To followers of public education in New Jersey, the past 30 years have provided one clear lesson: money alone will not improve the educational landscape in our state. Instead, several key ingredients must combine, including: a bold vision, strong leadership, political will, and community involvement and engagement. Fortunately, we’re seeing these integral components come together in cities across New Jersey.
Teach For America has been partnering with New Jersey schools for more than 20 years. Today, corps members teach in nine New Jersey communities: Newark, Passaic, Paterson, Orange, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Trenton, and Camden. Nearly 1,000 alumni live in the state, including more than 300 classroom teachers, 55 principals, and two superintendents. We have reason to be optimistic. Twenty years from now our kids will tell a story. Let’s work together to ensure it is one of options, access, and an excellent education.