Cerf said Booker is vetting superintendent candidates. That’s no pulpit, that’s control. Christie and Booker may like the approach, but law doesn’t permit it and the days when rulers trump law ended at Yorktown.
Newark residents want reform but they also want a say — all parents do. When decisions about their children are made behind closed doors by billionaires who believe they know what’s best for them, they have a right to be concerned. They also have a right to rely on the law.
The Rev. M. William Howard, one of Newark’s most prominent residents and a Booker supporter, is concerned change will take place without public participation.
"It worries me that we may have an externally conceived program of reform being gradually imposed on the city of Newark," says Howard, the former president of the New York Theological Seminary and pastor of Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church.
He says he is afraid Newark is a testing ground for the theories of outsiders.
Reverend, according to our corporate overlords, your community gave up the right to govern itself long ago. I mean, it's obviously the fault of the people of Newark that their city and this nation have the economic problems they do. People in the inner cities should have to pay the price for Wall Street's heinous financial crimes that sent the economy into a tailspin and wrecked both employment prospects and local fiscal health; if not them, then whom?"I am conscious of national attempts to wrest public schools from the public sector. Newark is now caught up in that and I wonder whether the design for Newark has been hatched in places other than Newark."
And someone in Newark is definitely responsible for our nation spending trillions of dollars on protracted wars of choice while cutting taxes on the very wealthiest even as they took all of the gains made in the last 30 years (I'm looking at you, Ironbound!).
Further, Newark has obviously become the centerpiece of a national urban movement to hire every terrible teacher in the country. The "poor" performance of Newark's children can't possibly have anything to do with poverty; the villains are union contracts, teacher pensions, and tenure (I'd explain why the suburbs do extremely well with exactly those same conditions in the schools, but it's complicated...). If you weren't so irresponsible about hiring these awful educators, your kids would all be attending Ivy League schools, followed by a short stint in Newark's schools courtesy of TFA on their way to careers in banking.
So please accept that Eli Broad and Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates and Chris Christie know far, far better what's good for your community than you and your neighbors do. They only have your best interest at heart, which is why they all live and work in Newark and sent their own kids to your schools.
[Too much snark?]