Schools in three of the largest cities in New Jersey: Newark, Jersey City, and Paterson, are controlled by the state’s Department of Education. The state took over the Jersey City school district in 1987, 25 years ago, and soon after it took over those of the other 2 cities mentioned above because each city’s failure to educate its young people.
State control of school diminishes the power of locals to control their schools; groups advocating reforms are unable to protest to listening ears; inputs of parents are ignored or go on deaf ears.
State Senator Ronald L. Rice, who hails from Newark, will hold a press conference, at Newark City Hall, with the NAACP and school board officials and members of the clergy, to ask federal education regulators to review the state’s control of the aforementioned school districts; the control came into effect as a result of Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC), a law that permitted the takeover.
Paterson school district has been under the control of New Jersey since 1991, but it remains one of the worst in NJ: the state has clearly failed at its initial mission to improve and bring up to standard that district.
Most loathe the state’s control of school districts because it reduces the autonomy of their respective school boards, but with so many failing schools inside these three districts it is unlikely that the state will cede control. But after decades, the state is no better at managing these schools, than the local governments; maybe it is time to give up power and see what the municipalities can do.
“Simply shifting control of public schools to a higher level of government doesn’t magically ensure minority children a better education,” declares the Lexington Institute, a think-tank, on its report about the Paterson school district and the failure of the state to better it.