Cami asks state approval to ignore seniority in teacher layoff

 

Chris Christie and Cami Anderson
Chris Christie and Cami Anderson

Cami Anderson, the state-appointed superintendent of Newark schools, has dramatically ratcheted up her war on the district’s employee unions by proposing to lay off possibly  hundreds of tenured teachers without regard to their seniority rights. Anderson indicated she would ask outgoing state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf to grant her what is called a “waiver or equivalency,” a little known and little used provision in state regulations that permits school districts to ignore long-standing rules in order to achieve a legitimate purpose. That could happen as quickly as March 5.

If, as expected, Cerf grants the request, Anderson—facing serious fiscal problems after hiring many new teachers since her appointment three years ago—would be able to keep newly hired teachers while firing teachers with extensive experience.

“We are seeking an equivalency…to consider quality along with years of service while making decisions about ‘right-sizing’ our workforce,” Anderson wrote in a final version of her controversial “One Newark” plan.  Although she has previously spoken about “right-sizing” the teaching force, this is the first time she revealed she would try to ignore seniority rules in laying off teachers.

NPS officials declined to answer questions about Anderson’s efforts.

NTU President Joe Del Grosso
NTU President Joe Del Grosso

“This is the most serious attack on tenure and due process that schools in  the state have ever seen,’’ said Joseph Del Grosso, the president of the Newark Teac hers Union (NTU).

“She is totally ignoring not just the idea of tenure but the changes made in the tenure law just enacted. It’s an end run around the new law and frustrates its provisions.”

The new tenure law, pushed through at the height of Gov. Chris Christie’s anti-teacher and anti-union initiatives, gives teachers time to try to overcome poor evaluations in order to avoid the elimination of their tenure.

Not only does the “waiver or equivalency” provision ignore the new tenure law but it also trashes decades-old seniority rules that would allow teachers with seniority to “bump” more junior teachers in the face of what schools call “RIFS”—or reductions in force.

“This is really going to hurt teachers with 15 or 20 years of service, teachers at the top of the salary guide, who will be let go while Anderson keeps younger, less well-paid teachers,’’ Del Grosso said. “Some of these teachers will be let go just before they become eligible for retirement so this will really devastate them for the rest of their lives.’’

Chief among Anderson’s targets apparently are the so-called “employees without placement”—or hundreds of school employees who, for a variety of reasons, have not been assigned to specific schools. Many were caught up in so-called “renew” schools where employees must reapply and be rehired–or not–every year.

Del Grosso said these teachers will be especially vulnerable because they do not have permanent assignments now and are not evaluated. They cannot, the union president said, rely on the new tenure law that is linked to evaluations.

The “waiver or equivalency” provision of the new regulations applies to all administrative rules, not just those governing seniority in public schools. It was initially established in 1995 under former Republican Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, allegedly as a means of deregulating state control over a wide range of services. The provision was readopted in 2011 and made easier to invoke.

Del Grosso said he is unaware of any previous effort by any other school district to eliminate seniority rights on so grand a scale.

Cami Anderson and mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries plan strategy
Cami Anderson and mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries plan strategy

He said he believed Anderson, a former executive director of Teach for America (TFA), is invoking the rule to protect the jobs of many TFA graduates hired by the Newark schools. Under the program, recent college graduates with six weeks of training can be hired to teach, usually in inner-city schools. Although many drop out after an initial two-year term, they do provide schools with cheap, if untrained, labor.

“Her TFA people will be protected,” Del Grosso said.

Anderson’s “One Newark” will close neighborhood schools and vastly expand enrollment at privately-run charter schools. It is consistent with her previous efforts to favor charter schools over traditional neighborhood public schools.

The plan has provoked stiff opposition from many community members and their cause has been picked by Ras Baraka, a mayoral candidate. His rival, Shavar Jeffries, has supported Anderson.

The controversy has become heated, especially after Anderson suspended five school principals after they criticized her plan and banned a parent leader from his children’s school for posting notices of a meeting that was viewed as critical of “One Newark.”

Earlier this week, a special legislative inquiry began into the way Anderson has handled “One Newark.” State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Esssex), the co-chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Schools, has said he would ask for subpoena power to conduct a full investigation of the plan.

