To Our Children/Our Schools Members and Friends,
Lauren Wells and Trevor Phillips from the Broader and Bolder Approach to Education (BBA) participated in the June 16 OC/OS meeting. They talked about the Newark Global Village School Zone (NGVSZ) and previewed some of the academic results featured in the op-ed below, which was written by Lauren and Pedro Noguera and appeared in NJ Spotlight. More information about BBA and NGVSZ will be available in the upcoming OC/OS meeting minutes:
Op-Ed: Student Success, Everybody's Business (06/21/2011)
By Lauren Wells and Pedro Noguera
In May the state delivered student results on the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) to high schools across New Jersey. At Central High School in Newark, principal Ras Baraka assembled the students and faculty into the school’s auditorium to announce the test results to the entire school community. Everyone in the school was present, and the feeling in the room was electric. There was mixture of excitement, pride and triumphant elation when they learned that the unofficial scores on the HSPA showed a 32.5 percent growth in English Language Arts (from 36.6 percent in 2010 to 69.9 percent in 2011) and a 25.9 percent growth in mathematics (from 19.9 percent in 2010 to 46 percent in 2011).
When the results were released publicly at the May 24 Newark Public Schools Advisory Board meeting, the response was equally exuberant.
The gains achieved by the students at Central High School are unprecedented, and to many outsiders, totally unexpected. Central High has long been regarded as an under-performing school, and for many ninth graders and their parents, it has often not been a school of choice.