State Board Receives Update on Statewide Student Performance & Status on Newark At November Board Meeting

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The State Board of Education received an overview on student performance statewide in light of PARCC aligned NJASK questions this past year and got an update on the status of State-intervention by Newark’s Superintendent Cami Anderson at the November 3 meeting.  The Board also approved the re-adoption of the current Charter code without amendment.

2014 Student Performance

Assistant Commissioner Bari Erlichson, the Department’s Chief Performance Officer provided the Board an overview of student performance, including information  on the achievement gap, in light of the inclusion of PARCC type questions on this past year’s NJASK and HSPA.   The take-away, even in spite of changes, New Jersey’s students continued to perform almost on par with prior results and that is primarily because New Jersey’s standards are already high. 

Erlichson also highlighted district around encouraging the SAT, PSAT and AP as something the State should be proud of.  These participation numbers also continued to tick upward

State Operated School District of Newark Annual Report

Also received was a presentation by State-appointed Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson on the status o the state-operated school district.  Anderson explored the challenges the district has faced, including crumbling facilities and continued expansion of charter schools as some of the biggest challenges the district faces.  Anderson cited five ingredients for success:

1.  Mission & Vision

2. Transformational School Leaders

3. Excellent Teachers

4. Flexible Resources

5. Excited Families

She outlined the work of the Administration, including the development of teacher-leader pipelines and several school leader initiatives.  Also discussed was the One Newark plan as an attempt to develop a strategic plan for city’s traditional schools in conjunction with the charter network.

State Board members posed several questions including the status of instruction for Barringer High School students in light of recent reports which claimed that over 100 students were being ‘housed’ in the gym due to scheduling difficulties.  Transportation challenges were also raised.

The other state-operated districts will make appearances before the Board in the coming months.

Charter Schools

In addition, the Board moved the re-adoption without amendment of N.J.A.C. 6A:11, Charter Schools.  The code provision was last modified in January and August of 2013.  NJPSA weighed in the last round of changes in 2013 that sought to create a streamlined application process, allowed for the establishment of satellite campuses, created new tenure acquisition and revocation rules for charter teaching staff members, and allowed for broad Commissioner discretion in waiver of regulation.  NJPSA weighed in on the re-adoption of the code in light of the 2013 changes over the summer

Sadly, the code was moved without modification at the November 3 hearing.  It moves toward final adoption at the December meetng.

Certification of School Districts

Finally, the Board approved 2 reviews that were completed by the executive county superintendent since October 1.  Appendix A lists all of the districts and their DPR scores.  Both districts were approved.