Below the fold, two videos to explain went on in Newark today.
Cami Anderson represents Gov. Christie’s goal of privatizing and corporatizing public education. Her personal conduct, if that’s not enough, is also questionable; she refuses to attend school board meetings and other forums where she might be met with opposition. And community complaints that she ignores parents and cuts community out of her process are well-documented. And insidious: The U.S. Dept. of Education is investigating claims her plan violates the civil rights of black students.
Today, Day One of ‘One Newark,’ she toured half-empty schools, as families boycotted. NJ Communities United is reporting that she locked school board members and parents out of her press conference.
Below the fold, two videos. In the first, parents talk about why they’re boycotting. The second is smartphone vid; wobbly, amateur, interrupted by traffic noise. But that’s the way things are right now in Newark. This boycott isn’t being run by some slick operation with corporate media skills – like Team Cami can count on. It was launched by busy parents and grandparents, by cell phone and leaflet, with supplies for Freedom Schools arriving by car from allies. All, as Anderson tells the press ‘One Newark’ is a success. When clearly it is not.
In Vid #2, she explains away the boycott by babbling about wanting to “work through any disagreements … that are not about hurting kids and putting them behind”. As though it’s the parents doing damage to the kids. And brings up time on task (a well-known edu-term about reducing wasted time in the classroom) as though boycotting parents are denying their children education. But I’m going to suggest that Newark kids learned a great deal today: They learned what their parents, grandparents and community will do for them, how to tell truth from spin, and that they’re never too young to know what’s really going on.