THE DEAL: Baraka and Cerf become school “reform” allies

Baraka meets with Christie. shortly after the mayor's election.
Baraka meets with Christie. shortly after the mayor’s election.

The deal last June was a stunner for many reasons–Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Republican Gov. Chris Christie cut a bargain to bring in former state schools chief Christopher Cerf, a charter school champion, to be the city schools superintendent. It didn’t initially make a lot of sense but, after the joint Cerf/Baraka announcement later today, Tuesday, city residents might get a better idea of what happened behind closed doors last spring that led to today’s surprising result: Baraka and Christie have become partners in school reform.