As the Newark mayoral race heads into its final three weeks, the focus on education is being ratcheted up. Ras Baraka is running on a platform to put quality public education ahead of the business of charter schools, which if mandated (as promised by Baraka’s opponent) will cost the city 1500 teachers’ jobs. Baraka is credited with transforming Central High School where he has served as principal since 2007.
In light of the fact that this election will directly impact Newark teachers and the Newark public schools, teachers are actively involved in the race and are intent on ensuring Baraka is elected Newark’s next mayor. According to Freda Barrow, a teacher and activist at Newark’s George Washington Carver, “this election is essential to maintaining quality education for Newark’s youth and is vital to the livelihoods of thousands of teachers who have devoted their lives to the betterment of Newark’s future. This is not just about our survival as teachers, but about the future of this city.”
In January, Five Newark public school principals were suspended indefinitely on Friday, including four who spoke at a community meeting opposing proposed changes to the state-run school district, according to two sources who sought anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press.
A video, shot by Barrow, now on YouTube shows four of the administrators with mayoral candidate and Newark Councilman Ras Baraka, who is on leave as principal of Central High School, at the meeting at the Hopewell Baptist Church.