Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Schools' Think Tank Advances

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Schools' Think Tank Advances

Article excerpt

ENGLEWOOD - The members of a think tank tasked with examining the city schools' long-standing struggles with low academic achievement will be announced at the school board's May 8 meeting, school board President Howard Haughton said.

"We must make this our core focus. ... This is the most significant thing that we could possibly do at this time," said Haughton, who proposed the creation of the group at the board's April 10 meeting in response to objections to a suggestion to have students at the mostly minority Dwight Morrow High attend classes in the same buildings as students in the Academies@Englewood, the district's more diverse magnet program.

Dwight Morrow classes are held in the north building on the school's Knickerbocker Road campus; Academies classes are in the south building.

But even before it has been created, one school board member dismissed it as a waste of time.

"We know the issues and the problems we have. They're not new," said Junius "Jeff" Carter. "To bring people in, whether they're from our community or not, is just a stalling tactic."

The idea to reorganize the high school campus was presented by Dwight Morrow High Principal Peter Elbert and Joseph Armental, the assistant principal in charge of the Academies, at a school board subcommittee meeting. It was not meant to be made public, Haughton said.

Several Academies parents spoke out at the April 10 meeting against the proposed reorganization, raising concern that it would affect the magnet program, which they praised for its academic rigor and the diversity of its student body. Some Dwight Morrow parents, however, spoke in favor of the change, noting that their children were not receiving the same academic benefits as their counterparts in the Academies.

Dwight Morrow High was named a state "focus school" in 2012 because of wide achievement gaps amongstudents. …

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