NJDOE News
For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    609-292-1126

For Release: June 15, 2004


Paterson Public Schools/Montclair State University Teaching Academy Announcement

Montclair State University and the Paterson Public Schools have agreed that Montclair State University (MSU) will terminate its sponsorship and partnership in the Montclair State Pre-Collegiate Teaching Academy (MSUPTA) as of July 31, 2004.

"It is our understanding that MSU felt that the numerous difficulties that the Academy has continued to experience, including facility concerns, supplies and equipment deficiencies and staffing consistency, required comprehensive solutions that were not yet developed," said Jonathan Hodges, M.D., the President of the Paterson Advisory Board of Education.

"This was a painful and difficult decision for Montclair State University, but we did not feel we had any alternative," said Ada Beth Cutler, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at MSU. "We want to be very clear that this decision is no reflection on the teachers, students or families of the Montclair Academy, for whom we have great respect."

"MSU and the Paterson Public Schools are both concerned about establishing a quality educational program and it was determined the MSUPTA needed significant revisions in order to rise to the standard that needed to be reached," Dr. Hodges said.

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera said that the district and the state Department of Education (DOE) are committed to keeping the current academy open while working to substantially restructure the program to reach the standards set at its design.

"The Academy will re-open in September with the full expectation of significant progress being made towards this restructuring," Commissioner Librera said. "The DOE is committed to supporting and monitoring this process."

The Academy, located at 137 Ellison Street, began in September 2000 and is one of 15 academies in Paterson geared toward creating enhanced learning experiences in smaller learning environments. It has a current enrollment of 173 students.

"It is anticipated that at the completion of this restructuring process, the Academy will reach or surpass the initial goals of providing a quality college preparatory program that emphasizes mathematics, science and literacy in its curriculum," Dr. Hodges said.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.