Why We Need Tenure Reform

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Today’s Courier-Post reports on a 2007 incident in Camden Public Schools where a tenured teacher named Errol Goodwater struck a special education student on the back with the power cord from a laptop computer. Four years later, Comm. Cerf has ordered the dismissal of the teacher, overturning  a lower court ruling that said that the teacher should retain his tenure after a four-year suspension of pay.  The teacher’s lawyer says that he will appeal Cerf’s ruling.

Conveniently, a video was available, which Cerf used in his decision. From the Courier Post:

Goodwater “intentionally swung the computer cord and forcibly struck (the boy), leaving him crying, with a raised welt on his back that was still noticeable the next day,” the commissioner said in his ruling. 

He acknowledged Goodwater had apologized to the student, but called that “a mere gesture … in light of the fact that (Goodwater) continues to suggest that his actions were fully justified under the circumstances.” 

He also said Goodwater has tried “to put all of the blame on (the boy’s) behavioral problems and the atmosphere in which he teaches.” 

According to the administrative law judge’s decision, Goodwater testified that his “kids are murderers, criminals and car thieves.”

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1 Comment

  • mike, May 10, 2012 @ 4:38 pm Reply

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