Christie: “We may have to fire lousy teachers”

posted at 12:55 pm on September 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Chris Christie continues his drive for reform in education by releasing a tough new plan aimed at wresting control of schools away from unions and giving it back to the parents. The CBS affiliate in New York calls this a “tough love” approach, but that’s perhaps underselling it a bit. Christie wants to test the teachers to ensure that they comprehend the core skills in math and reading that they are expected to teach, and to rid the schools of those who don’t make the cut. The reason? Poor teachers hurt children, Christie explains:

Determined to turn New Jersey’s education system on its head, Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday unveiled a tough-love reform package that will make classroom achievement — not seniority or tenure — the basis for pay hikes and career advancement in Garden State public schools.

Christie is turning his take-no-prisoner’s style to the classroom, demanding a top to bottom overhaul of how New Jersey students learn and teachers teach. And that means undoing tenure, seniority and other union work rules.

“We cannot wait. Your children are sitting in these classrooms today. We cannot wait to make it better,” Christie told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Unqualified teachers will feel the lash. The governor is demanding that teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade actually pass tests in reading and math in order to be certified.

“It might lead to the firing of lousy teachers and bad principals who hurt our children,” Christie said.

Union control of government policy and funds could become the biggest domestic policy issue in the nation, especially in states with pension bombs exploding and out-of-control spending. While the focus in federal circles will remain on Congress, in the states the battles will look precisely like this. For more on that, be sure to read Mike Antonucci’s Green Room post on unions and the Census, as well as Veronique de Rugy’s warning at The Corner that the next crisis will come from the states. That could be avoided — if more governors demand action as Christie has done in New Jersey.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Gov Christie, please come to California.

Sincerely,
California.

MikeknaJ on September 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Ye gods that man is sexy.

Sarjex on September 29, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Christie: “We may have to fire lousy teachers”

May? We MAY have to fire lousy teachers?

FlameWarrior on September 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM

I don’t think Christie is going to be popular with the unions after this.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Christie: “We may have to fire lousy teachers”

.
May, Governor? No sir; must.

LincolntheHun on September 29, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Down here in Texas, they’ll need to start by making sure teachers speak English. How the hell can they even teach reading and math if they don’t understand the language?

Doughboy on September 29, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Christie wants to test the teachers to ensure that they comprehend the core skills in math and reading that they are expected to teach, and to rid the schools of those who don’t make the cut. The reason? Poor teachers hurt children, Christie explains:

Gee – what a novel idea! That anyone would have an issue with this is truly mind-boggling.

thevastlane on September 29, 2010 at 1:00 PM

The qualified teachers that do an excellent job should welcome this. Something tells me they wont.

DeweyWins on September 29, 2010 at 1:01 PM

If the Dept. of Education is retained under the next Republican administration, then Christie may be the logical choice to head it.

teke184 on September 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Repeal 1824, and the Western world would go a long way to solving its fiscal problems.

OldEnglish on September 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Which teacher will draw the short straw and have to confront Christie about this change in policy?

WashJeff on September 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM

He should pick up Michelle Rhee from DC to run the show up there if she is dismissed from her position after the election there. That would send the clearest message…

Jussi on September 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM

We also need full parental accountability. School should NOT be considered ‘free’ day-care with free meals either.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:04 PM

The CBS video at 1:04 has “grant tenor” instead of tenure. The CBS employee probably graduated from a New Jersey public school.

scrubjay on September 29, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Extremist!

The Mega Independent on September 29, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Normal behavior for a private business is revolutionary thought in the public sector.

Cicero43 on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Sounds great to me anything that brings back even the hint of merit in the ranks of the unions would be a good start.

fourdeucer on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I’d like to see the parents tested for English, and Math skills too.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

the teacher’s union made this bed. They wouldn’t contribute 1%.. 1 stinkin percent.. to their benefits in the middle of a recession. That audacity was enough to turn liberal heads to join the conservatives who were already informed

Now with the public on his side Christie is ready to deliver some body blows.

tflst5 on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Doughboy@1:00,
Because here in TX there are 1 in 3 illegal alien kids in the schools here and they do not speak English! I would just love not to have my school taxes go to pay non-English speaking teachers!
L

letget on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

There’s something that needs to be done, and not only about the teachers. My wife is a teacher, and she deals with paperwork and bureaucracy every day. She loves dealing with the kids–the federal paperwork? Not so much.

