Category: Education

In Newark, Anderson threatens to arrest teacher union leader

Mice droppings at Lafayette--evidence of vermin infestation
Mice droppings–evidence of vermin infestation

The state administration of the Newark public schools has banned the top staff officer of the Newark Teachers Union from a school notorious both for its poor physical condition and the efforts of its principal to fire tenured teachers.  The district’s leaders also have threatened to arrest the union chief, John Abeigon, who took pictures of vermin infestation, loose paint chips, and possible fire hazards.
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GUEST: Mayor Baraka, do something!

Mayor Ras Baraka
Mayor Ras Baraka

By Becca Fields

I admire and respect Mayor Ras Baraka.  From the first time I spoke with him, I heard a leader, a man of deep thought and action.  Then a high school principal, Baraka demonstrated  commitment, intelligence, and  a depth of understanding of the challenges facing not just Newark public schools, but the entire city.  And he clearly demonstrated his willingness to look for solutions “outside the box” and beyond the expected as he demonstrated by meeting with gang leaders as part of his  strategy to curb violence.
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Who says you can’t make big bucks in public education?

All in the family: Alison Avera and Tracy Breslin
All in the family: Alison Avera and Tracy Breslin

If Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson gets her way and pumps $1 million into Turnaround for Children (TFC), the private firm headed by her former strategy chief, Alison Avera, Avera won’t be the only old friend and associate Anderson helps. Anderson also will be helping Avera’s partner, the former “talent officer” of the Newark Public Schools, Tracy Breslin. Avera and Breslin are partners in the consulting firm, Advisera LLC, and they are life partners.
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More cash for Cami crony’s firm?

Alison Avera
Alison Averra

Newark’s so-called “Renew Schools” reform strategy may have failed, but that’s not stopping Cami Anderson, the city’s state-appointed schools superintendent,  from giving a hefty raise to a private company, Turnaround for Children, that was supposed to help some of those schools improve. The  company’s chief executive officer, Alison Avera, is a close associate of Anderson who was given a top Newark schools job by the superintendent and boasts a resume remarkably similar to Anderson’s.
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Newark schools: When is an asbestos danger not a danger?

The door to Room 313 Monday
The door to Room 313 Monday

The inept state operation of Newark’s public schools has generated a class of young refugee children–the city’s internal refugees who, like the victims of war and other disasters, are often ignored and neglected and treated like second class citizens. Thousands of these children every day go to school far from their neighborhoods and they face dangers–like that of asbestos at Louis Spencer School where, once again, the administration of Cami Anderson proved itself woefully insensitive and incompetent.
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Newark schools: Hespe flouts law, Baraka wants action, zip happens

Ras Baraka: Still trying to get it done
Ras Baraka: Still trying to get it done

Acting state Education Commissioner David Hespe continues to refuse to enforce the law requiring the state to act aggressively in improving conditions in the state-operated Newark schools—and Mayor Ras Baraka, for at least the third time, has demanded Hespe’s “immediate intervention.”
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Christie cousin gets a Camden job

Kathryn Meeley
Kathryn Meeley

The state-operated Camden school district hired the cousin of Gov. Chris Christie’s wife to a $95,000-a-year administrative job in June. Kathryn Meeley, 32, the daughter of Mary Pat Christie’s  first cousin and a strong advocate for  charter schools, was given the position of chief of staff to the school district’s school support division.
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Cami loses another big tenure case–and Neil Thomas wins

Neil Thomas--denied due process
Neil Thomas–denied due process

State-imposed school superintendent Cami Anderson was handed a stunning legal blow yesterday with the release of an arbitrator’s decision demanding the reinstatement of a widely respected teacher whose only apparent flaw was opposition to Anderson’s policies. Neil Thomas, the father of former student school board member Jordan Thomas, must now get his job and pay and benefits back. He had been suspended since September.
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