Gov. Christie, Chris Cerf and Mayor Booker introduced Newark's new super, Cami Anderson, yesterday (here the video of Christie's remarks:www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV3gjhwHRnU). Below are WSJ and NYT articles and here are links to articles in the PolitickerNJ, The Record, and The Star-Ledger. Here's a great editorial in the Star Ledger:
And there is growing support for key reforms, like expanding charter schools and establishing more innovative schools within the traditional system. Like reforming teacher tenure and training, closing down failing schools, and holding adults everywhere accountable for student performance.
Luckily, Anderson has walked this walk before. As the former head of alternative schools in New York City, she worked effectively with the teacher's union and community groups to overhaul the city's GED program, and smoothed the way for traditional schools to share space with experimental ones. She closed the last of the dismal schools for pregnant students, despite pushback, and invested in better programs for teenage parents in regular high schools.
Our hope is that Anderson is prepared in the end to knock her head through brick walls to create change. Because Newark kids need a fighter. At high schools like Malcolm X Shabazz, the majority of 11th graders fail proficiency tests in both math and reading. Overall, the system graduates only about half of the kids who enter high school.
That has to change. And to get it done, Anderson is going to need support and respect from all sides. We wish her, and the city, good luck.