Camden School Takeover: Day 2 and Counting

John Mooney | March 27, 2013 | Education
The drama over for the moment, new day brings board reaction, unexpected Cerf visit, and some talk radio on the situation

The day after Gov. Chris Christie’s administration filed an order for the state to take control of Camden public schools, questions are just starting to be asked about the true impact of the takeover on the city and its schools.

Simple answers are not likely to be forthcoming.

For example, the local school board, slated to be demoted to an advisory position, proceeded with its own superintendent search — even when the results are likely to be moot and the pick will probably be the governor’s.

And at the board’s invitation, state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf — Christie’s chief lieutenant in the takeover — attended its meeting last night and met with members in closed session for about half an hour.

“It is my personal pledge and my commitment to be part of a collaborative process . . . as we work together to find a path to an improved future for children,” Cerf said in brief comments before the executive session.

To help put Camden — and urban education in New Jersey — in perspective, NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney joined Philadelphia Inquirer staff reporter Matt Katz on WHYY Public Radio’s “Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane” to talk about the governor’s plans, the state’s history of takeovers, and the coming debates both inside and outside the city.

Listen in on the discussion.