Chris Cerf’s parting shot, addressed to NJ school leaders, addresses NJEA’s increasingly assertive campaign against new standardized testing, teaching evaluations, and, protestations aside, the Common Core State Standards:
I cannot say for certain why the new leadership of the NJEA has decided to engage in a deliberate campaign of misinformation. I do know that they are personally aware that their statements are false, as I have engaged them directly with the incontrovertible, publicly verifiable facts. In response, they exhibit what can only be described as reckless indifference to the truth. When the educational well being of children is at stake, the least we can expect of interest groups is a commitment to honest debate. One might also hope for a commitment to civil discourse and a pledge to avoid ad hominem attacks. The NJEA has decided at the very top of the organization to eschew these basic elements of responsible political discussion. I find that highly regrettable and, frankly, a significant change of direction from the previous leadership of the organization, with whom I personally built a strong and trusting relationship – albeit one marked by spirited disagreements.
Fortunately, the educator community and the courageous legislators who reached across the aisle to unanimously pass the TeachNJ Act see through these nakedly political antics. I have been immensely grateful to the teachers, principals and superintendents who have let me know that the hard work of the last few years is paying off, and that conversations across the state are now far more focused on quality teaching and learning than ever before.
Full letter: go to this NJ Spotlight article, which links to the file.