While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has defended his state's adoption of Common Core education standards in the past, saying that opposition to Common Core is a "knee-jerk reaction" against any policy supported by President Obama, Christie has changed his mind.
Chris Christie may still be entertaining the delusion that he can run for president, for Pete's sake, and now is just as good of a time as any to abandon a previously held position.
During a speech at Burlington County College yesterday, Christie called for abandoning Common Core.
"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 pointed a finger specifically at the Obama administration but, as I'm sure you're aware, the diabolical administration did not create Common Core. Common Core standards were drafted by committee in collaboration with the National Governors Association and academics.
Christie's assertion that it's "been five years since Common Core was adopted" is also misleading as New Jersey just readopted the standards for Math, Science, and Language Arts less than a year ago in July of 2014. To say that it's "been five years" seems to be a very weak attempt to say that the policy has failed nationwide, except almost no one will pick up on that.
With all of that said, it appears that standards won't be changing in any significant way.
However, the New Jersey Department of Education has stated that it will still use Common Core-aligned tests, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, tests, so it’s unclear how much those standards would really change.
If Christie aims to abandon Common Core teaching standards while standardized testing continues to be based on those standards, the good governor could be setting students up to fail.
I don't expect Christie will be able to achieve much if any of what he hopes to achieve and will face significant push-back from a legislature that has virtually no reason to support him on anything. Christie's approval rating is in the toilet and he's surrounded by corruption.
As for Christie's appeal to the lunatic base of Republican primary voters who believe Common Core is liberal hogwash cooked up by the White House -- I doubt they will see this as sincere given the governor's past comments in defense of Common Core.
“I think part of the Republican opposition you see in some corners in Congress is a reaction, that knee-jerk 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.”