A Super Portfolio in Newark

Zuckerberg’s exciting announcement of a $100m grant to Newark, noted here on EdReformer
Short of a full NOLA-style restart, the portfolio approach is the only solution for Newark:

    *Improve salvageable schools (maybe 1/3 of elementary schools) with a coherent program of managed instruction
    *Launch an aggressive program of closing schools and opening new charter schools
    *Invite proven school operators to open new schools and attempt to phase them in as existing schools are phased out.

In addition to this disaster recovery work, Newark should launch an innovation agenda that includes

    *Statewide next gen virtual school (with legislative permission to become a district of choice)
    *A Regional STEM school and wouldn’t it be cool if it was in the Lincoln Science Center (and partnership with Jersey City)

$100m is an inspiring opening salvo from Mark’s new foundation.  It may make it a little easier for Booker, now with the weighty responsibility for Newark schools, to hire Superman.
Here is a New York Times article about what approach Christie and Booker may take.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1 Comment

Ed Jones

Worth noting that the Schott Foundation's Black Boys Report (50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males) lists Newark as a benchmark large district. Newark (aided by the Abbott plan?) has essentially closed its graduation gap, with 75% of black males graduating.
Not an awesome rate, but pretty good for a city and well above the 47% national average.

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