The State Board of Education on May 2 voted to end state operation of the Paterson school district, and began the process of a transition back to local control for the large city district.

The Paterson School District, which educates more than 25,000 students, has been under state intervention since 1991. The State Board passed two resolutions that pave the way for the transition to local control. The first resolution recognized that the district has achieved above eighty percent in all areas of NJQSAC, allowing for the transition to local control. The second resolution directs the state to begin the process of withdrawal and to develop the transition plan.

The New Jersey School Boards Association affirmed its support of the Paterson Board of Education. “NJSBA commends the work of the local school board and administrative leadership on achieving this milestone,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “Our Association has provided services to the school district while it has been under state operation. We look forward to assisting the Paterson Board of Education as it completes the transition to local control.”

In other business, the State Board also heard a variety of reports and took action on a number of items at its May 2 meeting.

Standards and Assessment The State Board approved with amendments N.J.A.C. 6A:8 governing standards and assessments.  The State Board approved an amendment in N.J.A.C. 6A:8-4.1(c)1i, which requires the Department of Education to implement the elementary component of the statewide assessment of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, consisting of continued administration of mathematics and English language arts in grades three, four, and five; and to change the elementary science assessment from grade four to grade five. The shift in the grade level for the science assessment is part of the implementation of the revised science standards, which were adopted by the State Board of Education in July 2014 and which all school districts were required to implement by the 2017-2018 school year.

Resolution to Recognize May 2018 as Physical Fitness and Sport Month The State Board approved a resolution recognizing May as physical fitness and sport month.   The State Board noted that N.J.S.A.18A:35 7-8 requires all students in grades 1-12 to participate in at least 150 minutes per week of health, safety and physical education. Further, research shows that physically active children are more likely to thrive academically and have improved behavior. Schools can promote physical activity through comprehensive school physical activity programs, including recess, classroom-based physical activity, intramural physical activity clubs, interscholastic sports, and physical education.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) The State Board heard a brief presentation on the NAEP results. The NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Administered by the National Center of Education Statistics. NAEP results are based on representative samples of students at Grades 4, 8, and 12 for the main assessments, or samples of students at ages 9, 13, or 17 years for the long-term trend assessment. NAEP does not provide scores for individual students or schools. New Jersey tied for first in the nation at Grade 4 reading and mathematics, and second in the nation at Grade 8 reading and math.

Organizational Chart The State Board approved a new organization chart for the Department of Education and approved the appointment of staff to new positions effective July 2018:

Christine Ann SotoExecutive Legal Affairs Officer
Abdulsaleem HasanDeputy Assistant Commissioner, Division of Field Services
Perry MedinaDirector, Office of Innovation
Tonya BrelandDirector, Office of Professional Development
Linda EnoAssistant Commissioner, Division of Academics and Performance
Glenn ForneyDeputy Assistant Commissioner, Division of Finance
Dodi PriceDeputy Chief of Staff, Administrative Services
Tonya Hall-CostonDirector, Division of Early Childhood Education