June's Message from the President and CEO
"Aren't we all sharing a campus?"
This is the question I raised while serving on a panel organized to focus on what it takes to successfully operate two, sometimes three separate schools sharing one facility. My distinguished panelists were terrific at providing concrete examples of the realities of sharing space and learning from one another. I saw my job—as it frequently is—to frame or re-frame this issue. While I never referenced the Tragedy of the Commons, I choose to introduce the concept with my opening question.
The Tragedy of the Commons is the depletion of shared resources by individuals, governments, or corporations acting independently according to their own self interest, despite their understanding that depleting a common resource will hurt everyone's individual interests in the long run.
April's Message from the President and CEO
"Spring forward, Fall back" my mom would say when it came time to change the clocks. The same may be true regarding our schools here in Newark. It's spring and it's time to move forward and not fall back.
It's natural for people and systems to become stressed when the air is so charged with change.
It is understandable how and why so many good people feel unprepared, confused and even angry. Yet, when we ask high school students what they need from adults and from their schools, they tell us with great clarity. They want safe schools. They want teachers and guidance counselors who go the extra mile for them, and they want interesting and challenging classes that keep them engaged. They want to walk through hallways and feel like they belong to something special where people know and care about them. At least that is what the students who are participating in the High School Policy Advisory Group, that the Trust is facilitating in partnership with district leaders, are telling us.
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February's Message from the President and CEO
There is a lot of buzz in Newark right now about plans to create three small district high schools within Barringer High School to open in September 2013.
Before rushing to judgment, let's review some of the characteristics, potential benefits and challenges associated with the Small Schools Movement.
"Small schools" refers to a way of restructuring schools-particularly high schools. In general, the research suggests that smaller is better, particularly in urban areas-as long as there is some economy of scale that enables resources to be delivered at optimum levels.