Parent and taxpayer response

JUST SAY WHEN ...TO ANYONE SAYING YOU HAVE NO SAY IN YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. We are Citizens for Public School Education. We are Board Watchers. We want a Board of Education that follows the Law, because following the Law works for everyone. The purpose of this site is to help close the controversial Achievement Gap that is the subject in many educational arenas. Teachers are invaluable when dedicated individuals and are entrusted to encourage, nurture, and teach each child to achieve to the best of his/her individual abilities. Principals, Superintendents, Business Administrators, Support Staff, School Board Members, Attorneys and everyone else in the district must be dedicated to making certain that teachers have whatever they need in order to perform at their best. Teachers must be willing to go the extra mile like millions have done before them. This blog promotes an active, accurate & objective telling of history that includes ALL cultures and their literary, cultural and historical contributions to building America. We are Board Watchers.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Are Our Schools in Crisis?: Math

CAPA REVIEW (Collaborative Assessment of Planning and Achievement)
This review was conducted by the New Jersey Department of Education: 2008 - 2009  This post includes the state's recommendations for improving the achievement of Dwight Morrow High School students in the area of Math.

The State recommendation for Dwight Morrow High School: Mathematics

Things the School should do
1. The multiple Math curricula for the same courses should be integrated into one, with additional honors topics covered.
2. Lesson plans should be submitted to the administration biweekly.
3. Revise school schedule so that PLCs can meet weekly. (Pupil Learning Committee? or should be)

The State recommendations for the District of Englewood
Things the District should do
1. All secondary Math curricula should be rewritten.
2. Mandate student portfolios.
3. Provide teacher professional development on the use of portfolios.

Faculty Recommendations from a Stanley Kaplan Veteran:
1. Review text book TOC for where test-relevant material has been covered.
2. Target math vocabulary as exists on exams.
3. Target computational skills: add, subtract, multiply, divide, exponents, roots, logs
4. Pre-test all students as early in the school year as possible.
5. Review the Kaplan Strategies and consider how to MODEL them to your students!
6. Divide problems by topics:
  • a. geometry
  • b. computation + PEMDAS
  • c. time, space and money (units)
  • d. graphing
  • e. trigonometry
( The above recommendations for Math faculty were contributed by Jeremy Donson, Kaplan veteran and graduate of Teaneck High School)

Buses line up to take Academy
students back to their own towns. 
It was noted in the CAPA Report that portfolios were not utilized. They describe collections of student work as merely in folders that do not have any characteristics of a portfolio. An authentic portfolio tells the story of how a student has developed skills in that particular subject. It contains examples of the work in various stages of development that the student has produced over time.

There has been a lot of talk about a new Math focus in Englewood. It has been referred to as "Singapore Math". I questioned Dr. Carlisle about it but was not satisfied with the answer. I assume that he has been told that the Math curriculum needs work. I did some data driven research on Singapore Math and found that it is simply a Textbook. Maybe I should not say simply since Englewood has been veering away from the use of Textbooks. The road should be paved back to Textbooks. Textbooks provide a road map for teachers, students and parents. It is much easier to hold a child to task on homework assignments, tests, quizzes and classwork when there is a Textbook to follow. That is one of those things about the educational system that was "NOT" broken. Click here to find an in depth explanation of Singapore Math and its development over the years. The District is currently searching for someone with expertise in the area of Singapore Math that may submit a proposal of instructional strategies in Math grades K - 5. 
Common area/library/media Center
South building home of the Academy

I am still waiting for an explanation of why my tax dollars are used to keep the student population at Dwight Morrow High School separate in two different buildings. One has "State of the Art" everything including air conditioned facilities and the other is lacking, well almost everything. How does one justify that? It is not even an efficient use of space. Everyone agrees that there is a need for more classroom space on the campus. It angers me even more when I note that most of the children in the air conditioned building came to our town on a bus and we picked up the tab.

Sorry, just one more question. Was there a Board resolution to change the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall into Academy@Englewood? The New Jersey Dept. of Ed.  recognizes the Academy simply as an honors program. So why was this program separated physically and given a name that separates them even more? Well, this was Englewood shooting itself in the foot and what we are all smelling is the puss and rot that ensued. Do the present Board Members even know the real story? Do they care? We know our almost new Chief School  Administer does not have a clue.

Did you know that graduation from the Academy might still land you in a job at Wendy's or McDonald's? It is not a guarantee to fame, fortune or a great college education.

"How are the children?"