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.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Re-Introducing the Englewood Board of Education...updated August 17, 2012, updated again March 7, 2013


Get used to the location of your favorite candidate on the ballot. Use this post of guidelines that describe the essential qualities that a good Superintendent should demonstrate to create questions for the candidates. Use this link to become familiar with the laws that our Board of Education has sworn to uphold in the act of educating all of the children to achieve. 18A Education is becoming user friendly in the hands of a teacher.  Taxpayers Beware: What You Don't Know Can Cost You!  What is 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program all about?

The Author
Local School Board - Responsibility: The local school board establishes 'policies' for the running of the local school district consistent with the "Statues" and "Regulations" applicable to all public schools. (statues and regulations are Law) They take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the laws of the state of New Jersey. They must evaluate the Superintendent once yearly. The evaluation form is public information. We have not seen one. The Superintendent is evaluated on how well he has accomplished the goals and objectives created and geared specifically toward student achievement. There were no such goals last year and this year's were cut and pasted from other school districts. They have already given him merit pay of $10,000.00 for doing something that was accomplished before his hiring date. His contract is still not in compliance with state mandates. Check out the salary amount agreed to on this contract. Review this example of how a Superintendent is evaluated.
Read the promises listed below and decide if the candidates have kept their promises. As you read, keep in mind that this board overspent so much in the past year that they were threatened with laying off teachers for Christmas, if not for the sale of Liberty School. Budget Reporting has gone digital for the entire state of NJ. Remember also that this entire Board has already eliminated the positions of secretary and paraprofessional. The outsourcing employees plan has become a reality in Englewood. Over 100 employees have now gotten that fateful call, fax or text to inform them that they no longer have jobs. There was no gold watch, no whereas, no resolution, and no be it further resolved, to thank employees for their years of service. Employees have been encouraged to apply to Delta T and Mission One in order to get their old jobs back minus the benefits, social security, worker's compensation and other items that were once part of their employment contract with EPSD. These employees should be warned that since both of these are "referral agencies" there is no guarantee that they will ever work in Englewood again even if accepted by these companies.

Visit the EPSD official website and note that minutes demonstrating how each Board member voted in the past year are suspiciously missing from the EPSD site archived Board Agendas and minutes.   

Changes are coming in the field of education and Englewood will be left behind, because of Board of Education negligence. We must step up as community members, parents and what they call Stakeholders to ensure that the achievement of our children remains the focus of educational goals and objections. Read this letter concerning Teacher Evaluations from the Governor.  Teacher Evaluation Directives... Check out how other districts are dealing with the new initiatives.
                    The Englewood Board of Education  

Meet the Englewood, New Jersey School board. There is nothing magical about them. They do not have any special insight into what is going on in our schools. Once the board meeting is over, each of these people becomes John Q. Public, just like you, just like me. If, while you go about your regular Joe and Jane days, you witness school board members exploiting the power associated with being a board member, they have  indeed committed an ethics violation. The job of each member is not to run the schools, but to see that they are well run in a way that holds student achievement important above all else. (Board Member bios were taken from the S.E.E.K candidates flyer April 2011 and April of 2012 and from platform statements. I will add biographies as I collect them. Glenn Garrison, Enrique Diaz, and Stephen Brown's biographical material was taken from their campaign speeches.)

