“We are hopeful that the winners are ready to get to work to put Newark back in local control,” Abeigon said. “We also want to make sure that resources come back to traditional schools. Corporate charter schools, we view them as parasitic. I don’t see any compromise coming from their sector at all so I don’t see why the city feels that they can compromise with these people.”
That’s John Abeigon, president of the Newark Teachers Union, comparing the public schools that educate one out of every three Newark students to organisms that survive by ingesting their hosts. Abeigon also tells The Advocate that NTU members “do not agree that working with charter school advocates is in the best interest of Newark students” and that he hopes that “the newly elected members of the school board move toward a moratorium on charter schools.”
There are three types of public schools in Newark, all accessible to families through the Newark Enrolls program. Traditional district schools educate about 33% of Newark schoolchildren. District magnet schools, which restrict admissions to schoolchildren who meet their academic criteria, serve about 36% of Newark schoolchildren. Charter schools educate about 31% of Newark schoolchildren (although shares will shift as charter schools expand in response to parent demand).
Mr. Abeigon suggests that two-thirds of this diverse system turn on the smallest third. Who’s the antagonist in this picture?