Dedicated teachers can’t provide the whole answer, says Newark’s mayor

Dedicated teachers can’t provide the whole answer, says Newark’s mayor.

Mayor Ras Baraka’s name is on the byline of this piece, so I’m led to believe he either wrote it or heavily influenced it’s writing. So, two things.

  1. This is a compelling position supporting the organization of resources around city schools, with a realistic take on the inherent challenges of inner city schools. If anyone should be leading the city at a crucial time in reforming the school system, it should be Baraka.
  2. Wow, this guy can write.

As a Renew School, Quitman Street School was afforded the ability to hire new teaching staff, gain substantial infusions of technology and lengthen the school day. Absent the systems and strategies Principal Glover had worked with the Global Village to embed in the organization of the school, they would be equivalent to moving chairs around on the deck of the titanic. Teachers would have been replaced, smart boards and computers placed in classroom, and more time added to the day without the capacity to make those things matter for student learning.

Strategies like Global Village – a framework consistent with the Community Schools strategy – are best practices for creating schools where every child has the opportunity to learn at their full intellectual potential. A citywide Community Schools strategy is vital to ensuring our schools develop the capacity needed to help every child become ready for college, career and citizenship. Our schools need a comprehensive and expanded approach to school transformation because it takes more than a teacher to disentangle a child from the barriers and lack of opportunity that poverty creates for their development.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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