Bob Braun has written one of the most moving, powerful critiques I have ever read of the heartless destruction of neighborhood public schools. What is it all about? To quote Braun: “money and power and greed.”

He writes:

“Sad. There’s a word rarely heard in the context of the state’s war on Newark’s neighborhood public schools. Sad. Yet the story of how a cruelly tone-deaf state bureaucrat named Cami Anderson is singlehandedly destroying a community’s neighborhood schools is just that. Sad. And nothing more illustrates that sadness than the brave but probably futile effort of one successful neighborhood school to remain alive despite Anderson’s promise to give it to privatized educational entrepreneurs who include former business partners of the recently resigned state education commissioner.”

Hawthorne Avenue School is not a failing school. It ranks well in the city and state. It has string parent involvement. But Cami has promised it to her friends at KIPP.

To get ready for the transfer, she has devastated the school:

“Anderson’s treatment of Hawthorne—and similar schools throughout the state’s largest district—has been a nightmare. A sad nightmare. She stripped the school of its librarians, its counselors, its attendance personnel. She has ignored constant pleas to repair crumbling walls and leaking ceilings—promising repair money only after she gave the building to TEAM Academy, the local name for KIPP charters, and the Brick schools. The head of TEAM Academy, Tim Cardin, is a former business partner of Christopher Cerf, the recently-resigned education commissioner. All three–Cardin, Cerf, and Anderson–worked for the New York City schools.”

Cami Anderson has no sense of shame.