Del Gross said he expected opposition to the plan when the Newark school board meets Feb. 25 and the state Board of Education  meets March 5.

He also said the union would seek a court injunction against the planned layoffs.

60 comments

  1. Bo

    Holy shit. I live on the other side of the country, if I lived anywhere near Newark I’d be marching in the streets.

    Experienced teachers should not be laid off to protect the job of TFA temps. This is an outrage.

    • K

      So, the several years of teaching experience resulting in becoming familiar with and respected by generations of a community’s children means nothing. No recent college graduate can replace that earned knowledge professionalism and respect. All that these rich clowns want to do is privatize and monopolize all public education. They are never going to be able to completely carry out the manipulative and deceptive plan.

    • Gerald Lyons

      Unfortunately, many people are not taking these attacks on education seriously. Why pay an experienced teacher when you can have some new, less qualified people in the classroom for much less. Than, after you privatize the schools, there will be more money for you to take off the top.

  2. Jeff B7

    This has been in the works for some time since the number of unassigned people has grown as schools were eliminated and favored programs were expanded at the same time. Many of the unassigned had acceptable evaluations but either had disagreements with favored administrators (mostly TFA “90 day wonders” regarding policies and nethodology, or were “rousted” using the new, obsequious observation. /evaluation system. This again illustrates that the administration is less concerned with instruction as it is in imposing its will, like any dictatorship. Even a casual perusal of data shows that students and their well being are being sacrificed on the alter of an unproven philosophy and that if, indeed some of the unassigned are not stellar employees, TFA teachers and administrators are incompetent in equal numbers while many fly the coop as soon as they are confronted with the difficulties of teaching in a poorly managed urban district.
    In fact, a cabal of TFAers is growing around the State, hiring each other where possible.
    The regime is counting on State support, emergency retirements caused by this policy, lack of Union funds to fight in court, and time in order to accomplish their goals without regard for its impact on students, the community, or staff.
    In point of fact, mant TFA types don’t have a clue as to how to teach, manage a classroom, or run a school, especially in an urban area with specific and specialized needs. They are flaunting State and Federal labor law and saying “try to stop us!”
    Parents, students, and staff need to look to the past to find effective tactics and strategies to combat these unproven and subversive power plays aimed at destroying public education.

  3. Sula

    Bob,

    You post a picture noting that Jeffries and Anderson are “plan[ning] strategy” after your last post on journalistic integrity (Baraka v. Jeffries). This reeks of bias and yellow journalism. Where is your proof to support this caption?

    • Jay Dee

      Are they meeting to just say “Hey, I really miss you…we need to catch up?” Come Sula, wake up!!! What do you think they were meeting for? She’s for Charter Schools. He’s for Charter Schools. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

    • Bo

      You think they met to chat about the weather? When someone running for office in a city meets with a powerful person in that city, there is no doubt they’re talking strategy.

    • Kate

      So it’s “yellow journalism” to assume that a sit-down among the superintendent of schools, a mayoral candidate, and a political strategist just might include a discussion of strategy? Nothing yellow about that – it’s called logic.

    • Sula

      Jeffries own words do not support he would be “planning strategy”. He’s made several public statements on where he stands on One Newark. It is ridiculous to think that the mayoral candidate would not meet with Anderson about One Newark. That does not mean they’re in cahoots. I would hope Baraka would do the same, because realistically, Anderson isn’t going anywhere any time soon. She was appointed by Christie, Christie’s the governor and unless he wants her to leave, she’s there. Anyone who suggests otherwise is being naive. So, the mayor will need to meet with her and hopefully have influence over her.
      As a Newark native and product of NPS, I am sick of these arguments that suggest the system doesn’t need to be reformed. It has been failing for generations and has gotten worse since I was a student. Seniority in and of itself should not be the deciding factor for who keeps their job. And what I find most galling is that so many of the NPS teachers upset about the One Newark plan do not send their own kids to the very schools they are trying to protect. And they’re Newark residents! It’s the height of hypocrisy. Based on what I see, folks are more concerned about protecting their jobs than having good schools.
      As to the plan, it is too aggressive in shuttering schools and the community (parents) are not involved enough on the decisions.
      But this is nothing new. I’ve been in this game long enough to remember when University HS was moved from it’s building near Prudential in downtown Newark to its current location. Parents objected (at the time the students were taking classes at NJIT to supplement their education); while the building wasn’t great, the support from Prudential and the universities produced a graduating class that attended Yale, MIT and Penn (among many other schools). University moved, support and partnerships are gone and this school has not been as successful.
      So, the caption Braun wrote is not supported in fact; it suggests a relationship that Jeffries own record contradicts. It is naive to think that a mayoral candidate shouldn’t meet with the Superintendent or any other civic leader, regardless of policy position. And as long as the state has control over NPS (which no administration, Dem or Repub in the past 20 years has changed) meeting with Superintendent will be necessary.

