Discuss as:

A bridge too far?

AP: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme that threatens to damage his second term and could cut short any ambitions to run for president.”

Christie will say, according to excerpts shared with First Read: “Despite the improvements we are seeing in Newark and Camden, I believe we need to take bigger and broader steps to adjust our approach to K-12 education to address the new competitive world we live in. Our school calendar is antiquated both educationally and culturally. Education to address the new competitive world we live in. Our school calendar is antiquated both educationally and culturally. Life in 2014 demands something more for our students. It is time to lengthen both the school day and school year in New Jersey.  

“If student achievement is lagging at the exact moment we need improvement more than ever in order to compete in the world economy should we not take these steps – every possible step – to boost student achievement? Of course we should. And one key step is to lengthen the school day and the school year. So, working with Commissioner Cerf, I will present to you shortly a proposal to increase the length of both the school day and the school year in New Jersey. This is a key step to improve student outcomes, and boost our competitiveness. We should do it now.” 

It is unclear if Christie, who has cut the education budget and sparred with teachers across the state at town halls on the subject, will also propose how to pay for such a move or if there has been any consultation with the teachers’ union. A Christie spokesman did not immediately respond to an email inquiry. 

Christie “will likely try to shift attention back to his second-term agenda when he gives a key speech on Tuesday,” Reuters writes.

Buzzfeed: The firm that cut the Stronger than the Storm ads featuring Christie claims it didn’t originally propose Christie be in them. It mentioned an unnamed brand ambassador “in passing.”

Charlie Cook: “Even if we give Christie the benefit of that doubt, he obviously created an environment within his office and administration that left the impression that such behavior was acceptable, even desirable.” Cook adds that Christie was never the GOP frontrunner for the nomination: “Christie indeed sat at the top of some of the polls that lay out a long laundry list of every imaginable contender (as well as some who are harder to imagine), but does that make him the front-runner? I think not. Think for a moment who makes up the Republican Party, and most specifically the part of the GOP base that dominates the presidential nomination process.”