Newark Schools Advisory Board Candidates Forum

Eleven of the 12 candidates vying for the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board election on April 19 attended the Newark Trust for Education's Annual Candidates Forum.

Candidates for the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board weighed in on a variety of issues during the forum and shared a cross-section of ideas on how to improve the school district.

In attendance were Thomas Ellis, Carole Graves, George Tillman J. Jason Dotson, Jimmy White, Sheila Montague, Deborah Kim Thompson- Gaddy, Leah Owens, Tave Padilla, Jody Pittman, and Juan Silva.


What are the top priorities for the candidates?

During the forum, we asked each candidate to describe their top priorities, if elected. Here is what we heard...

  • Sharing of best practices between top district and charter schools.
  • Infrastructure and environmental issues in schools.
  • Parental engagement and parent training
  • Smaller classroom sizes
  • Attendance and chronic absenteeism related issues(e.g. rehire attendance counselors)
  • Healthier school environments through better nutrition and increased physical activity.
  • Return of Local Control
  • Stronger Curriculum, including a greater emphasis on teaching Black history
  • Greater collaboration between teachers, students, and community members(e.g. establishing a Community strategic planning board).
  • Community Schools
  • Mentoring and after-school programs and initiatives
  • Increased Funding

Listen to the forum recorded live at J. Harry Smith Hall at Essex County College in downtown Newark, New Jersey. (Also available for download on iTunes.)

You may also take a look at questions from the audience here

Don’t forget to vote on April 19! This should be big and bold – like Shaq!

You can also watch the forum

Newark School Election 2016 from Newark Trust on Vimeo.