NJDOE News
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    Tom Rosenthal
    Rich Vespucci
    609-292-1126

For Release: June 18, 2002


Advisory
Public Comment Sought on Early Childhood Program Standards

The New Jersey Department of Education is seeking public comment on its current efforts to revise all existing standards for early childhood programs throughout the state.

The department has scheduled three regional sessions to be held June 26th - 28th.

The first of three focus group sessions for public comment will be held on Wednesday, June 26, at the Impact Center, 1669 East Landis Avenue, Vineland.

The other two sessions will be held on Thursday, June 27, at the Jochem Center, Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in West Trenton (Ewing), and on Friday, June 28, at the Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark. All three sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.

A draft version of the revised Early Childhood Education Program Expectations: Standards of Quality is posted on the Department of Education’s Web site:

http://www.nj.gov/njded/ece/expectations/

Governor James E. McGreevey and Commissioner of Education William L. Librera have emphasized the need to strengthen teaching and learning in the early grades (pre-K-4). Research has shown that children who read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade have much greater success throughout the remainder of their school years.

Earlier this year, Governor McGreevey appointed an Early Literacy Task Force and directed it to develop frameworks, activities, good practices, and literacy standards for teachers from pre-K to fourth grade. The task force expects to complete its work by September 1, 2002.

In addition, the Governor has committed a $10 million appropriation in FY 2002-03 as the first installment of a four-year, $40 million program to improve literacy skills for young students. The program, which will be supplemented by $18.4 million in federal funds, will feature the hiring of reading coaches who will be assigned low-performing schools throughout New Jersey. The coaches will use their expertise to train teachers in the newest and most effective ways to teach young students to read.

NOTE: Attached is an information packet on the hearings, including a registration form and directions to the three sites. The deadline to register for the feedback sessions is Monday, June 24, 2002.