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

For Release: February 24, 2005

D.O.E. Sponsors Symposium Examining Ways to Close Achievement Gap

The New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Early Literacy is sponsoring a day-long symposium exploring the achievement gap on Monday, February 28, 2005. The symposium, Closing the Achievement Gap: Believing, Achieving, Succeeding, will be held for invited participants at the Conference Center at Mercer County College, West Windsor.

Participants, who for the most part will be local school superintendents, will examine local and global trends of student achievement and address educational practices that are effective in an environment of diverse demographics and high standards. Featured speakers will be Larry I. Bell, president of Multicultural America, Inc.; and Dr. Ronald L. Capasso, associate professor of educational leadership at Rowan University.

Bell will present specific, practical, research-based methods gathered from schools across the country that have been successful in closing or totally eliminating the achievement gap. Dr. Capasso, as director of the Regional P-20 Coalition of Southern New Jersey, will present research about student achievement in New Jersey across demographic groups, and the implications for instruction.

A limited number of seats are still available. Persons interested in attending can call

609-777-2140. Registration for the symposium begins at 7:30 a.m. The program begins at 8:15 a.m. and will conclude at 3:30 p.m.

NOTE: Reporters and photographers can make arrangements to cover this event by contacting

Gail Robinson, acting director, Office of Early Literacy, 609-633-0259.