People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions

NJ Gov. Christie Relentless In His Attack On Teacher Unions: "Selfish" & "Greedy"

CJW, June 3, 2010 1:35 PM

Are Teacher Unions Overplaying Their Hand And
Hurting "Teacher Love"?
Video Below

The growing consensus or the play from the loudest voices?

Via Real Clear Politics, NJ Governor Chris Christie continues his rampage against education bureaucracies and teacher unions in this 3 min. video below with his main accusations at the 2:20 benchmark.

New Jersey displays one of the most contentious battles being played out on multiple levels.
Rick Hess at Edweek recently suggested:

"The AFT and NEA might want to start rethinking their "we're special and should be protected from budget cuts because we're there for the kids" strategy. Kevin Manahan, of the Newark Star-Ledger editorial board, wrote a column last week suggesting that, at least in New Jersey, the union shtick has worn thin. His beat down of the New Jersey Education Association may serve as a useful cautionary flag for teachers unions across the land. (Just check out the raft of reader comments Manahan has attracted; a quick scan seems to suggest they're running strongly anti-union).

I'm not in the habit of telling anyone how to angle for a raise, but the unions might want to think about the risks of misplaying their hand and whether that will cost them crucial goodwill as states wrestle with tough budget choices in 2011 and beyond."

His reference to Manahan's column from the Newark Star-Ledger contains this vitriol:

"Which brings us to the New Jersey Education Association.

In an astonishing fall from grace that has taken only months, teachers have gone from respected and beloved members of the community to some of the most reviled. In a blink, they have trashed years of good will.

Once the patient darlings who nurtured our kids, teachers now look like insensitive, out-of-touch, can't-think-for-themselves union robots who, when forced to face economic realities, clung to an insulting sense of entitlement, heartlessly sacrificed the jobs of colleagues, called the governor naughty names and used students as political pawns.

All while blaming everyone else.

At Saturday's rally in Trenton, teachers wondered when the Earth started spinning in the other direction.
. . "

Previous coverage on The Daily Riff see links:

 "NJ Governor Chris Christie Whacks Teacher Unions on 'Morning Joe'" 

 "The Cartel: Movie Follows Money Trail In (NJ) Education"

We hope teachers don't lose something valuable in this process -- will two steps forward come right back at them with three steps back?  The last thing we need is a bad rap on teachers and resentment based upon union negotiations and tactics.  Will we be losing a future generation of great teachers by turning them off (and the good ones we have now) to the profession? 

The critical question here is whether unions are really representing teachers' best interests, in light of economic conditions and consequences (see NYT on NY schools).  Is this a case of "winning a battle but losing the war"?  (We would expect that the interests of the students should be first and foremost, but that card is already being played by both sides at the table).

What do YOU think?

Check out recent letters to Editor here.

Check out 3:57 min. video below:

Christie speaks in Washington DC, calling Newark schools 'absolutely disgraceful'

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It's not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin

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