A year after regaining local control over operations, the city’s school board may obtain authority over additional areas following an expedited Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) review, said school board president Jonathan Hodges on Wednesday night.
“We have been in discussion with the state of New Jersey for two-three months along the very same lines as Newark and Jersey City,” said Hodges. He said the board of education has been told to keep mum about the discussions.
Hodges read a short letter from the New Jersey commissioner of education which stated that the state will conduct an expedited QSAC, a monitoring and evaluation system for public school districts, review and then assemble a community panel to return additional areas to local control in the near future.
The panel will review the district wide improvements and develop a plan to return additional areas to local control, said Hodges.
The school board president noted the board has improved in oversight and planning of the district. He noted the district’s QSAC scores have “not demonstrated that.”
“We made substantial progress that would surpass those two other districts,” said Hodges pointing to Newark and Jersey City. “We have not seen the same kind of recognition during the QSAC process.”
The school board was given control over one of the five areas that is scored in the triennial QSAC review. The district in June 2014 regained control over operations. The areas that remain beyond the board’s control are fiscal management, instruction and program, personnel, and governance.
City schools were taken over by the state in 1991 for being “inept,” according to then New Jersey commissioner of education John Ellis.
Two years prior the state took over Jersey City for “corruption.” The state is prepared to return local control to the Hudson County city by spring 2016.
“There’s a lot of pressure out there. People are saying look at Newark, look at Jersey City, why isn’t anything happening in Paterson,” said Hodges.
“We’ve done the work,” said Rosie Grant, director of the Paterson Education Fund, an advocacy. This community has capable residents to oversee the district, she said.