by Paul O'Neill
Congratulations to Newark New Jersey's charter schools, nearly all of which recently recommitted to the Newark Charter Compact. At a ceremony last week, the schools re-signed onto this annual statement of shared principles, vision and collaboration. The Compact, issued and supported by the Newark Charter Schools Fund, calls for all signatory schools to commit to high standards, transparent, equitable and accountable growth, and participation in the district's innovative universal enrollment initiative (One Newark Enrolls). There are three core elements of the Compact: 1) Serving All Students, 2) Data Transparency & Accountability, and 3) Charter & District Collaboration. All are important. But NCSECS would like to commend Newark Charter Schools and the Newark Charter Schools Fund for putting equity first. The schools committed to:
"Serving all students in the city, especially the highest need students requiring special education services, students who are English Language Learners, students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch and other underserved or at-risk populations... "
Too often equity and access are considerations that are tacked onto the end of broad initiatives; almost as an afterthought. Here, they take precedence. This is a tremendous model that deserves attention, recognition and emulation. Please check out the Compact here: http://ncsfund.org/what-we-do/projects/compact-for-newark-charter-schools