From the new report Better Options, Better Futures: Eight Years of the Newark Charter School Fund:
Our stern loyalty toward our children necessitates that we do not tarry with things that do not empower them to succeed. If we are falling short of our core values of equal opportunity, justice and fairness, if we are failing to manifest for them the richest of liberty — the liberation of their minds from the shackles of ignorance or mediocrity — then we must put forth extraordinary effort and be bold enough to risk, innovate and reimagine for their well-being...
Students in Newark across the board — whether they attend public charter schools or more traditional district schools — now have access to more high-performing educational options, and for the first time in a long time, the overall educational trend in Newark is robustly improving.
The data is compelling and dramatic. For example, the odds of an African American student in Newark being enrolled in a good school have doubled. The percentage of black Newark students attending a school that beat the state proficiency average has tripled over the past decade. According to a University of Washington study, Newark schools lead all of our nation in terms of the share of students in “beat the odds” schools — schools with high poverty rate kids in high-performing schools — and the Brookings Institution named Newark the fourth-best school district in the country for quality public school choice and competition in 2015.
My vision for Newark has been, and continues to be, one in which high-quality, public schools are incubators not just of knowledge and genius, but also of hope for a brighter future for Newark and all of its residents.
Also see today's Star-Ledger editorial by out-going Newark Charter School Fund CEO Mashea Ashton.