There was good news on hand at Tuesday’s press conference at Camden Prep, where the acting superintendent and city officials gathered to celebrate advances made by students on their PARCC tests.
Since the state takeover of the city’s schools in 2013, Camden has seen a shift toward so-called renaissance schools — a charter/traditional school hybrid — and charters, with more than half of the city’s kids now enrolled in renaissance or charter schools.
In the case of Camden Prep, the results are impressive. It racked up a 29 percent jump in English/Language Arts and 24 percent jump in math scores. The facility is one of 53 schools in New York and New Jersey managed by Uncommon Schools. Lately, officials have dropped the word “charter” when referring to the schools, preferring, instead, the term “partner.”
“By partnering with schools across the city to empower families to choose the best school for their child for a fair and unified enrollment system, we have allowed more students to secure seats in the school they believe will offer them the best education,” said acting superintendent Katrina McCombs. “All these changes have resulted in more Camden students reading and doing math as well as, or better than, their peers across the state.”
McCombs admits that, citywide, increases in PARCC scores are much more modest than the double-digit jumps at Camden Prep.
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