New Indicators Initiative to Track Abbott Progress


The Abbott rulings contain an unprecedented remedy to improve education in New Jersey’s high-poverty urban communities. Unlike anywhere else in the nation, the poorest urban school districts and the wealthiest suburbs have the same funding to support a general public education. Young people in New Jersey’s urban districts are also entitled to:

  • Universal, high-quality preschool;
  • Reforms to help them meet the state’s rigorous standards for academic achievement in Kindergarten through Grade 12;
  • Safe, healthy, and educationally adequate school facilities; and
  • An array of programs and services to help students come to school ready to learn and succeed in school.

Implementation began in 1999, and is now underway in earnest. In the 2003-04 school year, Abbott schools were funded at $10,700 per pupil for standards-based education; whole school reform is producing achievement gains; 38,000 children were in preschool; and over 150 school facilities projects were in design or under construction.

While these data show promise, the challenge is to sustain and deepen program implementation, and continue improving student outcomes. To meet this challenge, we need to know: how well is the Abbott remedy being implemented in schools, districts and statewide? More data must be made available to educators, advocates, policymakers and researchers.

ELC has launched the Abbott Indicators Project to respond to this critical need. ELC will develop and issue indicators to track progress in program implementation and student outcomes. The indicators will then serve as a tool to inform stakeholders of the current status of Abbott implementation, and spark advocacy and planning for needed improvements.

In four school districts – Camden, Newark, Trenton, and Union City – Abbott Indicators Reports are slated for release in Spring 2005, followed by planning and engagement strategies. A statewide report on the Abbott preschool program was issued in Fall 2003; additional statewide reports on budget and facilities are planned.

A steering committee guides the initiative, with support from the Rockefeller, Geraldine R. Dodge, Prudential, William Penn, and Victoria Foundations, and the Fund for New Jersey. For more information, please contact:

Lesley Hirsch or Erain Applewhite-Coney, Psy.D.
Abbott Indicators Co-Directors
973-624-1815, ext. 15 or 24


email: or

The Abbott Indicators Steering Committee

W. Steven Barnett, National Institute for Early Education Research
Jose Delgado, Former School Board Member, Camden
Bari A. Ehrlichson
Margaret Goertz, Consortium for Policy Research in Education
Rosie Grant, Paterson Education Fund
Edward Greene, E. M. Greene Associates
Herbert Green, Director, Public Education Institute
Daniel Gutmore, Seton Hall College of Education and Human Services
Jerome Harris, CAMConnect
Prakash Nair, Fielding-Nair International, Great Schools New Jersey
Michael Nettles, Educational Testing Service
Cynthia Savo, Cynergy Associates, LLC
Willa Spicer, New Jersey Performance Assessment Alliance
Irene Sterling, Paterson Education Fund
Marla Ucelli, Annenberg Institute for School Reform
Kathy Weaver, Newark Alliance
Junius Williams, Abbott Leadership Institute

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Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240