Posted on October 20th, 2010 No comments
As reported in the past few days on NJ.com, New Jersey has seen an upsurge in the number of charter school applications for the next school year. Thanks in part to a charter-friendly administration and a national awareness of charter schools, applications to open these schools in the state have reached a record high. The state Department of Education has received around 50 applications for new charters. Applicants include virtual schools, a Hebrew language school, schools with ties to out-of-state charter networks and religious groups.
Some of the potential schools, like the New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School, will provide things like desktop computers to their students to compliment their educational experience, which will be based on an online curriculum. Michael Pallante, an applicant for the Virtual Academy Charter School, explains the role of the online school:
There are a group of students that don’t qualify for the magnet schools, they have to attend district schools, and some are afraid to go. There’s a population out there that nobody else is reaching, and we’re going to reach.
Posted on September 23rd, 2010 No comments
In a move announced yesterday that could have resounding ramifications to the school system in Newark, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, pledged a $100 million grant to help overhaul the ailing school district which has been under state control since 1995. Gov. Chris Christie will actually give control of the school system to Newark mayor, Cory Booker, in a televised event during tomorrow’s Oprah Winfrey Show. Zuckerberg will also join the guests to talk about his donation. Booker envisions expanding the network of charter schools and improving achievement standards as some of the goals of the grant, which can be matched by a fundraiser hosted by Booker, according to NJ.com.
It is definitely a crucial time for Newark schools as the city spend $20,000 each for its 40,000 students, but only half graduate, and of those, only 1/5 go to 4-year colleges, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many advocates would like to see new methods put into action, like copying the successes of other schools and introducing innovative ideas, as stated by a recent Forbes post. $100 million is truly a great way to kick-start change and with the continued support of parents, administrators, advocacy groups and partners like READS, impactful and profound reform can become a reality.
This is a first in a series of posts about the Newark grant. Follow READS, a leader in nonprofit real estate and charter school facilities development, as we continue to report on this important topic.