I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, November 29, 2013

The REAL Christie Legacy: "We Deserve Better!"

In the largest high school in Trenton - New Jersey's capitol - the beautiful, brilliant children of this state are forced to learn in a building that is unsafe and disgusting. This terrific piece of citizen journalism, courtesy of Rebecca Burr, details what is happening in a school that is almost literally under Chris Christie's nose.

According to State Senator Reed Gusciora, Trenton Central sent a kid to every Ivy League school last year with the exception of Harvard. Think about that: there is someone right now attending Yale, or Dartmouth, or Princeton, or Columbia, who went to a high school that looks like this:

Trenton Central's infamous "Waterfall" staircase.

Chris Christie, of course, likes to call schools like Trenton Central "failure factories." In truth, they are hero factories. Because any school that can produce Ivy League scholars in such deplorable conditions is full of heroic teachers and staff, educating heroic students, loved by their heroic parents.

The only "failure" at Trenton High is the failure of Chris Christie and his cronies to step up and do their damn jobs.

Of course, the Christie children go to a private high school with sports fields so large you can actually land a helicopter on them.

Delbarton is a great school; after all, it spends well in excess of $30K on each pupil who attends. Guess what you get for that kind of scratch?

Chirs Christie: "I don't want anything worse for the children of this city [Camden] or any other city in the state of New Jersey than I would want for my own children."

But if you ever dare to point out this screaming hypocrisy to Chris Christie, watch out:

(0:43) "I, as governor, am responsible for every child in this state, not just my own. And the decisions that I make are to try to improve the educational opportunities of every child in this state. So with all due respect, Gail, it's none of your business."
Governor Christie, with all due respect: you really suck at your job. You could put Trenton Central on a path to health tomorrow if you actually gave a damn about it. You've had four years to address this issue, which is right in the center of the state capitol. The SDA has been a joke since you came into power. But you won't even visit the school.

It's clear, Governor Christie, that you either don't care about Trenton's children, or don't have the skills to solve this problem. No one else is to blame for this failure but you. Lord forgive you if a child is actually harmed in these squalid, dangerous conditions.

Hallway, Trenton Central.

Is this the "leadership" you really want, America? Seriously?

Good luck in 2016, Republicans.

ADDING: I really need to say this again: these kids are amazing. I only hope I live long enough to vote for Nukermini Kermah when she runs for Congress. And I don't know what Jada Bailey wants to do with her life, but she is exactly the sort of young person we should be encouraging to teach: poised, articulate, compassionate, obviously cracker-jack smart.

These incredible young women are not failures. Their parents are not failures. Their teachers are not failures.

The only failures I see are the people who own and run everything.


Giuseppe said...

Where are all the billionaire blowhards, why can't they chip in a few millions to renovate these horribly deteriorating schools? Oh right, throwing more money at the problem isn't the answer, according to the reformers and their lap dogs. Baloney, all the elite private schools have tons of money thrown at them and they have gorgeous campuses, small class sizes of 10 to 15 and enriched curriculums. It's so much more fun to contribute to NJ's top sport.....public school, teacher and NJEA bashing.

Mrs. King's music students said...

As anyone who has ever walked a student over/under/around and through the obstacles presented in Trenton, into an Ivy League situation can tell you, support (money) from Christie's corner is important but stewardship is the entire iceberg. No one threw more money at Trenton than Jon Corzine, however, he couldn't keep up with the pace of corruption in both govt and ed admin. This is no secret - assemblypersons and legistlators joked about it openly, while 'Site Based Managers' in TP Schools promoted their god daughters out of the classrooms and into 'facilitators'. (To this day, I can't say facilitator w/o air quotes and a sneer). Christie has even less leadership than Corzine - not more - and no desire at all to level the playing field for underserved kids. Now he's rolling out 'strong principals' in Camden - which is another word for site based management, and will result in the same thing soon enough.