Cami Anderson must resign!

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Reckless incompetence. The NPS notice about schools today.
Reckless incompetence. The NPS notice about schools today.

Cami Anderson, appointed by Gov. Chris Christie three years ago to run the Newark schools, should resign immediately because she represents a danger to the children and employees of New Jersey’s largest city. More than a week ago, she kept the schools open in Newark when all the schools in Essex and neighboring counties were closed–including Newark charter schools. Today, she did not order the schools closed until many children and employees were on their way or already in school. Most charter schools were closed by 7 a.m.

I can’t read her mind or her heart. I can’t know what her motivation is. But mounting external evidence points to this: She is trying to destroy confidence in Newark’s public school system in favor of creating support for a  free-trade zone for charter schools.

In response to Anderson’s actions, the president of the Newark school board said she was “appalled and angered”  by the failure to provide timely notice of the system’s closing. Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson apologized for what happened. The Newark school board, while elected, has been reduced to an advisory capacity by the state takeover law–it has no say in the school closing decision.

Mayoral candidate Ras Baraka called Anderson’s actions “yet another example of how Chris Christie’s superintendent is running our schools with reckless disregard for the well being of Newark’s parents and children.” Baraka is on leave as principal of Newark’s Central High School.

Matthew Frankel, the spokesman for Anderson, did not respond to a request for comment sent some seven hours ago.

There can be debate about how best to operate a public school system. There can be debate about how good charter schools are compared to conventional public schools. There can be a debate about bringing in administrators from New York and New Orleans to replace veteran local educators. There can be a debate about the value of Teach for America dilettantes versus well-trained teachers.

There can even be a debate about closing, selling off, or otherwise repurposing a third to a half of all Newark public schools. Or about whether the exercise of free speech represents insubordination.

Struggling to get to school at Hawthorne Avenue today--only to find school was closed.
Struggling to get to school at Hawthorne Avenue today–only to find school was closed.

And maybe, just maybe, there even be a debate about whether a school superintendent can hate school employees  and their unions so much she can treat them like 12th Century serfs. But….

But there can be no debate about the safety of Newark’s children.

I have asked employees and parents to send me notes about their experiences today. I will not use their names because Anderson takes revenge against critics, suspending principals and banning parent leaders from the schools their children attend (another reason she should resign). Here’s an interesting fact sent in by many teachers–the call-in system that would allow teachers to call in as absent did not work this morning and that drove many teachers to come to school rather than face disciplinary action for being AWOL. Coincidence?

From a parent: “I wanted to tell you what my morning consisted of as a parent of children in Newark schools. I have two children–one attends public school and the other attends a charter. I received a call at 6am from the charter school informing me that classes were
canceled today. I proceeded to check NPS website expecting a cancellation
notice and nothing was posted. I got my child who attends public
school out the door by 7:00am, as her classes begin at 8:05am. I
received a call from NPS at 7:54 am about cancellations. To top it
off, the voice recording was in a foreign language that I could not
understand. I decided to check the website again to find out classes were
canceled. My child was already in school when the vice principal sent all the
students home. I was lucky enough that my child’s classmate gave her a ride
home. It was very irresponsible to make not only the children but also the
school staff come out in this weather. The last storm we had my child was
stuck on a NJ transit bus for 2 hours on a trip which would normally last
5 minutes from school. All this because someone is thinking about herself instead
of our children safety.

Here is the account of a parents who also is a teacher:
“I am a parent of students in NPS, but am also a teacher in NPS. I woke
up my three sons to get ready to go to school. Two of them attend school and
one is left home with a baby sitter. My middle child noticed that it was
snowing and asked if we had school. I contacted both their schools and they
said they were open. All three of my children are asthmatic and cold weather
triggers their asthma. Currently one child is receiving treatment every four
hours to control his asthma. Even with all this in mind, I prepared them for
school, as I know that attendance is important. Driving to my middle child’s
school, the roads were very slippery and the ABS in my car was not working
properly and I began questioning why schools were open. When I arrived to my
middle son’s school, I was alerted that school was closed by a teacher. I
turned the car around and went home. As I was going home, I almost got into a
car accident, because my brakes did not work. My car was literally inches from
being struck by oncoming traffic. As I was getting home, at 7:54 I was finally
contacted that school was closed.  At 8:02 I finally received a call from
my son’s school that schools were closed. It was really inconvenient and
dangerous. What was Cami thinking?  Guess this is payback for the meeting
last Tuesday.” (At that meeting, Anderson stormed out when a parent referred to her “brown baby.”)

