Camden education forum to be held at Adventure Aquarium

Camden County Schools Superintendent Peggy Nicolosi and Mayor Dana L. Redd are co-hosting a forum to discuss the improvement of public school education in Camden.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Adventure Aquarium. Though the flyer does not provide an agenda, some board members were told there will be a 2-minute limit per person. (For the record-- City Council meetings have a 3-minute limit per speaker)  

In a letter to David G. Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center which represents urban districts, the state Department of Education states that the public forum is part of the state's Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) assessment. State DOE officials want to hear the public's concerns with the district.

A poor showing on the QSAC assessment can trigger a partial or full takeover of a district by the state. In February, the state released its preliminary QSAC findings and the district  received failing grades in four of the five categories - instruction and program (7 percent); operations (47 percent); personnel (9 percent); and governance (33 percent).

The state is expected to publish a final findings report sometime in late spring.

At Wednesday's school board meeting, board members were perplexed as to why their names were on the flyer. None of them had been notified of the forum until they saw the flyer earlier this week.

Some board members and district employees complained about the location. A school or even City Hall would have been more appropriate, they said.

"A forum for whom? The fish? Because that's all they are going to get," said one district employee.

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