      • Kate

        Sula, nobody but you has suggested that it is “wrong” to meet with the superintendent. You suggest that others are naive to think the candidate and superintendent shouldn’t meet; however, you apparently think it is NOT naive to assume that the inclusion of a political strategist in the meeting has no bearing on planning strategy.

        You also seem to conveniently forget that the superintendent decides to whom she will grant an audience, and that she has been known to exit meetings when they cease to be “friendly.” While you criticize others for believing that the meeting in the photo included strategizing of some sort, you have painted an entire scenario of it in your head, based as far as I can see on previous statements made by your candidate.

        You are quite correct that NPS schools could be doing better. But Firing experienced teachers and replacing them with youngsters who have a few weeks’ training isn’t going to help. Much as firing all the subject area specialists hasn’t helped. And firing all the attendance counselors hasn’t helped. This constant churn of staff, school site, and programs is not the way to educate our children. And quite honestly, churn is the only change you see in the school system – unless you look to pockets of achievement like Mr. Baraka’s Central HS, where the graduation rate is way up (above the district average, by the way).

        Sure, the superintendent should meet with whomever will advance the education of Newark’s young people. Unfortunately, that should include parents, the elected Advisory Board, staff, and all the community leaders in Newark – not just one candidate and his political strategist. I just don’t see that happening any time soon…

  4. Dan67

    What is the purpose of tenure if an Administrator can haphazardly decide that it doesn’t matter? Working in the more urban school areas is not easy by any means, and it is such an insult to the tenured teachers who had the courage and dedication to stay and educate our children. My son’s school is one of those slated to be closed after this school year, and I am so glad that he is a senior so that he won’t be affected by the chaotic decisions made by Cami Anderson. In my opinion, she needs her head examined.

  5. Willie

    If one investigates further, it will show that of the first 80 employees placed into the Educator Without Placement Pool (EWPS) not a single teacher had any tenure charges or even a bad evaluation among them. They ALL did, however, have 25 plus years of service and were at the top end of the pay scale.

  6. Tony Johnson

    Bob,
    Several years ago I spoke to a class of graduate students in nonprofit management, one of whom was looking to work in a charter school. After the session, when we spoke one to one, I explained the role of charter schools in undermining public education. She looked crestfallen. I hate to discourage idealistic young people (I was one 40+ years ago) but truth-telling can be painful (as it is when I am on the receiving end) but we need to speak to the young people who are being suckered into the scam that includes Teach for America and charter schools. There are programs that actually develop new teachers into real professionals and these should be encouraged. The daughter of a friend of mine was certified and finished a master’s degree under one such program, while working under the supervision of an experienced teacher. She is now a professional committed to teaching as a career, not an idealistic young person taking a spin in the classroom before settling into something more lucrative.

  7. Michael Fiorillo

    More evidence, as if any were needed, that TFA is, among many other insidious things, a scab recruiting agency…

  8. Angel

    I’ve been a teacher in a comprehensive high school in Newark for 6 years. I’m all for this part of Cami’s plan. Why should we (tax payers) be paying the salary of teachers sitting downtown in a office reading the newspaper? If those riffed teachers had any pride or cared at all about Newark and its youth they would find jobs in other districts instead of leeching off precious financial resources. Moreover, I witness on a daily basis many poor performaing, apathetic, tired tenured teachers who litterally do no teaching, no grading, no work at all and get paid at the top of the salary guide. Why shouldn’t those teachers be fired? When you look at their grade books they have 1 or 2 assignments for the entire cycle. HOW IS THAT A FAIR ASSESSMENT OF THE CHILD’S PERFORMANCE? Our powerful union has made it impossible to fire teachers. Great victory guys! Now we can keep all the cancerous teachers and spread the same apathy, contempt and sense of entitlment to future generations of teachers. I’m not saying all tenured teachers or teachers nearing retirement are worthless, but many are. My colleagues joke about how when they’re getting ready for retirement they will “do nothing”, use up their 200 banked sick days and get paid near six figures for it. Many experienced teachers have a lot to offer. But many just offer cinisim, indifference and disdain for the administration as the way to get by in NPS. When I begin to have these sentiments, I hope someone fires me. I wouldn’t mind a little housekeeping at all.

