Streaming Live: The NJ Spotlight Roundtable — Camden Schools and the Future of Urban Education in New Jersey

Staff of NJ Spotlight | April 1, 2013 | Education
Even if you can't make it to today's roundtable, you can still have one of the best seats in the house

NJ Spotlight will today host a public forum on the fate of Camden’s public schools, featuring some of the key players in the debate and a discussion about what’s next for the beleaguered district and its schoolchildren.

Part of an ongoing series of public discussions on critical issues around the state, the NJ Spotlight Roundtable will be held at Rutgers-Camden’s Student Center, starting at 5 p.m., and will also be streamed live.

The forum comes a week after Gov. Chris Christie announced his administration’s plans to take control of the Camden school district, starting with the appointment of its superintendent and top staff.

But the district was already embroiled in a number of significant developments, including the quick growth of charter schools and the start of a new model of privately run Renaissance Schools inside the city.

The Christie administration declined an invitation to participate on the panel, but key figures from virtually every other key group will be on hand.

Included will be George Norcross III, the chair of Cooper Health System and prominent South Jersey political leader who has made Camden education reform a personal priority. Also on hand will be Kathryn Ribay, the Camden school board member who quit last week in protest of the state’s takeover plans.

The full list of panelists follows. NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney will serve as moderator.

  • Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, LEAP Academy University Charter School
  • Karen Douglass-Collins, math leader, Pyne Poynt Middle School, Camden
  • Pamela Garwood, Priority Schools Initiative, New Jersey Education Association
  • Ryan Hill, founder and executive director, TEAM Charter Schools
  • Patricia Kenny, assistant superintendent, Camden Public Schools
  • George Norcross III, chair, Cooper Health System
  • MoNeke Ragsdale, Camden community and parent advocate
  • Kathryn Ribay, former member, Camden school board