Advancing the schools
Aug 29, 2010 | 1391 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

In April 2008, the Department of Education for the State of New Jersey issued an evaluation of the Hoboken City School District pursuant to the requirements of the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC), N.J.A.C. 6A:30 et seq. QSAC is an objective, apolitical assessment by the State of New Jersey concerning the quality of a school district. At that time, Hoboken was placed on a continuum in each of the following areas or district performance reviews (DPR): instruction and program (34%), fiscal management (41%), operations (83%), personnel (80%), and governance (33%). 80% is considered acceptable. Following the initial evaluation, the district developed an improvement plan, which was approved in October 2008. In April 2009 staff from the Hudson County Office of Education conducted a six-month review of the district's progress toward addressing the missed indicators. The six-month review scores for the district were again reported along a continuum in each of the DPR's, specifically: instruction and program (54%), fiscal management (70%), operations (83%), personnel (80%), and governance (66%).

Throughout the spring and summer of 2009 work on instruction and program was conducted by the Hoboken Curriculum Committee (district wide tests, alignment with state and national standards, utilization of a nationally recognized curricula framework- "Understanding by Design") as well as the creation of a Curriculum Implementation Plan which led to further improvement of instruction. Finally, in April 2010, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Bret Schundler reported the second interim review placement score for the district as: instruction and program (87%), fiscal management (65%), operations (83%), personnel (80%), and governance (89%).

The advances achieved for QSAC were not easy, trivial, or permanent. Hard work is needed in order to secure advances already realized and due diligence is needed in order to continue the upward trajectory of the district. Recognition must be given to the many central office administrators, district support staff, school principals, and classroom teachers who made the improvement of our district a reality- many of whom retired this spring. A special thanks to the Hoboken Curriculum Committee, the engine that could.

The 2008 to 2010 QSAC data shows clearly and objectively that the overwhelming majority of the quality improvement in the Hoboken public schools took place under the initiatives begun during the previous district level administration and the previous Board of Education leadership. Let us now all pay close attention to the current district level administration and Board majority leadership as they attempt to maintain and surpass the current QSAC levels of district quality. Nothing less should be expected.


Theresa Burns

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