This report is the third and potentially final report of the Department of Education’s (department) Comprehensive Accountability Office (CAO) concerning the final phase of the transition of the Jersey City Public Schools (district) from being a state supervised school district to one with full local control. It reports on the district’s progress in meeting metrics described in the Accountability Scorecard that is part of the Transition Plan to local control.
This report covers the period October 2020 through June of 2022. The CAO has found that the district has met a sufficient number of Accountability Scorecard metrics to meet the requirements of the Transition Plan to move toward full local control. While the district has made progress toward achieving substantial and sustained progress for most metrics, it is still a work in progress on others.
The CAO issued two reports since the Transition Plan went into effect in October of 2018. The Plan was extended almost two years, primarily due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 1st Annual Report covered October 2018 through September 2019 and the following 12-month Interim covered October 2019 through September 2020. In both of those cases, the district scored “1’s and 2’s” on a majority of the required metrics highlighting a need for significant corrective action. For this report the district scored “3’s and 4’s” on over two-thirds of the metrics which allows them to progress to full local control.
While the district scored enough 3’s and 4’s on the metrics to achieve a passing grade for this report, there were several negative scores. There was one score of a 1 and four 2’s in Fiscal Management and Operations. The Superintendent and Board are urged to continue their attention and efforts to ensure that sufficient resources are made available to the Business Office. It is important that improvements are made so that they are positively assessed as part of the district’s upcoming QSAC self-study. As required by the Transition Report, the CAO has provided recommendations for those metrics that, if implemented will provide a pathway for the district to meet expectations.