I must have been born a buzzkill, one who looks at the glass half empty! I can't help but be puzzled why people are standing up and cheering at the announcement that Newark's Superintendent Cami Anderson is " Stepping Down" and being replaced with Christopher Cerf? I am not trying to steal anyone's feelings of being happy, joyous and free from Anderson. The way I look at it is she was an absentee Superintendent anyway, did ya really deal with her? She didn't attend board meetings, she rarely dealt with the public nor did she sit at the table with parents for our input. Anderson in my opinion was only a chew toy for the public to gnaw on while the gestapos at the state initiated every tactic they could to demolish Public Education in the city of Newark. They can deny it, go right ahead, we all believe ya Govenah!
Actually, thinking back, I did have the privilege to meet Cami Chaos! How could I forget, I was selected as Parent of the year a few years back for the East Ward of Newark and had to attend a board meeting at Barringer High. They called me up, she bestowed upon me a certificate saying
"Parent of the Year" with her John Hancock right on it! She shook my hand ( and gave me the cooties) and A photo was snapped of us ( I would kill for that picture). I took my seat and she began a Power Point presentation about a new concept called One Newark. That would give " Choice " to every family in Newark. This was prior to her unveiling on Dec. 17, 2013. Probably a year prior. I had no concept of what was going on and was giddy that I was Parent of The Damn Year! Who cares about your presentation, Mrs. Anderson, IT IS ALL ABOUT ME! Do you know that I actually had that framed and kept it as a symbol of the work I did in the community! Flash forward to about Feb 2014, at another board meeting, ironically, I stood up basically told Cami she sucked a bag of balls, held up my Parent of the Year Certificate she bestowed on me 2 years prior and told her from her...It didn't mean CRAP! I then proceeded to rip it up in front of her. How can I forget all that! Selective amnesia!
I did a telephone interview with WABC yesterday and the interviewer Jerry asked me" Frankie, are you happy that she is gone, you personally, not how the city feels." My response was" It is not about Cami! Cami was a name on a demand, A face on posters and memes. A face to frustration! In the last year my attitude towards her changed in the way that she is just the smoke and mirrors to distract us. Some fall for it and honestly, I did. Now I see her departure as what they replace her with will be ten times worse. Now we are dealing with having Christopher Cerf coming in. The epitome of Corporate America Scoundrel! He will sit at board meetings and take public lashings and not raise a pulse! He will get the job done Anderson couldn't! So NO Jerry, not to be a buzzkill but I am not happy and do not see this as a time to rejoice or be proud." I used to cosign with a "LIST OF DEMANDS" that was passed around Newark. While they were powerful to some now, I do not think we are the ones who are the captors! The only RIGHT we have is that we should have local control over our school district! That should not be a demand. Especially when the State of NJ has done such a bang up job with the schools in the last 20 plus years! So to me Jerry that is the only win! Local Control. That will make me happy and have a reason to feel we are accomplishing things."
Parents and residents of the City of Newark have a tremendous amount of "situations" going on. Cami exiting and what about her bonuses? Cerf taking over for 3 years while we continue to fight for Local Control. We have the Govenah, breaking rights and laws especially, refraining from changing the language in legislation being passed that will allow Charter School expansion in our city that will absorb $25 million dollars from our Newark Public School budget to go to charters! Our Senate President Stephen Sweeney is in on it and turns his sprinklers and garden hose on those who tell him when they don't like his actions. We have right here in Newark our always fabulously dressed and manicured Senator Teresa Ruiz, who will sell every Newarker, their child and their little dog too for power to remain seated in the decision making of the destruction of our city and state!
We are witnessing a full on war to extinct the Newark Public School System. A a schools culture that is developing my very child. A child who has aspirations to be an Architect. Who has taken Mandarin Chinese for 4 years. who has access to technology like 3D printing and phenomenal STEM instruction. He knows about wind turbines, how they work and how the environment can save on resources. Who is exposed to Arts and Music. Who has reached academic honors his whole time spent in Newark Public Schools. The same school system that generations of Adaos before him have come through. A system that allowed them the right to an education just by walking in and singing their child up! That produced chefs, law enforcement detectives, Vice Presidents of fortune 500 corporations, fire chiefs and Directors of Finance for major corporations.
This is what you want to shut down and replace with what? Cherry picking students and providing them lackluster academics and career paths.
Your right! It is not about Charter Vs. Public Schools. Fess up the truth. Put your big boy and girl corporate panties on and tell the damn truth! Private funders see the golden calf that is profits on Education! The false images of Chartres producing "college ready" geniuses is a figment of great marketing! There is no proof or data supporting this claim. There are no "waiting lists" with thousands of families waiting on bated breath for that one great phone call that will change their child's life! When that charter fails to provide academic programming for the child where do they turn to? Newark Public Schools. When they do not have the ability to provide athletic programming for the child where do they turn to? Newark Public Schools. When they make empty promises and run out of funding where do they drain from Newark Public Schools.
We are hearing promises from those we had hopes for. That would represent all the people and their needs for this city. We hear about all these transitional teams and how they will help guide us through and build policy for our city, but it is the same damn people who are always at the table! I by all means do not want a seat at the table. There are far more experienced parents and citizens who need to sit there before I do. However, the scene is more like always the same party of eight, than gathering input from true Newarkers in the areas of the specialty! When I see troublemakers and paid organizers who are up to no good and I know it from my own experiences, I have a hard time having blind trust and faith in leadership that will only listen to what they want to hear rather than maybe what they need to hear! Here I go again, being the buzzkill! Not wanting to go along with the herd. That now labels you a Non-Newarker!That is total absurdity!
We have potentially the aspect of having a casino come into our community and if you went to school, lived or even played in Atlantic City about 20 years ago, you would know the element that it brings is not the glitz and glam that comes with "Letting It Ride!" We even have Prudential building and expanding but where are the jobs for our Newarkers? They can put grass on the side of a building but cant find a way to find Newarkers jobs in their company!
Is this the change I was promised? Is this the"Choice" that I expect? Some may say well you don't like it pack your shit and leave! To them I say, my family has been in this city for generations! Their, blood sweat and tears help build this city! We have seen elected officials come and go, development in our city, growth in our city, heartbreak in our city, a renaissance in our city! THIS IS A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT TO HAVE TO TAKE IN AND DEAL WITH! I was told that some times you feel like you are playing "WHACK A MOLE!" That is exactly what Newarkers are going through! When one issue (mole) gets thrown our way, another issue(mole) jumps out and it's on and on! So yes, until the moles are eradicated from the city that I love...I will continue to be the buzzkill that holds the paid organizers, the corporate scoundrels, the elected officials, the media, the party of eight...accountable.
Maybe accountability is the new buzzkill?