While Paterson Public Schools work vigorously to improve student achievement in every classroom, it is worth noting that in last year’s New Jersey ASK (Assessment of Skills and Knowledge) tests, the district had an unprecedented number of perfect scores in mathematics. A total of 124 students in grades 3 through 8 received a perfect score on the test, exactly four times the number that we had in 2008. In addition, five students, all in grade 8, received a perfect score on the science portion of the test.
Receiving this great news validates that our goal of improving student performance is highly obtainable. The first of four major priorities in our district Strategic Plan is to establish effective academic programs. To meet this priority, one goal is to provide an aligned instructional system that will delineate what each child, at each grade level, should know and be able to do. We will develop curriculum that utilizes the knowledge and skills of our best teachers, administrators, subject area specialists, and local university partners. We also will also make sure that this new curriculum is delivered by high quality teachers in every classroom with an assessment system that identifies, at the touch of a button, the academic performance levels of our students, and as well as areas in need if improvement.
It is not only good news that we have quadrupled our number of perfect scores on the state assessments in mathematics; it is a clear indication that academic excellence is a bold but truly attainable goal for every Paterson child.
The most important business of Paterson is the education of its youth. The future of Paterson, the future of New Jersey, indeed the future of the United States is dependent on how well we perform this most important function. Be assured that in Paterson Public Schools, we take very seriously our mission to provide each student with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the institution of higher education and career of their choosing. As we work to establish effective academic programs and increase the number of perfect scores that our students receive on all their tests, we are truly building a brighter future for all.
Donnie W. Evans, Ed.D.