When this teacher got the call.
When this teacher got the call.

Here’s the account of one teacher:

“I got up and checked NPS website, the news and my voicemail to see if there was a delayed opening or cancellation of school. No message. I left my house at 7:15 am and arrived at school by 7:45. I don’t live very far, but there were white out conditions and very slippery roads. When I got to work I was met by my vice principal who informed me that school had just been called closed. She was texting as many people as she had numbers for. There were several teachers already there, one who had left her house at 5:30 and driven up the Turnpike. The climate of fear at NPS keeps people from calling out, even on dangerous snowy days. Students were sitting outside in the snow and parents were calling the office frantically trying to figure out where their kids were. My vice principal stayed and manned the phones as there was no one else in the office. I left with four other teachers at about 8:30. When I got home, I saw there was a voice mail on my land line that there was no school. That voice mail came at 7:55.  Many of the teachers who were already en route got the text message from my vp to turn around and go home. Teachers had already been in their cars for over an hour braving the terrible conditions. Other teacher friends of mine from different NPS schools reported the same conditions. Teacher and students who were already in the building told to turn around and go home. Disgraceful.”

From a vice principal:

“My husband, a VP at —– and I cleaned off our cars and left with enough time for a longer commute. As our house is on a high elevation, about 45 minutes from my school, my car became stuck on the road near our house. My husband managed to back it down the hill and safely into our driveway. I called the school, and one of our secretaries was already there. She said that quite a few staff members had already called out. I was worried that children would be in the school without supervision and begged my husband, owner of a lightweight Honda Civic, to drive me to my school. I was determined to keep my babies safe. Though the wheels were spinning and the car was emitting gas fumes, we finally made it up the hill. We navigated 202 to 287 to 80 and were finally on 280, headed into Newark, when the phone rang at 7:45 with the snow day announcement. I called the school. The secretary told me that at least 20 staff members had already made it into the building as well as quite a few children. Our parents view our school as a safe haven, and we often have children dropped off early. Our parents are mostly hourly workers and don’t get paid when they don’t show up. As it was too late to arrange for childcare, many were quite upset that they had to return to school to pick up their children. What’s more, the special ed buses were already on the roads picking up our disabled children. The late announcement of a snow closure put our children and staff at risk. “

From a school employee who also is a charter school parent:

“I work at a charter school and I got the call at 630.  My daughter attends Newark public schools and the call came in at 755!!!! Outrageous !!!”

From a preschool teacher:

“What about the collaborative teachers and students in the Newark preschool system? We are not part of the union and no one seems to remember us, even though we are 80% of the population of pre-k kids in Newark. We have wrap around through DHS and open at 7:30am. We had school open and had to frantically call parents who were already at work. My friend got into a car accident coming to work. We are dedicated teachers and we are (literally) putting our lives in jeopardy now.”

Here is one that’s so interesting because of what you will read at the end:

“I was in the building last time they failed to close and I had 2 out of my 11 students. Other classrooms had close to the same number. We have a building of about 500 students and we probably didn’t have more than 20-30 students in the building. Today, I was fed up and was going to call out sick. We are told that if we use over 5 sick days our evaluation gets dropped in rank – so effective teachers are listed as partially effective and then no pay increase. But I didn’t care anymore, it’s my first year teaching and I’ve been getting sick every month since September.  We get penalized even though we have 15 sick days in our contract.

” Either way I was done being terrorized and I chose to stay home. I have a sinus infection and didn’t want to force myself in such horrible conditions. Like last time, the substitute teacher system was backed up with calls. So many of us couldn’t get through and had to go to work because we couldn’t get substitutes.  Today was the same thing, same problem. The system was backed up and many of us couldn’t get through again.”

Those teachers who were able to get into the building were told to stay until all the children who showed up went home.  It’s absolutely insane that we are put through these conditions. That our students have to be forced to walk in those conditions.