    • Joe

      In your bitter diatribe against older teachers and the union, you make no mention of the administrators and principals who hired these teachers in the first place, who observe and evaluate the teachers on a regular basis. From your anecdotal and highly biased “reporting” we are supposed to believe that a high percentage of older teachers are terrible and that it’s mostly the union’s fault. You are condemning most of the older tenured teachers in the whole district from your limited experiences. And we are to assume that you are such a stupendous teacher who has the ability to evaluate all other teachers? Talk about cynicism.

      • Angel

        You missed my point entirely. It is not the union’s fault that bad teachers exist. It is the union’s fault that bad teachers persist. Yes, my experience is limited, but it does not change the fact that I have seen with my own two eyes that bad teachers don’t get fired. I did not say anything about my own ability as a teacher. I think I would rate myself as mediocre, yet I consistently get excellent reviews from administrators. Probably because I’m friendly and polite with them. If I coached a successful sports team I’d probably be getting the “highly effective” bonus. But maybe you are right about one thing. I am a little bitter about it. It drives me crazy that I work very hard every day while others appear to do nothing and are protected. And maybe it’s not a high percentage of older teachers, but definitely a significant one. In your experience, would you say that what I’ve witnessed is an anomaly only happening in my school?

        • Becca Field

          I am confused now because you show here that the evaluations are not an accurate reflection of a teacher’s abilities – so then why should Anderson be allowed to use those evaluations in the ‘right sizing’ (love the new term for down sizing…) the NPS teachers?

        • lulu

          It is not your business what the other teachers are doing. It is not your place to judge. Worry about you doing your job. You will be a senior teacher too. May be you are angry of not making the money they do. Your comments are out of place. Always defend your teacher. Beside, there good and bad teacher like any other job.

      • Artie hymowitz

        Isn’t it interesting that no one at the state level mentions school administrators? I guess they are all above evaluation. Strangely, the two I worked for had both been fired from previous jobs. What a good old boy and girls’ network. No worry about tenure there.

    • Newarkbluesman

      Your union negotiated a contract that awards good teachers and helps move bad teachers out of the profession.If there is no seniority then you don’t need an evaluation system,no due process.That is plain ignorant.With peer review you can be part of the process of removing bad teachers,so stop complaining and get involved.

      • Angel

        It is plain ignorant to think that the evaluation system is effective and a means to removing bad teachers from the classroom. Bad teachers can be good at evaluations. Bad administrators are also part of the problem. Although I think that the administrators at my school are doing a pretty good job most of the time, I’m certain that they turn a blind eye to many bad teachers for various reasons. Maybe they coach a sports team, maybe they’ve known each other for 20+ years and are friends outside of work, maybe it’s not worth the hassle of trying to remove them. Sorry to complain, but I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

    • Ann

      The teachers didn’t “ask” to sit downtown. Their schools were either closed, renewed, redesigned, sold to Charter(which hires its own outside staff), and/or not enough students in a school/class to warrant keeping it open. Secondly, you speak of “teachers had any pride or cared at all about Newark and its youth they would find jobs in other districts instead of leeching off precious financial resources.” Obviously, you are ignorant as to why educators decide to choose this profession. It is because we dare to want to make a difference in the lives of children. It is certainly not for the money. Why else would we choose to work in a district where so many of the children are faced with insurmountable challenges that filters right into our classrooms? I would strongly suggest that while you are certainly entitled to your opinions, that you present a credible discussion about the topic. I am a tenured, senior, caring educator who still LOVE my students and teaching and will continue to educate Newark’s youth until I decide retire.

