Gov. Chris Christie in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning touted the signing of a landmark Newark Teachers Union contract .
The three-year deal, approved this week by about 60 percent of the membership, will be the first in the state and one of the first in the nation to base teacher pay on classroom performance, including student progress.
“It’s no longer just seniority or degrees received, but now it’s how you perform in the classroom and that evaluation is not just done by the administration it’s done by teachers who are involved as well,” Christie said during the 14-minute spot. “I think it’s going to improve the quality of education across the City of Newark.”
Christie appeared alongside American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and also praised the contributions of Newark Teachers Union President Joseph Del Grosso and Superintendent Cami Anderson.
“Every time we had a problem at the table, it was about what is going to work for the kids of Newark,” Weingarten said, adding that the chance to earn $5,000 bonuses is one of several changes in the new contract.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million grant two years ago leveraged giving that will pay for the bonuses, Christie said.
The Newark Teachers Union, affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, represents some 3,300 teachers. Christie’s rapport with Weingarten is a departure from the contentious battles he has waged with the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, which represents about 120,000 teachers.
Christie and Weingarten, along with Anderson and Education Commissioner Chris Cerf, later this morning will hold a news conference about the contract at Speedway School on South Orange Avenue in Newark.