In Newark, politics over kids
A spot-on Newark Star-Ledger editorial:
This board has only advisory powers, since the state runs the city schools, in close consultation with Mayor Cory Booker. On Friday, the district announced it would ignore the school board's advice, a welcome bit of news.
But this vote still does tangible damage to the reform movement by undercutting Newark's reputation at a critical time. The city is searching for a superintendent, and is competing with major cities like Chicago, New Orleans and Atlanta. Booker, meanwhile, is raising money to match the $100 million gift from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and is only halfway there.
The board needs to re-vote on these proposals. And it would help, no doubt, if its members would listen to the thousands of families — stuck in the city's catastrophically failing schools — that are pleading for something better.