The Newark teachers union boasts that it offers “The Most Comprehensive Public Employee Contract in New Jersey” as one of the benefits of membership. But the union benefits to Newark's children fail to make the grade. Click here to see the damage done.
The Union Protects Bad Teachers
School district records show that in a four-year period (school years 2001-02 through 2004-05) only one or two tenured teachers were fired each year -- a total of five teachers fired in four years.
The Newark school district has about 3,850 tenured instructional staff. Many of them are hard-working, committed educators. But can it be true no that more than .032% of tenured teachers are unfit to teach school?
If it were really true that the union only kept good teachers from getting fired, then the district’s .032% firing rate would mean that the overwhelming majority of Newark kids go through the entire school system without ever encountering a bad tenured teacher. Check out school performance stats to see why that’s not likely.
Tenure charges are complaints the school district files to get rid of its worst teachers, whom the union defends. Any time charges are filed, they become public record -- as does the amount of money paid out to get some teachers to leave. Click here to view all 15 tenure charges opened between 2001 and 2005.
Death Before Discharge
To put this bad-teacher-protection number in perspective, consider the fact that, according to district records, a tenured Newark teacher is 4.6 times likelier to die in office than get fired for teaching kids poorly or for abusing them.
The Union Defends Violence and Sexual Harassment of Girls
One teacher, according to documentation filed with the state, allegedly summoned a ten-year-old student to the front of her class and called her “a liar.” She then allegedly followed her student out of the class and told her “I am going to kick your a--, b--ch” before punching the student in the chest. Among other physical abuse episodes, the teacher reportedly also slapped a student in the face after the student accidentally caused her a minor injury.
This teacher was not fired -- the union negotiated that, in exchange for quitting, she was given nine months of pay, plus money for each unused vacation and sick day. The district promised not to tell any future employers of hers why she left -- even if she were working with kids again. Click here to see her full tenure charges and settlement.
Another teacher, according to her tenure charges, allegedly hit a student in the head with an umbrella such that the Division of Youth and Family Services determined it to be physical abuse. For this and other allegations of physically harming children, she was paid to leave -- after receiving two months’ free pay and after working an extra five and a half more months for the district. Click here to see her full tenure charges and settlement.
One gym teacher’s tenure is best described in his own quotes, allegedly said of girls (and their physical attributes) in his class: “You should get that now before she gets older” and “Look at those things.” (There's worse, but we won't print it here.) After these obviously inappropriate episodes and attitudes were brought to light, the union negotiated that the teacher would be allowed to draw down another four months’ pay before leaving. And the district promised not to tell any future employers of his why he left -- even if he were working with young girls again. Click here to see his full tenure charges and settlement.
Another tenured teacher’s list of charges runs pretty long, according to documentation filed with the state. Allegedly, he screamed at another teacher and threatened to dump water from a cooler on her, he shoved a student out of his classroom into a hallway, he was verbally abusive towards students, he refused to let certain students enter his classroom despite a written order from his vice principal, and he hit a student twice with a door. He was allowed to retire with full benefits -- after pulling down seven more months of full pay. Click here to see his full tenure charges and settlement.