The Newark school board has scheduled its regular business meeting at 5:30 pm today. It will be the first meeting the newly-imposed state superintendent of Newark schools, Christopher Cerf, will likely attend. He can take five steps tonight to prove he really is in favor of returning the district to local control and supporting neighborhood public schools. Here are the five steps:
1) Formally recommend to state Education Commissioner David Hespe that the school board receive a score of 80 on the QSAC accountability score, thereby returning the governance prerogative to the local board.
2) Put an immediate end to the “One Newark” enrollment plan and allow children to attend their neighborhood schools.
3) Immediately stop the wholesale transfer of teachers required by the “turnaround” plan.
4) Announce an immediate moratorium on the opening or expansion of privately operated, publicly funded charter schools AND return the $25 million in public funds diverted to charter schools from the neighborhood public school budget.
5) Give six months’ notice of his intention to resign his position as state-imposed school superintendent and to surrender his position to a superintendent chosen by the elected school board.
If he doesn’t take these steps, I at least hope he will not insult the people of the city with false talk about his support for local control. Act–don’t talk.
A reader added a sixth and it is essential: All teachers designated as EWPs–educators without placement–should be hired to jobs for which they are licensed. No new teachers should be hired before the EWPs list is exhausted. The public schools need the $35 million wasted on “rubber rooms” every year.