On Monday evening of July 21st, seven Jersey City residents volunteered and formed The Citizens Campaign Jersey City Educational Task Force. Today’s educational breakout session served as a continuation from The Citizens Campaign First Jersey City Summit at City Hall on June 14, 2014, where Jersey City residents identified city-wide issues.

 

Today, the Education Task Force narrowed the education city-wide issues into three priorities. The increase of parental and community involvement in schools was revered the highest on the list. Several sub-methods to increase involvement were discussed in great length, such as, outlining and creating visual profiles for each type of Jersey City parental and community member. From that first pic-tory, the Task Force can show each profiles’ patterns, lifestyles, habits and needs. And further map out an engagement plan independent of each other. Another identified sub-method was the sharing of educational information among all the schools, each public non-charter and charter schools. Imagine a one-stop resource with all parent and community groups’ contact information or an online resource containing how-to-guides from existing local, successful fund-raising or outreach techniques? The approach to this issue would involve changing the culture of schools by creating a collaborative environment among teachers, parents and students. The Task Force members agreed that the inhibiting cause has been the hierarchy of politics. And lastly, making information about all educational programs, parental and community groups readily available to all Jersey City newcomers was deemed to help new residents navigate through the Jersey City district with ease.

Other priorities identified and placed on the list of priorities were the outreach and support for troubled youth and civics leadership in education.

The Citizens Campaign has assigned the task to the Education Task Force of researching how Jersey City or other cities are addressing each of these issues by the next follow-up meeting. The next meeting will target the solutions to the priorities chosen while making sure they follow The Citizens Campaign's Four Guiding Principles:

- Community-Wide Benefit
- Evidence Based Solutions
- No-blame Implementation Approach
- Cost Effective Results

The seven volunteers to become The Citizens Campaign Jersey City Education Task Force are: Akisia Grigsby, Joel Torres, Roseangela Mendoza, Florence Holmes, Adam Jaegar, Caryn Rogoff and Jim Nelson.