Christie Declares War On Teachers … The Bad Ones

Tough Talk On Education Reform Upsets Union, Some Parents

PARAMUS, N.J. (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — Governor Chris Christie held his first town hall meeting of the year Thursday in Bergen County. Hundreds of people packed a building to listen to the Republican talk about pension and education reform.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reports, it’s a plan that could eliminate tenure for teachers.

“I’m not worried about being loved. My mother told me a long time ago if you have a choice between being loved and respected, take respected. Love may come later,” Christie said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The huge crowd packing an Elks Lodge in Paramus got to see Christie up close and personal describing how he wants to change the state’s education system by getting rid of chronically failing schools and teachers — basing it all on merit not tenure.

“We’re going to reward you for what you do. We’re going to honor you both financially and spiritually and when you have colleagues who stink and who are letting down the children and their families we’re going to fire them,” Christie said.

Kevin King told Sloan he has two special needs children in school.

“I totally agree with it. With the number of people out of work teachers need to be held accountable,” King said.

But other parents said they are worried.

“I want them to support school system, give them good programs. I don’t want any more cuts,” Paramus resident Dori Barret said.

And one former teacher expressed anger over Christie’s remarks.

“I have looked at the governor for the past year and he has effectively trashed my profession,” Bob Myers said.

The teachers’ union said despite what the governor says tenured teachers are held accountable and can be fired. One union rep said his proposal isn’t fair.

“I respect the governor position he holds. I do not respect the unfair dictatorial way he’s trying to implement his policies,” he said.

The governor said he’s put an education task force together to look into teacher evaluations. Its findings will be released in the coming months.

The Bergen County Education Association said there are no teachers on the governor’s task force and that, they said, is a mistake.

More from Christine Sloan
  • Erica Fox

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  • JR

    Unions should be outlawed, and in the end, unions will be to blame for their own demise. Unions are on the way out. 6 guys to dig one hole, 1 to dig, 5 to watch. Freaking absurd!

  • JR

    Everybody wants lower taxes and cuts in spending, but whenever somebody tries to do this, everybody complains. Hello freaking people, get with the program….cuts have to come from somewhere, and yes, some people will lose their jobs. You can not have it both freaking ways! What is being spent is way too much, and public employees are being paid way too much and have way too many perks, sorry. Next thing on the hit list….pension reform, it is absurd how this system has become how it is, where can somebody jam as much o/t as possible into their last 3 years of employment and retinre making more then they did at their end of their career???? This is not how the system is supposed to and was designed to work, this is because special interest groups have too much influence on politicians who do not want to get booted form office and be on the bread line. Know how to end this? Term limits for EVERY politician, no more career politics!

    • Marie

      Where do you work, if at all?

  • Mark Nichik

    Remember dumb folks money you cut on education now is money you will spend on prisons later. Note Christie hasn’t said much about cutting the penal system. has he? It will expand under his policies.

    • SoccerDad

      Now, that’s a silly thing to say. Remember, Christie is not taking money away from the schools. Rather he’s no longer giving them “extra” money. So OK, it is less to spend. But, how can you justify what we currently spend? $17,500 per student on average??? This number is way out of line with what most states pay for a quality education (less than $10K). And, when compared to what other, civilized nations spend, the US education system lags far behind in most measurable test scores. It’s time to take a long hard look at where most of the money is being spent. It’s not “all about the children”…if it was, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The Teacher’s Union should have supported a pay freeze and realized money that goes into their pockets does not improve the educational system our kids are getting. Perhaps the chant should be changed to , “It’s all about greed and how much I can earn”. If you want to put the kids first, teachers need to take a long hard look in the mirror.

  • pogo the clown

    I am friends with many teachers in NJ. Good teachers. Teachers that actually care about the children and their education.

    They have also become frustrated with their colleagues who don’t care at all about the kids – the one’s who just come in to collect their paycheck & have their summers off.

    The comment made by “ChristieStillSucks” is 100% on target. Not all teachers are raking in the cash. They do have to absorb the cost of obtaining their Masters Degree and it does take quite a while to gain the salary increases needed to start to offset the high cost of their education. Some have no choice but to work 2nd or 3rd jobs to make ends meet in this economy.

    I don’t know what the solution is. But I do know there really are a lot of good teachers out there that are truly trying to make a difference – they certainly deserve respect.

    • JR

      They do have to absorb the cost of obtaining their Masters Degree and it does take quite a while to gain the salary increases needed to start to offset the high cost of their education. Some have no choice but to work 2nd or 3rd jobs to make ends meet in this economy.

      Stop the BS! Everybody is in the same boat, it is not just teachers! Stop trying to stick them in a different catagory. I paid for my education, and it took many years for me to build my salary, and I do work 2 jobs! And I am in the private sector. Had I not, I would be working in Shoprite for $8 an hour. Stop the pity and drama!

  • The Truth

    He is right. Teachers job is not bad. Have him come to NY and clean up the clowns in that circus. Next NYPD and FDNY. Huge welfare receipients.

  • venturen

    SOCCER DAD You said it all!

