Departing Newark school chief always put kids first
The Ledger considers the legacy that Newark schools superintendent Marion Bolden will leave after her departure from the post later this year.
She also is proud of the district’s graduation rate, and decries critics who challenge its legitimacy. Nearly 52 percent of high school students received diplomas in 1999. That number jumped to nearly 80 percent during Bolden’s tenure.
She is the first to admit students are graduating with low grade-point averages, but the fact they remain in school is positive, she said. Unless the state changes graduation requirements, she said, students should not be stigmatized if they don’t pass the HSPA and need the SRA to get a diploma.
“I don’t want kids to be pushed through. Kids who need remediation after graduation, that’s a problem,” Bolden said. “But it’s still better than kids who were dropping out in 7th and 8th grade. You want them to graduate because it affords them an opportunity even if they need remedial classes.”