At the time, the Newark agreement gave bragging rights to Republican governor Chris Christie for making New Jersey the first state in the Union to base teacher pay on student test scores and on a teacher evaluation scheme that was nothing more than a Christie promise when Weingarten signed off on it.
Now, with teacher grievances piling up based on the meritless merit pay plan that Weingarten approved of last year, a visit to Newark was called for in order to pretend that Randi was against the contract all along.
The facts tell a different story, however. Upon approving of the new contract last November, Weingarten gushed,
The head of the country’s second-largest teachers union and a business leader who tried to weaken unions as a onetime governor of Michigan have made a joint plea to the nation’s governors to stand by the controversial Common Core academic standards.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and John Engler, who leads the Business Roundtable and served as Michigan governor from 1991 to 2003, have written to governors in 45 states — as well as the mayor of the District of Columbia — that have fully adopted the new K-12 math and reading standards.
Weingarten and Engler urged the governors to “get it right” by giving educators time and support as they make wholesale changes in the way they teach and to hold off on testing students on the new standards until schools have fully implemented new curricula based on the standards.
And the pair asked the governors to stand behind the Common Core standards in the face of a growing backlash from critics on the right, the left and in academia.
“We ask you to stay the course and oppose attempts to impede the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards,” Weingarten and Engler wrote in their Nov. 26 letter to the governors. None of the governors responded.
Written by a group of governors and state education officials, with endorsements from the federal government and funding from the Gates Foundation, the Common Core standards are designed to prepare students for an eventual career or college.
“This came from the bottom up, this didn’t come out of Washington,” said Engler, who called the standards an “economic and moral imperative.”