From today’s Trenton Times:
Two weeks after a teacher’s aide complained that the school district’s Life Skills program did little more than baby-sit special-education students at Daylight/Twilight High School, the school board took steps tonight to improve the program.
Teachers and administrators will write a new curriculum, visit three local life schools with model Life Skills programs and pay $3,300 to the nation’s largest special-education professional organization to provide training to teachers, under resolutions approved by the board tonight.
The moves come as the state Department of Education confirmed it is investigating the program amid allegations raised about it in recent weeks by paraprofessional Deborah Downing Fortson.
This sudden change in heart on the part of administrators and board members, and and the proposed shift in programming for kids with disabilities, can only be explained by an article that ran in the Trenton Times last week that described grim conditions and mindless programming for the 40 moderately-disabled kids who are consigned to classrooms in the Daylight/Twilight alternative school. See here for NJLB coverage.
Superintendent Francisco Duran, new to Trenton and heir to this problem, said he was unaware of the depth of the program’s failure to provide adequate programming.
In other Trenton Public Schools news, two new board members were sworn in last night after Mayor Tony Mack declined to reappoint two current members: Board President Toby Sanders and Nicola Tatum. New appointees are Patrice Daley and Roslyn Reaves-Council. Daley is former V.P. of the parents’ association for Trenton Community Charter School, which was closed two years ago for poor student achievement and later received criticism for refusing to turn over student records to Trenton Public Schools.
In a somewhat bizarre cap to last night’s school board meeting, according to the Trenton Times,
Rev. Sanders began singing, in a soaring voice, Quincy Jones’ song “Everything Must Change.”
“Everything must change/ nothing stays the same/ everyone will change/ no one stays the same,” he sang. “The young become the old/ And mysteries do unfold/ Cause that’s the way of time/ Nothing and no one goes unchanged.”