Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and Stanford alum (BA class of 1991; MA class of 1992) participated in a roundtable discussion with Hoover Institution and Stanford University scholars on Friday, October 21, 2011, on the importance of education reform in the Newark area and throughout the state. The meeting included members of Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, which focuses on education policy as it relates to government provision and oversight versus private solutions that stress choice, accountability, and transparency (both within and outside the public school system).
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As a member of the Newark Municipal Council and since being elected mayor in 2006, Booker has been an outspoken education advocate. A former Rhodes Scholar, he has made education reform a top priority of his administration, working closely with New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to turn Newark’s failing schools into promising schools. In an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in September 2010, Zuckerberg committed to invest $100 million to create a start-up education foundation that would help Mayor Booker jump-start his education reforms.
David Brady, deputy director and Davies Family Senior Fellow, and Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, who was featured in the 2010 documentary on education in the United States, Waiting for Superman, welcomed Booker to Hoover. In addition to reforming education and improving Newark’s schools, Booker has made reducing crime, ending background checks for many city jobs, improving city services, and expanding summer youth programs priorities for his administration.
Mayor Booker is a former Stanford trustee and a member of numerous boards and advisory committees, including Democrats for Education Reform, Columbia University Teachers’ College Board of Trustees, and the Black Alliance for Educational Options. In 2010, he was among the finalists for the 2010 World Mayor Prize, ultimately placing seventh.
Mayor Booker visited the Hoover Institution as a featured guest of its Leadership Forum, which seeks to engage influential voices and rising political leaders with the Institution, its scholars, and its supporters. As part of this forum, the Hoover Institution has welcomed US congressman Paul Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner, Senator John Kerry, and Governor Mitt Romney, among others.