Governor Chris Christie Now Opposes Common Core in New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated that the Common Core has become problematic and that he wants standards to originate in the respective communities.  This is a reversal from where he stood on the topic less than two years ago when he stated his support for the federal mandate.  Gov. Christie’s statement becomes the latest unfavorable headline for the Common Core in 2015.

While Gov. Christie may very well be taking this stance in order to improve his chances at a possible run for the Republican nomination in 2016, he is echoing the sentiments of his electorate.  Opposition to the Common Core exams in New Jersey has made national headlines often this year.  Let’s take a look at what he has to say in Gov. Chris Christie Calls For End Of Common Core In New Jersey:

Gov. Chris Christie is backing away from the use of Common Core school standards, saying the system isn’t working for students in New Jersey.

In a speech Thursday, the likely Republican presidential contender will make the case that the standards have brought confusion and frustration to parents and classrooms.

The Common Core standards spell out what academic skills students should master at each grade level. They have been adopted by most states and the federal government, through a grant program, encourages states to use them. But they are unpopular among many parents, teachers, and GOP voters nationwide.

“It’s now been five years since Common Core was adopted. And the truth is that it’s simply not working,” Christie says in excerpts released by his office ahead of the speech at Burlington County College. “Instead of solving problems in our classrooms, it is creating new ones. And when we aren’t getting the job done for our children, we need to do something different.”

Christie, who says he’ll announce next month whether to mount a run for the White House, is also expected to ask the state’s education commissioner to convene a group of parents, teachers and educators to come up with new state-specific education standards for him to consider.

“It is time to have standards that are even higher and come directly from our communities. And, 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 River,” he says in the remarks.

While Christie stated in August of 2013 that  “We’re doing Common Core in New Jersey, and we are going to continue.”, the nation’s hatred of the Common Core was not nearly as intense as it is today.

Christie has been gradually backing away from the support he expressed for the standards less than two years ago, when he declared that “this is one of those areas where I’ve agreed more with the president than not.”

Christie told attendees at a GOP dinner in Iowa in February that he had “grave concerns” about the way the standards had been implemented. In New Hampshire later that month, he appeared to reject the idea of national standards.

He stressed the need for high academic standards, but added that “those higher standards should be determined by the people who are educating the children in those particular states. And my concern about what the administration has done is the federalization of this that takes education further and further away from parents is not the type of education that I think we want in this country or need.” 

The last sentence is telling.  If he is trying to position himself for a run at the White House, stating that he understands that the role that parents have is being compromised only helps. Regardless of what you think about Gov. Christie, returning control of what is taught in our classrooms back to the local level is the optimal path for moving on from the Common Core.

-Gabriel Diaz

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