NJEA President Barbara Keshishian appeared at a Statehouse briefing early this morning and announced the formation of a new coalition to promote academic achievement in NJ’s struggling urban school districts. Flanked by Acting Commissioner Christopher Cerf, Education Law Center Executive Director David Sciarra, and E3's Derrell Bradford, Ms. Keshishian read from a prepared statement:
This new partnership – forged in a shared vision dedicated to the academic success of all students in NJ – will usher in a new era in NJ of collaboration, compromise, and honest reflection of our troubled urban school districts. In the spirit of our vision, NJEA withdraws its opposition to school choice, including the expansion of charter schools, the sharing of facilities, and to the Opportunity Scholarship Act. An unnamed source at the Department of Education confirmed recent rumors that Gov. Christie has urged the creation of a co-Commissionership of Education, one spot filled by Acting Comm. Cerf and the other by Vince Giordano, currently Executive Director of NJEA and Trustee of Education Law Center. Obstacles to the proposal include the salary cap on the co-Commissionership of $140,000; Mr. Giordano’s compensation from NJEA last year was $550,133.