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Governor Christie Talks Teacher Tenure Changes

NEW YORK (CBS) –  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is so committed to changing tenure rules in public schools that he told a New York audience on Thursday that he has been meeting secretly with teachers to develop and sell his plan, bypassing their union in the process.

“Good teachers in our school system today don’t need a union,” Christie said at a forum sponsored by the Brookings Institute.

Christie said he wants teachers to evaluate their own using a standard split evenly between classroom performance and student achievement.

If you get three good reviews, you get tenure. If you get two bad ones, you lose it. Really bad teachers could be gone in as little as a month.

“The union will have nothing to do with developing these rules. The teachers in the individual districts will have to do it. The union will play no role,” Christie said.

Don’t tell that to the union says NJEA spokesman Steve Baker.

“Teachers and school employees are the union. The union is teachers and school employees. You can’t separate the two,” Baker responded.

Baker says he labels the Governor’s tenure reform plan, “A disaster for public education in New Jersey”.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio

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  • NJ Teacher

    I have been a teacher in the public school systems of two states, one with a union and one without. I agree that the tenure system needs to be amended but getting rid of it altogether will be a disaster, if for no other reason it will enable school districts to dismiss experienced teachers who make a higher salary for younger, unproven, inexperienced teacher for no other reason that to save money. Anyone who thinks school districts will jot do this because they are too concerned with properly educating our youth, then you haven’t actually read any of the requirements mandated by NCLB. Unions are not the all powerful evil they are being presented as, but the system in place is not perfect either. People need to put their out of control emotions in their back pockets and start working towards what will work best for teachers and, more importantly, students now and into the future.

  • john

    Good luck FAT BOY. The NJEA is like the MOB. Go after the cops in Voorhees and Medford that are making $90K a year with way better benefits. Im sure they are dodging a lot of bullets for that salary.

  • Alan Old School

    I’m okay with this. I don’t get benefits for life with my job, yet I have to pay for all of the cigarette smoking, donut eating, work nine months of the year teachers, slobby teachers?? Forget it. Go Chris Christie, get these slugs in-line to understand what it’s like for the rest of America that has been paying for this with our taxes.

    Teachers and the Unions should be embarrassed at what they’ve put their neighbors and communities through with these demands.

    • Concerned voter

      Interesting perception of teachers. Where did you go to school?

      If you actually understood what you are talking about, then you may actually influence some others to agree. Remember, those “slugs” pay the same taxes you do.

      • Alan Old School

        They pay the same taxes but reap huge dividends for much, much less work and effort. I will put my hours against any (and I say ANY) teacher in any district and I am sure they will not come close. Yet, they have benefits for life! It’s a crock! And “Concerned voter” you are a crock to think any different.

    • john

      Alan, you chose your job with the crazy hours. If its such a glamourous position with great pay, why didn’t you become a teacher? I actually agree changes need to be made. The TRUE problem however is not the teachers but the administration. Superintendents double dipping in various districts pensions. Multiple vice principals in each school. Instead of EACH district having a superintendent why not have 1 or 2 per county? Also, reform the laws for NEW teachers coming in, as they will know what they are signing up for.

  • shibby

    I am generally pro-unions and I do believe they should be involved in this process. That being said, Gov. Christie’s proposal for tenure reform is just common sense. I have a number of friends who work as teachers and bemoan how the bad apples coast by because of tenure and how some schools consider it more cost effective to keep them here rather than go through the ordeal of removing them. This reform is way overdue and will benefit the students.

  • qson

    How do I sign up for tenure in MY job? When I and my fellow employees in the private sector can obtain tenure in our jobs, perhaps then I’ll be in favor of tenure for teachers.

    Actually I don’t want tenure. Tenure is a concept which has far outlived its usefulness. The NEA and other teachers’ unions have long used tenure as a tool to resist any change they believed would reduce their power, influence, and ability to deliver Democrat votes.

    Politics first? Yes, Democrat Party politics.

    • not normal

      Yes, it is mostly Democrat Party politics which would allow the school boards to get rid of teachers who didn’t “vote right” and replace them, although I’m sure if the Republicans are in charge they wouldn’t hesitate to open up spots for their pals either. Tenure should be loosened up so it is easier to get rid of poor teachers sooner than the three years it now takes, but the reason tenure was put in was so that teaching didn’t become a polical patronage job where a political donation to the right party keeps you in no matter how lousy you are and a lack of support gets you dumped even if you’re teacher of the year.

  • APS

    What a suprise! He wants to get rid of deadwood teachers who can’t teach ! Unions protect the slugs who need to be fired! GO CHRISTIE

  • Morty The Mac Man

    So I guess Gov. Christie would say law abiding, decent citizens don’t need a Bill of Rights? Why do we need such silly things as a right to a “speedy trial” and a “right to an attorney”.?

  • Politics First

    I believe the pols have been looking for years for ways to get teachers out that don’t subscribe to the right politics and get their friends into these jobs. Eliminating tenure will do just that. Democrats in power? You’re a Republican? Out the door you go to be replaced by one of “our own”.

    • joejoe

      no reply

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