Critics say Camden's State-Appointed Schools Chief Will Have Too Much Power

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An in-depth state report on Camden's schools "in crisis" laid out several recommendations in August, including hiring a superintendent who could transform the district.

But just as the Camden Board of Education had narrowed its search to three candidates last week, the process came to a halt when Gov. Christie announced a full state takeover of Camden schools.

Working through the office of state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf, Christie will appoint the next superintendent. And in a move that has some education advocates concerned, the new leader of Camden schools will have more power than any of his or her predecessors.

Under the state's intervention plan, the local Board of Education will be reduced to an advisory role. The new superintendent will assume the powers of the local board and will answer directly to the education commissioner.

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