“Lastly, I wanted to let you know that I’m a Teach for America corp member. And I’m appalled by what’s happening in Newark.  There are many of us who feel this way, who are teaching in public schools and feel that what Cami is doing is wrong.  When we signed up we didn’t do it to hurt veteran teachers. We signed up to make a difference. To teach students in communities in need, low income communities where some of us came from.  To serve students who share our same background.  I hope you realize that many of us are supporting NPS and wish we weren’t part of this mess.”

Can’t think of a better way to end this tale of stupidity, incompetence, and mean-spiritedness.

 

 

 

 

49 comments

  1. Bob Jones

    same story as many other nps employees. when I awoke this morning I had every intention of taking off. I drive my babies to day care enough route to school each day. no reason to risk it because Cami is upset with herself and her job. needless to say, my wife was able to stay home from work today and I figured I would go in because I wanted to show my toughness or perhaps I am just stupid. I arrive at my school at 7:55 am just in time for the robo call to tell me school is closed!!!!! a student of mine was waiting outside the school and asked me why school was closed with such little warning??? that is my question, why??? Cami must answer this question. for all those parents who sent their “babies” out in the cold and snow. I wonder if she made this decision while she was in bed or playing with her baby????

    • J. Kennedy

      All workers better wake the frig up before it’s too late. The corporate elite is trying its hardest to rob workers of salary, benefits and all things fair and balanced, including human respect and work rules. We’ll turn into Nazi Germany if WE allow this dictatorial format to continue and Obama has been complicit in all of it.

  2. LA

    I just wanted to thank you for highlighting this blatant attempt at retaliation for the board meeting. I also wanted to voice my outrage for how the district disregarded staff and students by canceling so late. We as staff are required to call out by 7 AM however the district did not use the same protocol. The drive was very dangerous and I was highly concerned for teachers who lived hours away and were stuck on highways. Not to quibble over dollars and cents but to have us drive in waste gas, tolls and risk our lives is uncalled for. However we are held hostage when it comes to pay.
    Continue the good work that you are doing. These injustices must be exposed right along with her buddy Christie.

  3. collaborativepreschoolteacher

    Bob..What about the collaborative teachers and students in the Newark preschool system? We are not part of the union and no one seems to remember us, even though we are 80% of the population of pre-k kids in Newark..we have wrap around through DHS and open at 7:30am. We had school open and had to frantically call parents who were already at work. My friend got into a car accident coming to work..We are dedicated teachers and we are (literally) putting our lives in jeopardy now.

  4. Linda

    This morning I awoke at 5:30 am and checked the district web-site and my cell phone for school closing information. None. I did not turn on the tv purposely because I did not need to be angry while I was driving into Newark from North Plainfield because all the districts around me would once again are probably closed as I was required to brave the storm. As I travelled the road conditions were worsening but manageable if you traveled slowly. I prayed as I often do, to The Lord for traveling mercy for myself and others. (I do not want to die in that car of mine. )
    On my way back home angered and outraged I asked God if he had planned these storms to bring to light and cast out those devils that are trying to destroy NPS and Public education?
    So I prayed again for a leader that lead by example, one that was fair, looked like me, came up through the ranks of the district, respects and cares about the teachers, staff and most importantly about the children of Newark.
    Ms. Anderson you are “OUT of ORDER” !!!!!!!!!!!
    but, I believe that my God who is the head of my life and believes in decency and order has got your number. I believe he will fix the problems in NPS so that we may once again concentrate on educating our students.

  5. Kelly

    I am a teacher at NPS. I debated going in this morning and text one of our clerks. She was already at school. I told her I didn’t think I would make it in today. But I tried anyway.

    I live pretty close to the school I work at. The commute usually takes about 6-7 minutes. I didn’t make it out of my complex which wasn’t plowed yet. My car slid sideways into a pole. Back bumper damage. As I turned around to go right back home I got a text saying schools were closed. That was at 7:53 am! Blackboard Connect had called my house at 7:52. Now I’ve got to worry about paying my insurance deductible. Thanks to NPS! This was really not called for.

  6. SRK

    Left to work at 7 and find out school was closed. Got home after two full hours of traffic at ten
    Three hours of my day to just find out school is closed Extremely Outrageous. Must Stop Cami’s behavior. I bet she decide to closed the school of brown students after she did out her own brown child school is closed.

