leave his mark on the country's
and efforts to reform the almost decade-old no child
act are stalled in congress so the administration has decided to take matters into its own hand, literally, announcing waivers for states with their own approved alternate plans to fix the school.
, new jersey, mayor
is one of the voices arguing that the status quo simply isn't good enough, part of education nation. he joins me now. let me start with the administration basically giving up on cutting a deal with congress.
first of all, i think one of the best things we've seen in america is how people on the left and the right, in cities and states have been coming together to make real substantiative
. and we can't let the dysfunction in congress undermine sensible, pragmatic changes, that all stakes with republican governors and democratic governors are asking for. so i think the president is again doing the right thing, focusing on the people and the children and not on politics and partisanship.
and this is what confuses me, mayor booker, because i see you and governor christie on the
of the aisle, and you're right, you see a lot of republican mayors and vicer is versa trying to come up with a solution.
governor christie and i could write a the dissertation on our disagreements up and down the board, but when it comes to children in
, new jersey, he and i have found a number of places where we can work together by keeping our focus not on each other, not on politics, not on the parties that we belong to, but what is going to practically work best to deal with what i consider one of the most morally unjustified things in the
united states of america
. that our child's destiny will be determined on the
they're born in. worse than that, all this talk about jobs and our economy, the number one indicator of how our country is going to do is the strength of the minds of our children. and we are damning our future by doing what we're doing right now, which is a horrible neglect of our schools. you cannot have a leading democracy if you have a lagging
now, you're on the
of this. what's one waiver you need out of no child
look, i'm one of those people who said, we should have accountability. it's lack of accountability in government and
that has allowed the mediocrity and even failure to flourish. but the reality is the harsh, punitive testing realities of pulling back of
. if we don't meet unrealistic benchmarks has created an atmosphere in america where we're too testing obsessed. i'm a person who believes you should have objective criteria for measuring success, but what's happening right now in the
united states of america
is people squeezing out everything else in education to focus on performance on
. and many states are dumbing down the tests just to meet the federal standards, which is really the wrong way of approaching it. what we should do is have clear
standards, ways of
towards those standards that are fair and realistic. and we should have, you know, i think we've, dammed as a country with low expectations. we should have high expectations for our kids, but realistic ways of
let's talk about the jobs front. as a mayor, what do you need out of washington right now? what law would you like to see passed? what regulation put in or lifted to help create jobs in
, new jersey?
but first, i want to stick with the subject of education. what i don't want to happen in washington is for us to cannibalize what has made this country great. so when i hear things like cutting
, then you're closing the door to education. there is a need for more engineers in our nation, there's a need for more scientists in our nation. so if we continue to lock a whole bunch of people in a world where
is too far beyond our reach, we're going to lock in a permanent underclass in our country. i do not want to see us disinvesting in
. when you see great systems like california's
system being cannibalized right now for the case of short-term budget crises, that means we as a nation are undermining our future growth. in addition to that, i want to see us
a little bit and making sure we're investing in those programs that we know actually work and help create jobs. so i have many people in my city that do benefit from government programs that focus on job training and focus on job readiness. and we need to make sure that we're continuing to invest in those programs.
one quick political question. how formidable would
's opponent if he were the republican nominee in
well, look, i think
, there's a lot of things i disagree with him, but he's proving he's hitting the right tone in many ways that's resonating with a lot of americans. i think he would be formidable. but i tell you this,
is a president-elected during the most difficult time in my lifetime. and he's helped to endure through difficult waters and move our country forward. we have challenges right now, but i have faith in our leader, and i'll tell you what. i hope that we have a
where two great candidates are focused on the issues and have a good dialogue, not a petty partisan dialogue, but a good dialogue about what's going to make our country great. if that's going to be the kind of election we have, it's going told vat our nation. i think in that kind of contest,
will do well.
, new jersey, mr. mayor, thanks for coming on and thanks for tweeting as much as you do.
thank you very much. i appreciate it.
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