Vanceone on September 29, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Somebody has to lead and you know it will never be a Democrat.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if public education stopped being a joke?

Extrafishy on September 29, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Christie: “We may have to fire lousy teachers”
May? We MAY have to fire lousy teachers?

FlameWarrior on September 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Don’t worry, the MAY is a big enough heresy with the teachers unions as it is.

CDeb on September 29, 2010 at 1:07 PM

I’d like to see the parents tested for English, and Math skills too.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

What would you define as criteria and what would you propose for those parents who don’t meet or exceed them?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:07 PM

The very best thing you can do for your children is to get them out of the public school system. If you can’t or won’t do that, then work on getting those damn unions busted. NOTHING will be accomplished while they are in power.

Lizzy on September 29, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Tenor? Don’t they mean ‘tenure?’ Somebody at the local news station is a product of the NJ school system…

oddjob1138 on September 29, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Require mandatory Drug testing of all State Certified Teachers.

You’d lose 1/4 of them instantly.

Than go weed out the old tenured cronies and you’d lose a 1/3 of the remaining 3/4.

portlandon on September 29, 2010 at 1:09 PM

The CBS video at 1:04 has “grant tenor” instead of tenure. The CBS employee probably graduated from a New Jersey public school.

Stuck out like a sore thumb. Hilarious.

rickyricardo on September 29, 2010 at 1:10 PM

HA! Love how the graphic says “Give tenor…” instead of tenure. The news crew must have been taught by a lousy teacher with tenor…er…tenure.

miConsevative on September 29, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Christie wants to test the teachers to ensure that they comprehend the core skills in math and reading that they are expected to teach, and to rid the schools of those who don’t make the cut. The reason? Poor teachers hurt children, Christie explains:

Gee after 4 years of college , does he really expect them to know basic math and reading. What we need is a gov. program that pays the teachers to take courses teaching them these basic skills.

I know nothing about teaching so I will head the program for 250k per year, plus expenses .

BruceB on September 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Doh! You just barely beat me to it Ricky.

miConsevative on September 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Doughboy@1:00,
Because here in TX there are 1 in 3 illegal alien kids in the schools here and they do not speak English! I would just love not to have my school taxes go to pay non-English speaking teachers!
L

letget on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

The DOE should not allow any classes in federally-funded schools that are segregated by race or religion or native language. No more La Raza studies for Mexican students, no more Black History for black students.

slickwillie2001 on September 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM

portlandon on September 29, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Sounds almost like age discrimination. No tenured teacher has decades of experience and value to add to the education process? Surely that is not what you mean?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM

What would you define as criteria and what would you propose for those parents who don’t meet or exceed them?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:07 PM

How about, ‘Are you smarter then a 5th grader ?’

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Sory… then-than

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:14 PM

RACIST!

Good Lt on September 29, 2010 at 1:15 PM

How about, ‘Are you smarter then a 5th grader ?’

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Sory… then-than

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Er what punishment do you suggest for those who cannot pass the standard?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM

No more La Raza studies for Mexican students, no more Black History for black students.

slickwillie2001 on September 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM

I have no problem with these as electives in H.S. just, no credit as a core curriculum.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Lousy Teachers
===============

Purge those,them,and they that are more into ramming
politics,social activism,hateing America down the throats
of the children,under the illusion of higher education!

Besides,getting rid of the bad apples,it would mean that
those teachers can now dedicate “Activism” full time,inste
ad of part time within the classroom,and eliminate this pr
oblem!!