Stephen Brown, Attorney
9 years, 3rd term
Spring 2009 around election time: The district will have to reconfigure its operations and focus on programs that work and eliminate those that do not. I believe we can preserve all the programs and services that are absolutely critical for our collective success (e.g., early childhood education, AVID, courtesy busing, the Academies@Englewood, the alternative high school education program) by thinking out-of-the–box about how we deliver services. The district must focus on maintaining teachers and reduce its high administrative costs. The people who push knowledge in the classrooms are more valuable and important than the people who push paper in administrative offices. We must also look at every expense category to determine if there is a more cost effective way of doing business. For example, the administration must use the internet and electronic mail much more efficiently to deliver information rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on paper communications and board materials. This would not only cut costs, but also would be more environmentally friendly. If we are really committed to protecting teaching positions from budget cuts, then we need to think differently about spending millions on purchasing a new building for administration. That is a significant amount of money that can be used to save meaningful programs and employees.
( Does anyone still have doubts as to which program the district is following now? I think the time for pretense is over. The actions taken over the last few months are geared to accomplish the goals listed above. Mr. Brown was slightly less than sincere towards the public when he said that they neglected to address the problem of the unfunded Academy in 2008 - 2009. They made a conscious decision NOT to address or change the Educational Model even though it put the entire educational community in jeopardy. Is this the reason so many teachers were hired last year? Is this the reason so many salaries, pensions and medical/dental packages were added to the budget last year? Very interesting...I repeat.  We are in dire need of a forensic audit. I do not believe that there is a deficit after reading this speech again. Read this article. Stephen Brown is running for a 4th term on the Board of Education. Word on the street is that Mr. Brown is so confident that he will win that he has already planned to vacate his seat and give it to another member of SEEK as soon as the election is over. It is said that he is moving to another City in order to raise his expected family. He is that certain that the residents of Englewood still believe in him. He is that certain that he has total control of your votes, yet he has no intention of sending his children to a school system that he has led for 9 years. Review the events of last year. It is common knowledge that Mr. Brown has ties to forces of privatization. We have videotaped comments made by him while conducting our Board meetings that reinforce this theory. It is time for someone else to lead the Board of Education in Englewood.) articles... A timeline of the drama that gripped the very soul of Englewood...
April 14, 2012 - How to raise test scores – question for board candidates
May 1, 2012 - Schools will pay $2.3 million in Dwight Morrow sex abuse case
May 2, 2012 - Star ledger - Three former N.J. high school students to receive $2.3M to settle sex abuse case
June 6, 2012 - Englewood Board of Education to vote on privatizing secretary, teaching assistant positions
June 8, 2012 - Englewood schools to explore outsourcing of secretaries, teaching assistants
June 8, 2012 - Update: More than 100 Englewood teachers, support staff call in sick amid possible outsourcing. 
June 10, 2012 - The Record: Save Secretaries 
June 12, 2012 - Christie says under new bill, teachers lose tenure after two negative evaluations
June 13, 2012 - Englewood students protest plan to outsource secretaries, teaching assistants
June 13, 2012 - Dozens protest outsourcing plan at Englewood school board meeting
June 14, 2012 - Englewood School board moves forward with outsourcing despite pleas.
June 14, 2012 - This time, Englewood students address school board about outsourcing
June 14, 2012 -Doctor’s note required for Englewood teachers who called out Friday 
June 17, 2012 -Englewood schools' outsourcing plan has other districts watching
June 21, 2012 - Opponents to Englewood outsourcing plan seeking state review of district's finances 
June 24, 2012 - Enrolling outsiders can gain, lose funds for school 
June 25, 2012 - Norman Danzig's letter to hints of Carlisle contract
June 24, 2012 - Enrolling outsiders can gain, lose funds for school districts 
June 26, 2012 - 2 districts to save $4.6M with county bond
June 26, 2012 - Bergen NAACP hosting march amid possible Englewood school outsourcing
July 5, 2012 - Union declares impasse in negotiations for concessions with Englewood BOE
July 6, 2012 - Silent March in educators Englewood raises support for 
July 10, 2012 - Talks for Englewood teacher contracts falter
July 23, 2012 -Englewood Board of Education plans to approve outsourcing deal Thursday 
July 24, 2012 - Bergen County NAACP organizing march in protest of Englewood outsourcing
July 24, 2012 - Englewood board to OK outsourcing
July 24, 2012 - Appeals court rules Englewood educator cannot be tried for official misconduct
July 25, 2012 - Englewood school board may drop outsourcing
July 27, 2012 Update: Tentative deal in Englewood might stave off outsourcing school system jobs
July 27, 2012 Englewood school board delays vote on outsourcing plan.
July 30, 2012 Englewood Teachers reject deal on outsorcing
August 1, 2012 - In unanimous vote, EPSD approves signing contracts for outsourcing
August 16, 2012 - Englewood school board could eliminate athletic director position in meeting
August 16, 2012 - Englewood school board eliminates 8 positions, but Athletic Director is spared

July 31, 2012 the positions and titles of Paraprofessional and Secretary were abolished. Each of these positions are now being filled by "temps" who have no benefits. Soon after the positions of approximately 31 paraprofessionals were abolished we learned that these employees had written promises of employment from the Board of Education.

