By Francine Nelson, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Former Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Steven Adamowski has been named special master of New London Public Schools effective July 1.
On Wednesday Connecticut Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor named Adamowski, who is currently a special master of Windham Public Schools, to the position.
The appointment comes after the State Board of Education on June 6 unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Pryor to hire a special master for the New London Public Schools and to require the New London Board of Education to “participate in training to improve its operational efficiency and effectiveness. ”
The action followed the Board’s consideration of a government and management audit completed by the State Department of Education’s Bureau of Accountability and Improvement on May 7, 2012.officials said.
Adamowski’s new role as special master in New London will be performed in concurrence with his current responsibilities in Windham under an existing two-year employment agreement entered into among the State Department of Education, the State Education Resource Center, and Adamowski on August 15, 2011.
He will serve as New London special master for the 2012-2013 school year. The term may be extended by the State Board of Education.
A native of Connecticut, Adamowski has previously been Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati Public Schools Associate Secretary at the Delaware Department of Education, and Superintendent of Schools in Clayton, Missouri Chatham, New Jersey and Norwich, Connecticut (1983-1987). “Dr. Adamowski is uniquely positioned to assist New London in the strategic planning and execution needed to improve student achievement,” said Commissioner Pryor. “This collaboration between State Department of Education and local leadership will position New London’s students for success.”
In New London, Adamowski’s immediate priorities will include improving the governance structure of the district to support student achievement; immediate stabilization of the district’s finances; completion of New London’s Alliance District Plan; and the development, in conjunction with the local board of education, of a systemic, strategic long-term operating plan for improving student achievement, offiials said.
New London Public Schools have been subject to intensified supervision and direction since September 2008, during which time a State Department of Education Technical Assistance Team has monitored New London’s school district improvement plan. In February of 2012, New London’s school board President and school superintendent requested greater intervention by the State Department of Education, citing a lack of focus on student achievement and diminished school board functionality.
In terms of student achievement, New London is among the lowest performing districts in Connecticut. The district’s four-year cohort graduation rate is sixth lowest in the state; just 63.9 percent of New London high school students graduate within four years.