Teacher Union Political Power Dragging New Jersey Students Down
Despite the National Right to Work Legal Foundation’s landmark Supreme Court victory in Janus v. AFSCME, allowing teacher to choose or refrain from union membership, teacher union power in New Jersey remains ever stronger due to the political activity of New Jersey teacher union officials.
Governor Phil Murphy promised New Jersey Education Association officials he would get rid of the PARCC testing program which proved student readiness for college and careers.
The PARCC testing program had essentially proved to be a wake-up call for teacher union officials and parents, who were shocked at the poor showing New Jersey students made several years ago under Governor Chris Christie. Parents were appalled. Teacher union officials, instead of buckling down and spearheading an education improvement movement, formed a Political Action Committee and spent millions of forced dues dollars on media programs, opt-out test kits and billboards to get their message across: “It’s not our fault your kids aren’t performing as well as you believe they should be. The tests are too hard. Let’s make them go away.” It’s all for the kids.
This typical Saul Alinsky principle, to get the community on your side by appealing to their sense of pride and emotional denial, apparently worked well. Alternative assessments have been established and appear to have parents and union officials sated, but are students any better off? It appears they are not.
The lack of testing has not helped college-bound students. Evaluations at Essex Community College showed 85 percent of incoming applicants needed remedial math instruction. So much for a public school diploma’s significance.
PARCC, when first introduced, required students have passing grades in 6 subject areas (3 English and 3 Math). Now the Education Commissioner has proposed only 2 tests are necessary, 1 each of English and Math.
Laura Waters has the story in the74million.org. https://www.the74million.org/article/waters-as-n-j-governor-legislature-teachers-union-wrangle-over-parcc-the-fate-of-170000-high-school-seniors-hangs-in-the-balance/
“Blame it on the New Jersey Education Association. Or, more precisely, blame it on Murphy’s sycophantic appeals to the union leaders’ good graces, the power they yield over his agenda (his deputy chief of staff is the union’s former associate director of government relations), and their animosity toward state Senate President Steve Sweeney, whom Tom Moran, editor of the Star-Ledger, recently dubbed “Gov. Sweeney.” (Sweeney was actually a gubernatorial contender until Murphy bought out the county bosses. There’s a reason New Jersey is called the “Soprano State” — and it has little to do with real housewives, Jwoww, or Snooki.)”