By David Wildstein,
Newark public and charter schools saw their test scores, graduate rates and student growth rates improve between 2006 and the final year of state control in 2018, according to a new report by the New Jersey Children’s Foundation and MarGrady Research.
These time period coincides large with Cory Booker’s tenure as the mayor of Newark.
Now a Democratic presidential candidate, Booker was mayor of New Jersey’s largest city from 2006 t0 2013, when he won a seat in the United States Senate.
The percentage of black students attending a school that outperformed the state test score proficiency average increased from 7% to 31%.
“As Newark’s leaders put together the first strategic plan under local control in more than twenty years, we hope this report serves as a baseline for measuring progress,” said Kyle Rosenkrans, the CEO of the New Jersey Children’s Foundation.
Public schools went from the bottom to the top ranks of other high-poverty school districts in the state, and average test scores went from the 39th percentile to the 78th in reading and math.
Graduation rates rose from 63% in 2011 to 77% in 2018.
“We can debate the causes, but we shouldn’t debate the facts: the gains made by Newark children are real, and they are meaningful,” said Jesse Margolis, PhD, of MarGrady Research.