The New Jersey Assembly wants an answer for who is responsible for the misreading of a Race to the Top application that cost the state $400 million in education funding, cost Education Commissioner Bret Schundler his job, and called into question President Obama's Google skills. The Assembly wants nearly everyone who might have had a hand in the failed application to testify at a hearing today. The former Commish, however, won't be there.
Schundler said in a statement that he would not attend, but called for those in attendance to pass the reforms proposed on the Race to the Top application. He also takes responsibility for the mistake, and says, “I am praying that legislators don’t use my error as an excuse to let education reform in New Jersey die. That would keep some special interests happy, but it would hurt our children far more than the loss of grant money." Governor Christie previously berated the federal government, saying the mistake—in which the state gave education budget information for 2010 and 2011 instead of for 2008 and 2009—was corrected during a presentation to federal officials. But a video of the presentation showed Schundler never corrected the mistake. Christie said Schundler was fired because, "Trust broke down. We had to move on."
Today's hearing was called by state Democrats, who say they want to prevent this from happening again. So does that mean the entire Assembly will get a lesson on reading the instructions before taking a test?