    • Kate

      Angel, no “excessed” teachers are sitting downtown, reading newspapers or anything else. If you look around your school, you may see a few of them, since they have all been assigned to assist in classrooms, serve as data coaches, etc. Many “excessed” teachers were placed on that list because their principals couldn’t (because of budget limitations) keep everyone from the previous year’s staff. It’s sad, really, that you think they are “leeches” and “cancers.” It shows that you don’t understand the value of having a diverse school staff, a mix of young and experienced teachers where the veterans benefit from the energy of youth and the novices benefit from the skill and knowledge of the veterans.

      The job of the union is to protect the rights of its members. They are doing their job when they defend the rights granted by code and law. The job of administrators is to help good teachers grow more effective, to keep poor teachers from gaining tenure rights, and to know the difference between good and poor teaching. If admins do their job, the union doesn’t need to defend poor teachers. (Unions don’t grant tenure and teachers don’t give themselves tenure.)

      It’s sad, really, that you think so little of the people you work with. I have to say that in my years teaching in Newark Public Schools I had the pleasure of working with many fine, hardworking veteran teachers, as well as some young, promising teachers who were eager to learn from the people who had experience. It’s a shame that you don’t understand how valuable that mentoring can be.

      • Tony

        Anyone who has worked in high-poverty schools knows about “those teachers.” Nothing was more frustrating in my public school career (in NYC, not Newark) than seeing excellent, promising new teachers excessed in droves while the worst of the worst we’re allowed to continue teaching simply becaused they’d been I’m a few years longer. How can any sane person think this is the right way to run a school system? If your primary concern is providing jobs for adults, then I guess it makes sense. If your goal is to provide an excellent education to kids, I can’t imagine a worse way of doing it.

        • Kate

          Oh, Tony… You’re buying into the lie that tenure is for the protection of bad teachers. Fact is, tenure protects good teachers from arbitrary firing for non-job-related factors like having earned a higher salary via longevity in a demanding field. If the “worst of the worst” are being retained, that’s a failure of administration – not a failure of legal protections.

          And yes, dear, I have seen some mighty poor teachers in my long career. However, admin is supposed to try to help them become better, and failing that, act to remove them. The problem is not that “they can’t be fired” – the problem is admins have to do the hard job of sorting the good from the bad before tenure is granted or else they have to document the poor performance that warrants firing. Having been an admin, I can tell you that few are up to the task of directly supporting professional growth, or documenting lack thereof. Nevertheless, this is not a reasonable argument for destroying the legally earned rights of teachers to do their jobs without fear of firings for the convenience of those in charge.

  9. Jean McTavish

    Cami Anderson’s lack of experience and training come back to bite her every time. Her uninformed “concern” for children does far more harm than good. Take a look at what happened to District 79 in NYC. The most vulnerable students were even further marginalized under her “leadership.” Newark parents and concerned citizens must be heard. And the comment above that challenges all of us who live near Newark to help is absolutely right!. Jefferies supports Cami. A vote for him is a vote for One Newark and a vote against the power of parents and citizens make decisions for their children in schools.

  10. P. Grunther

    Newark teachers need to reach out across the nation to get support to fight this. My union (I don’t teach in the NPS district) sent money and had pizza delivered to groups in Wisconsin fighting Scott Walker and also lent support to Chicago teachers during their protest actions. Every teacher and every union member should be made aware of what’s going down in Newark and national media coverage needs to be sought out and expanded. I was disgusted by Christie’s “successful” town meeting yesterday – we need to keep the pressure on him and put his back against the wall!

  11. Becca Field

    One more demonstration that this crew – Anderson, Cerf, Christie (and we can toss in others too) – will stop at nothing to get what they want. Plug one hole, and they find a way around it.

    Every teacher in this state and any others caring about an experienced and stable cadre of educators need to object to this waiver request fast and furious. You can bet if it granted here, Camden and other places will be next….

    And it needs to be pointed out that the fiscal constraints that Newark claims as one reason this waiver is needed are entirely of the state’s making. So they create the crisis and then offer their own self-serving solution? My solution is get rid of the crisis maker to begin with.

    • Sal Rosetti

      A general strike of all teachers will tighten up the Christie boys don’t teachers realize we are in a fight for our professional lives. The NJEA is content to just spend money on adds that’s bullshit. A bully only understands one thing and that is to punch him in the mouth!!!!!!!!!

