Here’s some tweets from NJEA’s twitter account, “stopthefreezenj” on the Interim Report issued by the NJ Education Effectiveness Task Force.
@GovChristie crock of BS – u r working to neuter CB legislatively and by destroying PERC
Here’s the “NJ Teacher Effectiveness Task Force” report on teacher evaluation. Unsubstantiated junk
the report proposes the most ill-informed toxic brew of policy recommendations that one can imagine. (retweet from Bruce Baker)
Did the tweeters read the report? Maybe it doesn’t matter. NJEA itself, notes the Wall Street Journal, put out a response before the report was issued. (Read today’s NJ Spotlight for a balanced appraisal.) Indeed, the coordinated attacks – on a report that turns out to be far more moderate and measured than originally anticipated – aren’t about the report itself but on what the union correctly views as a power grab.
I’m no unabashed Peggy Noonan fan, but she’s good a really good column today on a “terrible mistake” that NJEA leaders made during the throes of last year’s budget crisis. The mistake? They chose to ignore the fact that the costs for pensions and benefits for state workers is “an astounding $100 billion…money the state literally does not have and cannot get. The very force of the math has the heartening effect of squeezing ideology right out of the story. It doesn’t matter if you’re a liberal or a conservative, it’s all about the numbers, and numbers are sobering things.”
This calculated decision to ignore NJ’s inability to manage the debt backfired, says Noonan, as did the refusal to accept a salary freeze for one year.
They didn’t kill [Christie], they made him. Chris Christie is a national figure now because the teachers union decided, in an epic political drama in which arithmetic is the predominant fact, to ignore the math. They also decided to play the wrong role in the drama.
The knee-jerk reaction to the Task Force’s plan, which includes gradual implementation, stakeholder participation (including NJEA), necessary investments in the DOE’s data system, and a small pilot before going statewide, is just more of the same. It keeps the union’s leaders performing the wrong role in a drama that has a specific and defined arc: teacher evaluations are going to begin to be based, in part, on student growth.
NJEA’s leaders would serve its members better if they started to do the math.
Correction: The facebook site “NJ Teachers United Against Chris Christie’s Pay Freeze” is not hosted by NJEA.
Stop the Freeze NJ is not the official NJEA Twitter Site and is not endorsed, sponsored, or written by NJEA.
Peggy Noonan on the situation facing the Governor last year: “State and local taxes were already high, so that if he raised them he'd send people racing out of the state.”
Don't let the facts get in the way, Peggy:
(1) By killing our property tax rebates, Christie triggered one of the largest tax increases in NJ history; and
(2) When he refused to impose an income tax surcharge on high earners, the Governor ignored NY's move to enact its own surcharge, thereby creating a dollar-for-dollar deduction on the NJ tax returns of Wall Streeters living in NJ (sorry, Chris, they didn't leave!). The net effect was to FURTHER REDUCE our receipts below previously projected levels.
This is “money the state literally does not have and cannot get” only because the state doesn't have enough collective common sense to do so.
See here: http://njleftbehind.blogspot.com/2010/02/njea-goes-viral.html
Laura, are you saying that because Steve Wollmer is a “fan,” the page is the NJEA's page?
Because that's absurd on its face.
Further, look at the comments on the link you gave: both Wollmer and the person who started the page say it is NOT NJEA sanctioned.
You owe a correction here.
Let's compromise: I know it's sanctioned by NJEA, but you're right that's it's not written or hosted by them. I'll make the correction. Thanks both for reading and for your persistence!
Laura, whether or not it is “sanctioned by NJEA” (meaning that NJEA likes what it says), is IRRELEVANT. You stated that it is “NJEA's Twitter account” (meanig that NJEA RUNS it). That is an out-and-out FALSEHOOD.
You need to publicly admit that you were wrong on that point, and not prevaricate about it by playing word games (like saying NJEA “sanctions” it). Just come out and say simply, “Stop the Freeze NJ is not sponsored, written, or endorsed by NJEA. In claiming that it was, I was wrong.”