Monday, April 22, 2013

Randi Sellout Tour Coming to Fruition in Newark

if you can't trust these people with the budget, how are you going to trust them with teacher pay? Too many details were left to be ironed out later. Well, now it's later. And NJDOE is unveiling a teacher evaluation system so illogical, innumerate, deceptive, ill-informed, and frankly bizarre that the prospect of a fair merit pay system looks increasingly remote.

One of our fave bloggers, Jersey Jazzman, who followed the Newark contract talks in depth on his blog, gives us the latest update, which he translates into: NJ's new teacher evaluation system: Operation Hindenberg

Joe Del Grosso joins a long line of local leaders from Detroit, Hartford, Washington DC in allowing Randi in the room during negotiations, something our pals in Chicago were sure to avoid. Excuse my poor excuse for photoshopping the addition to Dave Bellel's great graphic.





 Buyer's Remorse in Newark
The head of the Newark Teachers Union, Joe Del Grosso, is not very happy these days
Six months since Newark and its teachers union agreed to a historic new contract, the president of the NTU has publicly blasted Superintendent Cami Anderson over the district's finances. 
“I am writing to you about a serious problem that has persisted in the state-operated district of Newark,” wrote Joseph Del Grosso, president of the Newark Teachers Union, in a stinging letter to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Schools on Friday. 
Since we came to an agreement on a contract for the teachers, aides, and clerks, we have experienced very serious and disturbing problems regarding the finances of Newark Public Schools,” the letter read. 
Calling for an external audit of the district’s books, Del Grosso cited plans for laying off about 120 administrators, 60 attendance officers, and possibly others, and what he called an air of secrecy in the district’s central offices.
Wow - where's all the money going?
The district posted a $995 million budget last week for next year, which represents a $30 million cut from this year‘s $1.03 billion. Part of the new budget is an additional $30 million slated for the city’s charter schools.
Adding to the discord, the local board rejected the budget outline earlier this month, a largely symbolic act for a board that has no legal power in the state-run system. Three seats on the advisory board are up for election this coming Tuesday.
In his ninth term as president of the NTU, Del Grosso faces his own internal conflict after approving a contract that was not universally endorsed by his members. The contract includes the state’s first large-scale use of performance bonuses for teachers. [emphasis mine]
And guess what - those merit pay bonuses will be given at the sole discretion of the very administration Del Grosso says is "dominated" by "secrecy." How confident is the leadership of the NTU that the merit pay bonuses are going to be awarded in a fair and transparent manner when they have such a big problem with the Anderson administration over the budget?

As I said before members voted on the contract: if Del Grosso and NTU believed this was the best deal they could get for their members (and I believe them when they say it was), they had an obligation to put it before their members. But part of any negotiation is knowing who you are dealing with: if you can't trust these people with the budget, how are you going to trust them with teacher pay? Too many details were left to be ironed out later...

Well, now it's later. And NJDOE is unveiling a teacher evaluation system so illogical, innumerate, deceptive, ill-informed, and frankly bizarre that the prospect of a fair merit pay system looks increasingly remote.

Joe Del Grosso is a hero in the American labor movement and has my respect. He is to be commended for taking on the Anderson administration, the NJDOE, and Chris Christie over these cuts to Newark's schools.

I just wish he had been a bit more leery of these people back when it counted...

The NEW Caucus in Newark valiantly fought this deal. This summer I hope MORE and NEW Caucus can sit down and chat.

1 comment:

  1. Wait, you mean to say a contract Weingarten negotiated with a TFA-Kleinbot superintendent (Cami Anderson) is going to harm the interests of teachers?

    I'm shocked, shocked to see that gambling is taking place in this casino.

    ReplyDelete

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