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Date: 2016-06-17

Commentary: Reason for optimism among Camden’s schoolchildren

In 2012, the Camden City School District was in a crisis. Twenty-three of 26 district schools were performing in the bottom 5 percent in the state, and many of the schools were in need of significant renovations. Fewer than half of Camden's students were graduating from high school on time, and those who did graduate were far too often underprepared for the challenges of college, employment, and life. As chairman of Cooper University Health Care, the largest employer in the city and the county, it was clear to me that students in Camden were being shortchanged and fundamentally needed more from their education system. A transformation was needed in Camden's education system, and the Urban Hope Act helped make that change possible.

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