NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to empower teachers and liberate them, he says, from the bullies who run their union.

“Teachers…know that the system is broken, they know it needs to be fixed, but their voices are being muffled and silenced by the people who represent them,” Christie said.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell: Christie Says The Union Is “Completely Clueless And Universally Self-Interested”

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Christie wants to empower teachers

Christie outlined his proposal during a speech at a Midtown forum on education reform Thursday. It was sponsored by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

Christie said he has been holding secret meetings with teachers allowing them to help craft how educators should be evaluated bypassing any union input.

He is calling for public school teachers to be evaluated each year by colleagues in their districts.

Christie said teachers should be measured by classroom performance and student test scores adding that tenure should be merit-based.

“Those who are judged to be ineffective will get a chance to fix their problems and if they don’t they’ll be fired,” Christie said.

Christie said school districts should develop their own evaluation plans based on that framework.

The Republican governor has emerged as a national figure since taking office in 2010, in part for his harsh criticism of teachers’ unions. He says good teachers don’t need a union and most want a stronger voice in education reform than their union allows.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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