Another “oops” in Newark school plan

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Cami--Ooops. Parents, you'll just have to wait another month.
Cami–Ooops. Parents, you’ll just have to wait another month.

The “One Newark” plan is a disaster for the city’s families.  Now, even the district leadership all but admits it by again postponing crucial deadlines. Parents who were promised a “match” with a new school this week  won’t be getting it until next month.  Other parents won’t know until days before school opens. And to make things even worse, some Newark school  principals yesterday received instructions that,  if literally followed, would require them to turn away from their schools all children who had a right to be there.  How can the city’s parents feel comfortable with educators who cannot even express themselves in understandable language?
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Pastors: Cami must stop!

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Christie hugs Rev. Carter
Christie hugs Rev. Carter

Scores of Newark’s religious leaders—including nationally known ministers and a major supporter of Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election–have repudiated as potentially “catastrophic” the state-imposed “One Newark” plan to close neighborhood schools and “launch” new charter schools in the state’s largest city. The pastors,  who labeled the plan “disruptive and divisive,” called on Christie and  state-appointed schools superintendent Cami Anderson to immediately stop its implementation.
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Who is Benjamin Olagadeyo?

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From Linked-In a self-posted picture by Benjamin Olagayedo
From Linked-In a self-posted picture by Benjamin Olagayedo

Who is Benjamin Olagadeyo? Or, for that matter, Samuel Taye Olagadeyo? Or Mary Olagadeyo? Or Bematolas Environmental Consulting, LLC? Bematolas appears to be an artificial name created out of the personal names–BEnjamin, MAry , Taye, and OLAgadeyo. Don’t you love a mystery–especially when it has something to do with the way Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson spends public money? Help me find out the answers and I will post the results here.
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Is the NJEA waking up?

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NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer
NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer

The struggle to save public schools from private, profit-making scams could well be lost. It will be lost–if it already hasn’t been lost–unless those groups  with experience in organizing, resources for getting their message out,  a history of lobbying, and a willingness to use the courts, grow some courage and take some risks. Yes, in this state, that means the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).
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No $ for Newark kids, lots for Cami pals

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Cami feels for her friends and pays them well
Cami feels for her friends and pays them well

A third of Newark’s public school teachers face layoffs.  The contracts of seven  employee unions, including nurses, cafeteria workers, and laborers, have expired and the administration  of state superintendent Cami Anderson refuses to settle. Counselors were laid off. Public schools have been stripped of  assets  and  allowed to crumble. Cami drove the district into a $40 million budget hole but, despite all that, she has given hefty raises to the district’s top administrators, according to a Newark Public Schools document this site obtained.  Just as Gov. Chris Christie takes care of his friends, Anderson’s loyal pals, from New York, New Orleans, Teach for America, and charter schools, make big bucks in the city school administration at the expense of Newark’s school children.
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GUEST BLOG: No TFA for me

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Melissa Katz
Melissa Katz

By Melissa Katz

My name is Melissa Katz and I am 18 years old. I am a freshman at The College of New Jersey studying urban education. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Why do you want to go into education? Why do you want to be a teacher? Don’t you know how much more money you could be making in another profession?”
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Wanted: More public school heroes

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Deborah Gregory Smith opens rally yesterday in Trenton with Mildred Crump, the president of the Newark City Council.
Deborah Gregory Smith opens rally yesterday in Trenton with Mildred Crump, the president of the Newark City Council.

It was all there yesterday in Trenton. Frustration with  20 years of failed state education policy. The invigorating idealism of young people who haven’t yet learned to accept the lies of dissembling politicians. The justified anger at the disrespect behind Chris Christie’s attitude toward  Newark,  Paterson, Jersey City, and Camden—the idea that, because he believes black and brown men and women cannot be trusted, aren’t smart enough,  to govern themselves and their schools, Christie will have to let his rich white friends do it.
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Ban all charters. Now.

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MARCH27It’s time to change the narrative. Let’s begin tomorrow at noon in Trenton. Let’s begin telling the truth about charter schools.

Those who would exploit public education both to reap profits from its annual revenues of more than $500 billion annually and to advance  a low-tax agenda for the wealthy have already seized much of the high ground.  They are telling the story. Invoking the failure of urban education, they call for reform that promises to improve schooling by sweeping away outdated work rules, countering the alleged selfishness of union-represented teachers, and creating new sorts of schools freed of decades of bureaucratic controls. It is an alluring story that allows Trojan horse Democrats like Cory Booker to speak of how school choice is the “civil rights issue of our time.” But it is a false story and it must be countered at every possible opportunity—and, tomorrow in Trenton, is an important opportunity.
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Cami’s bad week

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Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan

US Education Secretary Arne Duncan met last Saturday with Cami Anderson, the state-appointed superintendent of Newark schools, and suggested she might be moving too fast to privatize the city’s schools with her “One Newark” plan. To which, according to sources at the meeting, Cami told Duncan he was wrong. A  few days later, just hours after anti-Cami demonstrators twice closed down the city’s central business district during rush hour, she was hosted at a dinner where she was told by a number of old friends, including former state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf and former Mayor Cory Booker,  that she was moving too fast.
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