There's recently been quite a commotion about Facebook founder Mark Zuckberg's 100 million dollar contribution to Newark schools. The donation was conditional upon faux-Democrat Cory Booker taking control of the schools, something real Republican Chris Christie was all too happy to accommodate. But as Joanne points out, "reformer" Rick Hess is not happy:
It's hard for even far-seeing union leaders to convince veteran union members to accept reforms to evaluation, tenure, or pay policies. It's much easier if they can tell their members that such changes are what it will take to unlock new funds.
It's a little tough for me to see how changing evaluation, tenure, or pay policies will help solve the gang, rat, or insect problems that plague Newark schools. Tougher still is figuring why anyone would be concerned with "reforms" before addressing such elemental issues. However, I'm just a lowly teacher, not an educational expert like Rick Hess. In fairness, it's possible that expert Hess simply ignores the realities on the ground, or hasn't actually bothered to examine them before favoring us with his important opinions.
And Hess can't solely be blamed for that, as it's entirely typical of the conversation in this country, initiated by billionaires like Bill Gates and the WalMart family. Of course, their causes have now been championed by thoroughly ignorant public figures like Oprah Winfrey, Davis Guggenheim, and John Legend. While few, if any of them, actually know what goes on in public schools (let alone send their kids to such places), they're universally willing to apply Bill Gates' untested and/ or discredited prescriptions without any critical thought whatsoever.
Personally, I'm not sure how to get rid of rats, aside from voting them out of office. But I'm fairly certain merit pay ain't gonna cut it.