Tag Archive: gentrification

The gentrification of Camden’s schools Part II: Love is all you need

Cross-posted with Marie Corfield. And promoted by Rosi.

gentrification-noun 1. the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses.

In Part I of my interview with Camden educator Keith Benson we talked about his views on the state takeover, what his students face on a daily basis, and whether he thinks the charters coming into the city can truly address the needs of children living in chronically high poverty. Part II is at the end of this post.


Greetings from Camden Camden has been in the news a lot lately. Earlier this week on her show, Radio Times, Marty Moss-Coane of Philadelphia’s public broadcasting station, WHYY, interviewed David Sciarra, Executive Director of NJ’s Education Law Center, Stephen Danley, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University, who also writes the Local Knowledge Blog, and Carmen Crespo, parent activist and member of the grassroots pro-public education group Save Our Schools NJ about the separate and unequal state takeover of Camden’s public schools. Last month she interviewed Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard, the TFA alum and former Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of Newark Public Schools.

The public outcry against the decimation of public education in the poorest, most dangerous city in the country has been well documented here, here, here, here and here. There is much more, and I encourage readers to search for themselves.

Notice that all but the WHYY link are to blogs, and there are more blog links below. Apartheid is alive and well in NJ and around the country as scores of black and brown children living in high poverty are being discriminated against, their schools closed, their neighborhoods up-ended, and their voices silenced. And yet the mainstream media is perfectly content to ignore it while rolling out the red carpet for Campbell Brown. And if you’re reading this and still have no idea who she is and what she’s up to, start here.

The Gentrification of Camden’s Schools Part I

Cross-posted with Marie Corfield blog.  Promoted by Rosi.

gentrification-noun 1. the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses.

Greetings from CamdenSince public educators have been largely excluded from the education ‘reform’ agenda, it’s up to bloggers and others on social media to tell our side of the story. And that story cannot be told without including the socioeconomic and developmental impacts on children living in poverty. Nowhere in the United States exemplifies this like Camden.

The bitingly witty Massachusetts ed blogger EduShyster recently posted a guest blog by Camden educator, Keith Benson, on how the gentrification of that city is really for ‘other people’. [We posted it here at Blue Jersey, too.] Please be sure to read it. This quote sums up what Keith lives every day:

Keith

It’s as if the city so desperately needs people with disposal income that those who have it are catered to relentlessly. And underneath such puzzling interactions is a deep frustration that much of Camden is not designed for its residents because of their low incomes…The message to local residents is clear: The nice things here aren’t for you. We need other people.