Cary Booker, older brother of senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker (D., N.J.), landed a top education job in the New Jersey governor’s administration in June despite an abysmal record leading a charter school in Tennessee, according to reporting by NJ Advance Media.
Cary Booker in 2010 co-founded Omni Prep Academy, a charter school in Memphis. After years of financial woes, operational failings, and substandard educational performance by students, the school was ordered to close in 2016.
Teachers and parents of students interviewed by NJ Advance Media say Omni Prep faced serious challenges in its first year. The school opened with no curriculum or books, and failed to provide proper initial training for teachers. With no kitchen or cafeteria, the school resorted to heating frozen chicken pot pie and bringing in pizza, which one former student said was cold. The school had no playground, so recess was held in the grass outside. Special education students did not receive required services, and not all staff remembers were fingerprinted for their background checks. Some teachers quit after the school could not pay them.
Booker was responsible for “overseeing the daily campus operation” at Omni Prep, but teachers said he rarely appeared at the school except to give tours for prospective donors or to make an announcement.
One teacher said she “ no idea what he did” during the first year of operation. – READ MORE