By David Cruz
With a March deadline approaching for seven Newark schools slated to close as part of Superintendent Cami Anderson’s reorganization plan, parents say the superintendent’s office has been less than forthcoming with information.
After being heckled off the stage when she introduced her school reorganization plan earlier this month, Anderson has scheduled smaller sessions with parents and teachers at individual schools, but at Miller Street School, slated to be closed as part of the plan, parents say their session with a Newark Public Schools (NPS) rep last week left them with more questions than answers.
“They’re not answering not one question you give them,” said Tolissa Reddick, who has two children at Miller Street School. “They keep running around in circles, and they never really answer one question. They’re not really saying what’s going to happen to our kids; they’re not telling us where our teachers are going. They’re not telling us anything.”
The plan, which school officials say is still preliminary, calls for Miller Street to close down and for kids to transfer to Louise Spencer School on Muhammad Ali Avenue, which some parents worried presented a danger to their children.
“Spencer [School] is not safe,” said Shakiiah Chambers, another parent of a Miller St. School child. “They’re just terrible over there.”
NPS Business administrator Valerie Wilson said school administrators have been open and transparent all along.
“We’ve actually had 15 family-based forums,” said Wilson. “We are meeting with all kinds of community-based groups, all kinds of family-based groups.”
Parents say they plan to show up at the February 28 Newark Public School Advisory Board meeting to get some answers.