Friday, October 18, 2013

What has Kids First's campaign claim of "continued educational improvement for all children in the district" meant for Connor's Elementary School? The details may shock you.

Kids First incumbents seeking Re-Election
based on their claim of "continued educational
improvement for all children in the district"
The political group known as "Kids First" wants your vote so they can "continue educational improvement for all children in the district." We must assume this includes the students at Connors Elementary School located at 2nd and Monroe Street. Keeping in mind Kids First took full majority control of the school district in May of 2009, let's look at what has happened at Connors with a timeline of events. Also, to the many internet readers out there not from Hoboken, NJ, the following post may seem like a joke or a story on The Onion (a daily newspaper heavy of satire). But this is not satire, this is reality. This group has really made the claim of continuing educational improvement for all are the results as documented by State, Federal, and Independent educational organizations and entities...

After 31 months in control: The 2011-2012 Summary Report on Connors School known as the Collaborative Assessment for Planning and Achievement or "CAPA" Report indicates "challenging academic work has not been the focus of instruction. There is limited rigor." The report goes on to state, "there is no evidence that the school's current instructional strategies prepare students to achieve state and national standards." 

Similar results were obtained more formally by the 2012 NJ School Report Card. Click here for details which show clearly the school underperforming not only state averages but also schools in their own District Factor Group (DFG) rankings which are specifically intended to compare schools with similar socio-economic ranking

After 3 years in control: What did the 2013 NJ report Card have to say about how Kids First was doing with addressing the issues facing Connors School?

"This school's academic performance significantly lags in comparison to schools across the state. Additionally, its academic performance is about average when compared to its peers. The school's college and career readiness significantly lags in comparison to schools across the state. Additionally, its college and career readiness lags in comparison to its peers. This school's student growth performance significantly lags in comparison to schools across the state. Additionally, its student growth performance lags in comparison to its peers." -NJ Department of Education 
Improvement Status: Focus (lowest possible)
Rationale:  Lowest Subgroup Performance
Full Report: CLICK HERE 

Finally, and perhaps not surprisingly, after 53+ months of Kids First leadership, Connors Elementary School in Hoboken, NJ was recently ranked 1,418 out of 1,438 elementary schools in the state of New Jersey by an independent educational organization headed by former Governor Tom Kean

Connor's is a school that has seen a continuous turnover of principals under Kids First leadership. There have been 3 principals and numerous vice-principals. The administrative turnover rate is similar to the turnover experienced at Hoboken High School and with similar results. The impacts and consequences of high administrative turnover equates to poor Board leadership and severe academic and social consequences for the children of a city that must depend on public education for any hope of a better life.

Is this really anyone's definition of "continued educational improvement"? And, more importantly, what does it say about the credibility and accuracy of information coming from a Board majority that would make such a claim and put political slogans and propaganda ahead of information and clarity concerning the education of the children?

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job