Philly Teacher Union Places Seniority Above Equal Opportunity for KidsJuly 13, 2009
Quotes of the DayJuly 14, 2009
Joyce Powell, out-going NJEA president, will join the NEA’s nine-member executive committee on September 1st, reports the Gloucester County Times. The article juxtaposes Powell’s views on merit pay and charter schools with that of the Obama Administration:
Powell believes that personal teacher improvement, advanced degrees and professional development should be taken into account in determining teacher pay. But a single student test should not determine teacher achievement, she said.
Powell said she doesn’t oppose charters; however, she believes their success is sometimes attributed to, and confused with, “innovation.”
Translation: thumbs down on achievement-based compensation and charter school support.
Also today, PolitickerNJ reports on Passaic County Republican Freeholder Deborah Ciambrone, who is on the ticket under Chris Christie’s name, but was an NJEA delegate and is still a part-time consultant for the union. How does she square Christie’s “snub” of the NJEA (he declined to seek its endorsement) with her GOP creds?
Ciambrone said that when she first heard of Christie’s decision not to seek the group’s endorsement, she was “disappointed.” But her opinion changed after learning that Christie expressed willingness to sit down with the group.
“As far as seeking the endorsement, I guess I could say very frankly, what were his odds of getting it? Although NJEA does at times endorse Republicans – for example they do endorse [Assemblyman] Scott Rumana – I think realistically they are going to endorse Corzine. So if he’s willing to sit and talk with them, I am not so concerned with him going for the endorsement.”
Finally, Star-Ledger columnist (and former NJ teacher) Joseph Wardy asks, “Who would be the real ‘education’ governor: Corzine or Christie? His verdict on Corzine:
Gov. Jon Corzine seems to be the choice based on the following: He is a strong supporter of NJEA and you may feel this union serves the kids as well as its constituents.
I am not in this camp as the union places its emphasis on the latter and not the former. Case in point: defending tenured teachers who are incompetent or mediocre. I could be swayed when I see union leadership supporting five-year modified tenure. I would imagine hell would freeze over first.
And Christie? Still an unknown, according to Wardy, though one factor would be whether he would be willing to fund charter schools at the same level as traditional public schools. He concludes,
One of the questions here is observe if the candidate gives priority to the system or the kids it serves. The more our elected governor panders to the system, the more the kids lose.