(National Harbor, MD) Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) did not give a traditional speech while speaking at CPAC today. Instead he was interviewed by conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. Ingraham put Common Core front and center by asking about his previous support of Common Core. She noted that it was his signature on the state’s Race to the Top application. She said, “I know you’ve had some hesitations, but why did you sign it?”
“In New Jersey we’ve always been for the standards, for high standards, and we had standards before then. My concern now as we travel toward implementation is not only the heavy foot of the federal government coming in, but it is not doing all that we need to have done in New Jersey. We need to have local control – parents, teachers in those classrooms, they are the ones who should be helping us at the state level to set the standards. So it was all teed up when I came in by Governor Corzine. We signed on and tried to get funds through a really difficult fiscal time,” Christie replied.
“Regrets, do you have regrets?” Ingraham asked.
“Sure of course,” Christie replied.
“Political regrets?” Ingraham asked.
“Implementation regrets. Unlike other people who just get to talk about this stuff we actually have to do it. Once we start to do it, what I’ve seen, with the concern that I’ve had since the beginning we set a commission up that is now coming back with some recommendations, but my charge to them is that we have to keep government at the local level. With education it is most important it has to have parents involved, there have to be teachers involved as a part of this process and it needs to be part of this process and will be I think as we move forward in New Jersey,” Christie added.
The New Jersey Assembly recently voted 63 to 7 to delay the impact the state’s students and teachers would feel from PARCC the Common Core assessment consortia the state belongs to. The assessment is being implemented this year. This measure prohibits the New Jersey Department of Education from using the PARCC test to determine a student’s placement in a gifted and talented program, placement in another program or intervention, grade promotion, as the state graduation proficiency test, any other school or district-level decision that affects students, or as a component of any evaluation rubric submitted to the Commissioner of Education for three years beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.