Wednesday, February 11, 2015

America's Worst School System Will Soon Be Dead. Will What Replaces It Be Any Better?wt

Speaking of ed warriors, this article about the transformation going on under Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard in Camden, which was once among the worst public school systems in America, quotes one of my favorite, Drew Martin, who runs KIPP in Camden:

The 2012 Urban Hope Act authorized the state to open four new public schools in Camden, and three opened this year, which are run by the charter school operators KIPP, Uncommon Schools, and Mastery Charter Schools. Over the next several years, these three schools will gradually expand their enrollment until they serve the majority of kids in Camden.

These schools enjoy the same autonomy as charter schools in selecting their teachers and managing their budgets, but they also have one major thing in common with traditional public schools: They're attached to specific neighborhoods, so most of their students were assigned to attend them. Charter schools, on the other hand, generally accept kids from an entire city, and parents make a choice to send their kids to them.

Drew Martin, 34, who's the school leader at KIPP Cooper Norcross, says this provides an opportunity to rebut critics who claim that the only reason charter schools perform so well is that they attract the most involved parents willing to make the effort to look for better options for their kids, and that they push out the most difficult students.

"So that's no longer going to be able to apply to us because we'll be using the same tactics that we've always used," says Martin, "but we're going to be required to take kids from our sending zone so nobody can say that we're creaming."

America's Worst School System Will Soon Be Dead. Will What Replaces It Be Any Better?

The remaking of public education in Camden, New Jersey.

Jim Epstein | January 27, 2015

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