  • venturen

    I don’t blame the teachers or the union I blame the GUTLESS Governors before Christie. Obviously unions should want to do the best for the kids and the teachers even more so. They get too many vacation days for their pay. The unions should want to make their teacher look the best and be the best…instead they always just want more money and earlier retirement… protecting the worst teachers along the way. It is just wrong. Hopefully a good dialog can occur to make it all better then tax payers will want to pay more!

  • ChristieStill Sucks

    By the way, IT IS A MYTH that teachers are paid more than their private counterparts!! Teaching is the ONLY profession that REQUIRES a Master’s Degree and will not pay for it. That can cost a teacher anywhere from $10,000 up to $60,000 depending on the college. It takes years to recoup that money. Many teachers have to repay high student loans that can approach those of a lawyer or a doctor and do not make anywhere near enough. Also, to reach the top of the pay scale you have to take courses beyond the master’s that cost more and have to be paid out of pocket. The raise usually takes about five years just to cover the cost of the courses.

    • Kevin

      Oh so sorry! That’s the choice they make, not the students!

      • JR

        Everybody is in the same boat, public or private, stop the pity nonsense! I have no pity for you. Anybody who wants to make a good living goes to colllege and most pay for it themselves, and, unilke the public secctor, private sector employees are NOT guarenteed pay raises on a set schedule, pay for performance!

    • CJ

      That’s actually just a NJ problem. The Howard County School District in Maryland will pay 80% of a teacher’s master’s degree. NJ is notorious for terrible professional development all around.NJ is actually behind in many areas. Many people in the state don’t know that NJ actually has the smallest pensions in the area. With all of Christie’s complaining do you ever hear him say “why should nj teachers get this, when VA, PA, and NY teachers get that?” He never makes comparisions because teachers in these other areas have much larger pensions and better professional development. That’s why I’m trying to leave my position as a NJ teacher by next Sept.

  • Nesty R. Ramos

    I’m from the Philippines Educational System, its only a matter of putting things on its right place, instead of throwing muds to each other face because of failures and mistakes, look in our country we are bombarded of so manny politics, finances, environment and yet we’re able to survive because of innate concern to improve and learned from the previous..we ARE NOT RICH COUNTRY but we are compassionate to the plight of the reality of life…Move on rather than declaring word wars…God Bless America and the Philippines

  • 5meows

    I am a teacher. I support Governor Christie 100%. Why….because he is right. It is time for teachers, the school system, and the unions to be held accountable. As a teacher I get paid well, have an incredible pension, and enjoy nice benefits. My husband does not get all these things. I don’t have a problem paying a big more into my pension fund or more for our benefits, we still have a nice deal!. Let’s get real. This isn’t about the kids, or teachers, it is ultimately about the Union’s power. They know if Christie wins, their power as the Union is diminished. So for all the people who are protesting against Christie, look into yourselves for a minute and ask if you really could contribute a bit more to get our state back in line. We have all been fat and happy for a while. It is time to give back.

    • fishpicker

      You’re really a teacher??…..I smell a poser……

    • cj

      LOL you’re obviously not really a teacher. Otherwise you’d know your N/55 or N/60 pension is far behind VA and Pa’s n/40 pension. Your pension is considered small for the east. You pay 5-6 percent into your pension, while VA teachers have NO pension contribution at all! You’re either lying or very poorly informed.

  • Julie

    Any jobs that are paid with taxpayer dollars DO NOT NEED UNION REPRESENTATION! You work for the taxpayers and the taxpayers deserve to know who, what, when and where every single dollar is going. Too many taxpayer dollars are part of the reason for tax dollars going to waste on “waste”! I am not a Christie fan but for this very issue I stand with him. For such a rich country, the quality of our education across American in secondary, colleges and universities has plummeted dramatically against other countries in similar financial states. Get rid of the “waste” and bring in the most cost effective ways and means to educate the students of those who hold degrees.

  • Mark Hartford

    We have lost it in America, no one is accountable, No Reason, No Reality, Just a bunch of dingbats trying to gain value by faking Reality, and guess what It Will Not Work Anymore America Is Failing like A Sinkiing Ship, because No one stands up and talks straight, no one looks backward at how we got here, no morals, no ethics Charlie Rangle was a joke. Many teachers would get lost in a Telephone booth but guess what if you worked in Private business you would be fired, and yes kids today cannot spell Cat, they dont know if Indiana is a State or A country. I am laughing outloud, Sad Congress Is A Joke and somebody better come up and start making sense, because America is on its way out. fact

    • Friendly Joe

      The Foundational Institution for Teaching our Children is in the Home – IF it crumbles everything follows; just like a Building – weaken its Foundation and the Whiole Building will Collapse!

      The Parents with the Principal and/or Educational Counsil of Elders should be involved in the Evaluation of the Teachers – devise an intelligent system!

  • archaeologist

    christie is wrong and going about this the wrong way. he obviously has stacked the deck in his ‘task force’ to get the results that he wants, such bias is neither fair nor honest and ahows that christie is the wrong man to be governor or in charge of a state. teachers teach, they are not responsible for the dcisins students and adults make, they have no control over such decisions and shoul dnot be held accountable for unemployment or other societal problems.