“Exhibit A”
==============

N.C. School teacher browbeats student over being a McCain supporter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDEAYgm0Dv8

canopfor on September 29, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Er what punishment do you suggest for those who cannot pass the standard?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Adult Ed ? Or, do you prefer parents NOT speaking English ? I can’t tell from your posts.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Before the nay sayers get going, he said he wanted a common sense path to citizenship. He did NOT say a path to citizenship for illegals. (I assumed he meant reforming our system that governs legal immigration — which is broken, not amnesty.) And under our laws of federalism, gun control is going to look different in every state. A state cannot outlaw ownership totally, but it can be more restrictive from state to state. If any state needs more restrictive gun control, it is a densely populated rather urban state like NJ. Relax Bubba, he is not going to grab your gun. What is prudent in NJ is not necessarily needed in Texas.

BTW unless we find a strong leader such as Christie capable of making the tough decisions and explaining them in a frank way to the general population, and willing to butt heads with DEMs unions and the media and in the process makes them look bad instead of himself, then the economy is going to crater and you will not have a job and not be able to afford more guns or ammunition for the guns you have.

We need Christie in 2012.

tommylotto on September 29, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Because here in TX there are 1 in 3 illegal alien kids in the schools here and they do not speak English! I would just love not to have my school taxes go to pay non-English speaking teachers!
L

letget on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Hey, come to my tiny little rural town here in CT. We had to hire 3 Chinese speaking teachers, thanks to the Casinos employees and their kids. That’s money we ain’t got.

Johnnyreb on September 29, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Adult Ed ? Or, do you prefer parents NOT speaking English ? I can’t tell from your posts.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Proper sentence is Do you prefer parents that cannot speak English.

But I digress – you still haven’t specified a standard level or punishment (can’t use taxpayer money now).

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:20 PM

You see Bradky: I think it is better for parents to have at least minimal education in this country. Asking them to learn English is not cruelty.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:20 PM

But he’s fat!

Chuck Schick on September 29, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Sorry, Bradky: I don’t have solutions to this problem but, I also think adults need a minimal level of education to prevent Idiocracy from being a reality.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

You see Jeff2161 you are botching several grammatical/structural rules in some of your posts. Is that the baseline you suggest? You still haven’t answered my questions; What criteria? What punishments?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Sounds almost like age discrimination. No tenured teacher has decades of experience and value to add to the education process? Surely that is not what you mean?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Thats exactly what I mean. My wife is a teacher. Has been for 3 years. She sees great, young teachers get laid off in order to keep the old, lazy, out dated, burned out 30 year teachers who hate teaching, and are just waiting to retire and mooch off the Oregon PERS retirement system. Then once they retire they get rehired as consultants, or assistants and “double dip” the system.

There are great Older teachers. But the number of burned out, moochers outnumber them heavily.

portlandon on September 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

God, this man is awesome.

esnap on September 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

I don’t think Christie is going to be popular with the unions after this.
Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Christie isn’t popular with the unions now.

joejm65 on September 29, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Mancrush?

rightside on September 29, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Then fire the people who hired them.

Ronnie on September 29, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Knowledge is only one part of it. The teachers who do not care one bit about ALL kids need to be fired. I think though to do this tenure would be the issue.
Let me give you a real life example. A teacher has a regular ed class with one girl in a wheelchair. Totally wheelchair bound lower cognitive skills than your average kid. The class left to go to the library and at that time an aide was supposed to pick up the girl for something else, for whatever reason the aide didn’t show up. The teacher and every other student vacated the room and left the girl in the middle of the room in her wheelchair. When the principal was told, the principal shot the messenger by saying that was her best teacher and to let the matter drop.
Knowledge may not be the biggest problem.

ORconservative on September 29, 2010 at 1:26 PM

We need Christie in 2012.

tommylotto on September 29, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Sorry…he knows we need him in NJ more right now.

NJ Red on September 29, 2010 at 1:26 PM

portlandon on September 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Okay, makes sense if you subscribe to the belief that younger people have all the answers and their criticisms of those older than them should be taken as absolute fact. Only problem is that we all get old someday.
Define a reasonable criteria to fairly identify the ones you feel are incompetent and I can buy into that. Just target older teachers as mostly moochers is grandstanding.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

The reason? Poor teachers hurt children, Christie explains

let alone poor governors.

sesquipedalian on September 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Can we also fire the idiot who put up the graphic spelling “tenure” as tenor?

ktrush on September 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM

You see Jeff2161 you are botching several grammatical/structural rules in some of your posts. Is that the baseline you suggest? You still haven’t answered my questions; What criteria? What punishments?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Are you a tenured teacher?

