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ELC ISSUES ADVISORY ON WHOLE SCHOOL REFORM

ABBOTT X REMAINS IN FULL EFFECT

Abbott elementary schools must continue implementing whole school reform (WSR) in 2004-05 in accordance with the directives in the NJ Supreme Court’s Abbott X order, according to an advisory issued by ELC to Abbott districts and NJ education organizations.

ELC issued the notice to clear-up any confusion caused by the recent decision of Education Commissioner William Librera to withdraw his application to the Court for modifications of Abbott X.

"Abbott X remains in effect in its entirety," said David Sciarra, ELC Executive Director and Abbott Counsel. "This means that Abbott schools and districts must continue to implement WSR under the terms of Abbott X," he added.

Under Abbott X, every elementary school must continue to implement its selected WSR model. Forty-two of those schools have been identified by the NJ Department of Education as "low performing," and are now undergoing a review by an external Collaborative Assessment and Planning Achievement (CAPA) team, which will make findings on whether to continue with the selected WSR model, or switch to another model or an alternate WSR design. Based on those findings, the school and district will develop a strategic improvement plan which must then be approved by the Commissioner. The strategic improvement plan will also satisfy the requirement for corrective action under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law.

Abbott X also establishes separate mechanisms for high performing schools, and for schools having problems with WSR program providers.

Finally, in 2004-05 every school must continue to implement the supplemental programs set forth in the "Chart of Supplemental Programs" included in Abbott X.