The Future of Newark Public Schools
As part of the "The Future of Urban Education" series, Michele Adubato, Chief Executive Officer of the North Ward Center, shares her thoughts on urban education and the future of Newark Public schools.
"Welcome folks. I'm Steve Adubato. We are here at the North Ward Center in Newark, New Jersey. We've just completed a very compelling, powerful, and frankly, very candid conversation about the future of urban education, and the young lady you're about to see on camera, Michele Adubato, the Chief Executive Officer of the North Ward Center, was not just a big part of that forum of nine experts in urban education, but invited us here to the center. Our dad started this organization 45 years ago. An urban educator? Yes. Biggest takeaway for you from that discussion was? Is? You know, I came into this knowing that there was a long road ahead. When... after the conversation that we had... although we continue to understand that Newark is nowhere near it needs to be in terms of education for everybody. That there's real hope. It's tangible. By the way, as we're doing this program, Newark is transitioning from state control, some say a takeover, over the last 20 plus years, to local control. That matters because? It matters because like every other town, Newark should have a right, Newark parents, and families, should have a right to be a part of their educational system. It happens all across the, you know, America. Why wouldn't it happen here? But as a f... I said in the forum that you were a former principal, but you also made it clear, once a principal, always a principal. But to those watching right now outside of urban areas, outside of Newark, or Jersey City, Camden, Paterson, Plainfield, et cetera, New Brunswick, what would you say to those folks about who these young people are in the City of Newark, and in urban schools across this state and nation? I'd say that these kids are eager, willing, and want to learn. If they are given the right structure, the right format, the right school, the right culture of excellence, all of them will perform. They just don't have, not every student has that chance right now. Why do you think so many have so few, so low expectations of children in schools in our cities? I don't know if everyone has low expectations. So there's...I didn't say everyone. But there are a significant number of people, watching right now, and across this nation, who don't expect much. You do? Because I know them. I know these kids. I've been in Newark public schools, like I said, for over 25 years. I'm in the community all the time as the CEO of the North Ward Center. And these kids, the preschools, over 700 preschoolers, Abbott preschoolers here, vibrant... At the North Ward Center? At the North Ward Center. What do you see..."