Saturday, July 4, 2015

WTF: Is Baraka a Naive Pup or Selling Out Education in Newark?

[Baraka] had made a deal–he called it a “settlement” or an “agreement”–with Gov. Christie in which the mayor agreed to allow Cerf to become the Newark superintendent if Christie would agree to help bring about  eventual local control. “It wasn’t a quid pro quo. It was more like us coming to a settlement, an agreement that they’d pick a superintendent and help us get local control,” Baraka is quoted as saying....Cerf has promoted the privatization of public education for decades and has worked for and maintained ties with American and foreign corporations seeking to make a profit from privatization–in Newark and elsewhere.
Just before he was named to be Newark superintendent, Cerf was named to the board of directors of national organization promoting charter schools. He later quit.  He was part of an effort to help former Mayor Cory Booker make Newark the charter capital of the nation.
..... Has Christie divided Newark opposition to Cerf and state control?, Bob Braun's Ledger

Wait, let me get this straight. Baraka made a deal with CHRISTIE? To accept that crook Cerf as Newark Supt because Cerf will help get local control back? Give me a break. Privatizers like Cerf take direct aim at local control. If Cerf helps get control of Newark schools for an independent school board I'll eat his hat.

Is there something under the table going on here?
The mayor’s comments in his interview might surprise some critics of state control who, like Rice, are demanding that the state school board reject Cerf because Cerf himself hired Andserson and determined the policies under which she closed public schools and opened new charter schools.  The Alliance for Newark Public Schools, an organization that has worked hard against state control for more than a year, has called for a rally at City Hall Tuesday to protest Cerf’s appointment and to demand immediate local control of the state’s largest school district. The alliance called for a “`March of Dignity’ to restore full local control of the Newark Public Schools and reject the appointment of Christopher Cerf as the next Superintendent.

So, is Baraka turning out to be a JUSP - just another sleazy politician? Sadly, methinks YES.

Before the agreement between Baraka and Christie, the opposition to Anderson and state control had been building and unified. Now that Baraka has accepted Cerf as superintendent, it’s difficult to know how that opposition could continue at the level it had been in the last two years.
Christie, who just announced a presidential bid, may have managed with his alliance with Baraka to quiet Newark as he tries to portray himself as someone who can reach agreements with opponents. The agreement indicates it will be at least a year before a date can be set for local control–and that’s a year Christie can use to run for  president without major controversies in the state’s largest city.
So, let's make a deal with Christie to assist his campaign for president. Oy, Ras!
The elected school board last week voted to choose assistant superintendent Roger Leon as  the next Newark superintendent. Baraka was present at this meeting but he has insisted he won’t focus on anything but local control, a position he repeated in his interview.
The board’s action rejecting Cerf’s appointment in favor of Leon—along with the continued opposition of the alliance and Rice to Cerf’s appointment—creates a potentially awkward and divisive situation in what had been for years a solid front of opposition to state control. In his interview with NJSpotlight, Baraka would not criticize either Cerf or the governor.

Baraka repeated his criticism of those who disagreed with his decision to reach an agreement with Christie and create a 9-member “Newark Board of Education Success” that would play some sort of role in bringing local control back to Newark after 20 years. Christie appointed a majority of the members and rejected some members recommended by Baraka. The mayor has criticized this site specifically for its opposition to Cerf’s appointment and blamed that opposition on “paternalism” which he called “pathetic.”
It’s unlikely Rice would consider his own consistent opposition to Cerf’s nomination a matter of “paternalism.”  The senator attached to his letter a long history of the legal and ethical problems Cerf created for himself both as a private entrepreneur, a New York City official,  and as New Jersey commissioner of education. Cerf has promoted the privatization of public education for decades and has worked for and maintained ties with American and foreign corporations seeking to make a profit from privatization–in Newark and elsewhere.
Just before he was named to be Newark superintendent, Cerf was named to the board of directors of national organization promoting charter schools. He later quit.  He was part of an effort to help former Mayor Cory Booker make Newark the charter capital of the nation.
Right Ras, paternalism. I call it sell-out.

4 comments:

  1. I warned people they should watch Baraka when Jersey City charter school booster/mayor Steven Fulop backed him. That was a warning sign to me that there could be "expediency" problems down the road.

    And hey, what do you know?

    There are.

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  2. Norm, sometimes it must be very satisfying to sit back and call people sell-outs for trying to very difficult political jobs and accomplish very complicated long-term objectives. Christie controls the Newark board. He has the votes for Cerf. Do you know what Baraka and Christie may have actually agreed to over the "longer-term" than a few weeks or months to accomplish community control? I seriously doubt that Baraka took a dive to help Christie with his dead-cat run for president.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is very satisfying to sit back and call people sell-outs - in this case because I have followed Cerf's career for a long time and there is no one worse. To break the momentum and unity growing in Newark by Baraka is shameful.

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  3. Baraka made a deal with Christie for a down the road promise of local control. In the meantime, Cerf will utilize his three year contract to charterize the majority of the remaining Newark Public Schools. Renew schools will remain to warehouse Special Ed, ELLs and behavioral issues. Norm is on the money as usual.

    Abigail Shure

    ReplyDelete

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