"I'm the Malcolm X of education—'By any means necessary,' " Booker promises. He says Newark should reverse the assumption that in education "time will be a constant, achievement will vary." If children are not succeeding, extend their school day, bring them in on Saturdays, extend the school year.
He also favors school choice, although he tiptoes around the word "vouchers," which inflames the more than 190,000 members of the state's teachers union. He advocates giving tax credits to companies for money contributed for scholarships to private as well as public schools. "Who," he has asked, "can object to a pool of money that will give poor children the same opportunities as middle-class kids?"
Who? Start with those 190,000, yet another mob afflicting Newark.
Will's earlier grafs, painting the history of Newark (from industrial megolopolis hub to punchline in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle), concisely describe how a city fails when it loses its economic base and the political class waste their energy preserving their power and failing to confront the change. Philadelphia handled the loss of its industry (particularly the Navy Yard) by courting private enterprise (in that case, Kvaerner). Newark didn't handle it so well, and after a point it didn't have many options. New York had to rebound first. Now Booker's dream of priced-out New Yorkers moving into his city for the short Manhattan commute and cheap housing seems realistic.