Sad. There’s a word rarely heard in the context of the state’s war on Newark’s neighborhood public schools. Sad. Yet the story of how a cruelly tone-deaf state bureaucrat named Cami Anderson is singlehandedly destroying a community’s neighborhood schools is just that. Sad. And nothing more illustrates that sadness than the brave but probably futile effort of one successful neighborhood school to remain alive despite Anderson’s promise to give it to privatized educational entrepreneurs who include former business partners of the recently resigned state education commissioner.
The “One Newark” plan is a disaster for the city’s families. Now, even the district leadership all but admits it by again postponing crucial deadlines. Parents who were promised a “match” with a new school this week won’t be getting it until next month. Other parents won’t know until days before school opens. And to make things even worse, some Newark school principals yesterday received instructions that, if literally followed, would require them to turn away from their schools all children who had a right to be there. How can the city’s parents feel comfortable with educators who cannot even express themselves in understandable language?
Scores of Newark’s religious leaders—including nationally known ministers and a major supporter of Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election–have repudiated as potentially “catastrophic” the state-imposed “One Newark” plan to close neighborhood schools and “launch” new charter schools in the state’s largest city. The pastors, who labeled the plan “disruptive and divisive,” called on Christie and state-appointed schools superintendent Cami Anderson to immediately stop its implementation.
Who is Benjamin Olagadeyo? Or, for that matter, Samuel Taye Olagadeyo? Or Mary Olagadeyo? Or Bematolas Environmental Consulting, LLC? Bematolas appears to be an artificial name created out of the personal names–BEnjamin, MAry , Taye, and OLAgadeyo. Don’t you love a mystery–especially when it has something to do with the way Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson spends public money? Help me find out the answers and I will post the results here.
The struggle to save public schools from private, profit-making scams could well be lost. It will be lost–if it already hasn’t been lost–unless those groups with experience in organizing, resources for getting their message out, a history of lobbying, and a willingness to use the courts, grow some courage and take some risks. Yes, in this state, that means the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).
A third of Newark’s public school teachers face layoffs. The contracts of seven employee unions, including nurses, cafeteria workers, and laborers, have expired and the administration of state superintendent Cami Anderson refuses to settle. Counselors were laid off. Public schools have been stripped of assets and allowed to crumble. Cami drove the district into a $40 million budget hole but, despite all that, she has given hefty raises to the district’s top administrators, according to a Newark Public Schools document this site obtained. Just as Gov. Chris Christie takes care of his friends, Anderson’s loyal pals, from New York, New Orleans, Teach for America, and charter schools, make big bucks in the city school administration at the expense of Newark’s school children.