Educators in Camden have launched a new school reporting system designed to help parents and students make more informed school choices.
But not all of the district’s schools will be included. Four of Camden’s nine charter schools are bypassing the city’s new system, meaning parents won’t have an independent assessment of those schools’ academics, attendance, safety and overall quality.
Asked Thursday if all the charters should take part in the new report cards, Mayor Dana Redd said, “absolutely.”
“I think the citizens deserve to be given accurate information with which to make a decision,” Redd said. “That’s what this is all about, with the school report cards. This is something new that’s never been attempted in the city of Camden, and that’s why I commend the superintendent for putting the information out there.”
Camden School Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard said he too hopes that by next year he’ll have all the city’s charters participating, but by law, the choice is theirs.
Parent Felisha Reyes-Morton, who was part of an advisory committee that helped develop the new report cards, said they offer reliable information for families who long relied only on word of mouth.
“The availability of at least a baseline level of information about academics is at least going to start the conversation in the community about where academics should be, where it’s heading, and how do we make it better, and how do we make it accountable,” Reyes-Morton said.
Camden’s new report cards are online now, providing details on all 26 district schools and five charters.