  12. Sal Roselli

    Well this is a test for the NJEA, they are getting bullied and bum rushed again. Hey NJEA why do we pay over a thousand dollars a year in dues for you fat cats to continue to collect exhoritant salaries and let Christie and Company continue to trash our profession. It’s time to call a general strike and get our strength back they can’t arrest everyone of us!! It time to stand up and be counted if you are afraid go buy a dog!!!

  13. Estelle Sey

    This entire article sounds like a conspiracy to take down the public school system with inappropriate substitution. Thus taking advantage of workers rights and students who have no voice in their educational system. More about corporate takeover later.

  14. Pingback: Cami Anderson: Visionary Or Vulture?: One Newark Plan Should Be Expanded | Blind Noise
  15. Yvette

    It is my belief that the union has not taken the strongest approach to this literal takeover of Cami, Cerf and Christie. I feel that if they can find loop holes to break the law, or ignore the law totally, then so can we as a unified group. I feel very strongly that we should all strike to oppose all of their proposals, especially the violation of tenure rights!!! Enough is Enough! I say let’s go for it!!!

  16. Barbara Foster Abdur-Razzaq

    Understanding there are bigger fish to fry, this comment has nothing to do with the article and everything to do with the photo; “A picture is worth a thousand words!”
    Under the “Newark One” plan Cami speaks about delapidating conditions at schools and lack of funding, so why is Christie and Cami sitting on tables with computer monitors on them conducting a meeting? (looks like an accident waiting to happen) Wonder how this would have been viewed by them if it were teachers in their class….rubber room, suspension, termination, layoff or what? How disrespectful as the representative of NPS and the state where they are suppose to be examples of etiquette for the public….this is not a closed meeting from the privacy of your home? People of Newark, what will it take to see the blatant disrespect that Cami and Christie constantly shove in your faces? “A man who stands for nothing we’ll fall for anything!”(Malcolm X)

  17. DeeplyConcerned

    Doesn’t seniority only apply to tenured teachers? The Commissioner can’t waive tenure rights, which are statutory, so, even if the Commissioner waives the seniority regulation, I don’t think Newark would be able to lay off a tenured teacher while keeping a non-tenured teacher.

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  19. kid scott

    How will tenure rights play into the equation when multiple poor evaluations are going to get bad seeds released anyway? That’s the premise of performance based evaluations. The sad thing about the situation is the NTU was preparing teachers, aides, and clerks for this years ago but they were ignored. Meetings were poorly attended and packed house meetings occurred only to find out “what the percentage of the raise would be”. Years later, the powers that be have weakend all union affiliates. I am going people realize that the Union us not the people working at the NTU office but every instructional educator working for NPS.

  20. debbie walker

    Anyone who want to be a mayor in this city have to stand with the people and not against the people. If they want charters school then find other buildings and leave our pbublic school the hell along. Jeffiers you need to find yourself another city to be the mayor for charcter school because Newark is not for sale. Your teams is breaking up and you and camni can pack you bags and move on. You are not wanted her. Expland your schools somewhere elsa.

  21. Steve Light

    It needs to be understood that this is happening throughout the US and internationally and cannot be fought except as a political struggle uniting not only teachers and parents everywhere but also with all other workers facing attacks in a struggle independent of both big business political parties and the unions which are the prop of those politicians. It is part of a social counter-revolution going on against all rights won by the working class in the last hundred years. A cutting edge example is in the Detroit bankruptcy scheme to loot the city with backing from Obama, the local Democratic politicians, and the unions collaboration. On this, read http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/02/22/adju-f22.html. Latest example is the union settlement in Portland that cuts away at tenure while claiming a good deal for getting a tiny wage increase that is not since teachers work more days anyway next year. Independent rank-an-file committees are needed to organize not on a union basis but appealing across the board to workers to begin the struggle for a workers government that will say the resources are there to hire more teachers and improve the public schools by taking back the wealth that is instead being given to the rich.

  22. Jack

    As an elective teacher in an NJ high school I fear I would be the first one out the door without LIFO protection. I would like to think because of my 18 years experience and hard work that I am an asset to my district but the reality is that they can save 30K by hiring a first time teacher to replace me. I have had nothing but excellent evaluations for my entire career, am active in several professional associations and have done workshops for literally hundreds of other teachers over the years. There is no appreciation by the current Trenton administration for the skill and craft of being a veteran educator.

