Feb 03
School Bus

Newark Superintendent Wants to Build That Wall. Will The DOE Stop Him?

On February 3, 2020, Laura Waters wrote in NJ Left Behind about ongoing tension between charter and traditional district public schools in Newark, drawing on Paul O’Neill’s January 31 op-ed in the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Newark may have problems but one of them isn’t the production of drama. Recent example: Superintendent Roger Leon declared last month, ““I believe families should make decisions where their child should go [to school] and I don’t think anyone should change that.” Then last week  he took the unprecedented step of writing a (boiler-plate, error-ridden) letter to the New Jersey Department of Education demanding that four Newark charter schools be shut down. From all accounts, Leon appears determined to erect a wall between  public traditional schools and public charter schools despite a burgeoning collaboration that has led to better academic outcomes for all Newark students as well as a community where over half of parents choose charters as their first choice and 63% of those surveyed see public charter schools as an important part of the city’s public school landscape.

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