Gov. Christie on how to tell a good teacher from a bad teacher

Diane Sawyer interviewed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the news this evening.  Video and article can be found here.  The 5 minute video is worth a watch.

The major topic of conversation is teachers.  At about the 3 minute mark, Sawyer asks (with a somewhat disturbed look on her face):

Are you so confident to know who is a really good teacher?

I like Christie’s answer.

Of course.  You talk to any parent who has children in a school, within weeks they know if they have a good teacher or a bad teacher.  And, the rumor mill in the school tells them too.

That goes along well with one of the things I wrote in this post about a good measure of teacher performance being parent recommendations rather than test scores.

Next, Sawyer fishes for a crack in Christie’s armor. Some teachers she spoke with didn’t like the tone of Christie’s voice.  She says:

My mom was a 30 year teacher.  All my aunts were teachers, and do you want to apologize to teachers if your tone seemed disrespectful to them?

Christie didn’t budge.  He looked her straight in the eye and said:

I don’t want to apologize to those teachers [the ones who complained about his tone].  If you treat me with respect, even if you disagree with me, I’ll treat you with respect back.

Finally, Christie is a big Springsteen fan.  Sawyer brings up that Springsteen wrote a letter to the editor criticizing Christie.  Christie’s response:

Are you surprised to hear that from Bruce?  I mean, you know…Bruce is liberal.  It doesn’t mean I like him any less. That’s fine.  It’s his point of view and he’s absolutely welcome to it.

I don’t trust politicians…any politicians.  But, I do appreciate that Christie brings something to the conservative argument that’s been missing for quite some time.

He doesn’t buckle to the emotional gotcha tactics and the non-arguments used by the media.  Other politicians would buckle in an effort to look agreeable and conciliatory.

I can imagine other politicians apologizing after Sawyer’s emotional plea, prefaced by her own history with teachers, or stammering about trying to explain why their music idol is an outspoken critic.

Christie didn’t have any of it.  In fact, his reactions were what I expect from adults when faced with childish and pointless diversions.

You mean Christie can still like someone’s music and even like the guy, even though the star disagrees with his politics?  Isn’t that way it should be?


2 thoughts on “Gov. Christie on how to tell a good teacher from a bad teacher

  1. Pingback: The clash of two systems | Our Dinner Table

  2. Pingback: Evaluating Teachers | Our Dinner Table


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