Bruce Baker, Mark Weber, and Joseph Oluwole completed another study of Cami Anderson’s “One Newark,” which will hand over about one-third of Newark’s public schools to private charter operators. This will result in the layoff of hundreds of teachers. Because the lowest performing schools are largely racially segregated, and because most of their teachers are black, the authors predict that “One Newark” will lead to a disparate impact on black teachers. The outcome: a significant whitening of the teacher force in Newark.
“This brief adds a new consideration to the shift from traditional public schools to charters: if the CMOs maintain their current teaching corps’ profile in an expansion, Newark’s teachers are likely to become more white and less experienced overall. Given the importance of teacher experience, particular in the first few years of work, Newark’s students would likely face a decline in teacher quality as more students enroll in charters.
“The potential change in the racial composition of the Newark teaching corps under One Newark – to a staff that has a smaller proportion of teachers of color – would occur within a historical context of established patterns of discrimination against black teachers. “Choice” plans in education have previously been found to disproportionately impact the employment of black teachers; One Newark continues in this tradition. NPS may be vulnerable to a disparate impact legal challenge on the grounds that black teachers will disproportionately face employment consequences under a plan that arbitrarily targets their schools.”