The Collapse of Newark’s Leading Education Reformist

One of the ‘state laboratories’ of reform has been the state-controlled Newark, NJ school system. It’s now run by Cami Anderson who has been a huge supporter of both charter schools and value-added testing to evaluate tests (despite the method‘s many statistical and operational flaws).

It appears Superintendent Anderson has run into some problems (boldface mine):

The chairman of the legislative committee that oversees state-operated school districts Tuesday accused the state-appointed Newark superintendent of “taking the fifth” because she repeatedly refused to discuss her personal and business ties to a Newark charter school leader to whose organization she sold a Newark public school at less than fair market value. Anderson also was openly caught in a lie when she insisted before the Joint Committee on Public Schools (JCPS) that no school principals were in so-called “rubber rooms,” getting paid to do nothing–apparently unaware one of the principals was attending the hearing. She also was openly laughed at by committee members when she talked about a “legislative liaison” aide whom none had ever met.

When you have to game the numbers–lie and deceive–that sort of corruption can not be isolated. It seeps into everything else you do, so it’s no wonder that she engaged in corruption and lied to public officials. But this takes the cake:

But the oddest thing that happened at the four-hour hearing was Anderson’s insistence that her reforms efforts should not be judged by falling state test scores because such scores were “inaccurate” and “unfair”–this, from a woman who has closed public schools and fired educators because of falling state test scores.

The mendacity would be funny. Except for the impairment of Newark’s kids cognitive development.

That’s not funny at all. Future historians will look back on the era of education ‘reform’ (assuming our descendents can still read) and wonder how we could have been so foolish and venial.

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2 Responses to The Collapse of Newark’s Leading Education Reformist

  1. Iain says:

    I think the word you meant to use is “venal”.

  2. anthrosciguy says:

    There’s a lot that’s happened in the last 20 years in the USA that would be hilarious if it were in a work of fiction. The real-world consequences kinda mess that up though.

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