N.J. Moves to Take Over Another District
Nearly 25 years after New Jersey first took control of a troubled school district, a proposed state takeover of the Camden public schools sheds a critical spotlight on that state's long—and still mostly unsuccessful—record of trying to right struggling districts through such intervention.
New Jersey enacted the nation's first state-takeover law in 1987, and 28 states have since followed suit, according to Kenneth Wong, a professor of urban education at Brown University.
The state began running the public schools in Jersey City in 1989; in Paterson in 1991; and in Newark, the state's largest district, in 1995. None of those districts is completely free of state control yet, and lawsuits from school boards in Paterson and Newark contend the state has not followed...
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