A reader sends this note, relevant today, but relevant beyond today. It is part of the rightwing assault on the teaching profession. The state gets to define “effective,” then can take the right to due process away from those who don’t meet the benchmarks arbitrarily created by the state, which is eager to fire teachers and make room for teaching temps. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Teachers without the right to due process may be fired for any reason or for no reason. Teachers without the right to due process will never teach anything controversial. Teachers without due process rights will never disagree with their principal. Teachers without due process rights have no academic freedom.

IN NEW JERSEY TODAY (6/18), tenure reform bill S-1455 (the TEACHNJ Act) will be voted on in committee. But not by the Senate Education Committee which discussed this bill at length during its March meeting. No, on Thursday 6/14 this tenure reform bill was “transferred” to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for a quickie vote to be held Monday 6/18. The main purpose of this tenure reform bill is to dismantle the right to due process by making it not only something a teacher can earn but also something a teacher can lose. If an administrator should give a teacher two summative performance ratings on the lower half of a 4-point scale (“ineffective” or “partially effective”), that teacher will then lose his/her previously earned right to due process and can be fired without the opportunity to appeal the decision to a third party. So in other words, in New Jersey a teacher will be able to EARN the right to due process but it will then be TAKEN AWAY precisely when the teacher might actually need to exercise that right.