I don’t understand all the details of the deal reached by the Newark Teachers Union and the Christie administration. The final details were hammered out by Randi Weingarten, NTU president  Joseph Del Grosso, Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson, Acting State Commissioner Chris Cerf, and perhaps Governor Chris Christie as well.

Some people (and I include myself) worry that the deal includes merit pay tied to “performance” (test scores). I don’t think that is ever a good idea. It produces perverse incentives for cheating, narrowing the curriculum, and gaming the system.

But the odd thing about this agreement is that there is so much money for almost every one of Newark’s 3,100 teachers. There are retroactive raises; there are bonuses for working in low-performing schools; there are bonuses for working in high-need subjects like math, science and special education. There’s lots and lots of money, enough for all, and in addition, there is peer review added in at almost every stage.

A big chunk of the financing is coming from private sources, including Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Newark.

Nothing about layoffs; nothing about firing the teachers whose students left for Newark’s rapidly multiplying charter schools.

I am beginning to wonder if Randi and Joe walked away with Governor Christie’s shirt and trousers and he didn’t even notice.

To keep this act going, Mark Zuckerberg better pony up another $100 million for other districts.

More such “victories” like this for Christie and Cerf, and the teachers of New Jersey will be laughing all the way to the bank.