QOD: A Camden Mom Explains Why All Parents Deserve School Choice

Jackie Moreno, a Camden mom of six children who attend the city's public schools, both renaissance (hybrid charter/traditional) and district, explains “why I am grateful for Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard’s work in improving all schools in Camden and giving parents more options, like the Renaissance schools. I will and I know other parents will keep working so that every child in Camden can go to a great school.”
Not too long ago, I was homeless. I grew up in Sicklerville. I dropped out of high school in 10th grade. I’ve been slowly working my way to a more stable life. I just got my GED. I moved last year from Philadelphia to Camden to live with my aunt. 
It was a difficult time for me and my children, especially for my daughter Katlyn. She was very depressed. Fortunately, last year I enrolled her in kindergarten at Mastery Cramer Hill School. Today she is the happiest girl in the world. She came out of her shell and blossomed. The care and attention of the teachers is amazing. By the second marking period last year, she was on the first-grade level and this year at Back to School Night her teacher told me they are introducing her to second-grade work. Now, I couldn’t be happier… 
The way the teachers work with my kids is wonderful. I like the techniques they use with the kids. They connect with them and my kids are motivated. I have never seen that in any of the other schools they attended and I never experienced that myself coming up...I’m lucky that I was able to make the choices that I thought were best for my children. 
As you can see, I am a parent who wants the best for my children. I don’t want them to do what I did — to drop out in 10th grade. I want them to do well in school, graduate, go to college and have a shot at a good job. I think every parent does. Now that my kids are in Mastery schools, I feel like they have a real shot at success.
Ms. Moreno, who writes in this eloquent letter about the experiences of all six of her children, has a great deal to teach anti-choice proponents like Mercedes Schneider who would reverse improvements in Camden in order to preserve a failing system. Maybe they'll read Ms. Moreno's letter and reconsider their stance. Hey -- it's Monday. I'm feeling hopeful.

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