Yesterday, Camden Superintendent Rouhanifard, City Council President Moran and Mayor Redd, along with parents and members of the community, announced a new plan to transform five of the most struggling schools in Camden.
These decisions were a result of extensive input from parents and families regarding their biggest concerns about schools in Camden. Throughout the fall and winter, Superintendent Rouhanifard held a series of meetings about the urgent need to address the city’s chronically failing schools, enrollment trends and inadequate facilities.
These school transformations will mean that thousands of Camden students will have access to better schools as early as this fall. Renaissance schools will now serve all students in the neighborhood, regardless of need.
It is important to note that the school communities from each of these schools will not just stay intact, but also stay in the communities they currently serve. Every child deserves to have a high-quality school in their neighborhood and this plan supports just that.
The five schools that will be transformed will enter into new partnerships with the renaissance schools in Camden. These schools are KIPP: NJ, Uncommon Schools: Camden Prep, and Mastery Schools of Camden.
These renaissance schools have a strong track record of improving academic outcomes. Over 81% of KIPP: New Jersey students were proficient in math and reading in 2014, and Mastery Schools in Philadelphia saw a 96% college acceptance rate in the same year. Uncommon Schools saw equally impressive gains. The students at North Star Academy in Newark reversed the achievement gap in English Language Arts by an entire percentage point across grades three through eight.
For me, this change is personal. My nephew attends Uncommon Schools: Camden Prep and we have seen the difference attending this new school has made for him in just a short period of time. All students and parents deserve options and access to a high quality education.
We are fighting to increase access to high quality schools across New Jersey. Yesterday’s announcement in Camden is a significant step toward that goal for families across the state.
For more information on these school transformations, please see here.