  7. SRK

    Left to work at 7 and find out school was closed. Got home after two full hours of traffic at ten
    Three hours of my day to just find out school is closed Extremely Outrageous. Must Stop Cami’s behavior.

  8. Source1

    Bob,
    This is no longer a debate about educational philosophy, public vs. charter, teacher evaluations, One Newark, merit pay, state takeover, or other schemes. The issue now is whether Anderson has the mental stability to make sound judgements affecting children and families. I think not.

    When the driver of the car is proven to be incompetent, it is folly to discuss the best route to get from point A to point B. The driver must be removed from the driver’s seat before someone is killed….

  9. Pingback: Resign? Cami Anderson Should Be Fired | Blind Noise
  10. Jeff Ballin

    It should also be noted that the central call in system utilized by most employees to call in for sick or personal days was inoperative all morning.

  11. Barry Susman

    From losing federal education funding to cancelling the ARC tunnel, to the Newark schools, to stopping prosecutions of friends, to taking money from public schools and sending it to charters, to machinations with Boss Norcross at the Delaware River Authority (something about bridge crossings), to appointing unqualified people to Superior Court, to politicizing the Supreme Court………………

  12. Nisee

    While callous and disrespectful, what Cami did today only really screwed school employees that had to commute through hazardous conditions to make it to work since SubFinder was conveniently “unavailable”. Gratefully, most students live close to their respective schools. But what about next year? When, thanks to One Newark, most of are students will be forced to trek under these conditions across NJ’s largest city in order to make it to their “Cami-designated” schools (choice? yeah right!) What then? Her spitefulness could really risk the students’ lives in that situation. Will she be reimbursing them for wasted transportation costs? What if a car skids off the road and hits a child due to weather conditions? Why can’t DYFS (or it’s current acronym) be involved against her? If that’s not endangering the lives of minors, I don’t know what is!!!

  13. Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson

    As President of the Newark Board of Education, I am angered and appalled at what occurred this morning – the lack and late notification to parents and school staff about today’s school closing. I speak now as a former student, parent, and teacher in the Newark Public Schools, and I NEVER, in any of those capacities, even once, experienced what happened this morning, which is either utter indecisiveness (incompetence) or, as Bob Braun put it, “…mounting external evidence points to this: She (State Disctrict Superintendent Cami Anderson) is trying to destroy confidence in Newark’s public school system…” I wasn’t notified until 7:43 am, and even though the Board had no say so in this decision, I apologize on behalf of the 9 Board of Education members, as we are united in our respect for the community and concernforthe safety of children.

    • Joseph Del Grosso

      The members of the board do not need to apologize,the wrong was done twice by Ms.Anderson.First, this snow day should not need to be a make up day.We are over the 180 day requirement. Second, when a member calls in that late,they are deducted one days pay. Ms. Anderson should forfeit one days pay immediately. Together we stand by our children and teachers and the great people of Newark.

  14. Elena

    Tired of spending my time and money. This is the second time that I had to risk my life to make it into a school which is basically empty. Last time we were the only school in Essex County (and pretty much the whole state) that was open, I saw classes with one and two students in them. My husband had to drive me into work because of the deplorable parking conditions, where on a regular day you may not be able to find a legal spot….Today, I spent my time and money again to come to a building to be told half an hour later that “we’re closed”. I’m lucky to live fairly close. Some teachers drove over an hour and a half. One took six hours to get home the last time we didn’t close. And now they’re going to take another day from us. When we braved the snow to get to school. I was planning to stay a bit and get some work done- figured there was no point in joining the mass exodus out of NPS. But, none of the data systems I use, including the internet, was working. Hmmmm…wonder if that was on purpose so no one could claim to have worked (and wanted to get paid and not lose another day which will be added onto the school year). What did I do all day? The work I bought home. Believe it or not, most of us do work hard for our pay. Many hours beyond what we are contracted to do.

