Warning that that the school district needs “fundamental and transformational reform” because it is “in crises,” state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf personally delivered an in-depth review of the district’s failings this morning in Trenton to Interim Superintendent Reuben Mills and other district personnel.
Cerf told school administrators, who will meet with the board of education tonight during a special meeting, that the district needs “a radical new approach to leadership, staffing and district management” to assure high-quality education and readiness for work or college for all students.
The state’s in-depth quality review calls for:
· A national search for a proven turnaround superintendent.
· A collaborative relationship with the leader of a so-called Regional Achievement Center the Department of Education is establishing because 23 of the city’s 26 schools are considered failing under federal law.
· A comprehensive audit of personnel procedures, especially for recruiting, supporting and evaluating teachers and the granting of tenure.
· The board must “successfully” review applications for schools permitted under the Urban Hope Act.
· The board must “invest considerable time” developing “functioning governance structure” that refrains from micro-managing the district.
Additional state employees will be assigned to the city – which already has a fiscal monitor – to assure the DOE’s goals are met.
The review sets a six-to-eight month timeline and warns that more aggressive intervention will happen if the state is not satisfied. [emphasis mine]Camden needs a "national" search, which Cerf will inevitably deny he is involved in. But of course, like Jersey City, he will be intimately involved in it - and it will probably end with a Broadie taking over.
And that "successful" review of applications for these quasi-charter UHA schools had best end in George Norcross getting what he wants, even if that means installing schools operators like KIPP who already failed in Camden.
And there had better be no "micro-managing" because the NJDOE staff that California billionaire Eli Broad pays for already have plans in place to neuter the elected school board, install charters, and replace veteran teachers with Teach For America scrubs.
Which is why they need to deal with the evaluations of these expensive 20-year-plus veterans and replace them with college kids who will most likely split when they've "served" out their TFA commitment of a few short years.
Of course, if the good people of Camden decide they aren't down with all of this, Cerf will get "more aggressive." They need to understand that they are too poor for democracy and local control. Their betters understand what they need. Just shut up and eat your cake.
I'm warning you people in Camden: remember your place!