Political System, Values, and Major Actors
The Political system and the Major Actors, that influence the New Jersey Educational system, are various but here in this paper, the major three interest groups will be discussed. These major three interest groups will be Teacher, Students and the Governor of New Jersey.
The major educational issue that is now become the buzzword, is the failure of existing educational system. Because this system is becoming the cause of frustration among all interest groups.
The performance of the existing system can easily be gauged, that the majority of the students have been failed to demonstrate and proved their skills that are inevitable to be competitive or remain competitive in their respective educational institute like college and workforce etc. According to study, almost thirty percent of eighth graders have no basic math skills. Further study revealed that, the achievement gap is almost as same among the 8th graders in math, both in the wealthy and low-income groups as it was in nineteen years ago. (State Para 2, 2010 and thegovmonitor Para 5, 2010)
Although the current political system and its values are about to manage the education and educational system but their impact is not being acknowledged, even by the governor himself. The governor expressed his viewpoint about the issue as:
As a proud product of New Jersey’s public schools, I want nothing more than to see our public education system give our children the quality education they deserve,” said Governor Christie. “Yet, if we are to be successful in our reform efforts, we must be honest about our shortcomings, candid about our failures, and open to the necessary reforms that are crucial to bringing positive change and innovation to our classrooms, no matter their zip code.
“For too long we have accepted low expectations and failure – particularly in our urban school districts – which has stolen hope from generations of New Jersey families. Today, we begin to put an end to the cycle of inaction by challenging the status quo, demanding more for our children and restoring the promise of a brighter future for every one of our communities”. (State Para 4 and 5, 2010)
Besides that, The Governor further elaborated that the teacher tenure must be proportional to the teacher’s performance. He further elaborated that, teachers’’’ salaries and benefit shouldn’t increase on the basis of number of year served and to secure any certificate and college degree, instead of that the increment and promotion of the teacher must be proportional with their student performance”. (New York Para 2, 2010)
Governor further added formerly that, a nine member taskforce comprising with the education experts would immediately be appointed to recommend the teacher evaluation system that would be based on student performance.
The above mentioned statement has overall positive representation of the governor thoughts and his planning but critics from different group of interests criticize it as follows:
The New Jersey Education Association expressed its comments that, the amendment about the teacher promotions criteria would need legislation and it is certain to face powerful opposition from the teacher union. (Njea, 2010)
In that connection, the teachers’ union spokesperson said that the research showed that, the student performance is not the accurate measure to gauge the teacher performance. He further added that it is another action by the governor to formalize the policy without taking the educators’ viewpoints. (NY Times Para. 9, 2010)
The above mentioned controversies are affecting all the interest groups like teacher (New Jersey Education Association and Teachers union etc), student and governor. The teachers are in dilemma that what would be the final outcome of these policies and what impact they will have be face. Student and parents are in confusion that, will the teacher focus on their development or to just raise the numbers and statistical data and the Governor reputation itself is in jeopardy after that criticism, not to share the teachers’ viewpoint.