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Newark Expected to Close 7 Failing Schools

Friday, February 03, 2012

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the announcment of Zuckerberg's $100 million education donation. (Cory Booker/Facebook)

Newark's school superintendent  is expected to suggest closing  seven failing schools as part of a package of district-wide reforms.

Cami Anderson has called a community meeting and press conference for Friday night to discuss the plan. She took over the school system last year, arriving at a time when anger and suspicion among parents and community members was running high. 

Much of the fear centers on how the $100 million Facebook donation is being spent and the lack of local control over the schools, which have been run by the state for more than 20 years.

Anderson told The Star Ledger that the schools have been chosen in part because of poor performance and declining enrollment.

The plan will also reportedly involve an expansion of the city's magnet school system.

Friday night's meeting is expected to be crowded and raucous. Parents and community members have protested at several school board meetings over the past year whenever there was a hint of plan to close schools.

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