Tag Archive: Newark Students Union

Update on One Parent vs. #OneNewark

Cross-posted from Marie Corfield. Promoted by Rosi.

Yesterday I wrote about Frankie Adao of Newark’s Parent Power Movement infiltrating a One Newark enrollment center to gain information for parents who are not being provided with it.

Frankie just posted this on Facebook (emphasis mine):

This is some of the crap charters in Newark are pulling. I also spoke to another parent at the Enrollment Center today. First her daughter, without parental guidance, picked where she wanted to go to high school. [This girl was on the] honor roll from 5th – 8th grade, but didn’t score too well on testing. One choice she picked was a charter. The charter told her she didn’t have the stamina to keep up with the pace of the school and would be best served in a traditional public school.

The struggle continues…

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.  

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.


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.

Weequahic HS kids make a guest appearance at Mayor Ras Baraka’s press event

After reports of the Weequahic HS student sit-in Tuesday, and the district’s reported attempts to starve and overheat them to force an end to the civil disobedience, we got questions asking how it all ended. The truth is, it didn’t. Student and community leaders and even the mayor himself are still dealing with a Christie-installed superintendent who is unaccountable and appears bent on destroying local schools and opening Newark education to tycoons.

Today, Weequahic students briefly interrupted a streetside press event on the city’s Street Team, by exuberantly walking past chanting and carrying a banner, Save Our Schools. Weequahic students are protesting Cami Anderson’s efforts to identify their school as a “turnaround,” and pave the way for privatization. They want her gone, as does the mayor and an increasing tide of Newark residents. Watch every camera swing toward the kids:

Street Team Press Conference w/Jim Brown …..co-starring Weequahic High Schoolers protesting against Cami Anderson!!!LMBOOOO….another reason why you gotta love Newark!!!#Classic

Posted by Sheila Montague on Friday, May 8, 2015

Video posted to Facebook by Sheila Montague.

Below, more about Weequahic students’ week of civil disobedience.  

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.  

Newark Student Civil Disobedience: An Important Moment

Hector Maldonado, Treasurer of the Newark Students Union, gave a superb 2-minute speech at the press conference after the occupation ended:

“We fought for our rights… the fight is not over… Cami Anderson, you  need to show you can be accountable for your actions. Will you stand on the right side of history?”

NJTV captured the speech and you can view it here. It begins about 3 minutes into the video.

Kudos to the committed youth activists fighting for an important goal and facing tough odds against an implacable foe.  

“It is, it is a glorious thing

to be the Jersey King.” (Pirates of Penzance reinterpreted)

His retinue hues close to his orders and can ignore all others. But methinks the king is losing some of his authority and these youths are exposing the cracks in his armor.

A caring, sensitive governor would pay heed. However, a governor who is running for federal office may feel it too demeaning and embarrassing nationally to give in to students and admit he supported an incompetent superintendent. A governor who is in the pocket of education corporations may also feel it’s unwise to slow the progress of his wealthy donors.

Newark is beleaguered city, but the youth are playing a crucial role. Their future depends on a better education system. This was an important moment.  

Newark Students, recognized in The Nation

10659245_708430845899849_4304922068049442784_nI just want to take a second and make sure you all see this national recognition of Newark Student Union in their fight to take back their schools from the insulting, chaotic regime of Cami Anderson and Chris Christie.

I hope you can join me in getting their back, however and wherever you can. Please consider posting this to your Twitter or Facebook, with a note of encouragement from you: Via The Nation (The Nation):

4. In Newark, Students Show Up

On November 13, the Newark Students Union bused a delegation to Washington, DC, where Newark superintendent Cami Anderson was scheduled to attend a panel at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy think tank, to discuss the success of the One Newark Plan and how other cities can privatize public education as it is currently happening in Newark. Startled by our appearance, the AEI staff tried everything in their power to kick us, black and brown bodies, out of the space. After an hour of patiently waiting for the event to start, it was canceled due to a “security breach.” At that point, we took control of the room and tried to explain to attendees why Anderson refused to show her face. The next week, the Barringer High School branch of the NSU walked out to protest the school’s punitive, underresourced, unresponsive environment-left unaddressed by the One Newark plan. Students were forced to stay inside by security guards and police officers, violating their right to protest. As the administration maneuvers to close schools, displacing at least 8,000 students, we will continue to recruit students and build stronger bases throughout the city for actions soon to come.

-Jose Leonardo, in Fifteen Millennial Movements Taking Off This Week, (The Nation, 11/24/14)

On Twitter: @NewarkStudents. On Facebook: Newark Students Union.