New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said today that he's "tired of giving our fake diplomas" — certifications with little meaning, as evidenced by their recipients' inability to complete college-level work.
Christie is in the middle of an aggressive week of education reform appearances as he supports a slate of reforms which includes a "new accountability system" to focus on the following principles:
· Focus on schools, more than districts, as the accountable unit
· Emphasize "outcomes" (graduation rates, achievement gains) rather than "inputs"
· Measure success by high standards directly correlated to college and career readiness
· Recognize academic progress, not absolute achievement levels, as the proper benchmark for success
· Consist of considerably less paperwork and fewer bureaucratic demands on districts, so that schools can focus on what matters most
· Include a clearly articulated schedule of interventions for schools experiencing persistent educational failure
The video of Christie's appearance today is followed by a text of his remarks.
"Here's what I'm not going to have anymore: I'm not going to have urban mothers and fathers lied to about the quality of education their child is receiving. And I'm tired of giving out fake diplomas to people who can't qualify to sit in a college classroom.
Now that may make it uncomfortable for some people, but we need to hold people accountable who are providing that education, and we need to hold those students accountable for achieving to a level that entitles them to that diploma.
And if they don't, we need to let them know that. And the fact of the matter is now that we haven't done that, and that's cheating them. That's cheating them, and I'm not going to let it go on anymore."