State closed his school for poor performance. Now, he is running Paterson College Achieve Charter School. | Paterson Times

State closed his school for poor performance. Now, he is running Paterson College Achieve Charter School.


The New Jersey Department of Education closed his charter school in Newark for poor academic performance less than two years ago, now Henry McNair is running the Paterson College Achieve Charter School.

McNair has been working as the principal of the Paterson College Achieve Charter School since Jul. 1, 2017 for $123,600, according to public records. His resume does not mention the shuttered school, Newark Prep Charter School, that he ran in Newark.

From 2015 until the state closed down the Newark Prep Charter School, McNair worked as its principal. His six-page resume, which does not mention any of his past employers, just the city in which each is located, says he was the “leader of a public charter high school serving 450 students” in Newark from 2015 to 2017.

McNair did not respond to an email seeking his input for this story.

“As you know, we can’t discuss individual employees due to privacy laws. However, I can say that McNair was hired as Newark Prep’s leader after the school was placed on probation, as part of their turnaround efforts,” said Naush Boghossian, spokeswoman for the College Achieve charter school network, in response to a query sent to the network’s founder, Michael D. Piscal, on Wednesday afternoon.

McNair’s turnaround efforts at the Newark Prep Charter School was unsuccessful. His charter school was among three forced to close effective Jun. 30, 2017, according to the New Jersey Department of Education.

Newark Prep Charter School was granted a charter in 2012. For half of its existence, McNair was its principal.

“Newark Prep is more than just a school. Here we have combined direct instruction with online learning to create a school environment where every student matters no matter your background or experiences. It’s a culture unique to Newark Prep that empowers our students every day,” said McNair in a news release in Jun. 2016 celebrating the school’s first graduating class.

It had a culture of failing students. A state review found the school had a “weak academic program” that it failed to improve on time to avoid closure. Just 2-percent of students met grade level expectations on state math exams in 2016.

“Parents should have been made aware of that before he was placed there as principal,” said former school board member Corey Teague, a critic of charter schools, on Wednesday afternoon when told of McNair’s tenure at the Newark Prep Charter School. “I don’t even know why the people who put him there didn’t take that into consideration or maybe they did and didn’t care.”

Teague said it was “obviously not a good move” for the Paterson College Achieve Charter School to have hired McNair for the principal’s post.

The Paterson College Achieve Charter School, which opened in 2017-18 school year, has a page to provide parents more information about McNair, but the page is blank.

Teague speculated McNair may have gotten the job through a “hook up” connection. McNair’s resume lists Gemar Mills, whose management firm is contracted to run the Paterson College Achieve Charter School, as a reference.

“If he didn’t have a good program to help children where he was, I don’t know what he plans to do here,” said Teague speaking of McNair.

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  • Stewart

    Rahman is a multi-millionaire. Made his money off tech and high frequency trading. Don't think he cares if someone tries to fire him from the Times.

  • Miss jamaica

    Charter school like public schools have no money.
    Charter school do get funding from the state and sometimes private entity.
    It’s is tax payer business to know.
    Your resume when it come to dealing with our children should be as transparent as possible.

    Why would you obmit something from your resume if it that recent.

    This is my opinion

    • MarquinhoGaucho

      The charters get the bulk of the funds leaving the public schools with scraps this resulting in a 2 tiered separate and unequal system according to the NAACP. They can create their own pay scale, have their own vendors, which in many cases is by the same charter companies which charge more…the whole idea of charters is to AVOID transparency to they can steal as much of our money as possible.. Why dont the white towns have charters? Cant blame the union, their teachers belong to the same union.

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    More proof that charters are scams to fleece the tax payers …why are they only in the hood and why does our corrupt board of ed still clamor for them..oh yeah because the charters bribe the politicians..Why cant they have the CHUTZPAH that Clifton has and say "HELL NO WE WONT PAY!" ..look at Manny Martinez…a sex offender and still working at a charter..all these fired teachers they work at charters./…the Gulen schools bring over teachers using the HB1 visa and force them to pay tuzuks of 16K which they use to fund terrorism in Turkey. Who are these teachers? Have they been vetted? Again Teague is right on the money…OF COURSE he got his job through a hook up..the charters are all about who you bribe to get a charter and who do you kick back to…

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    when tax payer money is being diverted in sham charter…I think we need to investigate the shady dealings of these cancerous charters even more..

  • Nell

    You're missing the point. It's a reporters job to investigate a story and all relevant details as it pertains to it. Wouldn't you be worried if it was your child attending a school that has a principal who failed to improve the old one he was in? Regardless of whether it's a public or charter school the person or persons in charge should be held accountable.

  • Miss jamaica

    This is what we should be protesting, this disservice to our children and continual taking from the tax payer, this guy complete failure and is rewarded with another job where the salary may soon reach 150k with promotion .
    This will be a tax payer program.