Gov. Chris Christie on Newark: “These Fights Are Big Fights”


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie details some of the problems in Newark, NJ, and points out that it’s the kids there — and not in the successful districts like Millburn — that he’s trying to help.

“The first place I went the day after the election was Newark. And I spent a lot of personal time selecting the Superintendent of Schools in Newark, who is a woman who I know you’re going to get to respect and admire. She’s doing a good job already trying to turn out a school district that is laden with patronage, jobs for everybody’s aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew, niece in the world, that are not helping the education of those children at all.

The fights that I’m having on education, and the main fights that I’m having with the teachers union, are about Newark and urban education in this state. Because let me tell you… these guys from Millburn, Cherry Hill… Livingston, where I grew up… they’re getting a really good public education.

In Newark, those kids and their families are being screwed. The fights that I’m having to change teacher tenure, to change the way schools are run, to empower principals, to pay teachers in those districts more so we can get the best teachers down there to help lift these children up. Longer school day, longer school year… all those things I’m advocating for that the teachers union is fighting me on aren’t to make education better in Millburn, they’re to make education better in Newark.

For the kids who started the 9th grade two weeks ago in Newark, at any one of Newark’s high schools, 23% of them will graduate in four years with a high school diploma…

… these fights are big fights.”

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at www.matthewktabor.com , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.