Public schools

Local Politicians, Activists Oppose Newark NJ School Superintendent's Reforms, Despite Support of Parents, Educators, School Officials

Reforms appear to be working

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Marcia Howard waited four hours for her turn to speak at a recent Newark school board meeting because the veteran teacher was determined to tell the public how proud she is to work at Peshine Avenue School.

When she stepped to the microphone, Howard described a revolution in the school culture at Peshine, known as one of the city's worst schools.

"We have gotten together to see change, a positive change," said Howard, who has been teaching in the district for 29 years and attributed the unlikely improvements to policies implemented by Superintendent Cami Anderson.

Some members of the audience that night didn't want to hear it, including brash-talking city activist Donna Jackson who loudly interrupted, forcing a school board member to slam a gavel to restore order at the meeting.