Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Newark School Board Member: Charter School Moratorium Bill Doesn't "Represent the Needs of Newark Parents"

Rashan K. Hasan, Newark Board of Education member, takes on those who would deprive Newark’s families of access to effective public schools.

From today’s Star-Ledger:
Presently, there are some misguided leaders in our education space, who devalue school choice and want to go against Newark's history by limiting the types of public schools that our children are able to attend.  
Rather than create actual moratoriums on schools that are failing our children, those same people would rather blindly create moratoriums that stifle school choice. Rather than celebrating and supporting the public schools that are actually working and serving our kids, they wish to blindly ignore successful school reforms and instead support outdated methodologies that drive failure and poor performance. 
This is an attitude that does not represent the needs of Newark parents and will slowly kill our chance to have a progressive education system in Newark.
Mr. Hasan refers to the coterie of anti-choice lobbyists who target their ire at burgeoning public school options in Newark and Camden, two of N.J.’s most troubled cities and school districts. This clique includes Mark Weber (“Jersey Jazzman), Julia Sass Rubin (Save Our Schools-NJ), Darcie Cimarusti (of Diane Ravitch’s Network for Public Education, who also features a handy list on her blog), Bob Braun (former journalist), Marie Corfield (erstwhile legislative candidate), and various other lobbyists, none of whom has a child consigned to Newark or Camden.

Mr. Hasan urges the anti-choice crowd to remember NPS’s sordid history, which includes “low student achievement, election tampering, nepotism, and fraud.” His reference to “misguided leaders” alludes to state legislators -- Assembly members Patrick Diegnan, Mila Jasey and Senator Shirley Turner – who continue, despite parent pleas, to push for a three-year moratorium on charter school expansion. Most likely he’s also referring to Mayor Ras Baraka, who last month sent a letter urging Ed. Comm. David Hespe to stop all charter school expansion. (The Newark City Council sent a follow-up urging Comm. Hespe to disregard their leader’s missive.)

The charter moratorium bill, unsurprisingly, is also supported by NJEA and Education Law Center, and the Newark Teachers Union, all invested in maintaining a system that consigns children, primarily poor and minority, to dysfunctional schools.

Mr. Hasan notes,
Rather than create actual moratoriums on schools that are failing our children, those same people would rather blindly create moratoriums that stifle school choice. Rather than celebrating and supporting the public schools that are actually working and serving our kids, they wish to blindly ignore successful school reforms and instead support outdated methodologies that drive failure and poor performance. 
This is an attitude that does not represent the needs of Newark parents and will slowly kill our chance to have a progressive education system in Newark.

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