Effectveness of McGreevy's Education Priorities
Recognizing that providing our children with the skills to compete in the 21st century economy is our most fundamental obligation, Governor James E. McGreevey recently granted 25 schools that are succeeding in that task the First Annual Governor's School of Excellence award. The Governor established the distinguished program last year to honor schools that are demonstrating effective practices to prepare their students for the future.
"By celebrating 25 schools that are getting it right and preparing children to succeed, we
are providing great examples for every other school in the state," said McGreevey. "Each of these schools are recipients of the Governor's School of Excellence Award because they are proving how initiatives like targeting early literacy and supporting great teachers make the difference between a ¥good' school and an
¥excellent' school. They represent the best of all we are doing to improve education in this state."
"Most all of what we do at the Department of Education and in this Administration is focused on finding ways to enhance education through calling attention to schools that succeed and programs that work," Commissioner Librera said. "The Governor's School of Excellence program is an important one—we want school districts to look at these schools as examples of how to encourage and foster students to generate excellent results."
The schools must meet at least five of the following criteria: Outstanding growth in literacy measures, as demonstrated by improvement in test scores. Meaningful improvement in parental involvement in school matters. Improvement in student attendance, graduation rates, retention rates, and/or dropout reduction. Reduction in violence and vandalism. Creative and increased involvement with partnerships and/or the community. Creative and increased use of technology as a tool for learning. Demonstrated improvement in the quality of professional development of teachers. Demonstrated success in providing better learning opportunities for specialized populations such as special education students or second language learners. Documentation that shows areas of significant improvement that may not fit one of the aforementioned categories.
The Governor's School of Excellence program provides awards to schools that demonstrate significant improvement during a two-year period. The schools can use the funds for educational purposes which they decide. The schools report to the Commissioner at the conclusion of the school year how they have used the money. Each school may be recognized only once in three years. Schools that receive awards will serve as demonstration centers for exemplary programs.
Pepco/Connectiv, formerly Atlantic City Electric Company, and First Energy Corporations, formerly Jersey Central Power & Light Co. donated $1 million each for the program.
"I would like to thank Connectiv and First Energy for their donations that support this distinguished program," said McGreevey. "These two companies clearly recognize that investing in education now, means having a highly-skilled workforce later."#
More information about the schools is available at: www.nj.gov/njded/clear/teach/gsoe/