  15. Sista

    As I was reading the article, tears came to my eyes. Despite how they attempt to demonize the community of Newark and NPS, most of us are a community of dedicated individuals. I have a student in both charter and NPS. I received the call around 6:35 am although my child leaves at 6:30. I’m glad he missed the bus because he was able to walk back home. I called my friend who is a NPS teacher who stated she didn’t receive a call and was getting ready for work. At 7:53 am, I received a call the schools were closed. I work at a college and was notified by their system prior to NPS. This is a shame and disgrace how she treats the overall community of Newark. It’s time for her to be removed from the office of Supt since she has demonstrated the blatant disregard for the safety of our children, the employees, and people in general.

  16. Carlos Gafanha

    Hi Bob,

    I would first like to thank you for taking an interest and genuine concern for the teachers, parents and especially the children of Newark. I was born, raised and educated in Newark (East Side ’87) and I too, am worried about the safety of everyone’s “babies” attending Newark Schools and my baby happens to be my wife, who is a NPS school teacher. She left home a little before 6 AM and I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. She’s already has an hour commute on a perfect day, today was anything but that. She called me on the drive back home, after being at school for nearly an hour, almost in tears and extreme anxiety about driving in treacherous conditions. Hey Cami, where were you at 8 AM? Probably in your nice cozy bed, in your nice cozy house (paid for by the tax payers of NJ) playing with your baby. It’s a real shame and travesty that tens of thousands of people are being basically bullied and endangered by a State appointed puppet and is now taking out her shortcomings on the parents, students and employees of the NPS. How awful of a human is she really capable of? Is she not aware that we are a democracy? This isn’t the Taliban Cami Anderson. She is a scourge and pariah and should be brought up on charges of child endangerment and neglect. She is a liability to the citizens of Newark and the State of NJ. I’m sure there will be dozens of lawsuits in the making if anyone’s babies were hurt or injured on the way to school. Not her baby, of course, not her baby.

  17. Tamob

    Assemblywoman Mila Jasey is holding hearings next week in Newark about the One Newark program. Attend the hearings and have your voice heard. Contact Senator Rice’s office to find out the dates, times, and location. When I get the specifics I will share in this blog. Cami doesn’t care about the Newark community, which includes the NPS employees. Come out and share your experiences so we can force her out.

  18. Bill Hoogterp

    I just have a different read. I know many teachers and administrators in Newark who really care about the kids and do a good, very good or great job. Still others who are nice people but really are not qualified and not sure how they got (or keep) their jobs. They are the most defensive it seems. It seems no matter who the Superintendent is, what color or where they are from, if they keep things the way they are, they can survive. If they try to make the system better for the kids and change things, they are attacked, often horribly. So a wish of good hope to all people in the system who put the kids, their families and the schools first, in often tough conditions, and pay the price for that. The greatest leaders in history paid a price so you are in good company. Justice Brandeis famous quote is “90% of all conflict is based on misunderstanding. It starts with legitimate difference but spirals.” Anyone who seriously thinks others don’t care about kids, that just means our emotion is not balanced at that moment.

    • jalisa

      Its amazing how u defend her actions its nothing wrong with wanting to better the schools and getting rid of teachers who are ineffective anymore…however it is something really wrong with closing almost every school and sending the kids to other schools that already have overcrowded classes..how can the kids be productive in an environment like that

    • Tony

      You are right there are two sides to very story and I invite you to respond back.
      People are angry on this occasion because for a second time management failed to meet a basic tenet of leadership: student and staff safety!
      However there is more brewing here. The superintendent is not a visionary and has no answers for improving a district with a track record of poor performance.
      I know you may believe she is seen as the enemy because she brings change. But I ask what is her platform of change? Closing schools?
      If this is it, then I have to respond by saying that empirically this public policy approach has been proven to be a complete failure. Just ask Chicago and NYC for anecdotal examples.
      But I’m sure I have not convinced you yet so I must point out that the verdict on charters are out too. Just like teachers there are good ones and bad ones. Ironically society emphasizes the poor teachers and the best charter schools and in doing so learning nothing about educational policy.
      The fact is that poor teachers often leave within three years and are not given tenure. On the other hand Charters that are poor performing are not so easily shut down and often require litigation.
      Additionally the real lessons from high performing charters are not examined. On average the high performing charters spend more on students debunking the argument that we spend too much on public education. The funny thing is that they don’t report their true levels of spending. Harlems children zone is the best example. They invest in the child from the moment the child is conceived. There is baby college, parent classess, access to social workers all before even going to school. Then the students go to school but are not cut off from all the programs offered. If anything the charters indicated that there is a roadmap to success and spending less money on children at risk is not one of the solutions.

