NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Press Release: For Immediate Release
Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, is available to discuss how to create classrooms of students equipped for the 21st century
Classrooms do not look much different than they did in the 1980s;strong leadership is needed to take schools into the 21st century
TRENTON, N.J. — March 8, 2011 — Our schools have not caught up with the rest of the world in terms of technology, and strong leadership will be required to take education to that next level, according to the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. Superintendents are the driving force behind school systems meeting the new core curriculum standards focusing on 21st-century skills and real-world demands.
“If you took a time machine to 2025, you would expect education to look different,” said Richard Bozza, Ed.D., executive director of the NJASA. “Instead of a single teacher lecturing to 25 students, you might imagine a more interactive and collaborative environment that is rich with technology. Now the question is, will our proposed reforms help us reach this outcome?”
According to the NJASA, the proposed reforms place the blame on teachers and administrators rather than addressing real changes in the classroom.
“Today’s classroom doesn’t look much different than it did in the 1980s, while technology outside of school is growing at an exponential rate,” Bozza said. “We need to invest in technology for our classrooms and professional development for our teachers. The $400 billion spent on Race to the Top focuses on how we compensate teachers for student performance. Why not put that kind of money where it can really make a difference — in the classroom and in teacher development?”
Classrooms of the future need to be set up to help the U.S. compete more successfully with other countries. Many countries already have prioritized education. Korea places teachers in high regard, equal to the status of physicians. Finland puts two teachers in each classroom for more effective learning. In the U.S., Massachusetts is one of the states leading the way in educational reform.
The new state curriculum’s focus on the 21st century is the first step toward setting up the classroom of the future, according to the NJASA. The curriculum addresses life and work in the current century as:
- A global society facing complex political, economic, technological and environmental challenges.
- A service economy driven by information, knowledge and innovation.
- Diverse communities and workplaces that rely on cross-cultural collaborative relationships and virtual social networks.
- An intensely competitive and constantly changing worldwide marketplace.
The NJASA asserts that while schools have embraced technology, the lack of funding and a more conservative approach have kept education from advancing as quickly as the private sector. For example, both retail and medicine are far ahead in the use of technology.
“Industry is constantly reinventing itself and manufacturers continuously create new products to beat competitors to the punch,” added Bozza. “For example, you can’t buy the same television you bought a year ago. The manufacturer ‘retires’ it and puts a new, improved model on the shelf, forcing everyone to advance.”
“In the same way, medicine is continually finding newer and more effective treatments,” he added. “You wouldn’t choose a physician who thinks that leeches work well. You shouldn’t have to choose an educational approach that will limit the ability of your child to succeed in the 21st century.”
The New Jersey Association of School Administrators is an organization of chief education officers and school administrators who lead school districts in New Jersey’s 21 counties. The association’s mission is to ensure a superior statewide system of education. Through ongoing professional training and education, the association shares knowledge among its members about best practices from both educational and administrative perspectives. Its goal is to move education forward by ensuring the highest quality of instruction for all New Jersey children.