Tag Archive: cami anderson

One Parent Investigates #OneNewark

Want to know what’s up? Follow the Newark Parent Power Movement on Facebook and Twitter @ParentPowerMov. Follow the Newark Students Union on Facebook and Twitter @NewarkStudents. Please also join the convo at @BlueJersey and @mariecorfield. Cross-posted with Marie Corfield and promoted by Rosi.


This is what parents in the state controlled Newark Public School District must resort to now that their children’s democratic right to a “thorough and efficient education” has been denied.

Since its inception, embattled former Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s ill-conceived One Newark plan that was supposed to provide more school choice and ‘fix’ ‘failing schools’, has been an unmitigated disaster.

From increased segregation, to siblings being bussed to different schools all over the city, to punishing schools that serve a higher population of special needs students, to actually denying parents the right to send their children to the school of their choice, this bureaucratic nightmare has been roundly rejected by parents and students. And despite an Empirical Critique of One Newark by Rutgers University’s Dr. Bruce Baker and doctoral candidate Mark Weber (aka. Jersey Jazzman) highlighting the deep flaws and inequities of the program, it has been ‘damn the torpedos and full speed ahead’ at 2 Cedar Street.  

But Newark’s families never let up. Their vociferous protests were the driving force behind Anderson’s departure. And with her, they assumed would go One Newark. But such is not the case. As a new school year looms and a new superintendent (former NJ Education Commissioner Chris Cerf) takes the helm, school registrations began yesterday.  

Chris Cerf, no fresh face, will be Newark’s next School Superintendent

6-4 Chris Cerf appointed Superintendent of Newark Schools

Voting Yes: Mark Biedron, Claire Chamberlain, Jack Farnaro, Pete Simon, Andrew Mulvihill

Voting No: Edithe Fulton, Dorothy Strickland, Arcelio Aponte, Ron Butcher

“Former NJ Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf has a history of underfunding, dismantling, and making money off of the very institution he now wants to now lead.”

              – From Jonathan Alston’s blog, Newark Teacher

chris cerfThe effort of the people of Newark to shuck off state control of the city’s schools, and the privatizing schemes and efforts to turn its children into commodities that go with it, is and has been extraordinary. Despite efforts to diminish, frustrate or wait out the protest, it persists. Multiple layers of Newarkers support the effort – parents, students, community groups, Board of Ed members, clergy, teachers, and the city’s educator-mayor Ras Baraka, who made local control his signature election issue. Resistance has made national news, and is social media-savvy. Other American cities are watching – particularly minority majority cities, whose kids are prime targets for edu-tycoons. Inside New Jersey, there’s tracking of the Newark resistance, too. At a rally yesterday against appointing Cerf to succeed the much-scorned Cami Anderson as superintendent, both Camden and Paterson advocates showed up, two cities whose schools are also under state control. Residents of Montclair, where Cerf lives, also showed up. Resistance is growing, statewide.

Cerf’s Up in Newark, and That Means More of the Same For Its Schools

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman.

Remember haters: Bob Braun broke the story first:

Gov. Chris Christie and state Education Commissioner David Hespe have announced the resignation of Cami Anderson as state-appointed superintendent of the Newark schools. She will be replaced by Christopher Cerf, the former state education commissioner.

Here’s the official announcement:

Trenton, NJ – Commissioner of Education David Hespe today announced that Cami Anderson will be stepping down as State Superintendent of the Newark Public School District.

“Superintendent Anderson has worked tirelessly over the last four years to implement a bold educational vision for the students and parents of Newark,” said Commissioner Hespe.  “Under Cami’s leadership, the Newark school district signed a landmark teacher’s contract, implemented One Newark, and increased flexibility and support in virtually every school in Newark.  We know that these positive educational reforms will continue to benefit the students and parents of Newark for years to come.”

