Hoboken Curriculum Project is a huge step forward
Jan 17, 2010 | 1266 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009 the Hoboken Board of Education adopted the Hoboken Curriculum Project. As the assistant to the superintendent of schools from 2007-2009, I am honored to have led the district in developing the first fully articulated curriculum for the children and teachers of Hoboken in nearly a generation.

In a little over 18 months, working with approximately 80 teachers, supervisors and administrators from the Hoboken School District, we accomplished the writing of an entire PK-12 curriculum. The cost was less than 3/10 of 1 per cent (.03) of the combined budgets for Fiscal Years 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-2010. Moreover, a significant portion of those funds came from federal and state programs, thus lessening the cost to Hoboken taxpayers. For that, the people of Hoboken received a complete PK-12 curriculum including grade level curriculum maps, unit planners, and district wide assessments. The teachers involved received over 8,500 professional development hours in curriculum theory, formative and summative assessment, design and implementation of standards based curriculum, learning theory, developmental psychology, and content specific instructional practices.

As part of the Hoboken Curriculum Project, we also instituted a number of initiatives and expansions of previous efforts. For instance, we expanded the John Hopkins Gifted and Talented Program, nearly tripling the participation of students. We initiated the nationally recognized and research based PK-K curriculum known as “Tools of the Mind.” We began long term institutional professional development in Literacy with LitLife (Grades 1-5) and in how to teach for problem solving and critical thinking with the widely recognized program, “Understanding by Design.” We instituted the Read 180 program throughout the district leveraging both technology and phonemic awareness with whole language skills for our students in need of reading improvement. We also instituted quarterly computer generated reading progress reports for all of our middle grade students using the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI).

I would like to thank the Hoboken Curriculum Committee and my clerical staff. The thousands of hours they spent on this project took them away from their children, their spouses, their loved ones and took up more weekends and leisure time than any hourly contractual compensation could approach. This is THEIR curriculum.

None of this would have been possible without the support of Superintendent Raslowsky. Using the most objective and independent assessment of district oversight – the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) – during his tenure he increased district scores 58.8 per cent in Instruction and Programs. Additionally, scores on NJQSAC were raised 70.5 per cent in Fiscal Management, 100 per cent in Governance and we achieved 80 per cent passing scores in Operations and Personnel.

Finally, I feel it necessary to mention all of the above took place “BC” (Before Interim Superintendent Carter’s administration, which began in September of 2009). However, implementation and adjustments will be in the new administration’s hands. I wish them all the best.

Dr. Anthony Petrosino Jr.

Former Assistant to the Superintendent

Hoboken School District

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