NJ Senate President Sweeney

Monday, July 02, 2012

Steve Sweeney, New Jersey's Democratic Senate President, discusses the NJ budget, higher education in the state, and decisions about Medicaid and health exchanges that the state will have to make following the Supreme Court's ruling on health care. Then Bob Hennelly, WNYC's contributing editor for politics and investigations, puts it all into context.   


Bob Hennelly and Steve Sweeney

Comments [6]

Katie Kennedy from Huntingon, NY

Just listened to the discussion on teacher tenure. Tenure is possibly the most misunderstood concept in education. It does not mean, and never has meant, lifetime guaranteed employment. Tenure laws simply guarantee that a teacher is entitled to due process before being terminated. They were originally implemented by school boards and state legislatures, before teacher unions even existed, for the purpose of ensuring academic freedom. Under tenure laws, original or revised, tenured teachers who did not do the job could be terminated, provided school administrators did their jobs of properly supervising and evaluating teachers. Unfortunately, the emphasis among administrators, whether under the laws of the past few decades or under the newly revised laws, has been to get rid of teachers in the easiest way possible. Educational research that has been readily available for over 30 years shows that peer mentoring and coaching for teachers is the most effective way to improve performance. Why can't they embrace the concept of 1. coaching teachers who are shown to be truly ineffective by sound supervision, 2. documenting efforts to help struggling teachers, and 3. going through due process for those who do not respond?

Jul. 02 2012 10:50 AM
Leo from Queens

I'm not a friend of Charlie Rangel, but we should be having a conversation about the cleanliness and competence of the NYC Board of Elections. We are supposed to be a modern wealthy city, yet 99% of THIRD World countries are able to run clean, timely, efficient and transparent elections and the counting of the votes which we don't seem to have in NYC. Even during the last presidential elections we saw how numbers reported on the night of the election changed dramatically after the final count in many districts/precints.

Can the NYC Board of Elections be trusted? Shouldn't we have International monitors or the Feds step in to teach us the basics on how to run clean elections.

Brian, it would be a good topic for you to invite the Election officials to your show to have them explain how they are running elections. Even if they don't give any answers it will give listeners the opportunity to assess if these people have any intelligence / competence

Jul. 02 2012 10:42 AM
Vince from Pompton Plains, NJ

I am disheartened by Sen. Sweeney's obvious lack of information about Teacher tenure. He, like the Governor, has no understanding of what tenure is and what it does. It DOES NOT guarantee a job for life, and I am frankly sick of hearing that. It gurantees DUE PROCESS in the termination process for teachers. Kinda like that pesky document the Constitution does. There is a fundamental ignorance in American society of what tenure is, and it appears that ignorance has permeated into the State Senate chamber as well.

Jul. 02 2012 10:39 AM

You'll get tenure in NJ as long as you pay your non-tenure teacher tax. That is the money your district's Mayor demands from non-tenured teachers in tickets to their fundraisers. If Christie really gave a damn about public school (he doesn't) he would make that illegal.

Jul. 02 2012 10:38 AM
maria from Brooklyn

i think the biggest flaw in this healthcare bill is the idea that these wealthy freeloaders are costing us so much money in emergency rooms. I think that is probably less than a rounding error. The problem is of course people who cannot afford the care or are illegal residents of the country. I don't think we will start turning away illegals from care and the poor will receive subsidies - so riddle me this - how does this change anything? seems to be moving change from one pocket to another.

Jul. 02 2012 10:37 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

While I admire Gov. Christie at times, for speaking his mind; him calling a journalist "an idiot" on Friday, for daring to ask a question he didn't like, is rather disappointing....

Jul. 02 2012 10:31 AM

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