NJ Red on September 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM

let alone poor governors.

sesquipedalian on September 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM

BITE ME LOSER.

NJ Red on September 29, 2010 at 1:29 PM

CBS 2 used “tenor” in the graphic instead of “tenure”.

Hehehehe, Hey, wait a second! Why are we even talking about giving anybody tenure?

forest on September 29, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Sorry, Bradky: I don’t have solutions to this problem but, I also think adults need a minimal level of education to prevent Idiocracy from being a reality.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

This is America. Never gonna happen. Nor should it. Last thing I want is the government trying to dictate (more) who is and is not qualified to be a parent.

And just because you have a certain level of education does not mean you will be a better or worse parent. I know a ton of parents who are great but are not the brightest minds in the business. Likewise, there are tons of parents who are highly educated and wealthy who are terrible as actual parents.

MikeknaJ on September 29, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Yes. More. Faster.

WisCon on September 29, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I don’t think Christie is going to be popular with the unions after this.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM

I don’t think he’s ever been popular with the unions.

I used to be a substitute teacher for deaf children. I once taught a class of 7th grade deaf kids who were reading Cat In The Hat as their English Course.

Sad.

Conservative Samizdat on September 29, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I have absolutely no problem with our trachers being held accountable for being competent in subject matter, regardless of any lenght of experience. They also need the ability to work with children and make learning interesting.

However it seems a tad hypocritical to blame only the teachers for kids not learning. Too many children come to school unprepared & unmotivated to do the work. They comes with the social baggage of disfunctional families, poverty, parents who don’t care, and communities who don’t value education & individual responsibility. Teachers are expected to not only teach but address every personal shortfall an individual child has while trying to educate the rest of the class, regardless of English defeiciencies, or even cognitive ability.

In NJ we have thrown major dollars at a few urban schools and gotten little for it other than the cry for more. Too many of those schools are run like fiefdoms of greed and corruption by crooked administrators

katiejane on September 29, 2010 at 1:34 PM

portlandon on September 29, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Sounds almost like age discrimination. No tenured teacher has decades of experience and value to add to the education process? Surely that is not what you mean?
Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM

It seems that you’re assuming that ‘decades of experience’ means the teacher is competent. Under the current system, there is no measurement for a teacher’s competence. It wouldn’t he the least bit shocking to see teachers with ‘decades of experience’ getting the ax because they’re not qualified to teach.

joejm65 on September 29, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Mancrush?

rightside on September 29, 2010 at 1:25 PM

If having a mancrush on Christie is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

wearyman on September 29, 2010 at 1:35 PM

trachers = teachers

katiejane on September 29, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Normal behavior for a private business is revolutionary thought in the public sector.

Cicero43 on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

This is so true; I deal with the consequences of it every day. Similarly, if most public sector organizations were private businesses they would have disappeared decades ago. It is unbelievable what they get away with since they operate on the public, not the private dime.

Missy on September 29, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Great balls of fire, or of steel ! Christie finally has the cojones to do what NJ parents have been screaming for years–test teachers for competence, and fire the incompetent ones!

I grew up in NJ, and my mother was a teacher there for many years, starting in elementary school, later teaching high school English and literature, although she was also qualified to teach math.

She never stopped complaining about teachers who couldn’t spell or write a grammatically correct sentence trying to grade students’ essays, but whom nobody dared fire because they had tenure after three years, while the NJEA (the state version of the NEA) was preoccupied with urgent concerns like teaching kids to put condoms on bananas and tolerance of Heather’s two mommies. Meanwhile, in the smoke-filled teacher’s room, everybody back-slapped each other on the wonderful job they were doing, while very few high-school graduates went on to college. This went on from the mid-60′s at least until my Mom retired in 1989, with the reputation as the toughest English teacher in high school.

What Christie is proposing is LONG overdue, and probably doesn’t go far enough, but it’s a great start, and takes a ton of political courage, ESPECIALLY in New Jersey! Maybe the way to “leave no child behind” is to leave a few TEACHERS behind!

