WALL STREET JOURNAL: Chris Christie Challenges Fellow Republicans to Support Higher Standards

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Chris Christie Challenges Fellow Republicans to Support Higher Standards

August 4, 2013

By Lisa Fleisher

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who hasn’t backed down from fighting with the GOP, took on his fellow party members once again last week when he said they were wrong for opposing new education standards.

“Mr. Christie, speaking at a charter-school conference, said Republicans who opposed education issues such as the Common Core State Standards were having a “knee-jerk” reaction to something the president supports.

“’If the president likes something, the Republicans in Congress don’t,’ and vice versa, he said Thursday at the KIPP School Summit in Las Vegas. ‘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 is to lead to failure. And I just don’t buy that.’”

“The new standards, which lay out what children should learn and when they should learn it, have been approved by 45 states. They were introduced in 2010 by groups that represent state governors and education commissioners, and states that adopted the standards had a better chance at winning money through the federal Race to the Top grant program.”

“Over the last few decades, educators have made fleeting attempts at introducing standards, but efforts have been derailed largely when opponents worried about federal mandates or argued about specifics in the curriculum. Supporters of the Common Core standards, cognizant of previous failures, have taken pains to make clear that the standards are voluntary for states.

“With the adoption of the new standards, states such as New York are redoing the tests they administer to third through eighth graders. Teachers have complained that states are moving too fast, and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten proposed a moratorium on consequences for teachers based on the new tests.

“New York City teachers have complained that the city last year hadn’t decided on a new curriculum or recommended new textbooks. Publishers have been revamping their offerings based on the new standards, but some city officials said they weren’t happy with the initial products.

“Tests results from this spring’s tests, based on the new standards, are due this week, and scores are expected to drop significantly to reflect what city and state officials characterized as higher standards.”

To read this article online, visit: http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2013/08/04/christie-spars-with-gop-again-this-time-over-education-standards/

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