Beating Newark’s odds, KIPP charter network is poised to expand

Julie O’Connor:

It is an unlikely place to see so many children celebrating college acceptance letters.

Here in the heart of Newark, a poor and violent city, sits a passage to another world. Just blocks from Barringer High School — where at least a dozen gangs recruit, cops break up fights with pepper spray, a girl was sexually assaulted and a boy stabbed to death — Newark Collegiate Academy is an oasis.

In a city where almost half the students don’t graduate, nearly all its kids finish, and a remarkable 95 percent of them go on to college.

This isn’t supposed to happen. The first rule of education in America is that poverty breeds failure. You can find 100 studies to show that. It’s normally true.