Bob Braun, veteran journalist, reports on his blog that Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson has decided that teachers can earn bonuses only by registering at Relay (GSE), a school created by charter teachers for charter teachers.

Relay claims to be a “graduate school of education” but it has no one on its faculty with a doctorate, no researchers, no expectations that students will take courses in child development, cognitive psychology, the history and politics of education, the sociology of education, and will never need to interact with a recognized scholar. Students will learn about how to raise test scores and other secrets of teachers in no-excuses charter schools.

Braun writes:

New Jersey universities and colleges that offer graduate education programs are the next targets of what Gov. Chris Christie and Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson call educational “reform.” But what they are doing to block Newark teachers from earning credits at these traditional institutions looks–and smells–like insiders using their power to help old friends make money in the good old Christie ExxonMobil sort of way.

According to the Newark Teachers Union (NTU), Anderson–at least for the moment– is insisting that stipends to teachers for taking graduate education programs be limited to those attending courses at an institution known as Relay-GSE, a free-standing operation with roots in Teach for America and the KIPP schools. Relay-GSE announced Anderson’s “approval” of the school in a press release March 3.

Anderson was, of course, an executive with Teach for America–and the KIPP charter people who operate TEAM Academy charter schools are such good friends with Anderson that she sold them a public school at a discount….

It is headquartered–and accredited and licensed–in New York. It is not listed in New Jersey’s official list of colleges and universities offering teacher education programs but, of course, any student can attend an out-of-state school. In any event, Relay-GSE now lists a Newark branch at 10 Washington Place which just happens to be the location of North Star Academy and the Newark Charter School Fund.


This is how the Newark campus of Relay-GSE describes itself:

“Relay Newark is the graduate school for teachers who want to close opportunity gaps and fight for social justice. By combining in-person practice, performance-based assessments and rich online learning, we help teachers become more effective for their students in some of New Jersey’s most challenging urban areas.”

This suggests that any teacher who would rather take graduate education courses at Rutgers, Seton Hall, Montclair State, Kean, or any of the other established schools of education is not a fighter “for social justice” and therefore does not deserve to be subsidized.