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Newark, New Jersey'S Education Crisis

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"I am just so concerned, our kids aren't punks. Our kids aren't wise guys. They're the kids who come from single parents, lots of them on welfare, and every one of them can be college material. Isn't it our job to protect them? If we don't have these schools, what's going to happen to them?"(Newark's School Choices Grow Bleaker, par. 17) These are the agonizing questions asked by Newark, New Jersey's Our Lady of Good Counsel High School's sole guidance counselor, Ms. Ameiorsano. What Ms. Ameiorsano is refer to is the children in Newark's school system who are being forgotten about when schools like Our Lady of Good Counsel are being closed down while mediocre schools with, " fewer than 20 percent of juniors scored "proficient" in math, and fewer then one-third did so in language arts,( Newark's School Choices Grow Bleaker, par. 8)" like Barringer High School are remaining open.

Newark is one of the urban areas in New Jersey and like many urban areas in not just the state, but in the U.S. the rising concern of the lack of proficient educational structures in the "ghettos" of certain cities is the dilemma at hand. This issue is not at all a stranger in the eyes of the media. Countless articles have been written about the closing of schools and the meager testing skills of Newark's matriculating students. The lack of noteworthy schools in urban areas is not unique to the urban population because when urban planners begin to plan the construction of cities like Newark that were once filled with Caucasians they put so much emphasis on building and putting money towards section 8 housing and various other low income housing projects that they forget to put money where it also counts, in the school system.

There are a plentiful amount of external and internal forces that contributed to the current situation in Newark. The first one being the lack of parental involvement. If parents do not take a stand, a strong stand, then nothing can change and the problem can not be fixed. Not all schools are lucky enough to have a Ms. Ameriasano and if a parent doesn't stay on their children and monitor the school then their children and the school will not prosper.

Another force is the negative government involvement in Newark. In 1995, the State Department of Education took over the public school system in Newark, "castigating it as being," "at best flagrantly delinquent and at worst in deceptive discharging its obligations, (Newark's School Choices Grow Bleaker, par. 6)." Eleven years later after failing to do anything constructive for the school system the state government is planning on returning the Newark schools back into the hands of local control. The damage unfortunately is all ready done. The state government has already shown Newark how low on the scale the school system and what goes on in them are. All the government sees is another urban area with declining test scores in schools filled with student bodies that are largely poor and almost entirely



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