Newark Education Trust Co-sponsored Forum on Charters
The Newark Trust for Education is committed to fostering an informed citizenry, and holding all who are responsible, accountable for providing a quality public education for all children in Newark. This is why we were pleased to co-sponsor the NJSpotlight Roundtable on Charter Schools. The Roundtable was held at Rutgers-Newark’s Paul Robeson Center on Thursday, May 12 between noon and 1:30 p.m. Other sponsors included the Newark Charter School Fund, E3 and the Newark Teachers Union, whose president, Joseph Del Grosso is an ex-officio member of our board.
The Roundtable’s panel consisted of acting State Education Commissioner Chris Cerf; Assemblywoman Mila Jasey; Montclair State University professor and charter school expert Katrina Bulkley; Karen Thomas, the CEO of Marion P. Thomas Charter School in Newark and a board member of the New Jersey Charter Schools Association; Julia Sass Rubin of Save Our Schools NJ and Carly Bolger, the director of the Office of Charter Schools in the state Department of Education. John Mooney, the former education reporter for The Star-Ledger and founder of NJSpotlight, moderated the forum.
With over 125 educators, policy makers, politicians, community and non-profit leaders attending, the panel explored issues related to funding, authorizing, monitoring, and managing charter schools.
On several occasions, the issue of charter school performance came up. Acting Commissioner Cerf indicated that charter schools are outperforming traditional public schools on every significant indicator. This data was challenged by members of the audience as well as another member of the panel. Perhaps the most provocative challenge came from Cerf, who, when challenged by data produced by Rutgers professor Bruce Baker suggested that they have a “Bake off” of data. While we don’t know if that will ever happen – or even if it is a good idea – we invite you to view the panel discussion in its entirety. Simply double –click on or press the “play” button below. You can also read the story that ran on NJSpotlight.
We welcome your feedback.