Guests: Matt Katz, John Mooney and Sean Brown
Saying that the crisis in the Camden schools is “chronic and severe,” Governor Chris Christie yesterday announced the state will take over the city’s public school system within as little as six to eight weeks. Three other districts — Newark, Paterson and Jersey City — are also under state control. Camden schools have a graduation rate of 49 percent, three of the district’s schools are the lowest performing in the state, and 90 percent of its schools are in the bottom 5 percent. Proponents of the state takeover say that it was unavoidable given the systemic problems in the Camden district. Opponents say state control will do little to address the problems Camden’s children face including extremely high poverty rates. We’ll talk to two education writers who have been writing about Camden and public education in New Jersey – MATT KATZ, Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer, and JOHN MOONEY, founding editor and education writer for NJ Spotlight. We’ll also get reaction from Camden School Board member SEAN BROWN. He was born in Camden and returned 10 years ago.
AP Photo/Mel Evans