Report: Struggling Camden Schools Eyed for Closure

DOE proposal not currently being considered by state officials

By Catherine Brown
|  Tuesday, May 1, 2012  |  Updated 7:48 PM EDT
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Report: Struggling Camden Schools Eyed for Closure

NBC10.com

New report lays out a blueprint for a state intervention for struggling Camden, NJ schools with a proposal to close up to 13 of the city's worst performers.

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On the heels of a federal review showing a majority of Camden schools are among the state’s worst performers, education officials came up with a proposal to close up to 13 of those schools, according to the Courier Post.

The Department of Education told the paper the recommendation was among a number of proposals suggested that would allow the state to step in and help the school district. But, the report noted Gov. Chris Christie is not considering taking action at this time.

The Courier Post reported it obtained a copy of the 'intervention' proposal that was written by a DOE employee who serves as a liaison for a project to develop Camden charter schools.

In April a list of the state’s latest accountability system review showed 23 of Camden’s 26 schools were rated at the bottom as so-called “Priority Schools,” which could be targeted for closing if there’s no improvement over the next three years. Statewide, 75 schools are on the list.

According to state officials most of NJ’s roughly 2500 public schools are performing well. NJ was granted a federal waiver from the ‘No Child Behind Law’ and began using the new review system in February.

On Tuesday, the state released a report showing graduation rates dipped after a switch to a new formula for tracking dropouts.

Under the old formula last year the statewide graduation rate would have been 95 percent. Under the new one, it's 83 percent.

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