The Newark Challenge
Newark has been struggling for decades. There are a number of factors that have inhibited reform in the district, including:
- Turnover in district leadership which causes inertia and/or chaos as initiatives lose traction, and systems become fractured.
- Isolated pockets or “silos” of effective reform that are not implemented thoughout the district.
- An infusion of external resources that aren't thoughtfully and effectively allocated.
- Limited capacity to link teacher evaluation to student outcomes.
- An inability to fully negotiate a contract with the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) and City Association of Supervisors and Administrators (CASA) that establish these unions as partners in school and district improvement efforts.
- Lack of a clear process for emerging schools.
- Significant reduction in the school district budget (with another round of cuts anticipated in 2011-2012)
- Uncertainty around the return of local control and all that goes with it.
We have a historic opportunity to increase transparency and accountability in the Newark schools. It is time to remove the roadblocks to reform in order to improve the schools we have, and create the schools we need.