About this episode:

Even in 2019, we deal with issues that should no longer occur. Studies show New Jersey is the 6th most segregated state in the country for black students, 7th for Latinos. These inequities are brought to light last year by a coalition of civil rights groups filing a lawsuit against the state to challenge the state’s school system as unconstitutional and request sweeping action to end segregation. Is this intentional? Or a byproduct of some other inequality between races? 

In Part 2 of our segregation series, PEP brings Thomas Johnston and Dr. Namik Sercan together to talk about this controversial topic and what it means to NJ public schools. One being an attorney and the other a CEO of a charter school, they are able to shed light on the lawsuit while maintaining years of experience working in the same education field currently under scrutiny. How can we solve this pressing issue? Let’s see what they have to say. 

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Articles on this topic: 

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/01/new-jersey-school-segregation-lawsuit-brown-v-board-housing/579373/

https://www.nj.com/education/2018/05/lawsuit_calls_for_statewide_desegregation_of_nj_sc.html

http://bit.ly/2XhuG1Q

Guests:

Thomas Johnston
Tom Johnston is Founder and Managing Member of Johnston Law Firm in Montclair, New Jersey. Tom represents charter schools in various matters, from formation, charter applications, governance, labor and employment relations, special education, student discipline, public works, real estate acquisition and leasing, disputes with local resident districts and litigation. Tom frequently presents on charter school legal issues and trends. He graduated from Notre Dame Law School and Rutgers College. He is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and New York.
Dr. Namik Sercan
Dr. Namik Sercan currently serves as the Chief Education Officer at the Central Jersey College Prep Charter School (CJCP). Prior to his assignment at CJCP, Dr. Sercan led an education institute in Syracuse, NY, following his experience in charter schools for more than a decade. Dr. Sercan served in charter schools as a teacher, curriculum director, assistant principal, and principal since 2001. Dr. Sercan is also a great supporter of traditional public education. During the school year 2015-16, he served as a board member for the Syracuse City Schools Foundation and a member of the Budget Advisory Committee for Baldwinsville Central School District.