I was sickened to see Randi Weingarten and Tea-Party Gov. Christie on Morning Joe, fawning over each other and over the deal they cut on the Newark teachers contract. It was the worst display of seat-at-the-table unionism I have seen in years. Both are hailing the deal as a "model" for the rest of the country. I hope against hope that it isn't. Christie called it, "the most gratifying day of my governorship, by far." That should tell you something about the deal right there. New Jersey Education Commissioner and chief privatizer Chris Cerf (not be be confused with Che Guevara) called the contract "revolutionary." Union President Joseph Del Grosso was a little more restrained, calling it “a step in the right direction for the teaching profession."
Klonsky also writes that Christie threatened the NJEA with the NTU contract, saying they can either agree to similar contracts in NJEA districts or become "dinosaurs" who are "run over" by the future of merit pay-based teacher compensation packages.
Did Weingarten bother to push back on any of this nonsense, did she point out that the value-added measurements that they're going to use to evaluate teachers and pay them/fire them are unstable over time and rife with error? Did she note that the tests many of these evaluations are going to be based on are also rife with error, that the districts are going to have to add hundreds of new tests to the curriculum so that every teacher in every subject in every grade can be evaluated using test scores?
She did not.
Instead she glowed in the attention afforded her by the neo-liberals on the Morning Joe set and the praise of Chris Christie and Chris Cerf.
It is time we rid the AFT of Randi Weingarten.
She is selling the teaching profession down the river time and time again with these contracts.
I cannot get in her head to understand why she is doing that.
Perhaps she believes in the merit pay fairy, believes in the charterization of the school system, thinks test-based education is the best.
Or perhaps she doesn't care one way or the other other and simply loves the attention she is afforded as the "reform-minded," "solution-based" union leader.
Whatever the reason for her actions, it is past time that we rid the AFT of Weingarten and her cronies.
The CTU strike was a blow against this kind of sell out, against test-based education, against FEAR-based policies, against the divisive reforms that pit teacher against teacher and school against school.
But this Newark contract is just the opposite.
In that, it is no different than the New Haven contract Weingarten pushed, the Baltimore contract she railroaded through, some of the "reforms" she brought here to NYC.
Remember, Weingarten is the sell-out leader who made the Teacher Data Reports agreement with Chris Cerf when he was a deputy chancellor here in NYC.
Now she's helping Cerf and Christie bring the merit pay fairy and FEAR-based education policies to New Jersey and helping them attack the NJEA for not selling out to the same kinds of contracts.
I will say again, it is past time that Randi Weingarten and the rest the AFT leadership around her be sent packing.
Forget the DUMP ARNE DUNCAN movement.
It is time to DUMP RANDI WEINGARTEN.