New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the only way to transform the nation's troubled schools is to tackle the teachers unions head-on.
The outspoken Republican's latest swipe at Democrat-friendly unions came Wednesday at a bipartisan panel on education reform. His willingness to battle labor groups for reforms in his state has won him national attention.
Christie wants to end lifetime teacher tenure and to tie educators' raises to student performance. He says it's wrong that teachers get raises whether they're, in his words, "good, bad, excellent or lousy."
Christie has said he is not running for president in 2012, despite encouragement from Republicans disappointed with the emerging GOP field.
During the panel appearance he assured those in attendance: "I'm not running for president. Everyone remain calm."