Dr. Evans' Message
We are approaching the end of the first quarter of the school year. As a district, we have faced many challenges, yet our greatest challenge continues to be our ability to significantly improve student achievement. The fact that we reduced our budget by $81 million cannot be a reason for not continuing to attain this goal.
This fall we received our New Jersey ASK and HSPA scores for the spring 2010 administration of these tests. Our results mirrored State trends which reported decreases in proficiency levels on both examinations. But mirroring state trends will not help us realize our vision of becoming a leader in the State of New Jersey in educating urban youth. For this reason, we have developed a blueprint for accelerating improvement of our students’ academic performance. This blueprint, referred to as Ten Academic Improvement Strategies, includes a compilation of effective practices, all grounded in research, that we must implement to reach our Strategic Plan goals, and accomplish our vision and mission. The ten strategies are:
- Improve the quality of teaching.
- Create healthy organizational cultures in schools and district office.
- Expand school choice options.
- Redesign schools.
- Institute changes in our instructional delivery system.
- Restructure special programs.
- Increase academic rigor and advanced academic programming.
- Increase standards and expectations for students.
- Increase expectations for parents.
- Increase management and leadership capacity of district and school administrators.
NOTE: Included on this web page is a more complete description of the “Ten Strategies for Academic Improvement.”
In order for us to effectively implement these strategies and to fully realize their impact, we will need everyone to work together. This includes our internal stakeholders—teachers, administrators, parents and union leaders; and external stakeholders—community organizations and agencies, the business community, colleges and universities, and faith-based organizations. Over the past few weeks, we have conducted six community forums to communicate these strategies in an effort to both engage you and solicit your input. If you were unable to attend, I still invite you to send any comments and suggestions to my office or to the attention of Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Deputy Superintendent.
As always, we thank you for your continued support.
Donnie W. Evans, Ed.D.
State District Superintendent
Paterson Public Schools