Booker's Bottom Line: It's a Question of Desire
Not long after he was elected Mayor of Newark this past spring, Cory Booker dined with two young men who had spray-painted death threats to him on the wall of their school. The dinner went well-'""they were good kids," Booker told his listeners at the close of TC's second annual Symposium on Educational Equity - but at one point, the Mayor realized that his guests couldn't decipher their choice of entrees. The irony of the situation struck him as particularly poignant.
"In 1961 my father fought for the right to sit at lunch counters," Booker said, "yet today, in 2006, I find myself sitting around a table in a restaurant with young black men from my neighborhood who can barely read the menu. Blacks may have won the right to sit at the table but clearly not the right to an education. We are failing to educate all our children. This is the great challenge for
Booker-'"a TC Trustee and former Rhodes Scholar-'"called the people of
Booker said he supported strong accountability systems for schools and added that he believes in the power of NCLB's goals to motivate students, parents and schools. Nevertheless, he conceded that current accountability measures are problematic, noting that some 30 schools in