      The community is angry and justifiably so. Anderson’s plan will not only weaken the public schools by shuffling money to charters and by slowly removing the better students but will create diminished opportunity for those students that are identified as poor performing students. Lets imagine that your kid is attending a newark school that is underfunded. With choice you may or may not be accepted to a great charter school. You have a great chance of being expelled from your charter if you are a poor test taker or a behavior problem. You will probably have no access to bilingual, esl, or special Ed in a charter school that is if you get accepted.
      The fact is that by handing over schools to charters NPS will have to pay for heat, electrical, and security as charters will come in and pay no rent. They will pay for a new level of management that is needed to run the charter schools. This scenario equates to diminished funding at the class level. Wait there is more. Charters will not hire the teachers given pink slips. They will hire inexperienced teachers at reduced pay. Is this good policy? Crippling a middle class and exposing high needs students to new teachers who don’t have the experience or the credentials to teach and will likely have to work another job just to make ends meet.
      Well choice does not look so good! And Anderson’s plan is not as visionary as you may think.
      Finally, there are legal aspects that must be considered. Students have been able to access educational services through the courts. by going to charters their choice diminishes their ability to fight in courts.
      Seems to me that this is not just a misunderstanding. It is the fight between an informed community of color being subjugated by a state who wants to break a union and an educational system that it has deemed too expensive.
      Furthermore I must point out that if these students were rich they would have smaller classroom sizes and the money would reach the students that were in need. Moreover if the students were rich and their superintendent made two consecutive errors on snow days while trying to close schools down even when they have demonstrated measurable gains, Anderson would be gone. Don’t believe me! Well a current superintendent was hired in New Jersey after being fired from another district making a similar mistake during a snowstorm and not having answers.
      The fact is that Anderson is not a visionary! Her management style is questionable and her plan is simply empirically flawed!

    • Newarkbluesman

      Our government teaches the whole people by its example,if the government becomes the law breakers it breeds contempt for law,it invites every man to become a law until himself ,it invites anarchy. Cami Anderson is that person.The quote.well let’s see if you figure it out.

  19. Jacqueleen Bido

    I received a phone call from TEAM CHARTER SCHOOLS AT 6:02 a.m.!! Unacceptable that the children and parents of NEWARK PUBLIC SCHOOLS were subjected to this intentional attack. Since this is a united front she is only adding fuel to the fire. WE WILL PROTECT …Our Children .. Our Community… Our Rights … BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!

  20. EM

    Actually was 5 minutes out the door just to come to my senses to know, damn, we’ll still end up with a 1:00 pm closing! Nope, stayed home but was playing phone text with my VP and asked”if I report to you my sick day and the school ends up closing,will you adjust my time”/ Without any thought, she said “no problem”. I live in driving, about 7 minutes away which last week took me about 45 minutes! it’s exhausting, Cami knows it, God sees fit to put in place, whose right and whose wrong. He only looks out for those that look out for others.

  21. K

    I wanted to inform you that I was on my way to my school this morning after having spent 45 minutes shoveling my driveway and cleaning my truck. Only to get a call from my husband, NOT THE DISTRICT that school’s were closed. I think it is a travesty the way that Cami Anderson treats the children and staff in this district. She has no regard for us at all. I stood in my car this morning on my way to school behind a city bus that was rendered immobile because of this harsh weather. This is unacceptable!
    I am a 17 year, PROUD veteran teacher/administrator for NewarkS Public School System. In my 17 years in Newark I have NEVER received (nor have I deserved) an adverse rating on any of my Evaluations, so why is it that our superintendent try to make me and so many others feel like we are not worthy Educators. Something MUST be done to STOP THIS TYRANNICAL BEHAVIOR!!!