Superintendent Anderson will depart the district by July 8, 2015.  By July 8, 2015, Commissioner Hespe will recommend to the State Board of Education the appointment of Chris Cerf to the position of State Superintendent for the Newark Public Schools.  Mr. Cerf will be recommended for a three-year contract consistent with initial contracts in other state-operated districts including most recently Camden. [emphasis mine]

Yes, that’s right: Chris Cerf, the former Acting Commissioner of Education for the entire state, won’t just be an interim superintendent for the state-run district; he’s going to be the permanent replacement.  

Cami out, Cerf in

For last three years the Newark Students Union has been fighting against the defunding and privatization of our education. Cami Anderson’s resignation does not put an end to our fight. We must continue to fight for democratic local control in our city. We don’t want former commissioner Cerf as the superintendent of NPS, we want the right to choose who will lead our schools. This is ‪#‎OurNewark‬

                         – Newark Students Union

I don’t know who’s going to say it better than that.

Education Commissioner David Hespe confirmed today the rumors that Cami Anderson will step down by July 8. Following her in will be former Commissioner Chris Cerf, assuming approval by the state Board of Education, and yes you can assume that.

Hespe said pretty things about Anderson, but the reality is that she has been a disorganized disaster who lacks the guts to even to deal with questions and failed even to be professional enough to attend school board meetings – for a year! – because she might hear something she didn’t like. She leaves with a wad of your money and was allowed to leave with her “reputation” intact at least as far as the reformy circles she travels in. She’ll pop up in another city, and begin dismantling public education there. And if you’re a minority-majority city, watch your back, you’re most at risk.


Is Cami Anderson finally leaving Newark?

Teachers, Students & Parents Rally & March to Stop 'One Newark'Save Our Schools New Jersey is reporting that Cami Anderson is on her way out as Newark School Superintendent. It’s an unconfirmed rumor, but the efforts to rid the city of her have escalated. Parents and community organizations have agitated for her removal, Mayor Ras Baraka ran on, and was elected with, removing her as his key issue. And students, the most important stakeholders here, have put their bodies on the line with marches, rallies, sit-down strikes and school walkouts.

And today, the Newark school board formally asked the New Jersey Board of Education to remove Anderson. Immediately. All members of the board signed a petition seeking Anderson’s “termination for just cause,” including two holdouts who have sided with Anderson before. The petition calls her “fiscally irresponsible” and says she’s “betrayed the public trust.” Bob Braun has that story and the terms of the petition.

Anderson has not attended a public session of the Newark school board in 17 months, and has consistently shown that she’d prefer to hide rather than face tough questions or challenge. The board praised the May 22 district-wide walkout of 2,000 students protesting state control.

Anderson is disorganized and incompetent at running a school district, and wouldn’t have lasted nearly this long at any district that wasn’t run by the state. That’s because her real job isn’t running it, it’s running it into the ground so it can be “saved” by privatized interests. And if she’s really going – we’ve heard rumors before – we’ll see her pop up somewhere else to do what she’s trained for.

Bad as she is, the problem isn’t just Cami; she’s just one of the high-paid flunkies destabilizing schools on behalf of Christie and of pro-privatizing Dems like George Norcross. That’s a bigger problem, and it’s why Ras Baraka wants control of the state’s largest school district returned to the City.  

Biggest Student Walkout in Newark History – and All of New Jersey Should Be So Proud

“Look, If Governor Christie can disrupt traffic to make a political point, well, so can we.”

                                             – Walkout participant

“The schools in Newark are in chaos.”

                                             – Mayor Ras Baraka

It is refreshing to the soul to see thousands of students put their bodies on the line to defend their schools and their city against the disrespect and disruption of Chris Christie’s errand girl Cami Anderson – and her plan to disrupt, destabilize and ultimately open their schools to tycoonery.

