Every week leading up to the 2016 Primary Season, HSLDA will post a profile for one of the 2016 Presidential candidates on Homeschooling Now, highlighting where each stands on the Common Core State Standards Initiative. For more information on the Common Core, check out our free resources at HSLDA.org/CommonCore.
- 55th Governor of New Jersey (2010-present)
- U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (2002-2008)
CURRENT POSITION: Opposes the Common Core
PAST POSITION: Supported the Common Core
- 2010: Signed the application for Race to the Top funding.
- 2011-2014: As governor, he backed the implementation of Common Core in New Jersey. He also began expressing concerns over Common Core in 2014, establishing a commission to review and analyze the new standards.
- 2015: Announces that New Jersey will be moving away from Common Core, however he is still a proponent of implementing PARCC tests.
“It’s now been five years since Common Core was adopted. And the truth is that it’s simply not working. It has brought confusion and frustration to parents. I’ve heard it every day. It’s brought distance between our teachers and the communities where they work, and instead of solving problems in our classrooms, it is creating morale problems in those classrooms and at home. And when we aren’t getting the job done for our children, we need to do something different.” —Speech at Burlington County College, May 2015
“”I felt like we had to give it a fair chance, I think we did. We’ve given it a four-year chance,” he said. “They feel as if it’s been imposed upon them from Washington.” —Appearance in Nashville TN, State’s GOP Dinner, May 2015, via CNN
“ “I’m open to changing it [Common Core] because it’s not working in New Jersey.” —Interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, April 2015
“I have grave concerns about the way this [Common Core] has been done, especially the way the Obama administration has tried to implement it through tying federal funding to these things. And that changes the entire nature of it, from what was initially supposed to be voluntary-type system and states could decide on their own to now having federal money tied to it in ways that really, really give me grave concerns. So we’re in the midst of re-examination of it in New Jersey. I appointed a commission a few months ago to look at it in in light of these new developments from the Obama administration and they’re going to come back to me with a report in the next I think six or eight weeks then we’re going to take some action. It is something I’ve very concerned about, because in the end education needs to be a local issue.” —Dallas County GOP Event, February 2015 via The The Des Moines Register
“We are doing Common Core in New Jersey, and we’re going to continue. And this is one of those areas where I have agreed more with the President than not. And with Secretary Duncan … I think part of the Republican opposition you see in some corners in Congress is a reaction, that knee-jerk reaction that is happening in Washington right now, that if the president likes something, the Republicans in Congress don’t. If the Republicans in Congress like something, the president doesn’t.” —Conference for KIPP Public Charter Schools in 2013, via CBS News
“”The Common Core State Standards are a building block in our state’s education system meant to ensure that teachers and districts can innovate within a framework of high expectations and accountability. They are based on the fundamental belief that every child in every classroom deserves an education that will properly equip them with the skills they need for college and a career. Our aggressive implementation of these standards in partnership with districts will ensure that our children have an education that will serve them well in the next stages of their lives.” —News Release in 2011, via via NJ.com
- Washington Post: Gov. Christie’s curious plan to dump the Common Core – but keep the Core test, June2015
- Interview at KIPP School Summit, 2013
- Interview with Laura Ingraham at CPAC, 2015
- Burlington County College speech, 2015
SUMMARY: Previously a supporter of Common Core, Christie has shifted his position significantly. He believes participation in Common Core should be voluntary, and is wary of the federal government coercing and bribing states into accepting new policies. In a 2015 interview with Laura Ingraham at CPAC, Christie stated that he “regrets” implementing common Core in New Jersey – nevertheless, he supports the PARCC assessments and has made no effort to withdraw New Jersey from the testing consortium.
— Andrew Mullins and Lauren Mitchell
Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Andrew Mullins and Charity Klicka; second image by Gage Skidmore.