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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Christie Insults Teachers: Add Your Own

As I posted yesterday, there's still an idea floating around out there that Chris Christie has insulted the teachers union, but has refrained from insulting teachers themselves. That's nonsense, and we're collecting the evidence right here.

Look at our growing collection below (all emphasis is mine), and then add your own example of Christie insulting teachers - not unions - in the comments. I'll continue to update this list and eventually post it in one of the permanent pages of this site.

That way, whenever someone makes this claim again, you know where to send them.

April, 2010, CNBC:
“I love the public schools but the fact of the matter is there is excess and greed there,” said Christie, during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box. [That's in the "public schools," not the union offices - JJ]
July, 2010, MSNBC:
The state teachers union said--they had a rally in Trenton against me. 35,000 people came from the teachers. You know what that rally was? The "me first" rally. "Pay me my raise first. Pay me my free health benefits first. Pay me my pension first. And everybody else in New Jersey, get to the back of the line." Well, you know what? I'm not going to sit by and allow that to go unnoticed, so we'll shine a bright light on it, and we'll see how the people react. But I think we are seeing how the people of New Jersey are reacting, and that's how you make it politically palatable in other states in the country. Just shine a bright light on greed and self-interest.
April, 2010, The Star-Ledger:
 "Scaring students in the classroom, scaring parents with the notes home in the bookbags, and the mandatory 'Project Democracy Homework' asking your parents about what they're going to do in the school board election, and reporting back to your teachers union representatives, using the students like drug mules to carry information back to the classroom, is reprehensible."
November, 2010, The Trentonian:
“These teachers have all summer off. Can’t they have their convention during the summer?’’ the governor said as he spoke to a clutch of high schoolers surrounding him.

“They got to get two days off from school because, you know, they don’t get enough time off now, right? They get two weeks off at Christmas, they get all the different holidays, then they get all the summer off and now they need two more days.

“Why do you think that is? Do you think If they cared about learning where would they be today?’’

Ashley Batts, 16, a Trenton Central High School sophomore answered “in school.’’

“That’s right, in school, baby, they would not be down there in Atlantic City having a party — because that’s what it is.’’ [Does everyone understand that the Governor of New Jersey told a group of students that their teachers do not care about learning? Does everyone think that's acceptable? - JJ]
May, 2010, Politico:
The teacher responded by saying that she has a master’s degree and that her current salary isn’t compensating her for the value of her higher education as well as her experience. 
To that, the governor responded: “Well, you know then that you don’t have to do it.”
 March, 2010, Blue Jersey, quoting Christie directly:
"Teachers who crowded the statehouse on Monday to try to intimidate public officials like Assemblyman Schroeder and Assemblywoman Vandervalk into not voting for pension and benefit reform.
"And when one teacher was asked, "What are you doing here today? It's a Monday in the school year." She said, 'Oh, we got a substitute. I left a plan; it's not like they're watching videos or something.' 
"They. 'Not like they're watching videos or something.' I thought that was a really interesting part of the quote. That contraction: 'they're.' They didn't say 'the kids' then, did they? No, they only use the words 'the kids' when they want to evoke an emotional response from you which will get you to open your wallet and pay them. 
"When they're talking about protesting and fighting in Trenton, then it's 'they're.' 'They're watching videos or something.' I thought that was an interesting part of the quote. Language matters, ladies and gentlemen. Language is a window into attitude. And this isn't about the kids. So let's dispense with that portion of the argument. 
"And I have heard these stories over the last week, over and over again from all over New Jersey about teachers standing in front of classrooms, and lying about and excoriating the governor and the lieutenant governor." [This one is my personal favorite. He is criticizing a teacher for using a pronoun to describe her students. So, every time you hear Chris Christie use a pronoun to describe kids - or seniors, or taxpayers, or police, or the military, or whomever - understand that, by his definition, that's an insult. - JJ]
Again, add your favorites below. The rule is that Christie must be insulting teachers, not the union.


Mother Crusader said...

Well, this doesn't really fit the rule, but it is fascinating to hear how the Big Guy himself tries to frame this issue. This is from his speech at Harvard:

Now this approach to public education from the public education establishment has been called an attack on teachers. I hope that you really listen to what I just talked about. In no other subject matter that I deal with as Governor is there such a vast gulf between what is said and what is heard than on this subject. I defy you to go back and look at the tape of this or look at a transcript of it and find where I attacked teachers. Yet if you read the reports that come out of New Jersey, they’ll tell you in many press accounts about my attack on teachers. I want to empower teachers. I want to honor teachers. I want to pay teachers more. I want more excellent teachers who stay in schools for their whole careers. I want teachers who understand they are going to be rewarded for excellence and that there are going to be consequences for failure. I don’t think that is an attack on teachers. It is an attack on a system that puts the feelings of adults ahead of the needs of children. Michelle Rhee said that and there’s no better description of our public school system today. When I was first became Governor I got a call from a recently retired Republican governor from out of state who called me with some advice. He said to me Chris listen, it’s tough being a Republican governor in a blue state but what you should do right off the bat is you should find a really small relatively inconsequential union to pick a fight with. Win the fight and then you’ll set the tone for everybody else. I was getting a lot of advice during the transition so I just took it in. I thanked him. Four months later in April, four months into my term he called me back and said Chris I didn’t mean the teacher’s union. I said I didn’t misunderstand you advice I rejected it. There is a difference.

The reason I am engaging in this battle with the teacher’s union is because it is the only fight worth having. It is the only fight worth having. The reason for that is because if we don’t change what we’re doing failure will continue to follow and I didn’t come into this job for failure I came into this job for success.

Love the nod to Michelle Rhee. Priceless.

Mother Crusader said...

This part of the speech sort of fits the rule. Teachers get a job for life no matter how crappy they are at their jobs, just like... wait for it... weathermen. Yes, in his infinite wisdom, he compares all of those 'bad teachers' that get to keep their jobs to weathermen that make Christie bring an umbrella when he doesn't actually need one. And he does it Harvard. How can you dispute that logic?

First, we have to examine tenure. In New Jersey, despite whatever the union will tell you, tenure is a job for life after three years and one day. It is a job for life. Here’s the evidence of it. We have about 150,000 public school teachers in New Jersey. In the last ten years how many teachers do you believe were dismissed for incompetence who were tenured teachers? Now keep it in context. Ten years at 150,000, 1.5M opportunities to do this in the last ten years. The answer is seventeen. Seventeen in ten years. Now do really believe that we don’t have seventeen underperforming teachers in Newark alone? In one year? Seventeen underperforming teachers dismissed and losing tenure in ten years. There are really only two professions left in America where there are no rewards for excellence and no consequences for failure. The first one of course is obvious. It’s weathermen. You all know this. You’ve seen it. They tell you it is going to rain tomorrow, you get your umbrella, you get your raincoat, you go out and it looks like today, you go home that night and turn on the TV and the same dope is still standing there on TV saying well the high pressure system is moving that way, that’s why we missed the rain, that’s what you’re paid for. How the high pressure system is going to move. How the low pressure system is going to move. That’s what you’re paid for. How could you mess this up? Now most of the time this is an inconvenience and a little aggravation.

The second profession of course is teacher.

Duke said...

Thanks for these, Darcie - good stuff.