It’s inspiring, what happened today. These students are so damn young. And yet, they know the score.  They know the difference between sweet talk and bullshit, between promises and threats. They don’t have all the answers but they know what kind of city they want. Their leaders are articulate and fierce, they’re not put off easily by intimidation – and intimidation has been tried on them many times, as have efforts to divide them. And still they speak of taking responsibility for one another:

We have a duty to fight! We have a duty to win! We must love and protect one another!

                                                         – 2,000 students chanting

All of New Jersey should simply have their backs.

Below the fold, video – via NJ Communities United – of students at and on the way to City Hall, and at the convergence of major roads including NJ Turnpike. Also, full statement of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Coming Friday: Mass student walk-out in Newark – District-wide

Coming Friday is a student street action that may actually be the most important thing that happens in New Jersey all week. And that includes the visit Monday by the President of the United States. Bear with me, here’s why:

Obama’s Camden visit was the result of a public relations offensive by political bosses, whose interests are tied to the appearance of success. Carefully-orchestrated propaganda; it’s no mystery Obama’s speech was delivered to an audience mostly of non-residents. The unpretty facts of some of the impact this control from outside has on city residents – in policing, in accountability in excessive force complaints, in education – neatly swept aside for a narrative that compliments bosses, investors and Gov. Chris Christie.

We may see the exact opposite in Newark on Friday; the state-imposed “reform” which in Newark takes the route of destabilizing, union-busting, expanding charter enrollment while closing neighborhood schools and ignoring community input, is not going well. The resistance by well-organized and fed-up community members is fueled by outrage at Cami Anderson’s recent designation of 9 public schools as “turnaround” schools, dooming them and making way for privatization. Resistance to racist and elitist policies is national news now. The public relations offensive in Newark has slipped – badly. And students – the greatest stakeholders – are front and center where they should be:

What: Newark Student Walk-Out

When: Friday, May 22nd at 12 noon

Where: Newark City Hall, 920 Broad St, Newark

Students & supporters will gather at City Hall before marching through Newark

Newark Students at Weequahic HS stage sit-in, are being denied food & bathrooms

UPDATE: Clever tactics by the school district. Protesting students were after a time allowed to have food, but were not allowed back in the gym if they chose to eat. So, those of you who called and were told students weren’t kept from food, I guess the best you can say is that Newark Public Schools wasn’t technically lying to you.

Late this morning, the students at Weequahic High School staged a sit-in in their school gymnasium to protest what Chris Christie and his appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson plan to do to their school. I have reports saying students are now locked into that gym, that the heat has been turned up to force them out (this reported by a teacher) and that they are being denied both food and access to bathrooms.

Student Walk-Out Today in Support of their School: East Side HS in Newark

Before New Jersey breaks out in Bridgegate news …

What: Student Walk-Out

Where: East Side HSl, 238 Van Buren St, Newark

When: Noon today

Why: Students protesting planned dramatic restructuring of their school

I just want to give a shout-out to the students at East Side High School in Newark. They will conduct a walk-out protest today at noon, less than an hour from now. The students are rejecting Superintendent Cami Anderson’s designation of their school as a “turnaround school.”

Cami Anderson, hand-picked thy Gov. Christie to run dismantle Newark’s public education is a classic example of, When everybody tells you you’re drunk, it’s time to sit down.  

Happy 5-Year Anniversary to Jersey Jazzman

Jersey Jazzman (Mark Weber) & Melissa KatzToday’s a big day for Jersey Jazzman. From all of us at Blue Jersey, high-fives, fist-bumps & secret handshakes of congratulations to our favorite edu-dude!

On a very hot day in July 2011, the pseudonymous blogger Jersey Jazzman went to the huge Save Our Schools March in D.C.. With him, a couple other Blue Jersey insiders, who shall remain nameless. The 3 wandered into the VIP tent. Inside, all the big names behind the national push to save schools from bumbling tycoonery. Plus Oscar-winner Matt Damon. But for a few minutes, among the few dozen worthies there, a rumor ran through the tent that Jersey Jazzman was here, and Which one is he?