School Reform Contretemps Defines Newark Mayoral Race

If you question whether school reform is the linchpin of the Newark mayoral race, read today's today’s PolitickerNJ. According to this article, after Sen. Dick Codey endorsed anti-school reform proponent Ras Baraka, Shavar Jeffries, another contender for the mayoral seat, “rolled up on a South Ward supermarket…and laced into Baraka’s record,” particularly Baraka’s “absolute failure” in increasing public safety. Jeffries noted during Baraka’s tenure as South Ward Councilman murders have gone up by 70% and economic development is dismal.

Baraka’s spokesman Frank Baraff responded,
Shavar continues to remain out of touch with the residents of Newark. Parents in Newark are upset that Shavar Jeffries is absent from the struggle to stop school closings. Unions are angry because Shavar has been AWOL from the fight against privatizing our schools. Community activists are upset that Shavar has not offered a plan to stop the violence now, not years down the road.
Baraff added that Jeffries should “get involved in the fight against school closings, speak out about privatizing our schools and dare to propose stopping the violence through a gang ceasefire."