A month ago, Chris Christie was making a quick will-he-or-won't-he pre-Presidential campaign tour of Iowa when he stopped at Iowa State to drop some thinks on the education biz.
The speech was attended by a modest crowd of around 160 people (plus a great lump of media) and didn't make much of an impression at the time. But it's worth looking at because Christie laid out his education ideas. Not that there's much doubt about what Christie's ideas about education are, but it's always less certain what Christie will claim his policies are.
The print coverage of the speech was pretty clear.
As Governor, Christie said he has reformed teacher tenures, promoted charter school and school choice, installed performance-based pay, and unsuccessfully fought teachers unions for layoffs based on merit rather than seniority.
But this clip shows another level of Christie's fantasy education policy.
It's short, though I had to watch it multiple times (at least once just to get past the mesmerizing trio of young men behind the governor-- two who want to be anywhere else and one who is falling asleep). Christie is telling us that he's upped charters and passed the Urban Hope Act (aka one more way to privatize more schools). "Children and their families are flocking to them," says Christie. "We've brought in transformative leaders and we've started new programs. And none of this we've done on our own..."
Now it gets bizarre.
We've worked with teachers in those communities. We've listened to community leaders and parents to get their buy-in. And we've brought in new expertise and talent from around the country...
Education K through 12 can be fixed in this country. And there are great people on both sides of the aisle, and wonderful teachers who are willing to do the right thing.
See? Chris Christie loves him some teachers.
He goes on to note that it was really hard to pull people together when they faced so much opposition. But "we of New Jersey" won't back down and won't take no for an answer. And just for that little extra touch of Iowa corn, Christie throws in a heartfelt, "We must put the God-given potential of every child first.
So there you have it. Chris Christie, uniter and lover of teachers.
Or maybe this article (complete with famous photo) from the Washington Post.
Or take a look at this article from Jersey Jazzman, covering such highlights as the moment when Christie compared the teachers union to ISIS.
Was Christie showing teacher love any of these times, or when he quickly abandoned his pledge to safeguard pensions. Was he working closely with community teachers and leaders in Newark, where people had to take to the streets to be heard, or where it looks like they're unlikely to have a say in who runs their schools?
Christie is not going to be the GOP nominee, but he is going to have more opportunities to speak baloney about education, and it will be difficult to keep up with him, both in terms of listeners identifying the baloney and other candidates manufacturing their own. How soon are the elections??