Last week Phil Dunn wrote an article on the opening of Mastery Schools in Camden. One parent sent me this response, which she also posted at the Courier-Post.

Photo via John Ziomek at the Courier-Post

My thoughts on Phil Dunn article:

Phil, When you say “NAYSAYERS” I think you should be more specific. Parents like me have done research and found the same things online. You should try it sometime. It actually sounds like you are trying to discredit Julia as if she made it up. It’s amazing that out of the whole presentation given all you can attempt to discredit Julia on is merit and demerit badges. I’m surprised that you failed to mention the disturbing attrition rates. On the first day of school do you really expect to see merit and demerit badges? Please lets be realistic here especially in front of the media. Don’t try to mislead readers into thinking that it is rubbish because it isn’t. Why don’t you try asking students how they would feel to enter a school that was a Camden District School and is now a half District & half Mastery School? And by that I mean how would the student feel going into the District side of the school only to look down the hall and see the Mastery portion remodeled with fresh paint new furniture and new iPads that their funds from Camden City Public School District provided? I would definitely call that modern day SEGREGATION.

Instead of moving forward I feel as though we are stepping back…….way back to the days of inequality and segregation. As Judith Mota so eloquently said at the Camden City Board Meeting on Tuesday “you might as well smack black on one side and white on the other.” This all looks great now but what is the long term goal? For who’s benefit is this really? For our children? Or for people like Norcross who in the first 10 years of having his Renaissance School will double his money. Tell these readers the truth that this is just the beginning of the dismantling of the Traditional Public School System.

I mean our founding fathers started this great country and no one is fighting against our constitution. Yet the fact that our founding fathers believed in equal public education for all means nothing to you or the super wealthy or the elected officials making these decisions for self preservation and money. These people don’t care about us or our well being they care about how they can profit off of the poor. Where is the charters in Suburban areas? Why is this only happening in the Urban areas?

Why are all of these schools only offering all inclusive special education classes when one size does not fit all. Where are the self contained classes for children like my son? Yet they still get 100% of special education funds. See people are looking at the now but I’m looking at the future and what affects it can have on my children education, my community, & my city. The old saying goes “An apple can be appealing to the eye but take a bite and rotten it can be.” The same way that “money is the root of all evil.” It’s time that the media look at the bigger picture and speak to more than just 2 parents at a school that just started. Talk to the ones like me that have done the research and thought well ahead into the future.

Yours Truly, Pissed Off Parent

For a discussion of why I think it’s important to share the thoughts of those in the community who are “pissed off” please go here

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  • Dear Kevin and Elizabeth:

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m constantly trying to figure out the appropriateness of using anonymous post. I know many folks are worried (whether rightly or wrongly, I’m often unsure) about retribution in Camden for things they say. I’m trying to strike a balance between people feeling like it is a safe place to say what needs to be said, and with people it being an open, transparent and obvious one.

    So I definitely appreciate both your perspectives.

    – Stephen

  • Kevin Shelly,
    Everyone is entitled to thier own opinion. I wrote it and I am pissed because no matter how polite I try to ask for answers I am not getting any. Frankly I am so tiered. And their is nothing cowardly or anonymous. You just didnt like what I had to say! As stated at the beginning Phil Dunno wrote an article in the courier post on the opening of mastery schools. So please challenge me on what I said that was “cowardly” because trust me theirs more than where this came from and those are FACTS. YOURS TRULY ELIZABETH ORTIZ A PISSED OFF PARENT

  • Have all the dissenting voices you want share your platform with you, Stephen. Just don’t shield those dissenting voices by allowing cowardly anonymous posts. Got something to say? Great. But own it. Yours truly, Kevin C. Shelly

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