I am traveling to Trenton today to hear the State Board of Education receive Dr. Evans’ report on the Paterson Public Schools. I want to gauge the amount of support our new Commissioner and Board members show to him as he reports on the changes he has begun.
I have to admit that I am worried. Rumor keeps saying that it is the Governor’s intent to replace all the State Superintendents. Rumor says that just as in Newark, the will be a replacement in Paterson come June.
Replacing Dr. Evans would be a big mistake. He is now in the midst of the reform we need. Let’s look at the plans:
- Remaking our high schools, two “drop out factories” that are a disgrace: Eastside in September 2010 and Kennedy for 2011.
- Dramatically increasing the number of alternative school seats to hold struggling youngsters in school and give them a chance for a productive future.
- Partnering with New Jersey’s first virtual charter school.
- Continuing the Stupski/Broad inspired leadership program for principals.
- Remaking Paterson’s business office to make it effective.
- Right sizing the central office to make it serve the school improvment efforts more effectively.
These are important changes, some of them changes that Dr. Glascoe was headed towards before our union up ended him. We need to continue the course. We can’t see the test score improvments yet. but they will come if we have the patience to continue the change.
It is a paradox. For Paterson, change is dependent on continuity. But after surviving 5 superintendents ove the past 7 years, we don’t need any more churn that leaves the resisters in place. Ask our school board members, our Mayor, the search committee members who recommended Dr. Evans. They agree. We need continuity for change.