Newark Is Betting on a Wave of New Principals
(New York Times) — There is Sonn Sam, a Rhode Island transplant who could be mistaken for one of the students at his alternative high school, with his shaven head, sneakers and tattooed left arm. There is Chaleeta Barnes, who was promoted after just three years as a math coach at the Newark elementary school where her mother once taught. And there is Raymond Peterson, the founding principal of Bard High School Early College in Manhattan, who came out of retirement to start a similar school in Newark. These are some of the 17 new principals — 11 of them under age 40, 7 from outside Newark — recruited this year to run nearly a quarter of the city’s schools. They were hired by Cami Anderson, the new schools superintendent, as part of an ambitious plan to rebuild the 39,000-student district, which has long been crippled by low achievement and high dropout rates, but now is flush with up to $200 million from prominent donors, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.