Monday, October 14, 2013

NJ School Grant Falls Through

Cami Anderson was surprised by the lack of technology in Newark's schools when she took over as superintendent in 2011.

"I've never seen anything quite like Newark," said Ms. Anderson, who was hired by Gov. Chris Christie to lead the state-run district. "We didn't even have Internet access [in some schools]."

She had hoped that some of a $30 million federal grant would go a long way toward modernizing schools and giving teachers the chance to use technology in their classrooms.
The grant application, torpedoed last week by the Newark Teachers Union, also contained proposals to buy laptops for students, improve teaching with experimental feedback methods and help teachers interpret data about student learning.

The head of the teachers union, Joe Del Grosso, said he didn't have enough time to review the specifics of the grant request, and he feared it would rope Newark into longer-term spending commitments, while spending too much on consultants and not enough for teachers. Ms. Anderson said the district tried repeatedly to schedule meetings with the union, which Mr. Del Grosso denies.

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