Chris Christie quotes about education

Last week, Chris Christie announced his candidacy for president. The current governor of New Jersey in one of fourteen Republicans running for the White House—a group that vastly outnumbers the five Democrats in the race. He’s also the subject of the seventeenth installment of the Eduwatch 2016 series chronicling presidential candidates’ stances on education issues.

Christie has been at New Jersey’s helm since 2010. A lawyer by trade, he’s been a lobbyist, practiced law in private firms, and served as the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2002 to 2008. In his five years leading the Garden State, he’s made a number of changes to the state’s education system, including expanding charter schools and reforming teacher tenure and evaluation. Here are some of his recent stances on education:

1. Common Core: “It's now been five years since Common Core was adopted, and the truth is that it's simply not working....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 new ones.” May 2015.

2. School choice: “Students in struggling districts should have the option of attending a public school outside their district of residence without cost to their parents.” July 2015.

3. Charter schools: “Another way to expand the education options available for children trapped in school districts with the largest achievement gaps is to encourage the best charter school operators.” July 2015.

4. Teacher pay: “In order to ensure schools can attract and retain the best and brightest, teachers’ pay should be based in part on evaluations and the educational gains of their students.” July 2015.

5. Teacher tenure: “Tenure for teachers should be awarded and retained based on performance.” July 2015.

6. Federal control of education: “We must reject federal control of our education and return it to parents and teachers....We need to take it out of the cubicles of Washington, D.C., where it was placed by the Obama administration, and return it to the neighborhoods of New Jersey.” May 2015.

7. College readiness: “Focusing specifically on students from low-income families, college readiness programs can enroll these students in transitional courses before they graduate high school to better prepare them for college.” July 2015.

8. Apprenticeships: “We should expand the use of apprenticeships, and make them more attractive for young people and employers. Learning on the job is still learning, and for many professions it’s the most valuable experience there is. We should provide tax incentives to cover the cost of apprentice wages and program costs. Students in every state should also have the option to get some sort of on-the-job training before finishing high school.” July 2015.

9. Alternatives to traditional four-year college degrees: “America should strive to give students lots of different ways to learn, and shouldn’t fear alternatives to traditional four-year public universities.” July 2015.

10. Efficiency in higher education: “America needs to encourage universities to run more efficiently—and to introduce greater transparency, accountability and competition into our higher education system. This is about empowering consumers. People will vote with their feet by deciding which colleges to attend, based on whether they’re using money wisely.” July 2015.

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That’s it for Christie. Bobby Jindal and Jim Webb are up next, followed by anyone else who announces his or her candidacy. See you next time. 

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Read what Hillary ClintonJeb BushMarco RubioTed CruzBernie SandersBen CarsonCarly FiorinaMike HuckabeeRand Paul, Rick SantorumGeorge PatakiMartin O'MalleyLindsey GrahamLincoln ChafeeRick Perry, and Donald Trump have said about education.

Brandon L. Wright
Brandon L. Wright is the Editorial Director of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.