By John Mooney, NJ Spotlight
For a governor mired in scandal and seeking to change the political conversation, the proposal to extend the school day and calendar was an interesting choice for Gov. Chris Christie.
Interesting not in the least because such a call has been part of the education dialogue for years, if not decades, with little consensus on how to accomplish it.
In his State of the State address yesterday, Christie announced that he would provide a plan for a longer school day and school year as part of the education agenda that up to now has been the hallmark of his administration.
In the midst of the scandal over his staff’s involvement in the politically motivated closures of commuter lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the education initiative made headlines in state and national media, taking the focus off "Bridgegate" at least momentarily. It was also the one piece of the State of the State promoted by his administration beforehand.
But the governor yesterday offered virtually no details about the plan, leaving education advocates, legislators, and others on both sides of the debate offering general support while raising questions and masking surprise that this was suddenly issue No. 1.
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