Their positions were abolished anyway. At this time we did not have knowledge of this law signed January 16, 2010. 18A:27-10.1-4. AN ACT concerning certain teaching paraprofessionals and 2 supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey: This Act Establishes measures to provide employment stability for teaching paraprofessionals employed in school districts that receive federal funding under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Henry Pruitt, Begins his 3rd term
I have chosen to seek a third term to serve the students and citizens of Englewood as an active member of the School Board. My wife and I have been Englewood homeowners for over 20 years, and all three of our children went through the Englewood Schools. My wife, Tracey, is a graduate of DMHS, and is very active with the PTOs. As a technology executive, I managed multi million dollar budgets, led global teams, and made tough tradeoffs to deliver on goals with limited budgets. This experience highlighted the value of education and the need to prepare our children to be successful in a global workforce. I frequently attend conferences and seek out opportunities to learn more about better utilizing technology to improve education and reduce the Achievement Gap. I made several significant contributions to improve education over the past six years and served as President, VP, and head of several committees. We improved accountability, raised academic standards, enhanced educational programs, and changed the culture of our schools. We also upgraded our facilities, by building Grieco, doubling the size of McCloud, installing a new football field, and are currently in the process of moving our district offices and Eagle programs out of the Liberty school. This was accomplished with two years of a 0 percent increase in the tax levy, and a proposed 1 percent increase this year. During my next term, I plan on continuing to work collaboratively with the district administration, teachers and the community to further enhance the education of all our children.
(Henry is the son of Dr. Henry Pruitt II, former principal of the Janis E. Dismus Middle School. Dr. Pruitt II served on the Teaneck Board of Education and also served as the alternate Delegate to the New Jersey School Board Association. Dr. Pruitt II is not on the Teaneck City Council. Henry Pruitt III's mother is Dr. Zita Pruitt, former principal of Bryant School in Teaneck, New Jersey.  I will not vote for any candidate  based on name recognition only ever again. Henry Pruitt III must begin to think of children other than his own. He must also begin to spearhead the most basic job of the School Board. Henry has been a disappointment in that he has not consistently fought to get the School Board to set goals and objectives that hold as priority the achievement of all students by which the Superintendent may be evaluated. The Superintendent has still not been evaluated. Dr. Carlisle cannot do this alone. It is not fair to expect him to. It is also not fair to pay a man over the salary CAP and then not listen to him when he is involved in meeting with other Superintendents from around the state who are actively preparing for the many changes coming down from the state and federal governments in regards to public education. )

