By John Mooney

But harsh reality of community opposition to reforms and state-aid crunch casts shadow over upbeat presentation

Cami Anderson

Credit: NJTV
Cami Anderson, Newark’s superintendent of schools.

With the city’s skyline in the background, Newark school Superintendent Cami Anderson on Tuesday invited reporters to a breakfast presentation on what she touts as the good news about the state’s largest school system.

Anderson titled the two-hour presentation “On the Move: Newark Public Schools – Looking Back and Planning Ahead.” It was held at the downtown Newark Club. All of her senior staff was in attendance.

She listed improvements in the state-run district’s graduation rate, academic progress being made in its lowest performing schools, and a range of other improvements that she said have been accomplished or on the way.

The controversial “One Newark” school reorganization plan, she said, has been successful in providing city families real choices.

Much of the morning program sounded like a pep talk, with nothing but good news about Newark’s schools – even if the claims of improvement and progress were not always accompanied by actual data.

And it wasn’t until the end of the morning that Anderson even acknowledged the tumult there’s been in the city’s school system under her watch.

Blaming it on a few people and what she repeatedly referred to as “politics,” Anderson said the criticism of her One Newark plan is largely overstated, that the supposed boycott staged by parents at the start of the school year was “non-existent,” and that she planned to proceed full steam ahead with her reforms.



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