The news out of Newark today once again raises the question of the time limits for making dramatic changes to a failing school district. Opposition to Cami Anderson’s One Newark plan was the centerpiece of Ras Baraka’s campaign, which he won. Is this the end of the plan; the end of Anderson’s stint there? I haven’t done any reporting on the ground there, so I will resist speculation. But the current New Yorker piece makes the likelihood of success seem daunting.
It does seem that different cities have very different windows of opportunity. New Orleans appeared to have lots of time. Memphis appears to have a fair amount of time, mostly because the political distractions caused by the collapse of the city school district there.
Even more interesting are the districts undergoing dramatic restructuring without achievement school districts paving the way. Washington DC has enjoyed years of freedom to maneuver. In my book I take a look at the plan in San Antonio, a plan that to me has all the right ingredients to succeed. But major opposition is always just around the corner. Where will the politically ambitious mayor there, Julian Castro, come down on big changes?