New Research from Rubin et al.: The state takeover of the Camden City District schools and students’ academic performance

July 18, 2023

In March 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a state takeover of the Camden City School District. Under state control, state appointed superintendents assumed powers customarily held by the board of education and implemented substantial changes to the district, including closing eleven district schools, eliminating more than a thousand teaching and other positions, and shifting almost half of all district students to renaissance charter schools. We examine the changes in students’ standardized test scores before and after the state takeover and find mixed results. We also find evidence that test scores for some grades were improving several years before the state takeover and that positive gains in test scores in a few subjects/grades in the period following the state takeover were occurring across all low income schools in New Jersey, not just in Camden. We address why these findings are at odds with political leaders’ positive perceptions of the takeover.

Michael S. Hayes, Julia Sass Rubin & Pengju Zhang (2023) The state takeover of the Camden City District schools and students’ academic performance: A descriptive analysis, Journal of Urban Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2023.2216886

Recent Posts

Sophia Jones, Committed to Cultural Competence

Sophia Jones, PhD, has been a Public Health part-time lecturer at the Bloustein School since 2016. She was recently featured on "Meet the People of Rutgers." Sophia Jones, Committed to Cultural Competence Jeff Arban/Rutgers University The Basics Title: Program...

NJSPL – New Jersey Employment Concerns Revisited

As 2024 began with yet another surprisingly strong jobs report for the U.S. (353,000 jobs added in January and the unemployment rate steady at 3.7%), and with a full year’s worth of 2023 state-level employment data now available, it’s worth briefly revisiting some of...

Upcoming Events

Lunch and Learn: Health and Housing Equity Cluster

Bloustein School, Civic Square Building 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, United States

The Rutgers Housing & Health Equity Cluster would like to invite you to join us for an in-person lunch and learn. All are welcome to bring lunch and eat during […]

Event Series CAREERS

Career Virtual Drop-ins


Bloustein Career Development Specialists Cheryl Egan and Andrea Garrido will be in a Zoom Room on Monday's beginning January 22, 2024 (excluding holidays and spring break) to answer questions, provide […]