Monday, June 22, 2015

In Newark, Cami Anderson is out. Cerf back in.

Cami Anderson is toast. 
There's a lot going on in Newark. The good news is that Cami Anderson, otherwise known as "Newark's Michelle Rhee", has finally been forced out as superintendent.

Following the state's takeover of Newark schools, she brought the city to the boiling point with the unveiling of  her “One Newark” plan for school closings and charter school proliferation in much the same way as Rhee did in D.C. Her corporate-style reform plan would have relocated neighborhood schools, converted others to privately-run  charter schools and re-engineered still more traditional public schools by replacing all their principals and firing hundreds of teachers in violation of the contract.

Things have grown so hot in Newark that Anderson no longer attends meetings of the locally elected school advisory board. Ras Baraka's election as mayor more or less sealed Anderson's fate as he solidified the black community's opposition to Anderson and the plan.

The bad news is that Anderson is being replaced by corporate reformer Chris Cerf who is being recycled back into the post by his pal Chris Christy. Cerf was N.J. Education Commissioner before departing in Feb. 2014 (when Christy came under investigation), to hook up with international media criminal Rupert Murdoch.

Fired teacher Marilyn Zuniga
It was Cerf who brokered a landmark tenure law with AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten, a contract which bases teacher evaluation largely on student test scores. He also approved 37 N.J. charter schools and was a key player in the deal to bring $100 million in Mark Zuckerberg money into the corporate reformers' pockets. No one seems to know where that money went.

Also in Newark, support is building for teacher Marilyn Zuniga who was fired by the board for allowing her students to send get-well messages to political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. You can get the whole story from this interview Zuniga did with Real News Network's Jared Ball.


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