Tearing apart neighborhood schools only hurts Newark

Monday, June 23, 2014

It’s death by a thousand cuts.

This is happening in Newark Public Schools after nearly 20 years of state control. Since the New Jersey Department of Education took over the school system in 1995, rather than building up the school system and empowering parents and students it has instead focused on destroying neighborhood schools, leaving community devastation in their wake.

State control — and the subsequent lack of local input and accountability — has ushered in policies such as school closings, school turnarounds and charter school expansion in neighborhoods that mostly serve African-American and Latino students. Since 2010, Newark has created 15 charter schools that siphoned off funds and resources from traditional public schools. And since 2011, 10 Newark neighborhood schools have been shut down or re-sited to different facilities.

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