Wednesday, December 12, 2012
TEACHNJ speeds and clarifies process for removing substandard teachers, starting with one charged with disorderly conduct.
The case filed in August wasn’t much different than the typical tenure case that had been brought countless times before in New Jersey, a teacher caught on the wrong side of the law and deemed no longer fit to be in a classroom. In this one, it was an elementary school teacher in Vineland -- Mark Bringhurst -- who was caught running naked across a parking lot, an incident that ultimately landed him a conviction on a disorderly persons charge. But what made this instance exceptional is the expedited process it followed, the very first case adjudicated under New Jersey’s brand-new tenure reform law. Since the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey Act (TEACHNJ) was signed in early August, 32 tenure charges …
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Last-in, first-out seniority continues to irk Christie and Cerf, administration issues survey on subject.
For all its celebration of New Jersey’s new teacher tenure law, the Christie administration hasn’t hidden its lament for the one provision it couldn’t change: seniority protection for tenured teachers in the case of layoffs. But it hasn’t given up on building its case. In an unusual request, the state Department of Education last week sent a short survey to every district and charter school asking them about their layoffs of teachers -- technically called “reductions in force” (RIFs) -- over the past five years, and about the impact of seniority protection on their “ability to manage their personnel.” The survey will “help us determine how prevalent RIFs are, who they are affecting, and how they impact retention of effective educators,” …
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Christie’s signature on overhaul comes with teacher’s union and bipartisan support.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
By Steve Adubato [Steve Adubato, Ph.D., is the author of the new book "You Are the Brand" and an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster with WNET/PBS and the new NJTV. Visit his website at www.Stand-Deliver.com.] The easiest thing in the media is to bash and criticize government for being dysfunctional and counterproductive. If you turn on FOX News, MSNBC, or CNN any night of the week, you can see Congress getting bashed for an inability to work with the President or the White House for one screw up or another. One of the biggest reasons it is easy to criticize government is because it seems to be pretty rare when the legislative and the executive branch can come together, along with key special interest groups, and actually do something that …
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Governor says he could sign bill now, while still fighting seniority privileges.
He didn’t say he’d sign it outright, but Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday indicated he could endorse the new teacher tenure bill passed by the Legislature this week -- while fighting to end teacher seniority rights another day. Christie was asked late at a town hall meeting in a Brick middle school why he would support the bill passed by both the Senate and the Assembly this week if it retained teachers’ seniority rights, known as “last in, first out” (LIFO). The governor has long said LIFO protections in the case of layoffs needed to end in New Jersey, and the decision by Democratic leaders to preserve the rule in this bill -- under pressure from teachers unions and others -- was seen as a major compromise. In his first public comments since …
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Governor works town hall meeting, while legislators continue to work behind the scenes on two tenure reform bills.
Tenure reform, New Jersey style, took a few more twists and turns yesterday, with Gov. Chris Christie pressing the case in public while legislators and staffers continued to work in private on a couple of fronts. The Christie push came at one of his town hall meetings, this one before more than 600 people in a Haddonfield middle school. He again invoked the example of just 17 teachers facing tenure charges as ineffective in the past decade, out of more than 100,000 in the classroom. “Do we really believe there are only 17 ineffective teachers in New Jersey?” he asked the receptive audience. He has called for tenure reform to be decided in the next 19 days before the traditional summer break at the end of June. It is among his top …
Monday, June 11, 2012
Chair of Assembly’s education committee offers a competing proposal.
With a new twist coming out of the state Assembly, Democratic legislators continued last week to fine tune language and negotiate compromises in an effort to come up with a teacher tenure reform bill by the end of June. The most prominent bill has been sponsored by state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) on the Senate side, and Ruiz and the Assembly sponsor, Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex), both said yesterday they were pressing ahead to have a bill ready for vote this month. Coutinho said key amendments would be filed on Monday, including possibly those dealing with seniority rights and with the dismissal process of ineffective teachers. “There has been a lot of activity and meetings, and I believe some progress,” said Coutinho, describing…
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Assembly and Senate committees wary to move as Christie warns he will veto ‘water-downed’ bill.
The drama over a teacher tenure reform in New Jersey continues to twist and turn, as legislators jockey for position and Gov. Chris Christie makes clear his opinion, if not his precise intentions. Much of the latest guessing arose this week with the sudden postponement of education committee meetings on Monday in both the Senate and Assembly. Each were expected to take up their respective versions of bills that would revamp how teachers gain and lose tenure protections, but the committee chairmen indicated yesterday they were not quite ready to take the next step. Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), chairwoman of the state’s Senate education committee, said she was still working through the final details of her bill that is expected to be the best…
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
A critical clause in the proposed bill could mean tenure reform will not be applied retroactively.
A few critical words at the top of page 14 of the proposed tenure reform bill caused quite a stir Monday at a Senate hearing on the measure. The new rules -- which redefine how New Jersey teachers earn and keep tenure -- will not apply to "those who acquired tenure prior to the effective date" of the bill. In other words, the bill put forward by state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), the bill that has been given the best chance yet of overhauling New Jersey’s century-old tenure system, will be grandfathered in. And what of those reforms? Ruiz has reworked how new teachers would be granted and denied tenure and effectively ended the last-hired, first-fired policy. Beginning in 2014, the proposed bill mandates that teachers and administrators …