Yesterday the Governor, in the presence of some of his most vicious adversaries signed a tenure reform bill into law that is, at best, a compromise.

The “good”: new teachers will have to wait 4 years to achieve tenure after undergoing yearly evaluations.

The “bad”: the “last in-first out” provision remains in place.

Of course, this all depends on what side of the fence you’re on.

Some will say that the “reform” is no reform at all since it keeps in place “older, lazy teachers” at the expense of newer, more motivated teachers.

However, the bill would never have gotten past the legislature had the “last in-first out” provision not been included.

Christie said the tenure bill he signed at Von E. Mauger Middle School ties job security to performance evaluations for the first time, calling it a “far-reaching change,” but both he and Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf insisted the fixes must go further.

Cerf called the seniority protections during times of layoffs “indefensible.” He said it remains difficult for supervisors to transfer teachers and that there’s little flexibility for merit pay.

The impact from the changed tenured process won’t hit the classrooms for several years, and there’s no plans to share the results of teacher evaluations with the public — parents won’t get to see how their kids’ teachers stack up against other teachers, as will be done under a recently enacted New York state law.

Christie said the issue of making teacher report cards public was “among certain points of compromise,” and the Republican governor praised the NJEA for its work on the bill.

According to Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf: “Our work is far from done, he added. “This is a great tenure-only bill, but it does nothing to address crucial issues that affect our students. We need to end last-in-first-out. By law in this state, the district must fire a demonstrably better teacher if they are one day less tenured than an (ineffective teacher).”

My opinion: It’s called “baby steps.”

Nothing would ever have gotten done without the support of the teachers union and the legislature.

Both sides look like winners.

Christie goes to the Republican National Convention with what could be considered a “win”…and should he run for Governor again next year, gets to use the “win” as part of a campaign strategy.

The NJEA “wins” in protecting the more experienced teachers which, for them was the “line in the sand”.

Are you satisfied with the Tenure Reform Law that was just signed by Governor Christie?

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