Cerf said that only 22 percent of incoming high school freshmen in Newark ever graduate with a diploma, and even then "it's not even a real degree."Addendum (April 13): This was a misquote by the Asbury Park Press--the 22% refers to those students who graduate within 4 years and passed the HSPA, our state exam.
|Central High School, 2008--Bill Cosby spoke|
We have a problem.
Newark has a long, proud, and complicated history. Newark Bears, Ballantine Ale, patent leather, Sara Vaughn, Steven Crane, Melba Moore, Redman, Paul Simon.
And the riots.
I've worked many years in Newark, briefly in Port Newark, mostly in the projects and the hospitals and shelters and clinics. I've treated children destroyed by lead, by AIDS, by asthma, by violence. I've seen a lot of people (and I'm on the list) make a decent living treating people who had no hope of the same.
And through it all, I saw resilience. Children still smile, parents still bust their butts making the rent, and students still get themselves to Weequahic and Technology and East Side and Shabazz and West Side and Central and Science and University and Arts and Barringer High Schools, many of whom have climbed over mountains to get there.
And now they hear our State Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf say their diploma "is not even a real degree."
I'd like to know the source for the 22% graduation rate--I hope Cerf was misquoted.