In the small but densely populated state of New Jersey, wealthy suburbs adjoin working-class cities, and shoreline communities are close by. Like the state itself, the educational landscape in New Jersey is complex and changing.
Education Pioneers’ work in New Jersey is focused in the city of Newark (just west of Manhattan) with some partners southwest in the state capital of Trenton or further downstate in Camden.
Although New Jersey spends far more per student than any other state and ranks high in overall achievement, its achievement gaps are among the nation’s steepest. However, political attention and philanthropic funding made waves over the last few years in the state’s largest city of Newark. After some widespread reform policies led to public outcry and political unrest, the city is moving forward with a newly elected school board running on the platform of unity among all political and educational entities. Historic changes to teacher contracts have allowed for merit-pay for high performing teachers to support improvement and ensure that Newarks’s students get the education they deserve.
Education Pioneers has been working in Newark since 2012 to supply local organizations with the talented people they need to achieve their goals.
33 partner organizations, including Newark Public Schools, charter school management organizations Uncommon Schools and Newark Charter School Fund, and advocacy group Black Alliance for Educational Options .
EP Fellows in Newark work on strategic projects that make a difference, including: analysis of educational technology options for University Heights Charter School and enhancing the data collection system for Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids (BRICK) Academy – an organization co-founded by 2009 Graduate School Fellow Mindy Weidman.
- Several of EP’s Alumni continued to make strong impacts in the education sector in Newark, including 2012 Fellow Dowayne Davis who is now the Director of Finance and Operations at People’s Preparatory Charter School and 2013 Fellow Kate Fletcher, Senior Manager in the Office of Student and Enrollment at Newark Public Schools.