From his perspective as a learned doctor of education heading the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, Richard Bozza obviously is miffed that Gov. Chris Christie has tapped nine Joe and Jane Citizens to recommend how best to measure the effectiveness of teachers and other school officials (“Educators must take the lead in defining school reform,” Nov. 26.) Everyone “knows” (or at least all leaders of education interest groups “know”) that professional educators must be in charge of such initiatives. The author seems to think that enlightened folks presumably also “know” that it is ridiculous for the governor to give the citizens panel only until March 1, 2011, to report and to ask them to do their work without a huge government grant.
To the contrary, it is refreshing that a governor is turning to the people as opposed to the vested interests for guidance. Too often, when task forces are headed by insiders, the result is interminable delay and exorbitant study costs instead of prompt reform. Instead of the “political sound-bite reform and misguided expectations” that Mr. Bozza fears, the state may benefit from some real-world, common-sense advice from a consumer’s perspective about how to distinguish between good and bad teaching.
The writer is a senior fellow for education policy at the Heartland Institute (heartland.org).