  22. Toni

    As a clerk in NPS I can tell you that myself and my co-worker know that on days like this, the parents start calling early, the teachers who live far ususlly can’t get through to the system in place to call for a sub so we try to get in the building as early as possible to get things in place. I still have young children whereas my co-worker does not so after communicating with her at 5:30 a.m, i knew she would make it in first. Knowing well how a morning like this can be with everyone upset we’re the only ones open, in addition to all the “Cami pressure” we are under, my stomach was in knots because those of our staff who made the call to stay home, couldn’t get through the system, were texting me to ensure coverage for their students and we would be short subs. Also worrying about kids who walk to school early to assist with the breakfast program, might be out in this horrible weather made me so filled with anxiety that I slid down my hill and into the car in front of me. Leaving a nice big dent in my hood!

    I don’t have a driver like Ms. Cami does. I am sure in her eyes I am just a lowly Clerk; however, we Clerks are the backbones of these schools that she is destroying! We are the ones who get the texts and calls from our staff and teachers when they can’t get through the system for a sub because they know WE have their backs. We are the ones at the front counters, on the front line who are the target of every angry parent over lack of notice or concern from Cami on a snowy day or the confusion over registration for the Newark One plan. We are just as over worked, under paid and disrespected as any other NPS employee in this nightmare and we need to support eachother because after today, its very clear that Cami is not concerned about any of us….teachers, students, aides and especially CLERKS.

    • newarkblueman

      No one knows better than I do about the importance of school clerks,you are teachers just like us,we are clerks just like you,and we all aid each other.Support the union and the community. we need each other to drive out the demon.

  23. Clerk

    I was already at work when I received the call at 7:52 the schools were closed. I work in central office where we all know we are the last people thay think about. We are human to. The kicker was most of the executive staff was home making decisions since they all live in NY or south jersey I am sure it was WARM. Since the New administration don’t punch in or out its hard to tell who came to work today. I think an investigation should be done. Stilling board time ? I did see Ms Wilson , SBA which she is being treated so wrong making her clean up the superintendent mess.

    • hadenough?

      You’re right an investigation should be done. How dare the powers that be stay home while they send thousands of people out. Cami is a narcissist bordering on sociopathic. Since she knows many students and staff will be absent It appears her motivation might have been to decrease the overall pupil attendance percentage for the year. She uses these stats for her own advantage. To attempt to prove how inefficient Newark schools are ? It is obvious she did not want to close schools. The big cheese must have made her esp. since he’s drowning in his
      Own heap of deception. Cami has to go!!!!

  24. Tom

    I decided to call out sick since all the schools in my neighborhood had cancelled school as early as 9pm the night before. When I got the voicemail call at 7:51am I thought it was a joke. I then received calls from colleagues saying they were already at school and we’re being asked to leave. How insane and inconsiderate can NPS get? Isn’t there anyone who works with Cami that has the gumption to stand up for what’s right? That is what our city needs not some mindless thugs nodding there heads up and down all day!

  25. Maryam Bey

    Thank you again Mr. Braun for highlighting this issue. It is clear, Cami Anderson has no intentions of doing the right thing by our children. Her actions this morning demonstrated the disdain she has for our children. This is a window of opportunity that we should take advantage of. Gov. Christie has his own problems, he cannot protect her now, this is the perfect time to get her to resign. Thanks again. Maryam Bey

  26. jalisa

    My mom has been a proud employee of nps for nearly 30 years..every morning shes up and out the door no matter if she’s sick in pain car trouble..she has no excuses…this morning my mother called me at 6 asking me to check the news for closings..she was already at work..when I told her nps was not listed my mom kinda broke down explaining that she was scared on the roads and her defroster was acting up..on her way home after she got the news of closings my mother got stuck almost in the middle of the street and almost was hit by 3 cars. I was outraged you only get one mom and if something would have happened t o her a lawsuit was coming cami andersons way…and I personally saw school buses with kids in them sliding all over the place..this is disgusting and she needs to be removed immediately and if christie can’t see that maybe he needs to be removed since he appointed her to that position

  27. P. Grunther

    Mr. Hoogterp, sorry but it seems like you’ve been drinking the Kool-aid. Since when is there a profession where every employee is doing a great job? There are great teachers, good teachers and yes, even bad teachers out there – just as in any profession. But from there to saying that these “bad” teachers (bad in your estimation that is) are the ones most active in protesting Cami Anderson and Christie’s plans and actions, sorry but I don’t follow you. You say the “bad” teachers are the most defensive ones – what exactly are you basing this statement on??!! It has become the new normal to hold teachers accountable for low student achievement and yet what serious peer-reviewed research shows is that most often poverty is the common denominator in low student achievement and not teachers. This has not stopped Christie from capitalizing on people’s ignorance as well as their desire to find convenient scapegoats. Sorry, but in my opinion, your comments add nothing helpful to the discussion. And it may well be that people are exasperated and emotionally distressed by Anderson’s campaign of terror but that doesn’t change the facts: this morning Cami Anderson endangered the safety and well-being of Newark’s public school children and public employees – it’s not a question of whether she actually “cares about children” – it’s a question of the harm her actions are doing to children.

