Newark Snafu

The Star-Ledger reports that Newark school officials are closing several traditional public schools to accommodate eleven charter schools in “a massive reshuffling.” The Ledger obtained a 39-page memo with the phrase “Strictly Confidential Draft Work Product" stamped on each page that specifies both the schools closing (Quitman Street, Camden Middle, and the charter schools expanding (North Star, Lady Liberty, Spirit Prep and Vailsburg Prep). The memo was circulated to principals during a “hastily called meeting” on Friday and was prepared by outside consultants.

Deputy Commissioner Rochelle Hendricks said that the report “was never meant to be public.”

Also in the Star-Ledger, Joan Whitlow writes,
Now, however, we learn that school district and the state, which runs the Newark schools, has been working on a plan that involves a massive rearrangement of schools and students. It has come to fruition in secret without anyone asking or informing principals, teachers, parents,students or even Newark's elected school advisory board about the when, how and why of it all.
Whitlow also quotes Shavar Jeffries, President of Newark School Advisory Board, who said that the “board should have been told of the details and the implementation schedule before any such plan was presented to the principals as an order they had to carry out.”