Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Fiery School Choice Champion Reminds Us and Others Why We Fight

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie giving the keynote speech at our
2010 National Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.
Back before he was being mentioned as a potential candidate for president, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie keynoted our first annual National Policy Summit during the spring of 2010, where we discovered just how passionate an advocate for school choice he was. And although it wasn't a part of the recent national conversation surrounding his ultimately non-existent White House bid, school choice continues to be one of the issues for which he's most passionate.

Don't believe us? Watch a video below of Christie on a New Jersey radio show earlier this month, where the governor articulates so strongly why it's so important to try alternatives to the education status quo. The caller on the show uses a routine argument—that the problem isn't the schools, but instead issues for kids at home.

And you know what? The caller is right about part of that equation, and Christie concedes as much. Many kids who are trapped in failing schools are also the victims of a home life that lacks the amount of parental involvement they need to strive. Sometimes it's because a child comes from a single-parent household, or they're a foster child, or their parents are working so hard to "stay above water financially," as Christie puts it, that they don't have the time to stay as engaged as they'd like in their child's life.

That's why we need to fight as hard as we can to make sure that kids who have something missing at home can get that extra attention, a longer school day, or that important guidance that they otherwise wouldn't have. Our fight has never been against schools, teachers, or anyone else for that matter.

Our fight has always been for kids, and helping them find the environment which best serves their needs is the way we know how to do that best.

Here's the Christie video we mentioned. We encourage you to watch all six minutes:

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MAG

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