Saturday, November 28, 2015

Archive: March, 2013

POSTED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 2:49 PM

Gov. Christie’s announcement of a state takeover of Camden schools has not scared off the three finalists for the Camden Superintendent job.

Former Philadelphia School Reform Commission member Heidi Ramirez, current Willingboro superintendent Ronald Taylor and Oakland school district administrator Denise Saddler are all vying for the job of turning around New Jersey’s worst performing school district and will be doing a “Meet and Greet” with the public tonight.

The Camden Board of Education's candidates will be considered by the state, Christie said Monday, but the board now will serve in only an advisory role and has no final say. Christie could add more names to the mix.

Claudia Vargas @ 2:49 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013, 8:23 AM

As we reported Sunday evening, Gov. Christie will be in Camden Monday to announce a state takeover of the Camden School District. Here are some excerpts of my interviews with some school board members following the our confirmation of the news. 

As of Sunday evening only a few board members knew of the announcement and those who did hardly had details.

Claudia Vargas @ 8:23 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013, 8:06 PM

Gov. Christie's announcement Monday of his takeover of the Camden school district was met with support from a few board members but also with complete disagreement from others, including one board member who simply quit on the spot.

Here are two opposing views on the topic. First is board member Felicia Reyes-Morton's speech in which she expresses support for the governor's plan. Second, is board member Kathryn Ribay's resignation letter in which she expresses disappointment in the governor's decision.

Felicia Reyes-Morton :

Claudia Vargas @ 8:06 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, March 24, 2013, 8:39 PM

Gov. Christie plans to announce Monday that he is taking the extraordinary step of putting the educational and fiscal management of the Camden School District under state control, The Inquirer has learned.

As part of the takeover of what the state considers the worst-performing district in New Jersey, Christie will appoint a new superintendent and leadership team, shifting the school board to an advisory role, according to administration officials briefed on the plan.

@ 8:39 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 1:53 PM

Camden Board of Education members will be interviewing superintendent candidates all day Saturday to narrow down the field to three.

The remaining three candidates will be available for a meet and greet with the public Tuesday from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Octavius V. Catto Community School, 3100 Westfield Avenue in Camden.

Claudia Vargas @ 1:53 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:33 PM

With the clock ticking away toward the Camden Children’s Garden advertised March 31 eviction date, a local group is hosting a spring festival and fund-raiser at the garden Saturday.

The Camden District Council Collaborative Board, a group of community members who address public-safety and quality-of-life issues in Camden, will be hosting a Spring has Sprung Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Camden Children’s Garden on the Camden Waterfront.

Organizers are asking people to “pay what you wish” to the Camden City Garden Club, which operates the garden, in lieu of entrance fee.

Claudia Vargas @ 12:33 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 11:05 AM

The Camden Board of Education approved Tuesday evening an operation, management and funding agreement with a nonprofit slated to build the state’s first privately run and publicly financed Renaissance school project.

In a 5-1-1 vote (board vice president Sara Davis votes against the agreement and board member Ray Lamboy abstained from voting) the board approved an agreement for Cooper Lanning Square Renaissance School Inc. (doing business as KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy) to operate a renaissance school per the Urban Hope Act.

The agreement makes it clear the school will go on the site where the Lanning Square Elementary School was supposed to have been built.

Claudia Vargas @ 11:05 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, March 18, 2013, 6:21 PM

The state Department of Education approved the two-part application submitted by KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy to build and operate what is on track to be the state’s first privately run and publicly financed Renaissance school project.

In a brief letter dated Friday, March 15, Evo Popoff, assistant education commissioner, said that after review of application by the Cooper Lanning Square Renaissance School Inc. (doing business as KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy) and a supporting resolution from the Camden Board of Education, the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy at Lanning Square’s Renaissance project was approved.

A contract between the Camden Board of Education and KIPP must be finalized and sent to the state Department of Education for approval by next Monday, March 25.

Claudia Vargas @ 6:21 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Allison Steele writes about Camden’s schools, government and businesses. Most importantly, she writes about the city’s residents. She is a former crime reporter who covered the Camden and Philadelphia police departments for the Inquirer. A Philly native, she has been with the Inquirer since 2008.

Send comments, tips and story ideas to, call 856-779-3876, or reach out on Twitter @AESteele.

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