Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, is a politician who's putting his career on the line for the sake of education in his city. Mayor Booker has won high praise for his attack on crime—he cut gun violence in Newark in half—but now he's shifted his focus toward fixing the city's broken public school system. Newark currently spends more per student than any other city in the country, but they also have some of the lowest test scores in the nation, and almost half of the city's students don't graduate.
"The crisis in education in Newark is the crisis in education in America," he says. "So I'm declaring Newark the front lines in the fight for education reform."
Mayor Booker says Waiting For "Superman" is a vital film for our times. "It elevates something that has been too long ignored. We've accepted a level of failure that we should not," he says. "Failure is not an option, but it's one we've chosen for far too long by ignoring the truth."
Many parents want a great education for their kids, Mayor Booker says, but it's not always in their control. "We should not live in a country anymore where your destiny is determined by how much money you have in your pocket, by what zip code you were born in or by the pick of a [lottery] ball," he says.