MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. Interim Schools Superintendent Judith Johnson said that she has goals to help improve the quality of education in the citys public schools.
Johnson came out of retirement to accept the job in the Mount Vernon City School District beginning in July. Previously, Johnson was schools superintendent in Peekskill. Before that she was an assistant for primary and secondary education in the U.S. Department of Education in the Clinton administration.
The public education system is not doing all it can to educate kids to high standards, Johnson said. It seems that there is a direct correlation between poverty and performance but it doesnt mean that it cannot be overcome. The state has to make up the difference if it believes that all kids can break out of poverty.
Johnson said that statistics show that four out of 10 children will remain in poverty as adults. Johnson is hoping that students can succeed through literacy adding that the district has a plan to focus on workforce support as well.
We need to find new goals and get parents involved, Johnson said. We also need to ensure that the schools in the community are safe. The city government and the school district are working well together with a special focus on children.
Johnson said that the school district has its own security force and has hired a temporary security director. Johnson said that the school district has also been in talks with the Mount Vernon Police Department on a regular basis.
We need the police to be supportive to combat preventable behavior and intervene in case of a crisis, Johnson said. We are keeping ourselves informed with the rumblings in the community so we can stay ahead of what bad things might potentially happen.
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