With local control, new hope in Newark schools

After 22 years of failed, state-imposed “education reform,” the Newark, N.J., community finally has local control of their schools. “We make the decisions in our house,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka at a City Hall event celebrating the return of democratic process to Newark public education in 2017-18. “We don’t need anybody to run us, to govern us, to tell us what to do.” The return to local control was fought for and hailed by educators across the system. “We’ve been waiting for 22 years to talk innovation with the district, to talk class size with the district, to talk after-school programs, wraparound services [and] community schools,” said Newark Teachers Union president John Abeigon.