BULLETIN: Cami to Newark: I won’t show. Ever.

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Cami will meet with one mayoral candidate but not parents or teachers or taxpayers.
Cami will meet with one mayoral candidate but not parents or teachers or taxpayers.

Cami Anderson, appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to run the state’s largest school district, just told the city’s residents that–starting tonight–she would no longer attend public meetings of the School Advisory Board. The board is the statutory remnant of the Newark Board of Education whose powers were transferred to the state superintendent by the state takeover law.

She made the decision just days after it was reported here that she would layoff 700 or more teachers while reserving the right to hire new instructors. She has applied to outgoing state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf for a so-called “equivalency or waiver” that she believes would permit her to lay off tenured teachers without regard to seniority.

Anderson also is boycotting the public meetings in the midst of a controversy over her plan to close at least four neighborhood schools, expand charter school enrollment, and otherwise change the operations of about a third of the city’s schools.

“She’s a coward and doesn’t want to face the people,” said Grace Sergio, the president of the Hawthorne Avenue parent-teacher organization. Sergio was preparing to give a presentation at tonight’s meeting aimed at keeping the school open.

About 90 mintes before the meeting was supposed to begin, she released a letter in which she said the school board meetings “are no longer focused on achieving educational outcomes for children.”

She added: “The dysfunction displayed within this forumĀ  sets a bad example for our children, and it’s no longer a place where meaningful interaction and dialogue occurs between NPS and the public.”

At last month’s meeting, she stormed out after a Newark parents asked whether or ot she wanted for her children what Newark parents wanted for theirs. The parent, Natasha Allen, used the term “brown babies” and that apparently angered Anderson who is the motherĀ an interracial.

I will be filing more later tonight.

 

29 comments

    • educationsetsusfree

      Mike, its about the only thing she does well. Her tactless, transparent, last minute
      no show move …should be her last. I know we ALL can agree that Cami’s has failed the Newark Superintendent
      Evaluation. She has deemed herself to be continually “ineffective” . The reality is ( in the words Christy uses towards public workers ) “we just can’t afford her anymore”. I call for her prompt resignation!

  1. Sue

    As a teacher in Newark, it’s good to know that I can follow Cami Anderson’s example. From now on, when my students are not focused and/or expressing negative feelings, I will leave the classroom and not return until they are ready to learn in a meaningful way.

  2. Becca Field

    I am not sure Cami Anderson would know meaningful dialogue if it hit her in the face. Her presence is not the reason for the dialogue that happens – her autocratic, capricious, and often punitive decision making is what causes the reaction she does not like. Rather than reflect on her own role in this mess, she blames other and slinks away. Slinks….what kind of animal slinks?

  3. annie

    Has Newark become the new Sudetenland? Just give us Newark and we’ll go away. Not going to happen, they’ll want more and more until they control the whole state. It’s unconscionable that people have put their blood, sweat and tears into the civil rights movement only to see what’s happening in Newark now. Using children to secure their monetary goals, I’m speechless.

  4. Jeff S

    She could have said this days or weeks ago. But she did not just want to show her contempt for parents and others concerned. she wanted to show her utter contempt.

  5. Andy

    The indignation towards the “brown baby” comment was just a pretext. She walked out of the last meeting because the order of business was changed. She had every intention of saying her piece and leaving at 8:30 w/o having to hear from the hoi polloi. Why should she, as the governor of the colony of Newark appointed by King Chris, deign to entertain the rabble. All one can do is hope people like you keep pulling threads until this whole crooked scheme unravels. Children and education have nothing to do with what is happening with this administration. It’s just the venal combination of money and politics.

  6. Tony

    The star ledger has reported that Anderson is really just trying to fire 700 to 1000 poor teachers at a time when the student body is shrinking and costs are rising at an unsustainable rate. Pitching the old American value of meritocracy is a an ingenious plan in hopes of gaining public support for privatization. However education is anything but meritocratic for both students and teachers.
    Continually subjected to scripted programs teachers have very little control over what they teach. So when a teacher is evaluated, what are managers really evaluating. The teacher or the scripted curriculum?

    But let’s explore the evaluation system a little further. Many urban teachers are told that because they are working at failing schools they could not receive the highest marks on their districts evaluation tool even when their students perform exceptionally well on various assessments like running records, stars, and state unit testing. The evaluation tools are not objective and are not aimed at improving the profession. Needless to say the evaluation tool is not meritocratic if it is skewed.

    Anderson’s plan may parade itself as meritocratic. However in time patterns will emerge. I will not be surprised that those first fired are those who are at the top of the pay scale or who have been most vocal on behalf of their students. This plan is not about firing bad teachers, it is about hiring new teachers at half the pay and then firing them before they get tenure. This plan is not about creating much needed stability in our urban schools. On the contrary it is a policy that will further exacerbate the problems of urban areas. This is not an opinion. Research does not support school closures, or current teacher evaluations systems!

    Anderson’s push for such policy in spite of research and community opposition is not just alarming but dangerous. After all, she is not a newark resident. She will be gone soon but newarkers will be stuck with the damage.

  7. NJGS

    The very first time I saw Superintendent Anderson was at Rutgers at an open forum when she first arrived in Newark. Superintendent Anderson left that meeting in the middle of the forum because she felt “threatened.” People were asking her questions and she only wanted to lecture the audience and show her power point presentation. At that meeting she was whisked away by the many police surrounding her to protect her from the citizens of Newark.

    The pattern of Superintendent Anderson leaving a forum when the going got tough began that day and has continued since her “tenure.” NOW she is blatantly refusing to attend a Board of Education meeting where by law she is required to attend.

    I am surprised, and yet I question why I would be surprised. Words are easy to say, but body language and actions tell the truth.

    Superintendent Anderson does not respect the people that she works for and has shown this disrespect once again. (Whether Governor Christie hired Ms. Anderson or not, it is our tax dollars that pay her salary.) As my father would say the people of Newark are the “customers” and Superintendent Anderson needs to understand this very important fact.

    Interesting, I don’t know if it was intentional, but the letter Superintendent Anderson wrote the board denouncing them and saying she would no longer attend Board of Education meetings was unsigned. I’m wondering if tomorrow I will be “forced” to send this letter home with my students? If so, will it be signed, or is Superintendent Anderson afraid to sign letters now for fear she will be held accountable for the content of the letter?

  8. Jo

    It’s very interesting to see Cami Anderson playing politics with one of the candidates running for Mayor, which I thought violated the ethics form all administrators have to sign yearly. What message is she sending-do I as say, not as I do?

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