BULLETIN: Teacher seniority waiver to be dropped

Cami Anderson, the Christie-appointed superintendent of Newark schools, is expected to drop her request for a waiver from state regulations to she can ignore seniority rights when and if she lays off hundreds of city teachers. That doesn’t mean she won’t lay off teachers—but she will have to abide by current law and regulations when she does.

The main characters in the drama won’t talk about the report I received that Anderson won’t try to persuade outgoing Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf or his successor to set aside regulations that protect experienced teachers. Tomorrow is Cerf’s last day.

I first reported here Feb. 21 that Anderson would try to use a little-used provision in state regulations that permits school districts to ignore, or waive,  regulations if they come up with an “equivalency” plan that achieves the same goal as the ignored rules. In this case, she wanted to skip traditional standards—experience within appropriate certifications—and to add so-called “effectiveness” ratings as a measure of experience. As a consequence, a teacher with less experience but higher effectiveness ratings could bump, or replace, another teacher.

The report sent shock waves throughout the country and may have contributed to Anderson’s decision to boycott all future sessions of the Newark school board. Teachers from throughout the country denounced the plan, especially after I also reported Anderson planned to go ahead with new hires, including new Teacher for America recruits.

Emails I sent to teacher union leaders about the report she was dropping the waiver were ignored. The spokesman for the Newark Public Schools answered a request for confirmation with one word—“Ha!” But a source I trust reported she will withdraw her application for a waiver.

Another source within the state education department said the changes proposed by Anderson were too sweeping to be accommodated by a waiver. “No education commissioner can waive tenure and seniority rights because they’re statutory,” the source said.

Stay tuned. More to come.

  1. Nice work. You deserve credit for making this happen.

    1. Bob,
      Yes you do deserve credit….keep up the good work….

  2. This is the first step in knocking the bully OUT of the playground. After tomorrows press conference with Congressman Rice, the bully (Anderson) will begin writing her memoirs in a small cell somewhere in upstate NY.

  3. Bob,
    If your information is true, I have to compliment CASA, the NTU, and other professional organizations who fought this absurdity from the beginning.

  4. It will be interesting and probably disturbing to see what her next move is going to be. I’m sure there are more surprises (which doesn’t surprise anyone) to come.

  5. If this rumor is indeed right, we had better be looking for what Anderson was doing while we all fought this…..for her to give up this quickly suggests it was a red herring or she has a plan B (for BAD, maybe plan W for WORSE).

  6. Call me crazy and this is based on nothing more than my gut feeling or more probably wishful thinking but I have a feeling that in the not too distant future, her highness will be making an announcement that she will be stepping down to spend more time with her family. Cerf, her ally, sort of, is leaving and Hespe may be coming in. Why would Hespe hold any allegiance to her? Christie has his own problems and may feel that she’s no longer an asset because she is so despised in Newark.

  7. Thank-you for your continued support Mr. Braun…maybeI will get some sleep tonight while “she’s” up conjuring Plan B!

  8. Great reporting, Bob. Great support for educators and children!

  9. Thank you Bob for your continued support. We teachers are lucky to have you in our corner, so are our students!

  10. And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for that meddling Bob Braun. – Scami Sellyourchildseducationson

  11. Thank you Mr. Braun for being in the corner of the Newark students and Newark teachers. Thank you for speaking out and sharing the truth with others. We are very happy that you are in our corner. Please continue to share the truth with us.

  12. The Newark Public Schools site http://www.nps.k12.nj.us includes a video (30 minutes long) and files under the heading “One Newark Update” that seem to be their justification for seeking to disregard tenure / years of service in upcoming layoffs.

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