Here’s a sign that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is fundamentally reshaping the Garden State: He’s got teacher-union leaders sounding like, well . . . Chris Christie.Unions have outlived their usefulness, and if they wish to remain in business they're going to have to agree to requirements like they have in New Jersey. You can't blame poor education on the lack of tax money while you continue to allow bad teachers to be employed.
The gov is just days away from enacting a sweeping reform of teacher-tenure laws, which currently guarantee lifelong jobs to even the worst educators.
And Christie has managed to twist the union into quite a pretzel: Its leaders now say they support making it easier to lay off the lemons among them.
“This legislation moves us in the right direction by making it harder to earn tenure, and less expensive and time-consuming to remove teachers who are not performing well,” said union boss Barbara Keshishian.
Yes, that’s the sound of Hell freezing over.
More precisely, it’s a labor leader explaining why she’s backing a bill that zaps the system that grants 98 percent of Newark’s new teachers near-automatic tenure — and jobs for life — every year without fail.
It’s a real testament to Christie’s skill. He called out the unions last year for running a system “where you have no rewards for excellence and no consequences for failure.”
And the Senate answered, passing a bill this week that requires four years of high ratings to win tenure, and lets schools revoke tenure and possibly fire teachers who get back-to-back negative reviews.
This is something desperately needed in many states. California teachers have had far too much influence over state politics and the constant demands for more money while refusing any accountability will come back to bite them this Fall when I predict voters will reject Gov. Moonbeam's latest money grab. Reforms need to come first.