Glenn Garrison
9 years, 3rd term
Spring 2009 around election time: Today, I ask the citizens of Englewood to re-elect me to the Board of Education. During my tenure, our schools have undergone a rebirth in academic standards, curriculum, facilities, and financial stability.  I am employed as a hospital administrator in New York. My professional experiences have given me the skills and insight to serve in key leadership roles on the Board. I was twice elected Board President and chaired the Construction Committee for five years and the Finance and Operations Committee for three.  When first elected to the Board, I was asked to oversee the $49 million District-wide referendum program. Despite material shortages caused by Hurricane Katrina and disputes among the various contractors, we completed all phases of the construction program within the financial constraints of the District. Today, the citizens of Englewood can boast of world-class educational facilities for children of all ages. By carefully investing our referendum dollars, we were able to upgrade windows, doors, and our heating systems, reducing energy costs by 40 percent. This year, our District, like most others, is in the midst of an economic crisis. Our taxpayers are hurting. But with crisis comes opportunity. These times demand that we invest dwindling resources wisely – ever mindful of our obligations to our children and to the taxpayers who support our mission. (We should point out at this time that,by law, the Business Administrator is in charge of the budget and was in charge of the $49 million dollar district wide referendum.. We will however give Mr. Garrison credit for destroying our professional class football stadium. We will give him credit for reducing the size of the locker rooms so small that our football team does not fit in them. (N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-4(c))Even the midget football team does not fit. What was the purpose of that? Did everyone get that Glenn Garrison knew in 2009 that it was a time to STOP spending money? Mr. Garrison continues to spend on facilities to this day. In the user friendly budget that is available at the state and on the district website notice that the Board created a budget that decreased the total student support services by 10.7% and increased total expenditures of capital outlay to 23.6%. He encumbered money that should have been used for student support services for future use to build a maintenance shed/office building. What is driving these people to empty the coffers. Both Stephen Brown and Glenn Garrison had prior knowledge of the financial problems ahead. They both made a conscious choice NOT to streamline the failed Educational Model that was supposed to integrate Dwight Morrow High School. They proceeded with the support of this failed attempt at integration that continues to polarize the entire Community. Anywhere you see statutes like N.J.S.A 18A:7G3, copy and paste the numbers and letters into the search engine. The state mandates that students grade 9 - 12 have a specific space allowance of 151 square feet. After calculating the Architect's remodel, it appears that the space allowance for our football players grade 9 - 12 has been reduced to less than 60 square feet. Mr. Glenn is running for another term on the Englewood Board of Education. Tell him where to go with your vote for other candidates.)
Enrique Diaz
2 years, 1st term
As parents, my wife and I have learned to set high expectations for our children – whether in their school work, their chores or in how they behave as young citizens. In these difficult times, we, like many of our neighbors, have had to sacrifice to live within our means. But we know, no matter how difficult the times, we cannot lower our expectations for our children.  Our children attend the Englewood Public Schools. I have volunteered there and as a Little League Coach and in the Jr. Football program. I have seen first-hand how all children need coaching, mentoring, and high expectations. The current recession has had a devastating effect on Englewood’s schools. Taxpayers are suffering. State funding is disappearing, and the District can no longer operate under the pretense of "business as usual". Compounding the problem is that some Board members seem more concerned with lowering standards than with addressing the schools’ economic crisis. (Enrique, how much did Glenn tell you about the remodeling of the football stadium? What do you think happens at half time in baseball, basketball, football and other team sports? It is the time that the coaches psyche up the TEAM to win. They must be in the same room when this happens. Sometimes the trainer is applying ice while the coach gives the half time pep talk. Last season, the football players were forced to get that pep talk in the cafeteria of an elementary school. That is not the way to build a winning team, especially since the team members fully realize what has been taken away from them. Did you take that into consideration when it became evident that there were not enough football players left on the team to finish the season? Yet again, another Board member gives testimony to the fact that the decision not to streamline the Academy was a conscious one even though they knew that the Equity and Excellence millions were gone forever. Is anyone else wondering why this Board insists on languishing in the land of OZ? Mr. Diaz is not running for another term on the Board of Education.) 
Harley Ungar
1 year, 1st term
Harley Elizabeth Ungar is a 13 year Englewood resident and homeowner and the mother of three young children. She received a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. For the past eight years, Harley has worked as a key staff member at Teach For America, the national non-profit organization focused on closing the academic achievement gap in public schools.  At TFA she has been involved with teacher selection and placement, fundraising, school leadership cultivation, and analyzing teacher effectiveness, "She recently worked on the publication of  A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education For All. Harley is passionate about educational equity and excellence, and is hoping to bring her management experience and relentless pursuit of results to our schools.
(Mrs. Ungar praised our facilities during one of the meet the candidates forums last year. What has Harley learned since becoming a school board member? That is a very good question and I still do not have an answer. It is what it is...We are still waiting Harley...Have you read any of 18A or 6A yet? Have you progressed pass the mandated introductory training in Atlantic City?Surely your Harvard Education has prepared you for such a read. Perhaps you might also pick up a copy of the Governor's Education Transformation Task Force Final Report. Many of these proposed changes are making their way to the legislature right now. You should be aware of which ones have not yet passed. How about those goals & Objectives for the district and the Superintendent evaluation. Are you prepared to insist on setting these goals and objectives during this year's reorganization? Have you found anything else in EPSD that you may praise other than the facilities?)

