Newark Charter Embroiled in Controversy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Linda Newton enrolled her 8-year-old son at Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School to shield him from the ills that afflict many of Newark’s regular public schools.

She has regretted that decision every day since.

Last summer, nearly all of the troubled school’s two dozen teachers resigned, and students were hastily relocated to a downtown building that parents say is not equipped for their children. Some students climb five flights of stairs to reach their classrooms in the hulking former church.

Other kids have no classrooms at all, sharing space in a vast multipurpose room where academic instruction is often interrupted by the clapping and stomping of a dance class some 50 feet away.

Parents and teachers complain of a shortage of textbooks, an insufficient heating system and a lack of discipline for rowdy students, leading to fights and bullying.

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