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DFER NJ Applauds Passage of Teacher Contract in Newark

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Democrats for Education Reform New Jersey Applauds Passage of Teacher Contract in Newark

Newark, NJ, November 16, 2012 - Democrats for Education Reform New Jersey (DFER NJ) commends the Newark Teachers Union’s (NTU) approval of a new teacher contract that includes a merit pay system supported by peer evaluation and student performance metrics. The new contract is a major step forward for the New Jersey education system as it moves toward the goal of ensuring an excellent education for all children across the state.

“We recognize the courage and conviction of those teachers who voted in favor of this strong step forward for their profession,” said Kathleen Nugent, State Director of DFER New Jersey. “For the first time in New Jersey, teachers will have to demonstrate their impact in the classroom to earn an increase in pay. The contract’s provisions will help to both retain our most effective educators, a key to long-term student achievement success, and make it possible for struggling schools to attract the very best educators.”

The contract was the result of a collaborative effort among many leaders and organizations.

“We applaud the leaders who had the vision and courage to make this bold reform a reality,” continued Nugent. “Governor Chris Christie, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf, Superintendant of the Newark Public Schools Cami Anderson and Newark Teachers Union President Joseph Del Grosso all deserve special recognition for their efforts.”

“This contract recognizes that our most underserved and struggling students deserve and need the best teachers with incentives for highly effective teachers to work in the lowest performing schools. And by strengthening the evaluation system outlined in TEACHNJ, the contract will help ensure that persistently ineffective teachers cannot jeopardize our students’ success.

“Ultimately, this contract is a significant move towards the creation of the most conducive policy environment to foster the greatest success in the classroom. Additionally and importantly, this contract is a great win for equity for Newark’s students. The state is making strides toward closing the achievement gap, and we look forward to continuing the progress.”

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