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|Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:27 pm Post subject: Cunningham Statement on the First Meeting of the Joint Commi || |
|Cunningham Statement on the First Meeting of the Joint Committee on Public Schools, 3-24-08
News From NJ Senate Democrats
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FOR RELEASE: Immediate
March 24, 2008
CONTACT: Jason Butkowski
Tel: (609) 292-5215
Fax: (609) 633-7254
Cunningham Statement on the First Meeting of the
Joint Committee on Public Schools
TRENTON - After the first meeting of the Joint Legislative
Committee on Public Schools for this Legislative Session, State Senator
Sandra Bolden Cunningham, D-Hudson, a member of the panel, issued the
"Educating our young is one of the most sacred and important
obligations of government. We must ensure future generations have the
tools and training needed to be successful in today's world, and a good
education is the foundation for future success.
"I look forward to working with my fellow legislators on the
Joint Committee on Public Schools to guarantee the promise of quality
education to all State residents, no matter where they call home.
"Today's hearing on the QSAC (Quality Single Accountability
Continuum) model for State oversight of historically underachieving
school districts was eye-opening, particularly in regards to the
problems the City of Paterson is facing in complying with QSAC
"Under the QSAC guidelines, the Department of Education assesses
State-regulated schools districts through financial and educational
benchmarks. QSAC has worked well in Jersey City and Newark, where we
are beginning to see success and these schools districts are well on
their way to regaining local control over their finances and curriculum.
However, Paterson remains well-behind where they should be in meeting
the State's standards.
"According to the State monitoring, Paterson is doing well in
personnel management, and is hiring qualified teachers to staff its
schools. However, the school district is receiving failing grades in
instruction and programs. How can decent personnel with quality
credentials be failing the students of Paterson so badly?
"We need to assess the assessments, and ensure that QSAC is
asking the right questions on school districts' finances and curriculum
to ensure quality education for the students in these State-regulated
districts. We cannot abandon these kids to mediocrity, and must have
realistic, attainable and enforceable standards for education in New
"I would also like to see greater transparency in the process
that the Department of Education undergoes in hiring fiscal managers for
school districts in distress. Just like we want the most qualified
teachers to improve the educational opportunities for students in these
districts, we want high-quality fiscal managers to put the districts'
budgets on the right course.
"While the QSAC model is a good starting point to preserve the
integrity of New Jersey's educational system, we must constantly be
looking to improve on that model. Complacency cannot be tolerated,
particularly when that complacency means lost opportunities for students
in need in the Garden State."
Deputy Communications Director for Technology
New Jersey Senate Democratic Office
P: (609) 292-5215
F: (609) 633-7254