QOD: Ras Baraka, Shavar Jeffries, and the Legacy of Cory BookerMay 9, 2014
Trenton Charter School Boasts of Student Gains with Similar CohortsMay 13, 2014
In today’s Courier Post, Arthur Barclay, a graduate of Camden High School and a Camden City Council member, remarks on the “unacceptable reality that has plagued my city for the past two decades and counting: Barely half of Camden City School District students graduate from high school. And only a fraction of those who do graduate are arriving prepared for a two- or four-year college program or a vocational pathway. I know: When I graduated from Camden High, I was one of them.”
Barclay considers the “unfortunate truth” that necessary change — “making progress for students” — entails job loss for some adults, as Camden City Schools prepares to lay off about 250 teachers. However, he continues,
Our families desperately need and want new, high-quality school options like those being proposed by Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard. Already, more than 3,500 families have left district schools for other public schools, charter schools, in the hope of finding greater opportunities for their children.
As these renaissance school proposals move forward, opponents are coming up with accusations — claims, for example, that the superintendent is “privatizing” and “profiting” through these new public schools — that are absolutely false. The renaissance schools he has proposed are neither private nor for-profit — these public schools were selected for their proven track record in other cities.
This puts students first, and it’s precisely the type of refreshing change that we need in order climb out of our decades-long underperformance.