BULLETIN: Teacher seniority waiver to be dropped

Cami Anderson, the Christie-appointed superintendent of Newark schools, is expected to drop her request for a waiver from state regulations to she can ignore seniority rights when and if she lays off hundreds of city teachers. That doesn’t mean she won’t lay off teachers—but she will have to abide by current law and regulations when she does.

Shame on you, Cami Anderson!

State Sen. Ronald Rice and NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer confer at last night's school board meeting
State Sen. Ronald Rice and NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer confer at last night’s school board meeting

Cami Anderson,  Gov. Chris Christie’s appointee to run the Newark schools, is either afraid of, or contemptuous of, the people of Newark. She is imposing a hotly contested school closing plan on the city, selling off public school property to private entrepreneurs, and trying to fire a third of the school’s teachers. But she won’t appear in public to explain the reasons for actions that could change, even harm, the lives of thousands of people.  The state-appointed superintendent of Newark schools said she would no longer attend public school board meetings, although the law–to say nothing of common decency–requires her to do that. What breathtakingly shameful behavior.

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

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.

NJEA blasts Newark’s Anderson, vows fight to save tenure


NJEA's Wendell Steinhauer
NJEA’s Wendell Steinhauer

The president of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), the state’s largest teachers’ union, last night blasted state-appointed Newark school superintendent Cami Anderson for creating a “climate of hostility and opposition” in the city, deliberately attempting to break the law protecting tenure, using Newark children to experiment with unproven ideas, and presiding over the “disgrace” of letting crumbling buildings go unrepaired.  Wendell Steinhauer voted to fight Anderson’s attempt to break teachers’ seniority rights to keep and  hire new teachers.

Hawthorne Ave suffers as Newark plays Let’s Make a Deal

Hawthorne Avenue School--who gets to keep it?
Hawthorne Avenue School–who gets to keep it?

Nothing illustrates the bizarre internal politics of state control of Newark schools so dramatically as the fate of the city’s Hawthorne Avenue school.  Neglected for years, in disrepair, with, until recently, many of its students failing, the old South Ward castle of a school is now the object of a three-way power struggle that leaves local parents frustrated, even frightened, over the future.

Newark school board meeting Tuesday–more outrage?

Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson
Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson

The last meeting of the elected Newark school board erupted in boos and catcalls when state-appointed superintendent Cami Anderson stormed off the stage, closely followed by her senior staff. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Rafael Hernandez school in the North Ward and, already, tension is building—with the board president saying Anderson should expect “outrage” in the face of her attitude toward the city’s residents.

Newark: 700 teachers may be laid off, many replaced by TFA

camichristieThe state administration of the Newark Public Schools (NPS) is expected to lay off hundreds of experienced city teachers and replace many  with new hires, including more than 300 members of Teach for America (TFA).  The report comes from union sources but is supported both by the latest version of the state’s “One Newark” plan and by the Walton Family Foundation website. The foundation is expected to subsidize the hiring of the new teachers. It was not denied by an NPS spokesman who said future personnel actions were determined by enrollment declines.

NJ’s Schoolgate deserves investigation, too: Guest blog


By Jim O’Neill

West Orange interim superintendent Jim 'Neill
West Orange interim superintendent Jim ‘Neill

The Bridgegate investigation led from Fort Lee to Hoboken, the Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office, Sandy ads, Sandy funds and the ARC tunnel.  After four years of being intimidated by the crass talking intimidator-in-chief, our elected representatives and investigative journalists have their mojo back and should hurry to investigate the highly touted education reforms in NJ.   Articulated and spearheaded by a private school advocate clothed in the powers of state education commissioner, the soon to be departed Chris Cerf leaves NJ teachers and students suffering from a debilitating hangover.

Cami asks state approval to ignore seniority in teacher layoff


Chris Christie and Cami Anderson
Chris Christie and Cami Anderson

Cami Anderson, the state-appointed superintendent of Newark schools, has dramatically ratcheted up her war on the district’s employee unions by proposing to lay off possibly  hundreds of tenured teachers without regard to their seniority rights. Anderson indicated she would ask outgoing state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf to grant her what is called a “waiver or equivalency,” a little known and little used provision in state regulations that permits school districts to ignore long-standing rules in order to achieve a legitimate purpose. That could happen as quickly as March 5.