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Cory Booker lacks executive ability


file photo by Boyd Loving

From the Publisher – Spring 2016

Cory Booker is one of the most enigmatic people I have ever known. Rarely do you encounter someone with such overwhelming strengths combined with such unfortunate weaknesses. Cory was a breath of fresh air for Newark. He brought new respect to the city. He ended the succession of mayors who took office only to eventually find themselves behind bars. He elevated the urban issues of Newark and all cities like it across the country to a new level in the national consciousness. He is a truly inspiring and electric speaker. This is probably his greatest asset. He has the ability to electrify and galvanize an audience like Dr. Martin Luther King did. When you hear him speak it is truly moving. He is special. He is energizing to be around.

However, it is rare I have met someone who is that bright, that energetic, packs that kind of horsepower and, yet, allows himself to be “marginalized” by significant weaknesses. Cory Booker lacks executive ability. In my opinion, he should never be a Governor. He has demonstrated a limited ability and desire to administrate or supervise. And that is why I pen this editorial. I was hoping that Cory Booker would be an exceptional Mayor, one who would take Newark to the next level. In my opinion, that did not happen.

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Lead fears grow in Newark schools, but the problem isn’t new



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — In New Jersey’s biggest city, fears are growing over lead in the school district’s water after a lab found elevated levels in nearly half its schools. The Newark district quickly shut off sinks and fountains in 30 buildings and has offered to test as many as 17,000 kids for contamination.

But the problem isn’t new for the state’s largest school district. Testing has shown elevated levels in some buildings over the last few years. And the district has been addressing issues of lead in the water since at least 2003.

The highest lead levels found in the water in Newark’s schools, however, are far lower than those found in homes in Flint, Michigan, which is experiencing a crisis after the city changed its water supply.

Water also poses a relatively small risk of lead poisoning compared to more common sources, such as lead paint.

“One square centimeter of lead paint, about the size of your pinkie nail, has two times what you’d get from drinking a quart or water from highest level of lead in one the schools,” said Dr. Steven Marcus, executive director of the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System at Rutgers University.

Nevertheless, parents are concerned, with dozens submitting their kids for blood tests when the district first offered them on Thursday.

“My first thing was, Flint, Michigan,” said Dionne Bradshaw, whose daughter was tested. “That’s the first thing I thought about. Ok, here we go again.”

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Where’s Cory: Zuckerberg’s bad investment in Newark schools


Where’s Cory: Zuckerberg’s bad investment in Newark schools

JUNE 5, 2014    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 2014, 1:21 AM

SAMUEL JOHNSON called second marriages the triumph of hope over experience. When an Internet billionaire announces a plan to give away an additional $100 million to a second public school district after the first fritters it away without any results, I’d say it’s more like the triumph of delusion over the dead certainty that teachers’ unions and educational bureaucrats are a bottomless pit of greed.

Last week’s announcement that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $120 million to poor school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area coincidentally came a day or two after the publication of a long and horrifying piece in The New Yorker about what happened to their first attempt to wash away public education’s problems with a flood of cash.

Four years ago, Zuckerberg and his wife, convinced that the trouble with public education was that society doesn’t value it enough, put their money where their liberal ideals were, donated $100 million (a sum quickly matched by other philanthropists) to the Newark school district.

The result might be titled No Consultant, Bureaucrat or Union Goon Left Behind. Consultants took $20 million right off the top, routinely charging $1,000 a day for services like public relations, human resources and other stuff that’s been around since the beginning of corporate time but that apparently had to be reinvented for Newark.

Fifty new principals were hired in a district that already had a ratio of one administrator for every six students, double the state average. (Nearly a third of Newark’s educational bureaucrats were clerks, four times the rate of other New Jersey districts. “Even some clerks had clerks,” The New Yorker noted in awe.)

Meanwhile, the principals already onboard fought like demons to keep the district from closing their failing schools, even as students streamed out to enroll in new charter schools set up with Zuckerberg’s money.

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