Talk to me a little bit about how you’re balancing the charter growth and the need to improve the district schools.
This issue has been deeply misunderstood by everybody, proponents and opponents of charter schools. I have a very simple measure here that goes back to where this conversation began. Does every child who lives in Newark have access to a free, quality public education? That does not make me either a proponent or an opponent of charter schools. It makes me an opponent of bad schools and a proponent of good schools.
When I say public, I mean a school that is open to all. We’ll give a pass to the magnets, but a school that is open to all—free, does not charge tuition, that is subject to a public authority, that has democratic accountability. That definition includes traditional public schools, vocational schools and charter schools.
So, again, I would very much like to get everybody out of the box of public schools versus charters and get everybody focusing on whether it is a great, free, public school, and whether parents have an equal opportunity to access them.
Labels: Cerf, charter schools, Newark