N.J. launches ‘regional achievement centers’ to help troubled schools

TRENTON – As part of the Christie administration’s approach to education reform, it is launching what it calls regional achievement centers whose purpose is to work with certain selected schools that are in need of help.

“Failure is not an option for our lowest-performing schools, and so we are making a huge investment in them by providing expert educators to work every day, on the ground, to implement proven school turnaround strategies,” said Commissioner Chris Cerf in a release announcing the program.

The Department announced that Tracey Severns has been hired as the deputy chief academic officer for the initiative that expects to hire about 500 personnel.

The centers will work with schools in two categories: those identified as being in the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools over the last three years; and those that have room for improvement in specific areas such as low graduation rates.

The six regional achievement center headquarters are in Paterson, East Orange, Trenton, Neptune, Camden and Clarksboro. Each headquarters, or office location, will be responsible for several counties.

Cerf, in part, acknowledged flexibility from the federal No Child Left Behind act in allowing the state to tailor its own solutions to deal with troubled schools.

  N.J. launches ‘regional achievement centers’ to help troubled schools