Where does education reform go in New Jersey?

    Will firing the State Education Commissioner over losing “Race to the Top” fund derail changes?

    Governor Christie’s firing of New Jersey education commissioner Bret Schundler is raising some questions about the future of school reform efforts in the Garden State.

    Assembly Education Committee Chairman Pat Diegnan says Schundler was willing to work with educators to make changes, and he’s not certain where reform efforts are going now.

    Since his campaign, Governor Christie and the New Jersey Education Association have been in a war of words. Diegnan says a more cooperative approach is needed to get real education reform.

    “The intention on both sides is to do what’s right for the kids of the state of New Jersey. Hopefully the unnecessary I think hard feelings that have taken place over the last six or seven months can be put aside for what’s best for the kids of our state.”

    Education Law Center executive director David Sciarra says a long-term plan is needed for the state education department.

    “We have to figure out a way to look at the department’s budget. We have to do a top to bottom analysis of how they’re operating. What are the priority investments we need to make at the state level. If there’s a need for additional money to start to move things forward the legislature is just going to have to find a way to do that.”

    The Christie administration says educational excellence and high student achievement will continue to be a top priority.

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