Newark Schools Advisory Board Chairman Shavar Jeffries and the School Board issued a statement in response to the news that the Christie adminstration had decided against renewing Schools Superintendent Clifford Janey’s three-year contract.
“The Board first wants to thank Dr. Janey for his two years of service to the children of Newark and the broader Newark community. He built a team of professionals that worked hard to provide our children with the world-class education they so desperately need. And his team laid a foundation for reform that did not exist when he arrived.
“The District implemented a set of formative assessments that set the stage for data-informed instruction and true teacher and principal accountability for student achievement; increased graduation standards significantly above state standards; launched the Global Village Initiative, in partnership with New York University, which seeks to provide a comprehensive web of educational and social services to students in participating schools; reformed social-promotion policies so that children can be retained at any grade level if they fall behind; and launched a Strategic Plan that set aggressive student-achievement goals over a four-year period. His team worked extremely hard on these initiatives, among many others, and the Advisory Board thanks him and his team for their effort and commitment to Newark’s children.
“The state has now decided that even more is needed. The Advisory Board recognizes as well that much work remains to be done in our District, and that the status quo is unacceptable. We continue to see too many of our kids drop-out of school, and too few fall tragically short of their limitless potential. Our children deserve an education that is as strong as any on the planet, and the Advisory Board is unequivocally committed to doing all it can to achieve that goal.
“Now that we do not have a Superintendent for the 2011-12 school year, this mission begins with finding a world-class superintendent who can lead our District in this work. Critical to any Superintendent’s success is support within the local community in which he or she will serve. The job of an urban Superintendent is a hard one; it borders on the impossible without substantial community support for a Superintendent’s vision and executive leadership. In this light, the Advisory Board emphasizes that it must play a central role in any decision-making concerning the selection of a new Superintendent. This central role must include not only the ultimate decision about who the Superintendent will be, but also critical decisions about expectations, performance benchmarks, and evaluation processes. The Advisory Board looks forward to working with our state partners, and the Newark community more broadly, in identifying a world-class Superintendent to lead our District, and who will move us closer to our ultimate goal of realizing the world-class education our children deserve.”