State of Emergency asserts the premise that all children are equally capable, and that their academic success or failure is the province of how our school bureaucracies are staffed, organized and deployed. More importantly—with the billions of dollars spent on urban education reform in New Jersey as prologue—it explores the increasingly negative impact that New Jersey’s State Department of Education, Teacher Union, and traditional educational advocacy group policies have had on our urban students. Those policies, when viewed as individual instances, are outrageous. But when viewed as part of a larger, organized series of practical and self-interested decisions by our education leaders, they amount to nothing less than a concerted effort—a cover-up—whose goal is to disguise failure as success, while increasing school funding and decreasing school accountability for our neediest students. A shameful twist meant to keep African American and Hispanic parents in our cities beholden to their local districts, and unaware of how underprepared their children are, while maintaining some of the country’s most expensive school districts, and all the jobs, patronage, and contracts that exist because of them.