The Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran apparently follows one rule when writing about education:
If the teachers union is for it, it must be bad.
I guess following this rule is easier than using research and logic and facts to form an opinion. Witness today’s latest attack on the NJEA: an op-ed decrying tenure that deperately tries to transforms Perth Amboy Superintendent Janine Caffrey into a folk hero.
It’s worth noting that Moran saw fit to give Caffrey a big patch of the op-ed section last week to whine about how hard tenure makes her job. I tried to set her and Tom straight, but it looks like it didn’t take. So let’s go again:
Caffrey says tenure keeps her from dismissing teachers who are undeniably awful. But even Moran has to acknowledge that she herself is a huge part of the problem:
To be fair, districts share some of the blame as well. Tenure rules might be crazy, but it is possible to get rid of the worst teachers if the district builds a solid case with a paper trail. In the case of the refusenik teacher, Perth Amboy failed to do that. The teacher had won satisfactory evaluations in the past, as nearly all teachers do.
Let me get this straight: Caffrey couldn’t get her administrators to do their jobs and document how bad this teacher was. And it may well be that this teacher was being defiant because he or she is incompetent, it is also possible the teacher is standing up to Caffrey, her principal, and even her colleagues on a matter of principle.
But because Caffrey is – according to Moran – unable to work with her administrators to build what should be an obvious case, we’ll never know. So this “bad” teacher stays.