Rashon K. Hasan, member of the Newark Board of Education, has a guest column at Education Post that decries the anti-reformers in Newark and hails the expansion of school options in New Jersey’s largest school district. He writes,
Over the past few years we’ve experienced education reforms and are starting to see transformation throughout our city. We’ve seen collaboration and partnerships that have grown organically in an environment where the thoughts and feelings of parents have been neglected and ignored.
Charter schools have become a saving grace for many families in Newark and are now embedded in the DNA of this city. Before Newark’s Universal Enrollment System it was charter schools and a handful of magnet schools that allowed families to seek educational opportunities outside of failing neighborhood schools.
The expansion of charter schools and public school options in Newark has forced the Newark Public Schools to focus more on driving quality in schools and improving inefficiencies that exist within the system.
Contrary to popular belief, the education reform movement and expansion of public school options is not being led by white hedge-funders.
Parents and advocates from low-income communities throughout the nation are the driving force behind the expansion of educational options, not leaders of hedge funds.
Mr. Hasan also cites a recent BAEO survey of 2,400 black voters who overwhelming support school choice and charter schools.
Read the whole thing. The timing is serendipitous, coming the day after 150 parents from N.J.’s poorest school districts took buses to Trenton to plead with legislators to push back against the campaign by NJEA, Save Our Schools-NJ, and the Education Law Center for a charter school moratorium. Here we have a Newark school member brave enough to stand firm against bullies like Bob Braun and his anti-reform fellow travelers and demand access to quality public schools — traditional or independent — for every child. That’s leadership.