Christie walking back support for Common Core?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie’s decision to reevaluate PARCC testing is nothing new, Save Jerseyans, but his rhetoric where the inextricably-linked Common Core issue is concerned has definitely changed. 

In case you missed it, here’s what he had to say at the end of last week on NJ 101.5:

Gov. Christie also told WNET-NJTV back in December that he had “real concerns about Common Core.” He expressed concern over “the effect it’s having on our kids, but we do have to have testing to know where are kids are.”

Now keep in mind: this is the same guy who, throughout 2013, repeatedly accused Common Core opponents of exhibiting “knee-jerk” reactions where the controversial federally-imposed curriculum standards are concerned. 

“If the president likes something, the Republicans in Congress don’t, and if the Republicans in Congress like something the President doesn’t,” he told an August 2013 KIPP School Summit in Las Vegas. “It is this mindset in D.C. right now that says we have to be at war constantly, because to not be at war is to show weakness, and to show weakness is to lead to failure. And I just don’t buy that.”

One can’t help but wonder whether presidential politics is playing a role here. After all, contrary to the Governor’s formulation of the issue, there isn’t anything new/terrible coming to light about Common Core that it’s supporters shouldn’t have known prior to the beginning of implementation!

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) visits a Camden, NJ classroom in January 2014.
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) visits a Camden, NJ classroom in January 2014.

A look at the latest polling invites my speculation. 

The poll in question comes to us from CBS News over the weekend where only 29% of Republicans polled want to see him run for president and over 44% do not. Only Sarah Palin performs worse; Romney and Bush are both in positive territory. I’ve been saying it for over a year now: Chris Christie’s centrist drift would be a bigger problem for him than Bridgegate come primary time. This poll certainly doesn’t disprove my thesis!

Is it fatal? Who knows; a lot can happen and the field remains fluid. But his mystifying position is definitely a major complication. 

The key point is that Bush and Romney are also widely viewed as “establishment centrists” by many elements of the base, Romney somewhat less so, but regardless of the fairness of this assessment, what’s undeniable from a political point of view is the need for Gov. Christie to distinguish himself if he wants to win. The only way to do that against a Bush in a Republican primary, you’d think, would be to head right.

Romney is already anti-Common Core. Bush is pro. To be fair, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker has also permitted his Common Core position to drift over time.

So we’ll see what happens when our own Governor’s commission reports back… this summer.


8 thoughts on “Christie walking back support for Common Core?

  1. Christie does not seem to understand what is actually in the curriculum, and who is actually writing it , that is the most serious problem with it. Then there is the data mining of our children that goes with it. The testing is the least of the problems with Common Core. It is riddled with socialism and communistic teachings, anti semitism, the teaching of islam, the lack of US history, teaches globalization as good and Capitalism as unfair, It eliminates Classic literature and replaces it with readings of government documents,e.g global warming, The United Nations is actually involved in as well. The data mining is intrusive and invades a childs privacy with the types of questions they put in, and then they build profiles on our kids. It also dumbs them down. It replaces critical thinking, teaching them what to think instead of how to think. I have researched this in length.

  2. @Tracey I don’t think most of Common Core’s Republican supporters know what’s in it.

  3. They don’t. It is hard to find and research now. I started 2 years ago and phoned and wrote to Christie back then. I never got a response. I asked him to please look into what Common Core was about,and warned it is a trojan horse. Still no response. The Governors were given a large amount of money to adopt it. They should have done their homework before they took the money.

  4. I’d like to see him jog. Into the ocean. He’s so full of crap that his ears smell like shit.

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