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Chris Christie on Education

 


Replace Abbott District funds with tenure reform & charters

Let's face it: more money does not necessarily lead to a better education. It is time to admit that the Supreme Court's grand experiment with NJ children is a failure. 63% of state aid over the years has gone to the Abbott Districts and the schools are still predominantly failing. It isn't working for children in failing districts, it is unfair to the other 557 school districts and to our state's taxpayers. My proposals reflect the intention we should all have: to put children first:
  1. reform tenure--by taking it away from those whose ratings are unacceptably weak.
  2. if layoffs are necessary remove the least effective teachers instead of just the most junior ones.
  3. pay teachers more when they are assigned to a failing school or to teach a difficult subject.
  4. end forced placements--teachers should not be assigned to schools without the mutual consent of the teacher and the principal.
  5. reform our process for authorizing charter schools to focus on our failing school districts
Source: N.J. 2012 State of the State Address , Jan 17, 2012

Most great teachers want accountability

Q: You've had this huge battle with education unions. They've accused you of bullying them. You've been pretty vigorous in your response saying that if you want to go into teaching you know the pay grade; there's no point squealing about it when you get there; you don't like it don't go into it.

A: Listen, what I really want is accountability. And I think most great teachers want accountability. I mean the teachers I had in school that helped make me who I am, they would never fear accountability because they knew they were doing a great job, and they watched children develop under their watch. And all I'm saying is that every child in New Jersey deserves the kind of education I got. Every one of them does. And we're paying more per pupil per year than any state in America.

Source: Interview on CNN "Piers Morgan Tonight" , Jun 15, 2011

Expand 73 charter schools to replace 200 failing schools

We cannot ask children and families stuck in chronically failing public schools to wait any longer. It is not acceptable that a child who is neglected in a New Jersey school must accept it because of their zip code. We must give parents and children a choice to attend better schools.

Over 100,000 students are trapped in nearly 200 failing schools. We need to tell those children, and those families, trapped in poor schools that we are coming--and that before this Legislature goes home we will give them more help toward improvement, more hope, and more choice. We must expand the charter school program beyond the six we approved this year and the 73 operating in New Jersey. That is a top priority. I am ready to work with the Legislature to attract the best charter school operators in America to New Jersey; to increase our authorizing capacity so they can start charter schools here; & to implement the interdistrict school choice law we passed last year.

Source: 2011 N.J. State of the State Address , Jan 11, 2011

Build up colleges to support business, & avoid "brain drain"

Chris Christie spoke directly to students today, telling a small group at Raritan Valley Community College that New Jersey was not doing enough to fund their educations. "Over the last eight years, this state has done an awful job supporting higher education in New Jersey," Christie said, adding that state aid to colleges and universities is down 2% in that time period.

The result of that is what the former U.S. Attorney calls the "brain drain"--referring to trends that show fewer high school graduates stay in New Jersey for college, and those who do end up leaving after earning a diploma.

Lagging colleges also lead business leaders to see the state differently. Companies seek to have long-term, "intellectual relationships" with educational institutions but might not be able to if schools aren't built up enough to attract students, he said. Businesses need access to practical and research support from colleges, as well as a trained workforce, he said.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage: 2009 N.J. gubernatorial debates , Jul 29, 2009

Public education system is failing; increase accountability

The toughest, most important problems in our state are too often met with simple answers. Take our schools, for example. Our public education system is failing in far too many parts of our state--in our cities, in our suburbs and in the rural parts of our state. Our children deserve better.

All our current government does is simply throw more money at the problem without ever bringing about real change. Change won't come just with more money. That's the easy answer that hasn't worked for far too long. Change will only come with increased accountability and greater parental involvement.

It is a moral imperative to educate our children in every corner of this state. It's time we had a Governor with the courage to provide tough answers for tough questions. Chris Christie will be that Governor.

Source: Campaign website, www.christiefornj.com, "Issues" , Jul 21, 2009

Other candidates on Education: Chris Christie on other issues:
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Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012