He didn’t really say that, did he?

New Jersey employs a brand of education politics that is not renowned for its nuance or subtlety, so let’s credit New Jersey Education Association Director Vincent Giordano with raising the bar. In an interview on the New Jersey Capitol Report over the weekend, Giordano was pressed on the timely subject of a legislative proposal there to give private learning options to low-income students who attend public schools that are judged to be under-performing. For context, let’s add the fact that, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, his salary in 2010 was roughly $422,000.

His response, captured in this video clip, is nothing if not succinct: “Well, you know, life’s not always fair and I’m sorry about that.”

Giordano is no doubt thinking better of his remarks today. But it does seem fair to point out that key New Jersey Democrats, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, support the scholarship option precisely because life is unfair for children who grow up in poverty. The mayor sees the scholarship as one modest way to try to level the playing field.

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BY Jon East

Jon East is special projects director for Step Up For Students. Previously, he was a member of the editorial board and the Sunday commentary editor at the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s largest daily newspaper, where he wrote about education issues for most of his 28 years at the paper. He was also a reporter and editor at the Evening Independent and Ocala Star-Banner. He earned a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.