By David Madden
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The state of New Jersey took the final step this week in its plan to take over the troubled Camden School District, effective the day after schools close for the summer in little more than two weeks.
There was little fanfare in Trenton as the state Board of Education approved what’s called an “intervention” by policy advisor Justin Barra. It takes effect in Camden on June 25th.
“The first change is that the commissioner will appoint a new superintendent for the school district,” says Barra. “And the second thing is that the current Board of Education, which is appointed by the Mayor, will become an advisory Board of Education.”
That new superintendent will get the final say, answerable to the state, not the city.
Look for that appointment as soon as next month. The goal is to improve student and teacher performance along with getting a better bang for the more than quarter-billion dollars a year New Jersey pours into Camden schools.
“You have less than one in every five students reading at grade level,” Barra says, “less than one in three students doing math at grade level, fewer than one in two students graduating in time.”
Similar takeovers are in effect in Newark, Patterson and Jersey City.