Ms. Anderson had, in her tenure and her resignation, become a symbol of the raging national argument about how best to improve public education.
In an interview on Tuesday, she lamented that the fight had become “personalized…“It’s not about me,” she said. “I don’t think that some of the tactics were O.K. But I don’t want to be defined by that, and I don’t think Newark deserves to be defined by that….“It’s easy to demonize a person,” Ms. Anderson said. “But those are tough questions.”
Chief among those questions is how to manage the balance between traditional public schools and charter schools, which educated about 5 percent of the city’s students when she arrived, and by next year will educate 40 percent. Ms. Anderson and her critics agreed that the city needed to lift up traditional public schools to make sure all students had an equitable education, but argued fiercely over how to do so.
She said she had hoped that she and Mayor Baraka — a Democrat, like Mr. Booker, but also a former high school principal in Newark — could work together.
“My assumption was that we wouldn’t necessarily be on the same side of politics but that we would be able to work together because there was enough common passion,” she said. “He made a decision that it wasn’t good politics.”
Labels: Baraka, charter schools, Newark