Better test scores in Camden City public schools unrelated to state takeover, report says

The state assumed oversight in 2012 under the Christie administration

Eight years after former Gov. Chris Christie instigated a state takeover of the Camden City School District — with a promise of turning around failing schools and in turn the academic progress of its students — a new report says there’s no hard evidence the takeover translated into better test scores. The report, released Thursday by the New Jersey Policy Perspective think tank, says test scores already had been improving for at least six years before the takeover.

Schools superintendent Katrina McCombs says there is strong support in the city for the “partnership with the state,” which “has produced and has evidenced real progress … Our graduation rates are up 20 points to nearly 70% and our dropout rate has been cut in half, and that is comparing pre- and post-state intervention.” McCombs says the district is working toward meeting benchmarks that would return it to local control.

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