The latest city schools official in the running for a top post outside New York is someone who has kept her name out of the headlines. Cami Anderson did this while overseeing the education of some of the city's most challenging students: high school drop-outs trying to earn GEDs, students in prison, and others in drug rehabilitation programs.
Anderson is one of two candidates being considered for the job of Newark schools chief, the Star Ledger reported today.
Appointed superintendent of the alternative schools district, known as District 79, in 2006, Anderson immediately began shaking up the schools under her control. She closed the city's remaining schools for pregnant women, known as P-schools, and overhauled the Department of Education's programs for students studying for the GED exam. As part of a district-wide reorganization, she helped negotiate a deal with the teachers union that required many District 79 teachers to reapply for their jobs.
Yet despite these changes, Anderson has largely worked out of the public eye.
"People have made a lot of comparisons of her and [former Washington D.C. schools chief] Michelle Rhee," said someone who worked for Anderson. "Michelle was this very vocal 'I’m not going to do this with these people anymore' leader, and Cami really took a different route."