Cross-posted on Bluejersey.com
Governor Christie's determination to bust the teachers unions in order to privatize education is well known. Before becoming Governor, Chris "the Trenton outsider" Christie was a registered lobbyist. One of his biggest clients was Edison Schools Inc.,a company seeking to transform public education into a private business. Christie also lobbied for University of Phoenix Online and represented Charter Schools in cases before the State Supreme court to protect their right to receive public funds. It's a thorough conviction, the problem with public education is it's public.
This is not an illegitimate or sinister view, it's just not a view most New Jerseyans agree with. So in order to get his way Christie has proceeded to bully people at town halls, insult union officials and sabotage federal applications. If that's not bad enough, now he's recruiting the most intensely callous and to a large degree ridiculous characters to work his agenda from the inside.
Derrell Bradford is one such character. He was recently appointed to Governor Christie's Education Effectiveness Task Force which according to the Star Ledger will "overhaul teacher evaluation rules without input from the state's largest teachers union." Here is what Derrell brings to the table: (I'll break this all down for you ... after the jump).
So let's break that down.
1. Derrell understands what it's like to be a teacher because he watched a movie, namely Dangerous Minds.
Bad enough he trivialized a difficult job but how about Lean on Me. Stay with Jersey!
OK, let's just say Derrell wanted to be funny while admitting he has no idea what he's talking about in terms of actual experience in education.
2. An unprovoked insult on the NJEA President's wardrobe and hair style.
Beyond the nasty aspect of this comment is a subtler truth; a lack of an argument. But hey, he wants to serve Christie why talk about facts when you can attack someone personally?
3. Hijacking an organization for the ideological benefit of privatizing education.
This is important. The sponsor of this event was the Friedman Foundation and the Foundation for Educational Choiceanyone who has studied Milton Friedman knows his views on government or the role of state, specifically a limited to non-existent role. Friedman was an anarcho-capitalist or an extreme libertarian once stating "I think the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse." Hello Public Education and teachers unions.
Once again, it is fine for Christie and Bradford to hold these views, it is their right to promote them in the (free) marketplace of ideas. What is not responsible is to promote their agenda using personal attacks and deception.
Welcome to the team Derrell.