Technically not a conversion to a charter school: the plan is to formally close the two schools in question in the South Ward and open as a new charter school.
Still, a remarkable change, especially given last week’s announcement planning to broaden the use of the $100M Zuckerberg donation for the public school system.
If the new Achieve Community Charter School is approved, it would be the first time that a public school in New Jersey is converted to a charter school.
The change would add fuel to the ongoing and sometime acrimonious debate over the relationship between public schools and charters – a debate that it perhaps most intense in Newark. What’s more, the proposed switch comes at a time when school district leaders are looking to improve the city’s South Ward schools – including BRICK – to better serve their neighborhoods.