The newly released QSAC [Quality Single Accountability Contiuum] scores suggest that Paterson Public Schools will regain governance, personnel and operations. But don’t pop that celebratory cork yet.
Acting Commissioner Hendrick’s letter doesn’t give a firm timeline for next steps. It does say that a confirming decision will depend upon the results of the next round of the QSAC process which BEGINS with the district’s self-assessment. But- and it’s a big BUT- that self assessment must still be reviewed by the county superintendent and then the Commissioner’s office.
Past experience suggests that could take a long time. While QSAC process calls for 6 months reviews, the scores just released show that there was an 11 month gap between the Department’s actions. I assume the delay was due in part of the change of administrations in Trenton. And it is very possible that a new Commissioner being named could further slow the process this time as well.
And then there is the other sticky question. Will the voting fraud scandal extend to school board members or even the school board elections? If it does end up directly involving any of the sitting school board members, Paterson would immediately lose 11 points in governance, reducing that score to 79, and lose the opportunity to return to local control. The current investigation touches the wife of a former school board member and the mother of a current member. If it comes closer, we lose local control for three more years.
So be happy for the progress on QSAC, but leave the champagne in the fridge.