September 29th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Public school teachers pass math & reading tests themselves?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is shaking up the state's education system - and the other 49 states ought to take notes.
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Christie is out with a plan to reform New Jersey's public schools... that would base teachers' pay hikes on students' performance, and not seniority or tenure.

The Republican governor wants all teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade to pass tests in reading and math themselves in order to be certified. What a novel concept.

Christie says this could lead to quote "the firing of lousy teachers and bad principals who hurt our children." unquote. Here's a rare politician who gets it.

Under the current system, teachers earn tenure after 3 years on the job. But Christie wants to put an end to that... along with raises based only on seniority or advanced degrees.

And that's not all. He wants to select master teachers - and pay them more. so good teachers stay in the classroom, rather than leaving for administrative jobs that pay more. And he wants to offer merit raises for teachers who work in low-performing schools.

Teachers unions are not too happy with Christie's plan - no surprise there. They don't like the idea of tying teacher evaluations too closely to students' scores - saying other issues play a role, like the students' experiences at home.

But education experts are praising Christie... saying his plan will "dramatically improve" the quality of education in the New Jersey public schools.

The state legislature will have to approve changes to seniority and tenure - but the rest of the things Christie signed into law with executive orders.

Here’s my question to you: Should public school teachers have to pass math and reading tests themselves?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Education
September 29th, 2010
04:54 PM ET

Why would you vote for any incumbent?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's no wonder the Tea Party has the traction it does.

House Democrats voted Wednesday to adjourn so they can go home and campaign for the midterm elections. There is no budget, there is no decision on what to do about the Bush tax cuts that expire January 1. There is no willingness to confront any of the pressing issues they are paid to deal with.
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You see, our lawmakers are cowards. They don't want to have to vote before an election. Could be bad for them. To hell with the American people. At the end of the day it's all about them.

They're getting ready to leave town - again - and won't be back for five weeks.

Before heading out, the House is expected to vote on a measure to keep the federal government operating through December 3. That's necessary because they never bothered to pass a budget.

Here's the problem: Large majorities of Americans disapprove of Congress and only one in four people trust the federal government to do what is right always or most of the time. But when they enter the voting booth, they re-elect the same people over and over: the people who are taking this country right down the drain.

This year there are signs that the midterm elections might be particularly brutal for the party in power, the Democrats. Experts think the Republicans have a decent chance of picking up the 39 seats needed to take control of the House. The experts also say Republicans have an outside chance of gaining 10 seats to control the Senate.

Things are bad for the Democrats all over, but especially in the Midwest.

One Republican pollster says that part of the country will be a "killing field for Democrats this year."

Here’s my question to you: Why would you vote for any incumbent?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Election Process • Elections