Chris Christie: You’re a pugilistic GOP media darling who just blew through a $400 million federal education grant – maybe intentionally.
Cory Booker: You’re a big-league mayor whose city Oprah Winfrey’s poured millions into, trying to shake off a watchdog’s call for federal investigation into your prized police force. And you wanna be governor someday.
Oprah Winfrey: You’re benefactor of Newark, famous friend of Cory Booker, and you can do just about anything in the world you want to.
These 4 people come together Friday on the Oprah Show, where Zuckerberg, a 26-year-old making his first-ever major philanthropic gift, will announce a $100 million gift to Newark and Chris Christie will announce he’s ending 15 years of state control of Newark schools and ceding their control to Cory Booker.
Booker gets a major role in choosing a new superintendent and redesigning the system – think charter schools. Christie retains the right to yank control back.
No information that I know of confirms this deal’s been in the works for any time, but it may explain a few things. Booker was a noticeably weak supporter of Jon Corzine’s re-election; his lukewarm disposition convinced me more than anything else that Corzine was toast. And he lauded Christie’s cap ideas – early. What does Booker – an obvious rival for the 2013 governor’s race Christie keeps saying he doesn’t care about (hm …) see in Christie? Is it opportunity?
Look, the bottom line is what’s good for Newark kids. And an influx of that much education cash (particularly in light of Christie’s Race to the Top failures) is encouraging news. But when the hubbub dies down, there are some questions, and you might have more: