EdSummit 2015 – Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris said the biggest problem in K-12 education is not having co-operative members of the education establishment. Teacher unions and the education establishment know that fixing education will take away their monopoly.


Christie said there is now hope in Camden because of a cooperation from different groups. A bipartisan coalition of leaders volunteered to have the state take over the public school system. Camden parents now have school choice options.

Newark and Teacher Unions

Christie said he worked with American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten to negotiate a teacher contract. “You have to work with these folks.”
He said Gov. Jeb Bush was admitting failure by saying he wouldn’t work with unions.
Christie said teacher unions deserve a political punch in the face. He added, as an elected official he has an obligation to work with them. You can do both.
“She (Weingarten) has worked with us before. It won’t be easy, but I’d be fair.”

What Needs to be Done

Christie said parents need to be more involved. He also advocated for a longer school day and school year. And he said education needs to be personalized, with educators taking a closer look at what is lacking in a child’s environment.

As President

Christie said he would move education funding from the federal to local level. He said the federal government should not be involved in curriculum or dictating choices.
He said his largest role as President will be to use the bully pulpit to move opinion.

The Achievement Gap

“This cannot be a right and just country with this achievement gap,” said Christie.
He said we must invigorate parents. In return for choice, he added, parents should have a piece of accountability.

Teachers and Accountability

Christie said teachers’ pay must be based on achievement, and they must be held accountable.
He said as President he would get rid of teacher tenure.

ESA Reauthorization

Christie said accountability should come from the local level. He said parents will hold educators accountable if we give them the tools to do it.

Common Core

(On why he changed his position) Christie said Common Core doesn’t work. He said he tried four years of Common Core in New Jersey. Three constituencies hated it – teachers, parents and students.
He said parents felt decision making authority was taken away from them, as well as from teachers.
On Common Core he said, “I have a thinking operating brain.”


Christie said every kid in America should carry an iPAD. He said to get rid of the blackboard and place a Smart board in every classroom.
He said the modern school needs to adjust to the students that walk in everyday.


“I’ve never heard this President talk about education.”


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