Villages grow in Newark

Teachers Village — three charter schools, apartments marketed to teachers, retail stores, a hotel and a parking garage — is planned for Newark’s historic Four Corners neighborhood, reports Dailycensored.

Planned for the downtown geographical site is the creation of a new “retail corridor” in ground-floor shops and a marriage of two the city’s more vibrant venues: University Heights — home to Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, among others — and the Prudential Center, the 18,000-seat arena known as “The Rock.”

Newark hopes the development will “rejuvenate a dying neighborhood, boost a flagging economy, attract young professionals looking for an urban lifestyle, and present (presumably) more good charter options,” notes Education Gadfly, which wonders how many teachers will want to live over the shop, so to speak.

Newark also is creating the Global Village School Zone. Social services for seven low-performing schools will be provided through a coalition of colleges and community groups led by New York University, reports the New York Times. The zone in Newark’s depressed Central Ward is modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone.

While the Newark zone will remain part of the city’s long-troubled school system, which has been under state control since 1995, its schools will be largely freed from district regulations and will be allowed to operate like independent charter schools. Decisions about daily operations and policies will be turned over to committees of principals, teachers, parents, college educators and community leaders, and the schools will be allowed to modify their curriculum to address the needs of students.

Newark schools have nowhere to go but up.