Molly Craig-Berry, 1st term
I believe that I am able to offer the professional skills, personal experiences and relevant leadership that are required to continue to move The Englewood Board of Education mission forward. Being a resident of Englewood for 14 years made me realize we need to improve where our children are on the education ladder. We can do so by providing resources that are appropriate for student needs, and provide varied educational options that work for all families and students. We have to invest in quality instruction, meaningful activities, student involvement, and social participation in order to bring about success for our children and community. We need to operate efficiently in order to provide these resources during these economically challenging times. For the past six years, I have managed an independent Graphic Design business. As an involved parent I work for my children and for all the children of our community to continue to have services from our city and schools and to utilize them.

(Molly craig-Berry joined the Englewood Board of Education at a time of crisis. During the campaign, she spoke at length about the Recreation Program and her children. She had little to say regarding the Education process. We learned that she cared a great deal about children participating in sports. She was adamant during the months of "outsource debate" that she was not there to save anybody's job. Without a minute of training in contract negotiation and without the mandatory introductory training from the New Jersey School Boards Association, Ms. Craig-Berry voted to outsource over 100 employees. She voted to abolish these jobs without first getting any training in how to function as a school board member.  She participated in the teacher contract negotiation process without taking advantage of the training offered by the system set up by the state to train her in the completion of her duties as school board member. How is it that this Board Member failed to complete these minimum requirements before participating in such an important decision? What happens to you and your children when you fail to complete minimum requirements set by EPSD?)

Howard Haughton, 1st term
As a candidate for election to the Board of the Englewood School District, I am asking for your help, your support, and most important your vote on April 17, 2012. I am a results-oriented Chief Financial Officer with more than 20 years of private and not-for-profit experience. I sit on various boards and have served Boards of Directors of Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profits. My professional and community-related experience uniquely qualifies me to serve our school district and ensure continuous improvement in educating our children, improving board governance and striking the right balance with the administration. I have been a resident of Bergen County for 40 years, of which 15 of my most recent years have been as a resident, homeowner and taxpayer of Englewood, NJ. My wife, Alicia and I have three children in the Englewood public schools. I have the distinct pleasure of serving as the president of an education fund that awards scholarships to students in Englewood and the surrounding areas. I believe in high standards – academically, socially and athletically. Every child may not excel in all three of these areas; however, our school district must provide our children with the tools and the unwavering support to excel in their pursuit of a craft, trade, profession or higher education. We must, and if elected, I will lead the charge to provide these tools and encourage achievement of these standards in a responsible, well-planned and intentional manner that is fiscally sound and that our community can support.  (It is really too bad that we may never get to see if Howard actually means anything he says here. He and Molly Craig-Berry came into the web without fully understanding the depth of the craziness. Both Mr. Haughton and Mrs. Craig-Berry have been less than impressive in the year that they have served on the Board. Howard distinguished himself last year by coming out from behind the table and giving a long speech on how he is the only male head of household on his street. He failed to understand that those female heads of household should be given respect and even accolades for holding down a job, paying a mortgage and caring for their children without the help of a male figure. He consistently refers to his family as a model. His wife is a college graduate who is also a stay at home Mom. He should take another look at the Community in which he has chosen to live. Mr. Haughton has suggested that the "infrastructure" is broken. The entire Board voted to make a custodian Director of Information Technology without hesitation. This resident wants to know what Mr. Haughton  is doing to repair the infrastructure.)

