Spotlight Video: Mr. Christie Goes to Washington

Governor addresses superintendent salaries -- and conspiracy

Where: Christie was the keynote speaker on Tuesday night for the Foundation For Excellence In Education summit in Washington, D.C. The Florida-based group was founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and is dedicated to promoting the state’s education policies, including tough standardized testing and school vouchers.

Why it matters: While the 50-minute speech included Christie’s familiar criticisms of teachers unions, this segment released first by the governor’s office focuses on Christie going out of his way to take on school administrators, too, including in the suburban districts that are his political base. Much of the dispute centers on Christie’s new cap on superintendent pay, which is hitting administrators in North Jersey suburbs the hardest and prompting at least one legal challenge.

Key line: “It’s a pinball from district to district to get higher and higher salaries, and crazy school districts in New Jersey, especially our suburban ones, who believe the more they pay their superintendent, the more valuable their district must be. This conspiracy among the superintendents is extraordinary.”

Why it works (maybe): Christie has made YouTube videos an art form, with his staff posting more than 160 like these in his first year in office, roughly one every other day, including weekends. This one is getting a slow start, with only about 300 hits by late yesterday, but some of his videos have drawn as many as 750,000 visits.

What’s next: You never know with this governor, but the full speech is expected to be put up on YouTube on Thursday.