State Operated School Districts

The Newark Public Schools

1999 – 2000
EDUCATION PLAN
ANNUAL REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

SECTION I: (PDF )

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Benchmarks
Evaluation of Strategies/Areas of Modification

SECTION II: (PDF )

COMPLIANCE

SECTION III: (PDF )

WHOLE SCHOOL REFORM PROGRESS REPORT

Implementation Status
District-wide Barriers and Issues
Accountability Plan Statement of Assurance

APPENDICES (PDF )

ESPA School Level Performance
GEPA School Level Performance
HSPT School Level Performance


INTRODUCTION

The 1999-2000 school year in the Newark Public Schools was one of continued progress in all essential areas that impact student achievement. The district continued to build capacity by developing and implementing the Education Plan. While benchmarks were not met in some areas, the district has begun the process of re-evaluating strategies for effectiveness and modifying programs and practices for the 2000-01 school year.

Charts 2 & 3 present the results from GEPA and HSPT 11. The GEPA results reflect a 5.2 % decline in the passing rate in language arts and a 2.7 % decline in mathematics from last year. As a result the district failed to meet its established benchmarks in both language arts (- 8.6 %) and in mathematics

(-13.6%). Only 29.7% of the schools showed improvement in the passing rate in language arts and 32.4% showed an improvement in the passing rate in mathematics. Five schools did meet the state standard (at least 75% of the students passing); four schools in language arts and one in mathematics. It is noted that 269 students who did not pass the language arts test and 166 who did not pass the mathematics sections, scored between 193 and 199.

The results on the HSPT 11 were more encouraging, with improved passing rates for two of the three areas. The passing rate for reading and mathematics increased by 2.0% and 2.9% respectively, while the passing rate in writing declined by 6.0%. Overall nine of the eleven high schools had an increase in the passing rate for reading and mathematics and two of the eleven had an increase in the passing rate for writing. Science High School achieved a passing rate of 100% for all three sections of the HSPT. Both Arts High and University High again exceeded the state standard for all three tested areas. Technology High School experienced significant improvement, with an increase of over 20% in each of the three areas.

During the 1999-2000 school year the district’s major instructional focus was writing across the content. District administrators, directors, curriculum supervisors, resource teachers, and staff developers all received two days of training that focused on creating and using rubrics to analyze student work. In turn district personnel at the School leadership Teams and the Department of Teaching and Learning conducted more than 4,290 professional development sessions focusing on writing strategies for K-12 teachers. The Student Work Initiative resulted in some 5100 grade level sessions to train teachers strategies for looking at the work produced by students, informing instructional decisions and improving instructional practices. The district implemented the Tracking Learners’ Reading and Writing Growth Across Time to assess mastery in writing. The system utilized age appropriate picture prompts and rubrics to evaluate the students’ growth in writing across the content. However, our focus on writing this year has not sufficiently developed teacher capacity to achieve the district benchmark in writing. A continuation of the Student Work Initiative and Tracking the Learners’ Reading and Writing Growth Across Time will improve student success in writing over time.

As the District undertook the implementation of the 1999-2000 Education Plan, it became evident as time progressed that the process of staff development was to be a central process to accomplish the stated strategies. This process of professional learning for teachers became the vehicle for the ways to improve student success. As indicated above, and throughout this report, staff development for teachers occurred in a variety of forums at the District, School Leadership Team, school and smaller subgroup levels at the local sites.

The delivery of district staff development was woven throughout the entire school year for all instructional staff. As each of the following descriptions will illustrate, the alignment of this staff development with desired student outcomes was implemented across all of the strategies within the plan. Realizing how deeply this process of professional learning was embedded into all aspects of this past year’s plan, it is proposed for next year that the process of staff development not be separated for the other strategies, as was the case in this year’s plan in Strategy Number Four. As the district moves into year two to extend and deepen the work from year one, the process of staff development will be engaged as a vehicle to accomplish the stated strategies.

The following pages contain an assessment of the effectiveness of each strategy as well as recommendation for modifications as needed. The final section of this document contains appendices to support the recommendations for modifications.