By my calculations, today’s 5th graders will graduate high school in 2018. Who wants to bet on a sudden increase in New Jersey SAT scores starting that year?

Give this country 50 Chris Christies (one for each state), and we’ll have the best education system in the world!

Steve Z on September 29, 2010 at 1:37 PM

It seems that Bradky has little concern about parents being illiterate and innumerate. We, as a society, can not afford a class of citizens with no skills. Dual language education was meant as a temporary assist. Here in Phoenix, many young people can’t speak even minimal levels of English. Their parents are worse. The ‘Pulp Fiction’ quote was on the money. “English, mf, do you speak it ? “

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Too bad we can’t fire absent parents.

Grow Fins on September 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Define a reasonable criteria to fairly identify the ones you feel are incompetent and I can buy into that. Just target older teachers as mostly moochers is grandstanding.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

1.Display that the Teacher understands and comprehends what they are teaching. (You’d be surprised how many teachers don’t even understand what they are teaching)

2.Uses a variety of Teaching Styles that reflects Modern methods and criteria. (This is not your Grandfathers Classroom, so the teaching style shouldn’t be either)

3.Teachers should have the ability to be versatile and change the grades they teach. ( Many Tenured teachers get into their comfort zone in a certain grade and put the class on “auto-pilot” and just go threw the motions. The Tenured teacher aren’t inspired to do new things because they are as bored as the student. Mix it up so the educator will be kept on their toes.)

portlandon on September 29, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Too bad we can’t fire absent parents.

Grow Fins on September 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM

The Absent Parents want the Teachers to raise their children. Didn’t you know?

portlandon on September 29, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Determined to turn New Jersey’s education system on its head,

You mean rewarding hard work and getting rid of the slackers.

You know, a crazy idea like that

….Just might work….

Chip on September 29, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Too bad we can’t fire absent parents.
Grow Fins on September 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Too bad we can’t fire a government that encourages absent parents.

Chip on September 29, 2010 at 1:42 PM

MikeknaJ on September 29, 2010 at 1:32 PM

So your against having to speak English and do simple addition/subtraction ? This will help our country how ? Compulsory education in this country for almost a century and, the thought that adults have 5th grade skills as a result is tyranny ? More of an indictment of teachers here as well.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:43 PM

As an NJ voter and taxpayer of ridiculously high property taxes, go for it. A friend of mine was an aide in a classroom for a 7th grade teacher who didn’t know how to do basic multiplication.

Beaglemom on September 29, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Good grief, is that guy nuts? Asking teachers to prove they have the skills necessary to teach our children? Snort. Of course I’m being sarcastic, but I think teachers in a lot of states are already required to do so many hours per year training in their field. I’m sure there are some awful teachers out there just like there are bad cops, but asking the whole lot of them to prove they can read and write is a bit insulting. I mean, they did go to college and a lot of them eve have a master’s degree.

scalleywag on September 29, 2010 at 1:49 PM

“May? We MAY have to fire lousy teachers?”

Have you ever tried to fire an incompetent member of a public employee union? It is nearly impossible. You can remove them from the school, but you will probably still have to pay them.

crosspatch on September 29, 2010 at 1:52 PM

I mean, they did go to college and a lot of them eve have a master’s degree.

scalleywag on September 29, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Most of that ‘training’ must be ineffective. I had the same teacher in HS my mom had. Her old notes followed his coursework exactly after 2 decades.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM

MikeknaJ on September 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Co-signed by me.

FontanaConservative on September 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Well maybe it’s not a requirement in every state, but in Texas school systems teachers are required to spend the first week before classes at continuing education/professional development. Every year. You don’t just get a teaching job and sit back with a job for life, you train consistently.

scalleywag on September 29, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Teaching is also the only field I know of where there’s a possibility of having your student loans forgiven after 5 years on the job.

scalleywag on September 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Er what punishment do you suggest for those who cannot pass the standard?

