New York Post – “...It’s refreshing to see a politician who not only understands the need for serious education reform but is wholly committed to it..."

  • Tuesday, September 28, 2010
  • Tags: Education
Education Reform Leaders: Governor Christie’s Reforms Will “Make New Jersey A National Leader In Education Reform”…

E3 (Excellent Education for Everyone):
“It’s clear that because of Governor Christie’s education reform agenda, New Jersey is emerging from almost a decade of looking the other way where our neediest children were concerned. What was spent in our schools was more important than what our students learned in their classrooms. How our students performed ultimately did not matter, and the Governor is changing that. The Governor has made it clear that student performance, and the ability of teachers to drive it, are what matter when we make decisions about who we hire to instruct our children. He’s also made it clear that student performance data is a critical component of measuring the success of our teachers. This stance is unprecedented in recent New Jersey history. Great teachers are essential to turning around New Jersey’s broken schools. The Governor’s focus on hiring and compensating excellent teachers, and removing underperformers, puts kids first, treats teachers like professionals accountable for their performance, and helps pave the way for an aggressive reform agenda.” (E3 statement to the New Jersey Department of Education: Congratulates Governor Christie on Bold Plan to Recruit, Retain, and Reward Excellent Teachers, and Remove Underperformers Governor’s Kids-First Agenda Makes Reform Reality, 9/27/2010)
Lisa Snell, Director of Education at the Reason Foundation:
“Governor Christie’s education reform proposals should be applauded for recognizing that the most important factor in improving student achievement for every child is to ensure that each child has a high-quality teacher. Governor Christie’s education plans will help to make teacher performance more transparent, reward higher-performing teachers, help train and develop the skills of less-effective teachers, and change teacher employment practices to focus on performance rather than years of service when considering teacher layoffs. The bottom line is that Governor Christie is working to change the culture of the teaching profession in New Jersey to value each child’s performance as most important and to be about outcomes for kids rather than outcomes for adults that work in the schools.”  (Statement to the New Jersey Department of Education, 9/28/2010)
Rev. Reginald Jackson of the Black Ministers Council: 
“For more than thirty years, the State of New Jersey has talked about reforming New Jersey's public schools in order to ensure that every child receives a quality education, regardless of race, income or zip code. Over these twenty years public school reform has not occurred. It has been blocked and stalled by forces that put their special interest ahead of our children. I thank and commend Gov. Chris Christie for his determination, commitment and courage, in taking on and leading the charge against those who would seek to maintain the status quo, protect the bureaucracy and continually make the children a lesser priority…Gov. Christie is committed to seeing that that hope, through public school reform and school choice is afforded to every child in New Jersey. The governor has my full support and I am prepared to do all I can to see that his efforts are successful.”  (Statement by Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, Executive Director, Black Ministers Council of New Jersey regarding Gov. Chris Christie and Education Reform to the New Jersey Department of Education, 9/27/2010)
Michael J. Petrilli, Vice President for National Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute:
“The proposals that Governor Christie announced today would instantaneously make New Jersey a national leader in education reform. By putting student achievement and teacher effectiveness front and center, Governor Christie has identified the strongest levers for improving the Garden State’s schools.”  (Statement to the New Jersey Department of Education, 9/28/2010)
The New Jersey School Boards Association:
“Major changes in school district governance and organization require input from everyone affected—particularly, students and parents—as well as taxpayers and the board of education elected to represent them,” said NJSBA’s Bilik. “Local school board governance can be an effective tool for reform; it’s the process in place in our state’s local school districts, and it has resulted in some of the nation’s highest performing schools.”  (NJSBA on Zuckerberg Gift, Newark School Reorganization, 9/24/2010)
Opinion Leaders: “Christie Is Right To Pursue Some Necessary Changes” To Reform Education In New Jersey… 

The Record:
“…we note that the governor's zeal to reform public education is genuine and his willingness to tackle any obstacle refreshing.”  (“Education matters,” The Record, 9/5/201)
New York Post:
“…areas in which Christie insists he has no intention of compromising — like merit pay and abolishing seniority-based layoffs...The governor said he was so committed to the items on his reform agenda that “they should not be compromised to achieve a contrived consensus among the various affected special-interest groups.” Good for him…But it’s refreshing to see a politician who not only understands the need for serious education reform but is wholly committed to it — in action as well as words. Well done, governor.” (“Grade-A governor,” New York Post, 6/6/2010)
Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Christie vows to proceed with the changes he wants anyway. That could be good since some of his ideas are more in line with the reforms that the Obama administration wants to make to improve public education, including linking teachers' pay to student performance and making it easier to fire bad teachers. The plan would also eliminate seniority and use teacher effectiveness to make job cuts. Those are much-needed steps to improve failing schools and hold educators accountable for student achievement. It means rewarding the best teachers and principals.”  (“Editorial: There's a better way,” Inquirer, 6/5/2010)
The Record:
“We need children to thrive in every one of our neighborhood public schools. That tough job will be done by teachers, not bureaucrats. Leadership is a tricky thing, and diagnosing problems and hypothesizing about big-picture improvements are a lot easier than actually improving education. The governor has made good headway on superintendent pay, with new caps and bonuses based on merit. Perhaps that can serve as a way forward on merit pay for teachers.” (“Race is on,” The Record, 8/1/2010)
The Star-Ledger:
“…build a data system to track student test scores more effectively so we can accurately assess teacher performance. That effort needs to move forward…”  (“Own up, Governor: Race to the Top error was New Jersey's, not Obama's,” Star-Ledger Editorial Board, 8/26/2010)
Asbury Park Press:
“Christie is right to pursue some necessary changes, and the union is only hurting itself by fighting the changes at every turn, losing public sentiment along the way.”  (Christie, teachers need to get along,” Asbury Park Press, 8/30/2010)
Daily Record:
“…the reforms were good ones. For instance, rewarding our best teachers with bonuses would be beneficial to the teacher, the school and the students.”  (“The state's $400M blunder,” Daily Record, 8/26/2010)
Bruce McQuain, Washington Examiner:
“What he is doing is what government should be doing - freeing the citizenry to decide for themselves and forcing marginal or poor schools to heed their “customer base” or "go out of business". The message is market based but aimed at government run education - "the free ride is over". Christie points out that in Newark, NJ, taxpayers pay $24,000 per pupil per year. So in a class of 20 you have almost a half a million dollars spent. I'd like to say "invested" but it’s hard to do with a system Christie characterized as an "absolutely disgraceful public education system." So cheers to Christie.”  (Bruce McQuain, “Speaking truth to power – New Jersey style,” Washington Examiner, 6/4/2010)
The Record:
“Though many New Jersey public schools are excellent, far too many, especially in poor cities, are failing their students. Reform must take hold in these communities. It is time to have a serious conversation about how.”  (“Race to blame,” The Record, 8/26/2010)
Bob Ingle, Politics Patrol Blog:
“The problem is you can’t solve problems by throwing money at them. You need to rethink the way kids are educated…continuing what we have done in the past is not the answer.”  (Bob Ingle, “Spending formulas don’t educate kids,” Politics Patrol, 8/30/2010)

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