5/28/15, "Chris Christie Reverses Position On Common Core, Says He No Longer Supports It In New Jersey," Huffington Post, Rebecca Klein
"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday he wants his state
to dump the Common Core State Standards, nearly five years after its
board of education adopted them.
Speaking at Burlington County
College in Pemberton, New Jersey, the likely presidential contender said
the controversial academic benchmarks are "simply not working."
Instead, he called for measures that "are even higher and come directly
from our communities."
"It's now been five years since Common Core
was adopted and the truth is that it's simply not working," Christie
said. "It has brought only confusion and frustration to our parents and
has brought distance between our teachers and the communities where they
work. ... Instead of solving problems in our classrooms, it is creating
Christie initially supported the controversial academic standards, but has expressed concerns in
recent months about how they have been playing out in his state. The
Common Core State Standards -- developed by a group of governors and
state education chiefs -- were designed to make sure students around the
country are held to similar benchmarks and have been adopted in a
majority of states.
In recent years, the standards have become
increasing politically polarized, as conservative activists and
politicians cite them as an example of federal overreach. Indeed, while
the Common Core Standards were not developed by the federal government,
the Obama administration incentivized states to adopt higher [Common Core] standards
by tying them to federal education funding.
"I have heard far too
many people -- teachers and parents from across the state -- that the
Common Core standards were not developed by New Jersey educators and
parents,” Christie said. “As a result, the buy in from both communities
has not been what we need for maximum achievements. I agree. ... In my
view, this new era can be even greater by adopting new standards right
here in New Jersey -- not 200 miles away on the banks of the Potomac
Christie wants the New Jersey education commissioner, David Hespe, to assemble a group to develop new standards for the state, according to Time.
speaking at the 2013 KIPP Schools Summit in Las Vegas, Christie said
New Jersey would keep following Common Core. Last year, however, the governor created a commission to review the standards.
"We're doing Common Core in New Jersey and we're gonna continue,"
Christie said in 2013. "This is one of those areas where I've agreed
more with the president than not, and with Secretary [of Education Arne]
Duncan. They haven't been perfect on this, but they've been better than
a lot of folks have been. ... I think part of the Republican opposition
that you'll see in some corners in Congress is that knee-jerk reaction
that's happening in Washington right now, that if the president likes
something, then the Republicans in Congress don't."
In reversing his position on the Common Core, Christie's actions
mirror those of Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. While Jindal was
once a strong advocate for Common Core, he drastically switched positions last year. However, another likely Republican presidential contender, Jeb Bush, maintains support for the standards.
way, it is not clear how much opinions about Common Core may impact the
presidential prospects of Christie or any other potential nominee. When
Bloomberg and Purple Strategies interviewed a small, Iowa-based focus
group this month about Bush's position on the Common Core, participants didn't seem to care much about the issue. In a February NBC/Marist poll, 65 percent of registered voters in Iowa said they would find it acceptable if a candidate supported the Common Core."