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM

As with all circumstances of this type,
a) Probation/remediation, and, if that doesn’t work
b) Termination

I know first hand, having been a TA for a course entitled “Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers” at the UOP School of Education in the 1970′s, that there are elementary teachers out there who do not have the mathematical skills they themselves are supposed to impart to their students. What they had was, according to the Teacher Corps, the skin color to be a role model — having the actual skills associated with the subjects they would teach were secondary. I would say that 30% of my students fell into that category — no matter how many hours I spent with them, they didn’t “get it”. No ability to do long division, no geometric abilities, and, for some, no ability to add, subtract, or multiply even using the tools that they would be using with their students. My professor (from the Mathematics Department) was ordered by the supervising professor (from the School of Education) to pass these people. Like the schools, they experienced social promotion.

So, if you wonder why minorities are getting screwed up educations, look no further than the nearest liberal professor at your School of Education.

That said, I’ve had a big problem with the concept that elementary school teachers need to be proficient in many subjects — most of the 30% I mentioned had very good speaking and writing skills, but those were not what I was supposed to help them with — it was mathematics, the final one of the “three R’s”. I think elementary school should be run like a high school, in which teachers well versed in a particular subject matter rotate through the classroom.

unclesmrgol on September 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

The qualified teachers that do an excellent job should welcome this. Something tells me they wont be allowed to.

DeweyWins on September 29, 2010 at 1:01 PM

FIFY

tommer74 on September 29, 2010 at 2:21 PM

I’d like to see the parents tested for English, and Math skills too.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

If they fail, would they lose their parent paychecks? Their parent pensions? What foolishness.

theCork on September 29, 2010 at 2:21 PM

I have no problem with these as electives in H.S. just, no credit as a core curriculum.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I doubt that would happen. Too many crybabies will complain about rascism and how their race/color is under appreciated.

meMC on September 29, 2010 at 2:24 PM

I’d like to see the parents tested for English, and Math skills too.

Jeff2161 on September 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I think the bare minimum is for parents to have the ability to fake that they give a damn about their kids’ education.

meMC on September 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Christie in 2012
or I will move to NJ!!!

msjake on September 29, 2010 at 2:34 PM

All you really need to know about the NEA: Their membership dues are paid by teachers, not pupils

So guess who they lobby to protect at all costs….

tom on September 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM

I love me some fat Reagan!!!!!!!!

Sugar Land on September 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM

IIRC, when Arkansas instituted competency testing for teachers more than 20 years ago, a significant percentage of newly-graduated teachers left the state and got jobs elsewhere to avoid taking the test. Perhaps they all went to New Jersey?

Owen Glendower on September 29, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Man crush.

Bruno Strozek on September 29, 2010 at 3:08 PM

If Christie pulls this off, he becomes a god in my pantheon.

burt on September 29, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Canada has room for a couple of boatloads of you – come to Canada as a refugee – you’ll get in with immediate benefits even our taxpaying senior citizens don’t enjoy, or are entitled to. . . .

karra on September 29, 2010 at 3:21 PM

He should pick up Michelle Rhee from DC to run the show up there if she is dismissed from her position after the election there. That would send the clearest message…

Jussi on September 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Damn right. She is awesome.

The voters in the minority districts of DC voted overwhelmingly against Mayor Adrian Fenty primarily because Ms. Rhee had the temerity to fire a bunch of bad teachers who happened to be black. For at least 40 years, the D.C. government and school system have been considered primarily employment agencies rather than agencies that are actually supposed to deliver services and a good education. I suspect the same is true for many New Jersey school districts.

rockmom on September 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Silly Governor, schools aren’t for kids! They’re for grownups.

hawksruleva on September 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM

I’m sure there are some awful teachers out there just like there are bad cops, but asking the whole lot of them to prove they can read and write is a bit insulting. I mean, they did go to college and a lot of them eve have a master’s degree.

scalleywag on September 29, 2010 at 1:49 PM

You don’t know anyone who skated through college without learning anything? I do. If the teachers are qualified, then they’ll ace the tests, and the teachers union can crow about it. If they fail the tests, then they need to be trained up or, if that fails, fired.

hawksruleva on September 29, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Comment pages: 1 2