Mark DeMontagnac
1 year, 1st term
Mr. DeMontagnac is a 16 year  Englewood resident and homeowner and the father of 3 children: a son enrolled at Janis Dismus, a daughter at McCloud, and a 4 year old starting Quarles in the fall. Mark holds a BS degree in Construction Management from Syracuse University and has over 26 years of construction experience. Mark currently works for the NYC School Construction Authority where he is actively involved in the city's current $9.3 billiion new and capital improvement school plan. he volunteers as the Assistant Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop #28 and is an assistant coach for the Englewood Little League. Mark would be instrumental in oversight of necessary capital improvements in our schools, helping to generate considerable savings in renovation and maintenance costs.  (Mark failed to register for the criminal background check in a timely manner which caused his name to be listed among those removed from the boards of education across the state. We are waiting for him to unfold his arms and wake up. Did Mr. deMontagnac wake up this last past year? No. He did not.)
George Garrison III, 1st year of his 2nd
2011 around election time:  Mr. Garrison is a 16 year resident and homeowner. He has four children attending the Englewood public schools. George is a Governor's Scholar and graduate of the Plainfield, NJ public schools and Howard University's School of Engineering. George, an Insurance Consultant, manages the Medicare Department for NYC's largest healthcare provider. He is an Englewood Jr. Raider football coach and a volunteer with Aging in America, where he offers his expertise and guidance to assist seniors in our area. George is the current President of the Englewood Board of Education and Chairman of the Budget Committee. As Board President, George oversaw the board's passage of the budget for the 2011 - 2012 school year with a 0% increase to the tax levy, while not cutting jobs or programs. A committed and invested leader, George remains eager to continue to raise the bar for academic excellence while maintaining fiscal responsibility. (George Garrison III failed to register for the criminal background check in a timely manner which caused his name to be listed among those removed from the boards of education across the state. His signature is the only other one on Dr. Carlisle's contract. George Garrison worked side by side with Dr. Carlisle as he hired so many teachers that they had more teachers than classrooms the first day of school September 2011. It really is time for Mr. Garrison to stop treating the Board of Education as the Board of Employment. Mr. Garrison is indeed an enigma. He did abstain from the outsourcing vote, but we all know that he could  not vote because his sister-in-law was employed as a paraprofessional. One wonders if Mr. Garrison has been paying attention to what is going on in the district as a result of the ACT of Outsourcing. One also cannot help but like this jovial fellow. He is the one with the most New Jersey School Boards Association training. So why is he so lax? I have little to say about Mr. Garrison except that "BoardWatch" will be keeping vigilance on his activities until his term is up.)

Back in the day, the board of education was appointed by the Mayor of Englewood. A lot of us thought that left too much power in the hands of one man. We did not understand why anyone would object to having an elected board, afterall, that is the way the towns around us operate. Well, now we have an elected board. What is the difference? One difference is very obvious. There is less representation for the children that need it the most.  This is a democracy of, for and by the people, the board works for us and the children through the State of New Jersey. When we are not satisfied with the Board we go to their boss. The State. 

I would like to add that I have determined the difference between an elected and an appointed school board. When the mayor appointed members, if he wanted to be re-elected, he appointed at least one from each ward of the City. This created a situation where each group/ward of residents in the school district were represented on the board of education. That my friends, was much better. I do admit when I am wrong. The worse possible scenario has come to existence in Englewood. For the first time in recorded history, the 4th ward is not represented on the Board of Education. The SEEK slate has taken over the Board of Education. Harley Ungar is the only Board member who does not live in the 3rd ward. Even though Harley does not live in the 3rd ward she is still a member of SEEK. SEEK has turned a non-partisan election into a partisan affair. 
par·ti·san 1  (pärt-zn)
1. A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
2. A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory; a guerrilla.
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a partisan or partisans.
2. Devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause: partisan politics.

(free online dictionary)
Word on the street is that 4 Board members and 5 members of the PTO Council interviewed candidates for the board of education. They extracted stipulations from them before agreeing to support their campaigns with money and electioneering expertise. This is very significant when one realizes who runs the PO Council... I call it the PO Council, because I do not see any evidence of Teachers working with this group. There is no "T" in PTO Council.  How do we spell conflict of interest?   

