NYC Schools Official Tapped to Head Newark Schools



A high-ranking New York City schools administrator has been tapped to take over as schools superintendent for Newark, New Jersey.

Cami Anderson has spent the past five years running New York's alternative high schools (District 79), which help teens who are over-age and under-credited. This includes everything from expanding GED programs, to working with students going to school on Rikers Island.

At an announcement with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie, 39-year-old Anderson said the greatest challenge ahead in Newark is preparing all students for college or work.

"If you don't have college-level skill then you really have a limited range of options and increasingly fewer in our 21st century economy," she said. "So how awesome is it that we have the opportunity to help every single young person that crosses our path?"

Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children in New York City, has worked with Anderson over the past few years and called her "very smart and unquestionably committed to helping the most vulnerable kids succeed in school."

Before running the district for alternative high schools in New York City, Anderson was executive director of Teach for America, which prepares new teachers to work in urban schools.

She will head New Jersey's biggest school district, which has about 40,000 students. Nearly half of Newark's students don't graduate high school. She has close ties with Booker, and was an adviser to him on his unsuccessful 2002 campaign.

The choice of Anderson by Christie and state education commissioner Christopher Cerf was revealed early Wednesday. The Newark schools are under state control, and Anderson still needs final approval from the state board of education.

Last fall, Christie did not renew the contract of Newark Superintendent Clifford B. Janey. He has complained that the district spends $24,000 per pupil and doesn't get its money's worth




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