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Schoolhouse Beat

New Jersey will take over Camden school system

Officials say action was prompted by the district's decades-long record of abysmal academic performance.

The New Jersey state government will take over operation of the underperforming Camden school district. The South Jersey Times reports that the action was prompted by Camden's decades-long record of abysmal academic performance. State Education Commissioner Chris Cerf called the situtationi in Camden schools a “human catastrophe.” The system will be the fourth school district placed under control of the state.

RELATED: Following the announcement of the state's takeover of the Camden district, one of the youngest and most vocal members of the school board turned in her letter of resignation. The Philadelphia Inquirer says Kathryn Ribay, who was appointed in 2011, cited politics as her decision to step down. A Teach for America alumna with two Harvard degrees, Ribay was open to alternative education options during her term.

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