Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Six Plainfield schools highlighted in new state list of troubled schools

Though New Jersey has been given a waiver from the much-hated No Child Left Behind Act, six Plainfield schools appear in the newly named categories of New Jersey's troubled schools (for the full state list, see here).

Hubbard Middle School and Stillman Elementary School are listed as 'Priority' schools, meaning they are among the lowest-performing in the state. Issues with Priority schools may be addressed by replacing the building's leadership team, the teaching staff or new curriculum and/or mandated training.

The other four schools are now classified as 'Focus' schools, meaning that there are specific problem areas that need to be focused on. For both Plainfield High School and the Barack Obama Academy, the issue is low graduation rates. For both Maxson Middle School and Jefferson School, the problem area is listed as 'lowest subgroup performance'.

Both Priority and Focus schools are expected to get new levels of state attention, though it's not exactly clear what that will mean.

Perhaps we can celebrate the fact that more than half our schools are deemed to be middling as will be given considerable leeway in executing their mission.

For my money, the search for a new Superintendent is of key importance, and it is quite distressing that the Board is conducting everything in such a shroud of secrecy -- you will search in vain to find any news on the District's website.

It is now Spring Break, long past the time we could have expected to get a progress report.

So far the only word is through the grapevine -- that the choice will be the current interim superintendent.

How Plainfield will ever solve its problems -- whether with the schools or the PMUA -- by simply relying on homegrown choices is beyond me.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...


Bob said...

I think it is time for our "Acting Superintendent", stress on acting, be removed and the leadership at the schools in trouble. Why can't Plainfield get its act together with the exhorbitant amount of money we throw into our schools and especially the salaries and benefits we pay these jokers to screw up our kids. This is a horror and we need it rectifed quickly. That's why I think all aid to "Abbot Districts" needs to be pulled. All that money doesn't accomplish anything positive.

Bob Bolmer

Anonymous said...

As a close watcher of the school system, I have to say many of these schools are under new leadership and are already making gains according to last years test. Here is hope that the new leaders are more accountable and the turn around continues.

Anonymous said...

Thank God the school board election have been moved to November. The school board election can not come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing home grown about the last administration. We have come a long way since they returned to Miami where they should have stayed in the first place. But you Dan, supported the board members who helped run this district in the ground and who wanted to keep them here. Fortunately your team lost.Unfortunately you can't get over it.

Anonymous said...

Ummm 6:31am HAD THE COUNCIL NOT MUCKED WITH THE ELECTION IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE 'this' MONTH...SO SOON ENOUGH WAS JUST MOVED FOR YOU. You might want to get a little more informed about the affairs of the city, but then that would defeat your purpose.

Anonymous said...

The notion that a homegrown candidate is a questionable idea, if that candidate is not qualified, is valid. However, that is not the case of the interim Superintendent; she is qualified, experienced with the workings of the Plainfield school system and to this point has not been an embarrassment to the district or city. If you rate your opinions on these merits - you will be able to see beyond some your concerns. Having a Superintendent who has grown up in Plainfield, educated in the district, gone on and received the additional education we ALL were taught to strive, sends the right message to the students and hopefully parents of our town. Hard work, experience and a true calling to do good for your community will EARN (not be given) you opportunities to succeed. I would suggest we think about all aspects of the present Superintendents accomplishments and her continued efforts to improve our district before dismissing her potential appointment. Possibly without the pretext title of "interim" she may be able to really make some changes without having to be distracted by some of the on-goings by the board, city and some misguided members of our community. She is a fairly well known commodity, and has a vested interest in the city, beyond born and raised in Plainfield. How many times must we keep making the same mistake (doing the same things over and over) of hiring an unknown with no vested interest in our city, and expecting different results - last time I checked that behavior falls pretty close to mental illness...

Anonymous said...

Not an embarrasment as long as she keep quiet and follow the chicken & fish frying duo instructions to the letter. You can be home grown and still not have a vested interest in this community, look at all your elected official, it staring you in the face and if all these schools are failing, that speaks for her qualification. We have come a long way since the team from Florida? sure, long way down, explain that.