New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has once again reconfirmed his commitment to education reform, making it clear that he is keen to pursue changes to tenure that will allow administrators to consider teacher effectiveness in addition to seniority when making hiring and firing decisions.
One of the main pieces of legislation Christie is pushing that will facilitate these changes is the School Children First Act. The sponsor of this Act is Senator Joe Kyrillos who recently released a statement on the Afian Chaifetz scandal citing it as prime reason why teacher protections need to be reformed so that teachers who abuse the children in their care can be terminated swiftly instead of merely moved to other schools. The nearby New York state school system also recently discovered that tenure protections meant that they were unable to dismiss ‘sex abuse’ teachers they had identified teaching in their classrooms.
The following text is a transcript of the latest Christie video:
I will tell you that – you all know that this issue is as important to me as any other issue I work on as governor. And I understand how challenging it is, I understand how difficult it is. Believe me. After two and a half years I get it.
As Chris said I have the scars to show for it, politically. But this is the one that’s worth fighting over for me and I’m not going to back down off of the fight we need to have to make this better because our children deserve better than what we’re giving them and the taxpayers deserve better than what they’re receiving given what they pay.
So as I said upstairs to the AP History class, when at least two out of the three most important groups in our educational system are being underserved it’s time to make a change. When two thirds are getting the short end of the stick.
So we’re going to work hard. I want to thank the commissioner I want to thank all the people at DOE and the task force who worked really hard on this. This is just another step, we’re going to have more things to talk about over the course of the next number of weeks that we’re going to be doing administratively to try to make sure that even if the legislature doesn’t act on certain things that we’re moving forward to try to improve the educational system and try to demand accountability and results from the system for the children.