NEWARK - Organizers say many Newark families kept their children out of the city's public schools Thursday in a boycott over changes in the district.
Classes began in New Jersey's largest city Thursday amid frustration over the quality of education available and also the solutions the superintendent is trying.
Superintendent Cami Anderson greeted children Thursday morning as they flowed into Peshine Avenue School.
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Just how many students stayed home is unknown to boycott organizers and the district, but Anderson believes it was very few. "Kids being in school, working hard from day one is critical and most families know that," she says.
Anderson, appointed by Gov. Chris Christie three years ago to run the state-controlled district, is under fire. Her new open enrollment policy caused confusion and registration delays as students were assigned schools this year.
Parents and caregivers expressed frustration about the One Newark system that they say forced them to travel across the city and put children in the same families in different schools.
Anderson visited several schools and said seven of the district's underperforming schools have shown significant increases in test scores based on reforms she has implemented.
Boycott organizers say they will keep their children out of school until the enrollment policy is scrapped. They say they will send their children to a community center on South 12th Street where retired teachers will hold classes.