Camden Schools and the Future of Urban Education in New Jersey


Camden Schools and the Future of Urban Education in New Jersey

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Purchase a complete HD quality DVD of this two-hour panel discussion.

On April 1, 2013, NJ Spotlight host a public forum on the fate of Camden’s public schools, featuring some of the key players in the debate and a discussion about what’s next for the beleaguered district and its schoolchildren.

The forum comes a week after Gov. Chris Christie announced his administration’s plans to take control of the Camden school district, starting with the appointment of its superintendent and top staff.

But the district was already embroiled in a number of significant developments, including the quick growth of charter schools and the start of a new model of privately run Renaissance Schools inside the city.

The Christie administration declined an invitation to participate on the panel, but key figures from virtually every other key group will be on hand.

Included will be George Norcross III, the chair of Cooper Health System and prominent South Jersey political leader who has made Camden education reform a personal priority. Also on hand will be Kathryn Ribay, the Camden school board member who quit last week in protest of the state’s takeover plans.

The full list of panelists follows. NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney will serve as moderator.

  • Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, LEAP Academy University Charter School
  • Shawn Brown, member, Camden School Board
  • Karen Douglass-Collins, math leader, Pyne Poynt Middle School, Camden
  • Pamela Garwood, Priority Schools Initiative, New Jersey Education Association
  • Ryan Hill, founder and executive director, TEAM Charter Schools
  • George Norcross III, chair, Cooper Health System
  • MoNeke Ragsdale, Camden community and parent advocate
  • Kathryn Ribay, former member, Camden school board