During Governor Chris Christie’s New Jersey State of the State address on Tuesday, he characterized the city of Camden’s school system as “obscene” and “unacceptable.”
The governor sadly admitted, “Last year only three students graduated from high school college-ready. Listen to that again. In the entire public school system in Camden last year, only three students graduated college ready.”
“That is obscene,” he declared. “And unacceptable. And a breaching of the faith between those families and every level of government responsible for their education.”
Earlier in the speech, Christie praised New Jersey for investing $25 billion in education over the last year. What is more, he boasted that NJ spends over $17,000 per pupil, making it one of the highest in the nation.
In Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, Christie asserted that with state provided resources, a cooperation has been forged between the public schools and the state run charter schools. According to the Governor, this reorganization has put the “focus on kids, our schools, and their parents first, and graduation rates have increased by 10%.”
Nevertheless, as the disaster in Camden illustrates, Christie admitted, “In some cases children are not receiving the education and I believe in far too many cases. Although many public schools are strong, too many are still failing. [The] vast majority of teachers are performing well; some are underperforming.” In characteristically union-busting fashion, Christie recommends that the underperforming teachers should be removed from the classroom.