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Contact: Bob DeSando
For Release: May 24, 2000

Commissioner Hespe’s Reaction to the Findings of an Independent Research Group
Regarding Improvements in the Newark School District

Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe issued the following statement in reaction to the findings of a report on the impact of the state takeover of the Newark school district issued by the Community Training and Assistance Center of Boston:

"We are pleased that such a prestigious, independent organization has validated the fact that significant strides have been made in Newark under state operation. This report proves that those who have tried to brand our involvement in Newark a failure are wrong. The fact is academic gains have been made, conditions in the district are improving and a majority of parents, teachers, students and administrators share our belief that the Newark schools are improving."

The report was commissioned by The Committee of Advocates for Newark’s Children and released at a news conference in Newark today. The privately funded study was undertaken by the Community Training and Assistance Center, a national non-for-profit organization and one of the leading school reform organizations in the United States.

Hespe said the Department of Education was appreciative of the recommendations to continue student performance gains and will seriously consider them along with the district and community as part of its ongoing efforts to improve the Newark public schools.

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