NJEA Pres: N.J.'s RTTT Proposal is a "Gimmick"

NJEA President Barbara Keshishian is telling local unions to refuse to sign off on N.J.’s Race To The Top application. She told the Star-Ledger that the proposal is “flawed in numerous areas,” and objects specifically to “provisions that tie teacher pay and evaluations to student performance and ones that could lengthen the school day in poorly-performing districts.”

Here’s the fearless leader: "We would like to have resources come into the state for education, but we can't sacrifice the ideals we believe are important for the sake of a gimmick.

The Record reports, “NJEA’s disapproval could significantly damage the state’s application for the federal grant, which seeks extensive community buy-in and requires union representatives’ signatures.”

It’s unsurprising if disappointing. RTTT requires sign-off by each district from the superintendent, the board president, and the local district’s union president. While Ed Commissioner Lucille Davy, in her impassioned plea for support yesterday, suggested that each district send in its Memorandum of Understanding even if union officials balk, it’s clear that this lack of buy-in will weaken N.J.’s odds for attaining up to $400,000,000 in aid for N.J. schoolchildren.

What ideals is Keshishian afraid of sacrificing? Lack of accountability? Power? Lack of badly-needed services for underachieving kids? NJEA leadership now puts itself in the bizarre position of advising educators to undermine education reform by refusing to collaborate with parents, children, school officials, the NJ DOE and the Obama Administration.

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