Jersey City Schools Regain Local Control: from "Academic Bankruptcy" to "Promising Improvements"

From Mayor Steve Fulop's press release:
TRENTON – Today, Mayor Steven Fulop and Superintendent Marcia Lyles joined New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education, David Hespe, for a vote that returned two components of the Jersey City school system back to local control. They also set out a time line for full control to return in Spring 2016.  
The Jersey City school system has been under state control since 1989. Twenty-six years ago this week, the state claimed authority the school district, marking the first time in American history that a state assumed management of a city school system because of “academic bankruptcy.”  At the time, the New York Times reported that Jersey City Schools were “crippled by political patronage and nepotism, weak administration and management, fiscal irregularities, [and] indifference.”   
Today's vote provides four of the five components needed to return to full local control to Jersey City, with the final component to be returned to Jersey City control by early 2016.  
“After almost three decades of state management, control of our public schools is returning where it should be – home,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “Jersey City has earned this opportunity,” the Mayor continued, “Our school system has seen promising improvement that reflects the hard work of many dedicated educators."

From remarks Mayor Fulop will give this morning at the meeting of the State Board of Education:
This is a story about policy and public education. It’s a story about returning control of public schools to where it should be: local.  

But it’s also a story about something more fundamental – about remembering who our schools, our community is supposed to serve: kids. 

In 1989, when the papers reported on why Jersey City schools were being turned over to the state, they said the schools were “crippled by” – and I’m quoting here – “political patronage and nepotism, weak administration and management, fiscal irregularities, [and] indifference.”  And they weren’t wrong.  We had schools that didn’t put students first. Someone said we were suffering from “academic bankruptcy.” 

Well, slowly over the last three decades – and more quickly, over the last three years – we have rebuilt “our academic credit.” And we’ve done it one student at a time, one class at a time, one cap and one gown at a time.