NJEA & Christie: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

NJ Spotlight looks today at “the state of relations between Christie and NJEA: “It's not exactly warm and fuzzy, but the thaw is unmistakable – at least where this potentially contentious plan is concerned.”

Kudos to both sides: the context of this thaw is a softening of NJEA’s resistance to using student achievement as part of a teacher’s evaluation. And Gov. Christie and Ed. Comm. Cerf have been far clearer lately that test scores can only represent a portion of a teacher’s effectiveness and, in fact, for some staff test scores are inappropriate as a metric.

In addition, Comm. Cerf will speak at this November’s NJEA Convention. Last year Acting Comm. Rochelle Hendricks was a no-show.

On the other hand, there’s Colts Neck, a small, wealthy suburb in Monmouth, where the Interim Superintendent has announced that the three Back-To-School Nights are cancelled because the NJEA chapter there is boycotting the events in protest of an unresolved contract. Here’s part of the letter from Interim John Paredes:

I share extreme disappointment together with the Board of Education in the Association’s decision to direct its members not to attend these evening festivities. Even in years when the Association and the Board had not reached agreement on a new contract, the teachers have always attended the Back-To-School night events. Despite this past practice, the Association has decided to boycott the opportunity to meet you and discuss your child’s upcoming school year.

I also want to let you know that the Board of Education and I expended numerous hours in an attempt to make Back-To-School night a reality. Our last meeting with the Association on Tuesday lasted almost two hours and culminated in what we believed was a successful and mutual resolution to the concerns expressed by the union membership. It is unfortunate that, given the opportunity, the Association membership decided not to even entertain the collaborative resolution that was reached by its elected representatives.

Also, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, who represents Colts Neck, has issued a press release in which she urged “the township’s teachers to reconsider their union’s self-destructing stance.”

Labels: , , ,