To the Editor:

I am writing regarding the recent story about how Paterson charter schools fared as represented on the new state report cards.

As Founder of NJCDC, I have had the privilege of creating many new and successful programs and services for my fellow Patersonians over the last 19 years.  Yet the hardest thing I’ve ever done is start the Community Charter School of Paterson (CCSP).  The release of yesterday’s school report cards shows that CCSP has a long way to go before it reaches my or anyone else’s expectations for being a school of academic excellence, but I do think it is important to point out that we are a charter school that swings our doors wide open to all families of Paterson.

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While other charters are often accused of hand-selecting students, that’s not the case at CCSP.  In our first year of existence, only 25% of students were proficient in language arts and only 21% in math.  Three years later, based on the scores released yesterday, approximately 50% are proficient in language arts and 60% in math.  So while we have a long way to go, the school has made tremendous progress over these first few years.  These next few years promise even more growth, and I am very confident that before too long, we will be well on our way to becoming a model of academic excellence.  Stay tuned!

Robert F. Guarasci
Chief Executive Officer
New Jersey Community Development Corporation