By John Mooney
Even Superintendent Anderson says the school is ‘on the move,’ but does she plan to put charters in charge?

When it comes to its schools, not much has come easy to the Hawthorne Avenue neighborhood on the edge of Newark’s South Ward.

A decade ago an entire block of homes running between Dewey and Demarest streets were bought out and bulldozed for a new high school promised by the state.

But the school was never built. The state’s school construction program ground to a standstill. And the only shovels in the ground are in the community garden now being planted on what was to be a new school property.
Now, the flagship Hawthorne Avenue School is at the center of the fight sparked off by state-appointed superintendent Cami Anderson’s reorganization of New Jersey’s largest district.

Anderson originally plan to turn Hawthorne Avenue over to two outside organizations, BRICK Academy and the KIPP charter network, as part of her “One Newark” plan.

Anderson has since backed off on some of the details, instead saying Hawthorne Avenue would remain a district school, just under outside management.

Either way, a third of its students are to be moved elsewhere, and with enrollment decisions due to be announced within the week, the change for the school continues to blow back on Anderson in increasingly public ways.

Yesterday, the extra attention came by way of the Randi Weingarten, the national president of the American Federation of Teachers, visiting the school to voice her support for it remaining as it is.


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