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Governor Christie Brings Criticism Of NJ Teacher’s Union To Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – During a national education forum in Washington yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took the state teachers union to task for blocking reforms he seeks to make.

The governor’s claims during a meeting at George Washington University may have been new to the ears of the national media, but not around here. He suggested the New Jersey Education Association leadership wants to do nothing but maintain the status quo.

“When you want to have differentiation of pay based upon achievement and accomplishment in teacher practice and student achievement, there is one group of people that stands in the way of that.”

The union, as you might guess, disagrees.

“The Governor is trying to suggest that we’re not in favor of reform. We are, but we’re in favor of smart reform,” NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer said.

And he says Christie is willing to talk about changes with anyone but the teacher’s union.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio

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  • Jim

    Christie is the best thing to happen to the state in recent memory. This isn’t a question of republican vs democrat or liberal vs conservatives. It’s a matter of getting the state’s budget in shape and tackling one problem at a time. Starting pay for teachers is on the low side, however school administrators make FAR too much for what they do. I’m sorry, but being a principal is not a six figure job. Clothing Allowances on top of 175K+ a year for superintendents? Really guys? How many 100K/year administrative positions does a single township high school need? Cut one or two and teachers will find a few extra K in their pockets every year. State Government white collar employees live in a fantasy world and are out of touch with the private sector. In the real world, ineffective people lose their jobs and aren’t protected by unions and tenures. In addition, real world workers don’t have the luxury of a union to bully tax payers into salaries well beyond their worth. Wake up guys. You’re the ones footing the bill…

    • Danielle

      You’re right that administrators make much too much money, but cutting teachers is not the answer. You’re also right that in the real world, if you’re inneffective, you get fired. There are a handful of teachers who are bad at their jobs, and as I teacher, I want them gone too… but eliminating that position all together isn’t the answer for our country. Additionally, evaluating a teacher performance can be a very difficult task. You can’t simply take test scores and use that as a baseline as to whether or not someone is doing their job efficiently. This is difficult to explain to anyone who does not work in the feild of education. It’s even more difficult for teachers who work with inner city children. I think it’s great that Christie wants to balance the budget, but eliminating teachers jobs all together is NOT the answer.

  • Vincent

    If the comments that I have just read are any indication, it looks like republicans across the country are in for a rude awakening with the next round of elections. It does seem as though republicans are trying to balance their various budgets on the backs of the middle class instead of looking for other ways to do so.

    Whether Christie means it or not, he is coming accross like a bully whose single minded goal is to crush the NJEA.

  • Danielle

    I don’t want to hear about teachers getting paid based on test scores. Last year when my students took the PSSA’s, it was 90 degrees outside, making it much warmer in my classroom. There are so many outside factors that effect the test scores and to use those to determine salary is incredibly unfair. Factor in weather, class size, maturity, whether or not the child had an arguement on the way to school that day or endless other factors help determine the scores of those tests. Last year one of my students was falling asleep, I asked if he got sleep… he said he was up all night trying to count how many squares of toilet paper there were on a roll. Although this is humorous, it’s not humorous that this once advanced scoring child didn’t do so well on that particular test.
    These are all things teachers who do it year in and year out know already. But no one asks us.

  • Joe Black

    New Jersey please wake up this guy only complains about the Teachers Unions.What has he said about Tax breaks for the Rich? Nothing,it’s the same old song with this guy,blast the unions and look out for your Rich friends.Typical GOP message.

  • Nick Frese

    How about picking on someone your own (wallet) size, tough guy?

  • jack

    Was a Republican committee person for 6 yrs.NRA life member.Lifetime Republican.”Christie,you make me sick”.After seeing the way the new breed of Republican Governors are attacking the middle class,I will be voting Democrat from now on.Republicans/Conservatives like Hannity,Limbaugh and Beck want to accuse Democrats of class warfare.I guess pitting the middle class against each other to distract the tax breaks and refusal to place taxes on mining companies(corbett) is ok. It makes me sick to my stomach to have to pull the D.

  • blondie

    I agree unions need to make some concessions for the good of the state’s economy but his in-your-face tactics need to change. You can be tough and civil but he is just plain confrontational. I keep hearing that Christie was a bully as an AG and he is proving to be as a regular human being. But he’s not tough or confrontational when it comes to his rich buddies in north jersey. Where is the fairness and toughness then?

  • grumpy

    Divide an conquer the middle class. The only agenda that the Republican “right’ is interested in. Where are the jobs fat boy?

  • Eliza

    WE LOVE CHRIS CHRISTIE!!! NJEA needs to be cracked like a walnut! It’s NOT the teachers fault~they have BAD representation…

  • Amanda Bonner

    Christie is the equivalent of “Chicken Little” he runs around the country squawking about the “teachers and the teacher’s union” but from day one he has refused to sit down with the union leaders and have a civil discussion which allows input by both parties involved. He is a publicity hog and the thing he is publicizing is himself. So far — he’s done nothing to improve the property tax situation, attempted to amend the manner in which public schools are funded, or worked to reduce the state defiict. He refuses to tax the wealthiest group of people in the state and consistently spreads misinformation in regard to the ranking of NJ public schools in relationship to the public schooils nationally. He cannot admit that NJ has a very good public school system, nor can he admit that the failing schools in NJ are in two of the poorest cities in the country Camden and Newark and the issue isn’t incompetent teachers rather it is incompetent parenting and poverty. Solve those issues and you will solve the “failing schools” of NJ.
    This guy is a loudmouthed load and a one-term governor — we in NJ are sick of his “act” and no action.

    • Karin Meyer


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