This board has been given some very specific instructions on how to improve a school that has been designated as "in need of improvement" for three consecutive years. This board has wasted time and loads of money for a full year in an argument over the salary of Dr. Donald K. Carlisle. We are tired of the focus of all district attention being on this man and his paycheck.  Have you ever heard of the Next-Generation Assessment Systems? Have you heard of the "New Jersey First Act?"   Have you read these letters? 2/24/201111/18/2011 , 12/12/2011What grade does a student earn when demonstrating such resistance to authority? Oh, I forgot they already have seats waiting in the Eagle Program where they are getting a thorough lesson in Life. 

Dr. Donald Carlisle
Superintendent of Schools
Englewood, NJ
or is

The Englewood, N.J., Public Schools have a new superintendent in Donald Carlisle. A 30-year veteran in administration, Carlisle previously was superintendent of the 4,200-student Port Chester Public Schools in Westchester County, N.Y., since 2006. Earlier, he worked over 12 years as superintendent in Miller Place, N.Y., Hudson, N.Y., and East Sullivan, Maine. He also held principal ships in Willis, Houston and Livingston, all in Texas. An AASA member since 1997, Carlisle earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. (This biography was taken from the American Association of Administrators' May 2011 issue.) 

The Superintendent of schools or the Chief School Administrator answers to the Board of Education. (who works for us by way of the state of nj) The Chief School Administrator (Title 18A:17-20) has general supervision of the schools of the district or districts under rules and regulations prescribed by the State board and shall keep himself informed as to their condition and progress and shall report thereon, from time to time, to, and as directed by, the board and he shall have other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the board or boards employing him. (18A:17-20.3) Evaluation of the Superintendent...The evaluation shall be based upon the goals and objectives of the district, the responsibilities of the superintendent and such other  criteria as the state Board of  education shall by regulation prescribe. OPRA results show that Dr. Carlisle earned a certificate in School Administration August of 2012. Better late than never. (This man is so un-invested in our town and the future of our children that he did not even have the decency to sit down with knowledgeable administrators and come up with some real goals and objectives specifically tailored for the children in this town. That is what we pay him to do.   He took the goals and objectives of the white children in the over 90% white districts and presented them as goals developed us. How is that supposed to fly with us?)   Read your mail. I do not like the way Dr. Carlisle was hired. I do not like the way his contract was implemented. I do not like the fact that his contract was never approved by the Executive County Superintendent. I do know, however that Dr. Carlisle did get the nod of approval from Commissioner Cerf. How do I know this? I know because I placed the Ethic Violations against the Board that detailed the many infractions of state law in the hands on Commissioner Cerf myself. He examined the document and assured me that it was all in order. He folded it and placed it inside his jacket pocket and patted his chest.
Needless to say, I have little trust in that little man. An electronic copy of that complaint, Dr. Carlisle's contract, the electronic transfer of $5.8 million dollars and a petition with nearly 1,500 names was sent to the state department of education, the state comptroller's office and to various other state and national governing agencies. This petition asked for a forensic audit of our Board of Education's financial practices and established that at least that number of residents felt that EPSD had Violated the Public Trust. With that, Dr. Carlisle remains. Still there are no goals and objectives and no Superintendent evaluation in a district that has a focus school. The ball has been dropped and has rolled out of bounds. I do not blame Dr. Carlisle for this. The responsibility rests with a Board that has failed to complete the minimum basic requirements mandated of a Board of Education. Only we, the voters are able to change this. Our district needs goals and objectives specifically developed to improve the achievement of all of our students. There is no hope of success without this.

