold their heads high and say they acted better than any other party involved in this mess.

1 comment:

upset dad said...

Duke-come to a BOE meeting or watch the re-runs PATV 34 and see the BOE in action, thier rantings may change your view slightly. Hypocrisy goes both ways.