ICYMI: VIDEO: Governor Chris Christie: Republican Governors Are Leading the Way on Common Core
Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addressed the KIPP School Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. He discussed a variety of education reform issues. Check out what he had to say about how Republican governors are leading the movement to raise academic standards.
Question: Republicans in Congress have hardly been carrying the banner of education reform – anti-national testing, anti-Common Core. What’s going on there? I assume you don’t share their views.
Governor Chris Christie on Common Core:
“I don’t. We are doing Common Core in New Jersey and we’re going to continue. And, this is one of those areas where I have agreed more with the President than not. And with Secretary Duncan.
“They haven’t been perfect on this, but they’ve been better than a lot of folks have been in terms of the reform movement.
“I think part of the Republican opposition you see in some corners in Congress is a reaction, that kneejerk reaction that is happening in Washington right now, that if the President likes something the Republicans in Congress don’t. If the Republicans in Congress like something, the President doesn’t.
“It is this mindset in D.C. right now that says we have to be at war constantly. Because to not be at war is to show weakness and to show weakness leads to failure. And, I just don’t buy that.
“In my own state, we haven’t bought that argument between Republicans and Democrats. I have a Democratic Legislature. Every day I wake up knowing I’m not going to get everything I want. So, my job is to figure out how I build consensus; how do I bring change in a way that will be assisted by compromise.
“And, I think that part of the problem in Congress right now on both sides of the aisle is that folks care more about their primaries than they care about anything else. And, as a result they fight some of these things.
“But, what you are finding on a state level is Republican governors, and really a number of governors on the Democratic side as well, are leading the change. We are dragging Washington to the change. Washington isn’t getting there themselves.
“I think it’s because governors have to look in the eyes of those kids. You go to those schools, you meet those parents, and you can’t walk away and not be affected. At least I’m not, and I think a lot of my fellow governors on both sides of the aisle are equally affected.”