  23. mikeamatician

    If that’s the case Angel, you need to be fired NOW!!! You speak of things you do not know and should know add an NPS employee… As an educator in Newark, you know you need nine assessments in Power Schools, so two won’t cut it and you know the administrators check. Try again!

    Yes, we do fight for our teachers OLD and NEW. I don’t know if you know it, but it is easier to get rid of a teacher now with TEACHNJ than ever. If you have ever used the services of the NTU, you know that they ate diligent and they fight for their members, in spite of the corruptness, favoritism, and overlooked things being perpetrated by those who go along with the program. It’s that you?

    The process that used to take years, now is completed in 90 days. Those horrible teachers, your colleagues you refer to, could most likely teach you a thing or two as well… You allege to have taught for 6 years, you aren’t even teaching yet, you aren’t even truly good at your craft… Let’s revisit this in ten years when you are really teaching…

    You must be one of the people with a GREAT relationship with your administration because for no other reason would you make those comments our possibly someone more senior than you that falls in that 15 -20 year range has something you want… Bide your time youngster, your day will come!!!

    Just for the record elimination of TENURE and SENIORITY rights affects you more than you think… Be VERY CAREFUL WHAT ONE WISHES FOR…

  24. auntiemame13

    shows just how much justice can be expected from the legislature.
    Time to Occupy:
    the streets
    the Bd of Ed
    the street outside Cami’s house
    the schools

    occupy everywhere!

  25. ellen rosner

    Malcolm X: “So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.”

  26. Thomas

    I’m not a teacher in the NPS or any other system. My wife is a teacher in the NPS so I have good knowledge of what is going on at her school in particular and the system in general. If allowed to I would like to make a few comments.
    1. Many people speak of a failed Newark school district: A district where the students can’t/don’t learn, a district where the teachers no longer care. Here is a question: If the New Jersey Education Department has been in charge of the Newark system for 19 years (1995), whose fault is it that the district has problems? This is what was said in 1994 as justification for taking over the public school system (as reported in the New York Times), “The New Jersey Education Department said today that it was prepared to take control of Newark’s troubled schools. It issued a damning report that portrays the district as badly mismanaged by officials who sit aloof in comfortable offices while students struggle through badly taught classes in filthy buildings and ultimately fail in great numbers.” The state is still saying the same thing 20 years after their leadership. There’s an old saying that says, “I can do bad all by myself.” This is how I see it:
    a) “…portrays the district as badly mismanaged by officials who sit aloof in comfortable offices…” This sounds like State Education officials and the people they appoint to run the system.
    b) “…students struggle through badly taught classes…” If they are still badly taught maybe it’s the Teach for America people they are loading the system with.
    c) “…filthy buildings…” See the next item, point 2.
    2. According to the district, about half of the city’s schools were built between 1851 and 1950. Cami Anderson says “You cannot communicate high standards in a classroom(s) with ceiling leaks and crumbling walls.” The New Jersey Schools Development Authority is sitting on $3.9 billion in bonds approved by voters for school construction and repairs. With half the schools over 100 years old the Authority released a paltry $100 million for repairs.
    3.Why are there over 80 qualified teachers in the “rubber room” when there are over crowed classes in the district?
    Logic says that the state is not about the education of the children of Newark. There is a different plan in place that many of us do not know about. I can only assume it will not be good for the parents and students in Newark.
    Teachers, you have an advocate, the union! You can talk about what they are not doing but are you involved and letting your voice be heard. If all of you are of one voice the “union” has no choice but to do what you want done.
    Parents, you have an advocate, your feet and time. We are celebrating Black History Month. How did we get here, we protested, we marched and we withheld our money. If we lose this battle how long will it be before everyone will have to pay for their children to be educated? How much will it cost? Will you be able to pay for your child’s education… two children…three children…etc.?
    We know what must be done. Do we in 2014 have the fortitude to do what we must for our children and our grand-children?

  27. Pingback: OUTRAGE: Cami Anderson to Newark: "Who Cares What You Think?" - United Americans
  28. Pingback: Star-Ledger Editorial Board: stop. Cami just needs to go. | teacherbiz

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