Final votes for candidates for the Newark School Board Advisory Committee have been tallied. Of the three available seats, two were won by candidates backed by Ras Baraka (Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson and Alturick Kenney) and one was won by a candidate backed by Steve Adubato (Eliana Pintor Marin). On the other hand, the newly constituted board elected Marin as Chair, ousting Shavar Jeffries. Another of Adubato’s candidates, Shanique Davis Speight, was elected as vice-chair. Both votes were 5-4, hardly a mandate. Kenney, former deputy mayor to Sharpe James, lost out on both Chair and Vice-Chair.
According to PolitickerNJ, “Baskerville-Richardson and Kenney ran on a pro-labor platform, advocating that more attention be focused on fixing district schools rather than replacing them with charters. Along with board member Marques Lewis, they represent three votes on the nine-member board that are expected to support more traditional public school models.”
The Star-Ledger quotes Newark Teachers Union leader Joseph Del Grosso: “In the future, I hope we can elect board members with brains, not strings.”
Translation: the anti-education-reform coalition on the Advisory Board is stronger than it was with former Chair Shavar Jeffries at the helm. Look for pushback on Facebook-related initiatives and a lackluster welcome to new Superintendent Cami Anderson, who served as Senior Superintendent for Alternative Schools in NYC, Executive Director of Teach for America, and Chief Program Officer for New Leaders for New Schools.