>Nice job the Governor did in helping to secure “Race to the Top” grant, if he tried any harder we may have come in 12th or 13th. What a shame!!
BY LESLIE BRODY
New Jersey lost its bid Tuesday for $400 million in federal Race to the Top grants for school reform — by a nose.
Judges ranked New Jersey number 11 but only the top 10 contestants got money. Its score of 437.8 out of 500 fell only three points short of Ohio’s winning plan.
Public finger-pointing began immediately as the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, blamed the loss on Governor Chris Christie’s last-minute rejection of the grant proposal negotiated by his education commissioner and union representatives.
Christie’s “irrational, ideological hatred of NJEA — which led him to throw his own commissioner of education under the school bus for cooperating, rather than conflicting, with NJEA — has led to utter failure, and the loss of desperately needed funds for our public schools,” union president Barbara Keshishian blasted to members online.
Christie spokeswoman Maria Comella countered that “if it’s a choice between choosing the children of New Jersey and capitulating to the status quo the governor will choose the children’s education every time.”
She also noted that an area where New Jersey’s score jumped 23 points since its failed first-round bid was the section on creating “great teachers and leaders.” That part included several of the key proposals the NJEA protested, such as individual merit pay and undercutting seniority rules by retaining the most effective teachers when budget cuts require layoffs….
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