CHRISTIE ANNOUNCED EDUCATION REFORM AGENDA

gov_christieGovernor Chris Christie continued to advance a reform agenda for public education throughout the State of New Jersey. Speaking with families and community leaders at a town hall in Old Bridge, Governor Chris Christie unveiled the first pieces of a far-reaching reform agenda to improve New Jersey public schools by challenging the status quo and transforming a system that has fallen short of the needs of parents and children.

Despite some of the highest levels of education spending in the entire nation, New Jersey’s public schools continue to confront a critical achievement gap that shortchanges our children. For example, the achievement gap between wealthy and low-income 8th graders in math is nearly the same as it was 19 years ago; the gap between at-risk 4th graders and those not at-risk has remained nearly unchanged over the past 13 years. Likewise, New Jersey’s education system has failed to prepare vast numbers of students with the critical skills required to be competitive in college or the workforce. In 2009, nearly 30 percent of all 8th graders statewide lacked basic math skills.

Governor Christie’s Reform Agenda will bring necessary and long overdue reform to the public education system by making teacher effectiveness and student achievement the driving forces behind public policies and practices. The first step toward innovation in the public school system means focusing on accountability.

Governor Christie is proposing reforms to reward innovative and effective teaching, expand opportunities for New Jersey’s best teachers, and put student achievement at the center of educator evaluations. Governor Christie is challenging the education establishment with reforms to:

- Promote Innovative and Effective Teaching by Valuing Student Achievement Over Seniority.

- Demand Accountability and Results for New Jersey’s Children with Data-Supported Evaluations.

- Expand Opportunities for Great Teachers to Succeed.

- Ensure Our Children Have Well-Prepared Teachers.

Governor Christie also recognizes that through empowerment, parents can becomes better advocates for quality education for their children and increase accountability in our schools. The Governor’s reforms will work to:

- Engage Families in Their Children’s Education with Improved Access to Information.

- Improve Outreach and Communications Efforts to Parents and Families.