Friday, December 20, 2013

Think Camden's High School Students are Underprepared for College? Look at Newark's Weequahic

Lots of news this week about Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s plan, entitled One Newark Portfolio Plan,  to reorganize the city’s public schools,. Those plans include shutting down or changing dozens of schools in the troubled city school system and replacing some of them with charter schools.  Anderson has also proposed a universal enrollment plan for all the city's students in order to open up all schools, charter and traditional, to all students. (For the best coverage, see NJ Spotlight.)

Now various politicos are weighing in and today PolitickerNJ reports today on mayoral candidate Ras Baraka's response to the news that one of the schools slated to close is Weequahic High School. Baraka took that news as an opportunity to lambaste Anderson’s management:
Ultimately the state-appointed superintendent and the governor have a plan to dismantle public education in Newark," the mayoral candidate said. "They have plans that amount to using our children in our community as guinea pigs. What a Christmas present. To say that Weequahic High School must close is absolutely incorrect. I think it exposes who these people really are and it exposes what people's intentions are. They actually came out too soon to tell people what it is they really want to do to us in this city.
Also in the news this week was the announcement by Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard that only three Camden High School students attained a combined score on SAT exams that deems them college or career-ready. That score is a cumulative 1550 on math, language arts, and writing.  Rouhanifard described this news as a “kick in the stomach moment,” and those grim results have been reported everywhere from ABC News to the Washington Post to the Missoulian.

How many seniors at Weequahic High School achieved a score of 1550 or higher on the SAT’s? According to the NJ DOE data base, that number is zero.

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