New Jersey Department of Education

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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: July 23, 2004


WHAT: Commissioner of Education William L. Librera visits one of the pilot summer learning institutes, which offer selected students who have not passed the HSPA test during their junior year the chance to receive five weeks of intensive instruction and then take the HSPA again in late August.
WHEN: Monday, July 26, 2004
11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Dwight Morrow High School
274 Knickerbocker Road
Englewood, New Jersey 08631

INFORMATION: The purpose of the pilot program is to develop a long-term plan to reduce the number of students who receive high school diplomas via the Special Review Assessment (SRA), the alternative for those who fail to achieve proficiency through the standardized test. Currently, approximately 20% of New Jersey high school seniors graduate via the SRA; however, in some districts, more than half the students receive their diplomas via the alternate route.

"That is unacceptable," Commissioner Librera said in announcing the pilot program in June. "It cheapens the value of a high school diploma in this state, and by lowering expectations, it cheats students out of a high school education. We believe that every child can learn, and we think we can prove it through these summer institutes."

At each of the five institutes – located in Englewood, Jersey City, Hillside, Franklin Township (Somerset County) and Vineland – fifty selected students are studying with some of the best teachers in the state. At the end of the five-week course, they will take HSPA again. "We are confident that many of them will achieve better results," Commissioner Librera said.

For more information: DOE Public Information Office, 609-292-1126.