Protesters Follow Cami Anderson to D.C.

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The Washington Post reports on yesterday’s events at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson was scheduled to deliver remarks but the speech was abruptly cancelled when a group of 40  lobbyists and Newark students followed her down to D.C. to protest Anderson’s One Newark Plan, a universal enrollment plan that allows parents to choose their children’s placement at either traditional district and the growing group of public charter schools.

One of the lobbying groups that provided the bus and registration fees for the AEI conference was N.J. Communities United, which describes its mission as battling “right-wing efforts to funnel tax dollars into private and charter schools.” (Sharon Krengel, community outreach coordinator and press person for Education Law Center, is on  the board of NJCU.) The other groups that  helped organize the protest were the Newark Students Union, P.U.L.S.E. (which fights for local control and against closing schools), and People’s Organization for Progress.

From the Post:

What happened at AEI was a small taste of the brawls that have been roiling Newark since last year, when Anderson rolled out “One Newark”, a plan to relocate some schools, convert others to public charter schools and re-engineer still more traditional public schools by replacing all their principals and teachers. 

The plan for the 35,000-student school system has been the target of lawsuits, a federal complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education and student boycotts. It was a central factor in last spring’s mayoral race, which led to high school principal Ras Baraka winning office in large part because of his opposition to One Newark. Baraka wrote to President Obama last month and asked him to intervene on behalf of the community. 

“I’m opposed to all of it,” Baraka said by phone Thursday. “She has forced this down people’s throats, and the people don’t want it. We need a new superintendent.”

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