Tag Archive: Newark Student Union

Newark Students in Rolling Stone

Chris Christie isn’t the only person from New Jersey capable of making national news. Skip for a sec the Flemington deli man serving up racism with his sandwiches picked up in Salon last week. But this is so much better.

Newark Students with Chris Christie signI just want to make sure everybody sees the amazing coverage the Newark Students 4-day sit-in at Superintendent Cami Anderson’s office is getting in Rolling Stone.

They deserve it. These kids are badass. Hardcore. Well-versed in the issues of importance to them, well-supported by parents and community. Efforts to intimidate them only make their adversaries look ridiculous. And what they’re doing absolutely should be a model for students who value education and see it threatened. We have so much to be proud of in them.

The piece, by Rebecca Nathanson, opens with the boneheaded decision by the office of the absent Anderson to withhold food that parents and community brought to the front door of the Newark Public Schools building, for the kids upstairs with two adults supporting them. What looked like an effort to starve out minor children – on public property no less – went viral quickly via social media, then national. A PR disaster for NPS.

That one moment underscored the basic reality of Cami Anderson’s tenure in Newark. Defending her are Gov. Chris Christie, who picked her, and whose state Ed Dept. just re-upped her at a whopping big salary. And that’s it. Her presence, disrespect for families, her incompetence, disorganization and failures to account for what she’s doing, are resented by just about everyone else – students, who’ve led a thousand kids to walk out of school, parents, Mayor Baraka, teachers, and much of the School Board. Through it all, the students put themselves out front.

Cami Anderson gets another year – and $255k – to be incompetent in Newark

Less than 150 hours after leaders of the Newark Student Union ended a 4-day sit-in, representing a city revulsed at Superintendent Anderson’s school management, the State of New Jersey’s contempt for Newark kids and the peole who care about them is complete:

Cami Anderson’s contract was renewed today, with a raise to $255,016.

The students pushed past of efforts to starve them out, intimidate their folks. They simply, repeatedly asked for a meeting with their chief .

Anderson avoided her workplace for days, hiding out (and photographed) at Tiff’s, a pub in Union (6.76 miles away – I mapquested), with a drink of some kind next to her and a laptop open in front of her, perhaps watching students broadcasting from her office.

You can imagine the phone call as the civil disobedience made national news – from David Hespe, or perhaps Christie:

Relax. Let this thing play out; the kids will get tired. We don’t give a crap that students don’t like you – or their parents, or community, or clergy, or the Mayor, the School Board, Senator Rice or anybody. You’re our golden girl. Have another drink.

When Cami finally agreed to come in, the kids told her it was important that she be at Tuesday’s Board meeting. She stopped months ago to avoid hearing criticism, and she doesn’t think she owes parents any accountability. Cami blew off Tuesday’s meeting.

Something’s wrong when a bunch of school kids – fledgelings in blue jeans and tee shirts – have more integrity and dauntlessness than a 43-year-old, suit-clad professional pulling down more than a quarter-mil, and with Zuckerberg’s money and Christie’s horsepower behind her.  

Newark Students talk about What Brought Them to Civil Disobedience

Why did students occupy Newark Public Schools HQ for four days last week?

New Jersey, these are your young people, the leaders of Newark Student Union. They are dealing with the knife edge of issues that could easily make it to your own local schools, if they haven’t already. You may remember that one of the demands these high school students, and their parents, made of Christie-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson is that she finally attend the School Board meeting on the 24th, as superintendents should be expected to do. That’s tonight. The meeting’s going on now. And again, Cami has ditched. Here is what the students have to say:

Newark Student Union claims victory, now will shift focus to Chris Christie

Cami Anderson waited out 65 hours during a civil disobedience action by the leadership of Newark Student Union. During that time she avoided her office as calls for her to show up and address student concerns came via social media from all over the country and the street below filled with Newark parents, community, clergy, the press and even Mayor Ras Baraka.

h_cover_0121Today she finally walked in and talked for about an hour. Officials asked students not to record the conversation or let anyone know she was coming. But then Newark Public Schools released their statement during that meeting. It was a savvy, but bad-faith, effort of NPS to gain back some control of the disastrous PR effect this sit-in has had on Cami, on One Newark and NPS.

The occupation will end at 5:30 today, as students come downstairs to talk to the press. Now they shift their focus to Chris Christie, another absentee figure and a politician already dealing with public relations problems, but who bears ultimate responsibility for the mess Anderson has made.

Here’s what the students said a about targeting Chris Christie:.

Open Letter to @CoryBooker: You can be part of the #OccupyNPS solution

UPDATE: Newark Public Schools is reporting a meeting between students and Anderson took place this morning.

Where's Cami?

The civil disobedience being led by the leadership of Newark Student Union is in its 66th hour. High school students have vowed not to leave Superintendent Cami Anderson’s office at Newark Public Schools until she agrees to speak with them. She has not been at work at NPS for the 3 days of their sit-in.

So where’s Cami Anderson? Senator Cory Booker, you presided with Gov. Christie over her choice to lead Newark Schools. You no longer run Newark, but you live there and own property there. More importantly, the kids you see on the street or walking to school every day – who grew up knowing you as Mayor – are still kids I hope you feel some responsibility toward. Some of the bravest and strongest of them are now in Day #3 seeking a meeting with her. Imagine if you, not as a senator necessarily but as an involved community member, would intercede and escort her into Newark Public Schools HQ on Cedar Street. That might be the beginning of an important conversation. And the sons and daughters of your City who are now waiting at 2 Cedar Street, deserve that.

Our Newark: This civil disobedience protest, in a minority majority city in the middle of Black History Month – with issues that many other city school systems are also facing – is generating tremendous support not only on the streets in Newark, but on social media. And that’s a place where you have tremendous influence. One of @NewarkStudents hashtags is #OurNewark. Senator, it’s your Newark, too. Can you help?