Yesterday, Sunlight blogged about Newark’s student absenteeism scandal and asked where Superintendent Roger Leon stood on the matter. Today, Newark’s Oscar James blogged an answer on Newark Neighborhood View. James excoriated Newark Superintendent Roger Leon for his abandonment of Newark’s kids by kowtowing to the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) and its president John Abeigon.
Sunlight highly regards James’ knowledge of the Newark education system and can add nothing to the power of his words. So we took the liberty of excerpting blog below (Sunlight added bolding to emphasize certain points made by James):
Newark Families Deserves Far More than a Puppet Superintendent
I started this blog to vent and share my worries about our city in the middle of a pandemic. As I have continued to reflect, write, and pray on my fears, it is clear that what keeps me up at night is the state of public education in Newark.
To both me, the blogger, and you, the reader, I continue to focus on Roger Leon, our Superintendent.
Take in point Roger’s most recent announcement that our schools are not opening anytime soon.
As appropriately headlined in the NJ education blog New Jersey Left Behind, “In a Win for Newark Teachers Union, Schools Will Remain Closed Until April.
Instead of doing what is right for our families, Roger is taking his cues from one of Newark’s most corrupt bosses in Newark, NTU President John Abeigon.
All you have to do is look at the NTU website, where they boast, “The NTU continues to work closely with the Superintendent and the district’s Reopening Taskforce.” Or as Abeigon stated himself in ChalkBeat Newark. “Right now, we’re doing everything in our power to try to stop it [opening Newark schools].”
Basically, Roger has allowed John Abeigon to sit at the table, whisper in his ear, and even pull the strings … Abeigon has a bit of a reputation in Newark, to say the least. Our needs and goals for our kids are most certainly not his priority.
So what does Roger do?
Instead of making his own decision or listening to parents’ needs in Newark, he [Leon] again flip-flops and allows this guy [Abeigon] to decide when we open schools.
Listen, we would not want someone like Abeigon anywhere near our kids, and sure as hell, I do not want him involved in the decision-making of when my kids can go back in school.
“An estimated 3 million students may have dropped out of school learning since March, according to Bellwether Education Partners, a national nonprofit that focuses on underserved youth. The group’s study cited a lack of Internet access, housing insecurity, disabilities, and language barriers as major obstacles to attending virtual classes during the pandemic.”
It’s time for a plan, not a puppet as our Superintendent.
I deeply worry that, based on his actions and erratic decisions, Roger has reached a point where he is in way over his head and flailing.
Roger, stop listening to John Abeigon and start listening to Newark’s parents!