Its not surprising that a lot of Republicans are still upset with New Jerseys Chris Christie for being a good governor and an honest politician. They grumbled plenty in the days after Hurricane Sandy, when Christie committed the apparently treasonous act of touring his state with Barack Obama and complimenting the presidents response to the disaster.
Now that the election is over, the grumbling has turned into blame that Christie cost Mitt Romney the election by helping the president look presidential in the critical days before Nov. 6. The New York Times reported this week that Christie has been stung by the continued intensity of the reaction from his fellow Republicans. At the annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas last week, Christie was repeatedly reminded of how deeply he had offended fellow Republicans, the Times reported.
This for doing what a governor is supposed to do show his constituents that hes in charge, and that he cares, during difficult moments. The citizens of New Jersey needed to be comforted by their governor and president. They needed to be assured that their state and federal government were responding, and in his praise of Obama, Christie sent that clear and important message.
But instead of applauding the governor, Republicans all the way up to Romney were questioning why Christie boarded Obamas helicopter or stood close to the president on the tarmac, the Times reported. How sad.
One exception to the criticism: N.C. Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, who understood as Charlotte mayor the value of sometimes working with opponents. At the governors meeting, McCrory told Christie that people kept asking him why Christie was so friendly to the president.
I told them you were doing your job, McCrory said.
Many parents, in many households, have some variation of screen time. Its the period each day (or week) when children are allowed to watch TV or play on their iPods and tablet computers. The idea, of course, is to lift our kids heads up from those screens the rest of the time so that they can better experience, you know, life.
So were a bit wary about Bring Your Own Technology, a program CMS is piloting in 21 schools that encourages students to bring their electronic devices from home. Early reports from educators and parents are positive, the Observers Ann Doss Helms wrote this week. Teachers say children are more engaged with learning and taking the lead in constructive ways to use technology.
Thats encouraging. Its true, too, that using devices in classroom settings can give students a start on skills such as document sharing and research. For some, the value is simply providing kids early comfort with the technology that could be critical in their day-to-day work life.
Still, we have a nagging suspicion that most kids already are plenty comfortable with these devices, and that personal technology in the classroom isnt teaching students much more than new ways to search for things. A 2011 New York Times report noted that while years of studies showed students improving occasionally in writing and math, others offered conflicting information and, as a whole, showed that technology isnt moving the needle on basic learning.
We dont need our handy editorial board abacus to estimate that schools are spending a lot and are primed to spend more on personal technology. The BYOT program wont be cheap for families, either.
Make no mistake: We understand that technology will continue to become a bigger part of our childrens lives. But that doesnt mean personal technology is the best fit for a classroom. Before expanding the program district-wide, we hope CMS can better show us that iPods and tablets are helping our kids learn, not just helping them do the same learning differently.