    Christie forgets that the buck stops with him but he seems bent on passing the buck to others who only manage one segment of society, education. there are many more factors involved in influencing student’s decisions–government officials, parents, peers, t.v. and so on.

    why doesn’t he declare a war on t.v. shows and movies since they advocate anti-authority behavior? sorry but christie is a coward and is going after an easy target to get re-elected or a pat on the back while innocent people suffer at the hands of subjective ‘evaluations’. remove christie from office.

    • Tony

      I thought he did declare war on the Jersey Shore????? In my humble opinion, it is not the teachers but the collective unions that have priced the teachers out of the market. It is very sad.

      • Julie

        I could not agree with you more about the collective unions. More than a 100 years ago they served a purpose. Now our laws today protect why unions were formed. We don’t need them. They are the reasons many jobs go overseas and across our borders. Let’s bring the jobs back and get rid of unions. By the way, I vote as a democrate! This issue and the issue on illegal immigrants are two stances I side with the Republicans on. I should start my own party…”OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE”!! That is what I am all about.

    • Kevin

      Your a dolt! Remover teachers unions, AND the department of education! they might also want to quit teaching to the lowest students ability, instead of a higher level!

  • pogo the clown

    Is this just more political rhetoric or does Gov. Christie really want to do good?

    I want to believe there are a handful of decent politicians … it is just that history seems to always tell a different story :(

  • John Doe

    I saw Gov. Christie in an interview mention that for the past 17 years, the State of New Jersey has only funded state unionized workers retirement funds with which the state had signed collective bargaining agreements for 4 years. When you don’t make your lawful contribution to a pension fund for 13 years as directed in the negotiated and signed agreement, is there any surprise the fund might be broke?

    The question I have is – who over the past 17 years in the State Legislature or Governors’ office is going to be held accountable for not complying with those agreements? Was that money embezzled? Was there fraud?

    All states should be on notice that their misappropriation of funds won’t go un-noticed, and I’d think [they] should stand by for class action litigation. When parties sign an agreement, they both expect compliance. New Jersey and Gov. Christie is one of the first to identify funding shortcomings with their negotiated agreements. They certainly won’t be the last.

    This might be the beginning to the end of ‘general funds’ at both the State and Federal Government level. Children with fiscal responsibility should not be trusted with massive amounts of money and no accountability to how that moneys is squandered.

  • Dr. Maggie

    I am concerned for the Governor’s health. He seems to be gaining weight and my concern is his blood pressure rising due to the high stress of his position. These two items can be a dangerous combination.

    I dearly hope his physicians are keeping a close eye on the Governor. I hope they have a nutritionist available to assist him with his diet.

  • Michael J. Suydam

    Governor Christie is dead on tract to resurrect a fallen economy and lazy society of people embracing the entitlement philosophy. His policies should become a national agenda.

    • SoccerMom

      Christie is a fat blowhard. It is not the public employees’ fault that New Jersey politicians, including Christie, have not been making scheduled pension payments, leaving the funds depleted. And particularly when it comes to the public schools, Christie is destroying one of the few good things about New Jersey. Except for the inner-city schools, which suffer from their lack of a local tax base to draw on, students in New Jersey get an excellent education and consistently test well above the national average.

      • Soccer Dad

        While it is not the public employees’ fault, it is not my fault either. Why should those in the private sector be required to pay 30 – 40% towards their medical benefits (which for me is over $5,500 per year) and those in the private sector pay as little as 1.5% (which amounts to less than $500 per year)? Speaking of pension – what’s that? When I retire, I have to live on what I saved and Social Security. However the “privileged” earn $60K – $100K per year for the rest of their lives. Let’s not forget, we are talking about individuals who earn much more than their private sector brethren already. When the pension system was created, it did not have to account for salaries that have grown way out of proportion with reality, or people living to be 90. On average – Teachers earn $75K for 180 days of work per year. Firemen earn in excess of $100K for 75 (24-hour days) per year. Policemen earn well over $100K per year, with some over $150K. However, most of us “middle class, college educated slobs” are earning $50 – $60K per year. We have no “golden parachute” to catch us. We have to work until we’re 67 and hope we don’t live longer than what we thought, or else we’ll become a burden to our children. Is this fair and balanced to you?

        Christie is not destroying the public schools, or unfairly attacking teachers, policemen, and firemen. Rather, he is trying to save families from losing their homes. Stop with the silly battle cry, “it’s all about the children”. If their Mom’s and Dad’s are standing in the unemployment line, or earning far less than what it requires to live in this state, then the time has come for those “privileged” to get off the gravy train and pay their fair share. Get your facts straight before you attack the only person in the last 20 years who is trying to bring balance back to a failing system.

      • ajapierce

        Kids do not get excellent education and test well above the national average. That is bull, the teachers fudge score numbers all the time. The only test that shows real results is the SAT’s, and i have to tell you, from the SAT scores i see for a lot of kids around Essex county don’t have a chance in the real world of college.

        The kids do even like doing school work anymore, now that they have ipods, cell phones, computers, online gaming. Hell most kids couldn’t even understand what quater past twelve means

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