Thirty months (30) after taking full control of the Hoboken Board of Education (May 2009-November 2011) and having full oversight of the Hoboken Public Schools, Ms. McAllister, her Kids First Board majority, and the Parents and Guardians of the School Children of Hoboken received a letter (see below) from the superintendent of schools informing them that the entire Hoboken School District was now classified as a District in Need of Improvement or a "DINI". A designation which the district never received before.
The classification was because after two and an half years of Ms. McAllister and Kids First leadership, "the district did not make AYP (adequate yearly progress) in all grade spans within the district - elementary (grades 3-5) middle school (grades 6-8), and high school- for two consecutive years in either content area"
Ms. McAllister and her Board colleagues were in majority control for part of the 2008-2009 school year and for the entire 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years before receiving this designation in November of 2011. Therefore, it is difficult (but not impossible as we have seen) for her to blame previous administrations for this unfortunate designation by the State of New Jersey in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education.
How does this happen? While it doesn't happen over night, it does happen quickly. Recall Ms. McAllister and her colleagues made sure the district's award winning High School principal was not welcomed any longer (and you "settle" on the resulting lawsuit). You receive claims of harassment by award winning teachers. You hire a series of retired, interim superintendent of schools, assistant superintendent of schools, high school principal, and business administrators all with no knowledge and questionable commitment to the City or to the district. You decide that the future of the district lies in administrators from Newark and Keyport and you fail to successfully implement an updated K-12 curriculum with corresponding planning guides and district assessments. Finally, you hire a superintendent from a 1 school district/vocational high school that failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress in the last full year before his departure and lead a district identified for improvement by the NJDOE (DINI 1) (click here for verification; and here). The teachers are not at fault. The designation of a district in need of improvement is the result of poor decisions and poor leadership at the district and Board levels. Not amazing at all. Period.
For Ms. McAllister and her colleagues this designation may be another example of the"amazing progress" of the district under their leadership. More likely, it may be yet another series of unfortunate facts that Ms. McAllister and Kids First just wishes were not known and vilifies anyone who brings such facts to the public's attention.
See Part I for the "amazing" things Ms. McAllister claims has been accomplished by clicking HERE
The full "DINI" letter can be viewed by clicking here