P-20 In the News...
New coalition wants to
improve education in S.J.
A new coalition of educators,
community and business leaders hopes to improve educational opportunities
for children and adults in southern New Jersey.
The Regional P-20 Coalition of
Southern New Jersey gets its name from the premise that education
should be a seamless process from preschool through graduate school.
The coalition's goal is to develop networks and partnerships in
Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Ocean, Gloucester, Burlington
and Camden counties.
"Educators cannot be the
only ones involved in education", said Ronald Capasso of
the Department of Educational Leadership at Rowan University,
who with colleague Joanne Kinsey developed the coalition. "We
need a mechanism that pulls us all together."
Capasso said that test data shows
many children in the southern eight counties fall far below the
state averages on state tests. He noted that results on the eighth
grade test are worse than results in fourth grade, when students
should be improving, not falling farther behind.
"We have to turn this around,"
Capasso said he wants coalition
members to work together to form smaller networks within counties
or towns that combine the resources of colleges, businesses and
schools to provide students with more opportunities to succeed
both in school and after graduation.
He said it is vital that students
who plan to go to college get the courses they need in high school
to prepare them, so they don't need remedial programs in college.
Among those serving on the coalitions'
"Council of Conveners" are Charles Biscieglia, CEO of
South Jersey Industries; Judy Fisher, Executive Director of Human
Resources Administration for the Trump Properties; Kenneth Ender,
President of Cumberland County College; and Clarence Hoover, Vineland
Superintendent of Schools.
Capasso said Rowan University
is not formally sponsoring the coalition, but has offered support
services. Grant funds are also being sought. (The Press of
Atlantic City, Diane D'Amico, 3/6/03)