Maria Engeleit
Business Administrator
 The Business Administrator/Board Secretary has a  very close relationship with the Chief School Administer. Maria Engeleit is now Board Secretary and Business Administrator for Englewood Public School District. She is the Chief Financial Officer who makes sure that tvzhe Chief School Administrator has what he needs (finances) in order to supervise the district with success. I patiently await the outcome of her Corrective Action Plan of January 19, 2012.  She formerly worked as Assistant Business Administrator in Wayne '09', Jersey City, and Paramus. The new BA was formerly a member of the Jersey City team that was awarded accolades for financial reporting to the state of New Jersey. The courier times..."These awards of Excellence represent a very significant achievement and reflects the district’s commitment to the highest standards of school system financial reporting." At the October 20, 2011 public meeting of the Board of Education, Dr. Charles T. Epps, Jr. Announced the Receipt of the Awards of Excellence. He commended the district’s Business Administrator, Melissa Simmons, the Budget Officer, Nancy Cadenilla and the Executive Controller, Maria Engeleit for their hard work and the hard work of the accountants in their respective departments. ( It seems that Ms. Engeleit has never been Business Administrator. She has been Executive Controller and Assistant Business Administrator, but has never been the one in charge. She has her work cut out for her. Dr. Carlisle really spends away a budget. The Board of Education has a habit of spending and not documenting how and where the money was spent. It seems this is her first assignment as Business Administrator. We wish her luck in her on the job training. It is a year now since our green Business Administrator arrived in the midst of the outsourcing turmoil. How is she doing? Good question. It is not encouraging to note that she needs Stephen Brown to count the simple vote of the board on particular items on the agenda. It is not encouraging at all. We never saw any sign that Shane Higuera ever appeared to give her any help. It has not been a good year and our BA has not distinguished herself.)

Dr. Michelle James
Assistant Superintendent of Schools
Dr. James comes to us from the Paterson school district at a time when many feel that we have been duped into thinking there is no money. For 2 years they told us there was no money and suddenly it seems that money materialized to pay an Assistant Superintendent. I hope that Dr. James will prove to be a valuable asset to the district.

Many people question her ability to do the job because of the unfortunate situation in Paterson. (PATERSON, NJ – When state-appointed superintendent Donnie Evans launched a sweeping student improvement program last year, the person he picked to oversee it was Michelle James, an elementary school principal with a doctorate degree. Evans raised James’ salary to $140,000 and gave her the Cabinet-level position of assistant superintendent. He made it clear that the 17-school program, known as the Paterson Innovation Zone, was an important part of his academic reform plan.
A year has passed and Evans plans to expand the Innovation Zone by including additional city schools. But he is doing that without James. On July 16, she was reassigned and put back in a principal’s job. Her salary was reduced to $120,568. (That information was disclosed by Paterson Public Schools only after filed an Open Public Records Act request. )
I prefer to give Dr. James the benefit of the doubt since I have been one of the people asking for an Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for 2 years. We were told that the district could not afford one. We should allow the quality of her work speak for her. It did not slip my notice that she was the only Assistant Superintendent who has a Doctorate of that Paterson group. I am fighting the urge to say that I am not impressed. She needs more time and we need to see more. Perhaps this will happen when Stephen and Glenn are no longer on the Board.

Is Mr. Higuera still on staff? Did anyone ever see any sign of him in the district? We did notice that he was slated to be given the salary listed below. Inquiring minds want to know. We have still not seen Mr. Higuera. If he was paid the money, we have not seen the results on his labor.

Shane Higuera of SBA Solutions, Inc. Middle Island, NY is being paid as a management consultant to Maria Engeleit to help her get the district back on track? His salary is not to exceed $35,000.00. He is to be employed between July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013.  June 13, 2012 Agenda page 9 of 19.
Linked in from the American Association of School Administrators...
Dr. Shane Higuera is a former school business administrator. He serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Dowling College on Long Island in New York helping to prepare future school business administrators. In addition to serving AASA as a member of our Publications Review Board, Dr. Higuera consults with school districts on matters of school finance and business management as well as owns and operates the SBA Website, a site devoted to the informational needs of school business administrators working within New York State. Contact him at
 This article makes for some interesting reading in terms of theory. 
Testimonials about Shane's services.

Caryn Furst: Publicity
It should also be noted here that our Publicity Person is always missing in Action. The mere thought that someone living in Connecticut is considered our District Spokesperson is quite frankly an insult. We saw her once and that was when the Board voted to give her $40,000.00 per year for her services. A reporter told me that she informed him that we do not have any students from Englewood Cliffs since the late 80's. It is a fact that parents of prospective Academy students have been told that they would be placed on the waiting list until after the Englewood Cliffs students have been accepted. Perhaps Ms. Furst should go back and read all of the documents surrounding that long ago decision made by the NJ Supreme Court. Her account of the proceedings is significantly flawed.