As difficult and disliked as school closures can be, a new study being released Tuesday by the Fordham Institute indicates that the students usually benefit. When we looked at the impact of closures on their achievement, we found that, on average, children directly affected by closure gained significantly—the equivalent of an extra month of learning in their new schools.More locally, the issue of Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson's plan to close and/or repurpose several district schools was a hot topic of debate during last week's election for Newark's School Advisory Board. From the Star Ledger:
Both Dashay Carter, an aviation operation specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve, and Crystal Fonseca, an administrative assistant in Jersey City's sanitation department, were critical of any school closings.Lewis, Carter, and Fonesco won. Love lost.
"That's really breaking my heart," Fonseca said of the district's reorganized school portfolio; The district's reforms often calls for repurposing school buildings as opposed to direct closures.
Marques-Aquil Lewis, an incumbent, argued that the board needs to work together to fight Anderson's reforms.
Asked how they would justify keeping a failing school open, most candidates said closing the school down was not the answer. Instead, the district should work to improve the school, the candidates argued.
"We need reform," said Montague. "All students should have (a) choice to equitable education."
Lewis echoed similar sentiments, arguing that sometimes low-performing schools were not given the resources they needed to be successful.
But [Charles] Love said poor-performing schools should be closed.
"Chronic failure for 30 or 40 years? You should be shut down," he said. "When you have a person who is sick, you quarantine them."