Chris Christie’s Bold Plan to Remake Public Schools Is Running Into Trouble
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie went on a publicity blitz when he vowed to fix Newark’s struggling schools with the most expansive reengineering of urban education anywhere in the country. He told Oprah Winfrey in 2010 that Newark would become a “national model.” He said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the plan would be “paradigm shifting.” And he took ownership when community leaders began to complain about some of the plan’s controversial elements — bragging last year about the day he faced down Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who had been elected on a promise to fight Christie’s schools plan.
“I’m the decider,” Christie said he told Baraka. “You have nothing to do with it.”
But five years after Christie launched what could have been a career-defining policy initiative for an aspiring future president, city leaders are in revolt.