Friday, September 15, 2017
Against The Odds: REAL Accomplishment!
New Leadership In Camden. Since Governor Christie’s Administration intervened in the City of Camden the education system has flourished. Governor Christie appointed his first State Superintendent in Camden, Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard, who has brought renewed energy to the district and implemented a number of significant steps to reform the District. Superintendent Rouhanifard has held more than 160 community meetings, immersing himself in the community through listening and responding. His leadership and remarkable work had earned him a contract renewal of three years in July 2016.
On Track For Graduation. Camden's graduation rate has increased for the fifth straight year, and stands at 70 percent for the 2015 - 2016 school year. (Leslie Brody, Camden Graduation Rate Hits 70%, Wall Street Journal, 12/12/16) Since the Christie Administration stepped in, 11 new, high quality Renaissance schools located in nine new or significantly renovated buildings have opened. These schools will serve around 3,950 students this school year. Renaissance and District schools combined have improved around 7 percentage points in math and around 9 percentage points in English Language Arts proficiency from 2015 to 2017. Students in these schools have shown dramatic improvements, and at the District’s Forest Hill Elementary School, the percentage of students proficient in reading and math have tripled between 2016 and 2017.
Charting The Course In Camden. During the Christie Administration, four high quality charter schools have opened or expanded in Camden. Working with local leadership, the Department of Education has been able to hold low-performing charter schools accountable. Since 2012 the State has closed three charter schools that were failing in their responsibility to offer students a strong education. At the same time strong charters that are producing real results for students and families have remained open and thriving under this Administration.
The number of Camden students enrolled in charter and renaissance schools has more than tripled, going from 2,426 students in 2009-2010 to 8,513 students in the 2017-2018 school year.
Investing In Camden’s School Infrastructure. The School Development Authority has made great headways in investing in Camden’s school infrastructure under the Christie Administration. The SDA has invested nearly $47 million in Camden school projects, and since 2010 has completed 14 projects in the Camden City School District.
The rebirth of Camden’s pride, The Castle on the Hill, is a historic achievement for the City of Camden. Camden High School will be open for a new generation of students, thanks to a historic $133.6 million investment in a state of the art facility that will be home to the Panthers and the City’s three magnet high schools as early as 2021. The school is expected to serve over 1,200 students, a major increase from today’s school which serves just 350 students.