New Jersey was the first state to take over a district, stripping the Jersey City school board of its powers in 1989. It then took control of Paterson in 1991, Newark in 1995 and most recently Camden in 2013. All the districts primarily serve communities of color.
Dr. Jennifer Robinson, Professor of teaching and learning and Executive Director of the Center of Pedagogy noted, “The state takeover of a district should not be a punitive measure entirely. There has to be a comprehensive and very clear plan for entry, engaging the community, figuring out a way of sustaining good practices, effective practices for the sake of children, and also an exit strategy that happens in a fairly quick time.”
She added that the state’s involvement in Paterson for nearly 30 years and Newark for 22 years was too long.