Robert Curvin, a visiting scholar at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, reflects on the recent superintendent search in Newark which ended with the choice of “a white girl from Harlem”:
As much of the history of education in Newark reveals, blacks had to fight through protests and the courts to win opportunity. Pioneers such as Alma Flagg, Marion Bolden, Fred Means and many others know firsthand some of the most brazen and horrific examples blacks had to face in public education in Newark. We won the battles for representation, and clearly established the right of blacks to lead our schools. Since 1970, there have been seven black superintendents.
The battle we have not won is against mediocrity and failure.