  28. Newark Teacher

    I really hope our union fights for us not to have to make up any snow days. Newark already has an extend school year, which if I remember correctly was only suppose to be a 1 year contract deal anyway but, some how like usual it stuck w/out anyone saying anything for the last few years.

  29. Joshi93

    I am an employee of the Newark Public Schools; but more importantly, I am a father who has a child that attends one of our “failing” schools. Actually, my child attends a very good school, and I am very proud with her progress and the fine work her teachers are doing. However, yesterday was a complete debacle. I decided that I would leave the house a little earlier knowing that the roads would be extremely hazardous. My wife and I prepared my daughter for school because we did not want her to miss another day. As, my daughter and I left our home, a colleague called me and told me that NPS had cancelled school. I never received any notification from a robo-call or from an administrator about the cancellation.
    As the day went on, the angrier I got at Ms. Anderson. I often thought we (the Newark residents, NPS teachers/staff, and parents) were too hard on Ms. Anderson and her mission to “reform” NPS. But things are becoming apparently clear that the discontent for Anderson is not about reform at all. It is about a blatant disrespect for Newark and anyone associated with the Newark Public Schools…..including our brown babies. Ms. Anderson, I have a question for you. Why was it ok for me to possibly place my brown daughter at risk yesterday while your brown baby was as safe as can be? And, if it is true that you, Ms. Anderson, never reported yourself…you should be ashamed by your hypocrisy.
    I am a parent and an employee who is in favor of school reform. However, Ms. Anderson you are not the right leader for the reform we need. I think it is time to right-size your position. It is time to give local control back to the residents of Newark because what happened yesterday would not be tolerated in any other community. As a parent, I plead with you to have some decency and resign immediately! You have become a hazard to all our children.

  30. Newarkbluesman

    The contract is a three year contract,one year expired,ever district makes up snow days,yesterday should not be made up because many came or were on their way to work.You are the union,get involved,Participate In all the events.we need to get Cami out.That takes work from all of us.

  31. WL

    There was absolutely no consistency at Central Office on who had to come in and who could stay home. It was left to the discretion of the individual supervisors, so some folks were able to stay safe at home and others had to brave the storm, some were allowed to go home early, while some had to stay all day, even after the Governor declared a state of emergency. All this adds to the state of fear and intimidation that prevails at NPS.

  32. Nick Straus

    Bob,
    Thanks for the unique and powerful work you’re doing.
    At 7:52, as I arrived at school yesterday, I got the call from the NPS computer that school was cancelled. Since then I’ve received no explanation, (let alone an apology), for the ridiculous, dangerous, and UNPRECEDENTED act of stupidity. I repeat, “UNPRECEDENTED.” Am I wrong? I’ve been teaching in Newark since 1988. I went to public school in Trenton from K-12. I’ve talked to a few people here and there. I’ve never heard of such nonsense. The question of how to react is not so easy when there is absolutely no precedent. Hmm… come to think of it, unilateral action without explanation has been the name of the game since long before Cami. But she’s the WORST!!!
    I apologize for any lack of clarity. I’m pissed.

  33. jay s.

    Cami Anderson has no regard for our students and certainly no regard for the safety of NPS teachers. It doesn’t matter that most teachers commute from all over the state. It doesn’t matter what the driving conditions are. A state of emergency has already been called for tomorrow given the next storm is on the way. State agencies are closed, yet no word about Newark schools.
    Bob, I agree that many of Cami’s decisions can be debated. But the safety of students and staff of NPS is not debatable.
    Twenty years of state control and the district is in worse shape than ever. Cami is destroying the district and it will take years to recover if she is not stopped soon.

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