A friend of mine read this article in northjersey.com today. She wanted to know what I thought...
In a perfect world, Englewood Cliffs will build their own little high school for a small number of students. There are tiny high schools all over the country. So what is the problem? Folks seem to forget that Englewood Cliffs is totally free to set up their own small high school. They might even set up a Charter School. Remember, Charter Schools are public schools. That means that the people of Englewood Cliffs need to make some very important, history changing decisions. It would be a bold and admirable move. That would take care of Englewood Cliffs. (One wonders why this was never done. Gives one pause.)
The Academy should be forced to eliminate the TEST with the stringent MATH performance requirements that all applicants must take to enter the School Choice Program. It is contrary to School Choice Guidelines to base admission into this "funded program" on a test. School Choice is based on Space. We see from this article that School Choice Admission is also based on Funding and this Funding is running out. The Program is costing the entire School District money. Poor planning, poor work organization and poor fiscal management may also be factors to consider.
It costs more to educate a child in the Englewood Public School District than it does to educate a child in a good quality Private School. This would be fine if test scores demonstrated that we are providing a good quality competitive education to every child. That, is not the case. School Choice is a privilege and should only be available to school districts that demonstrate they are already successful at teaching their own children. School Choice Students come here and they can be number 1 or number 10. What number were they in their home districts?
Exactly what does Englewood get out of that arrangement? Enrollment of Englewood students in A@E dropped long ago. There is no longer even an attempt to keep the enrollment to half and half as was mandated by the state. School Choice is based on Space.
Why should the State even consider giving this funding to Englewood Cliffs and Englewood? Both places need to accept that the world is changing. Some old deals need renegotiation and some just need to be discarded altogether, because of the backroom nature of the bargains. When I came here in 1967, there were quite a few students from the Cliffs. It was said that the additions to Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall were made to accommodate Englewood Cliffs students. I don't know about that, but I do know that the taxpayers of Englewood paid for the construction of the South Building. That information was easy to find.
Englewood Cliffs must take on the full responsibility of educating their own children.
It is time for Englewood to do the same thing. EPSD must stop making excuses for failure. Englewood children must be "priority ONE" if we are to achieve the Reward School Designation. We must endeavor to raise the Academic Performance of every single student. There are Regulations and we have policy regarding Equal Educational Opportunity. This policy is in direct conflict with the concept of "academic segregation" and this should be stressed to the public. It is unfair and gives children the wrong idea when adults do not practice what they preach. They make laws that apply to OTHER people and not to themselves. The children are watching, learning, judging...and...
The very concept of Integration means that you need a certain percentage of white people. This A@E Entrance Test probably eliminates some very brilliant white children who excel in many other subject areas and who will fit more harmoniously with the children of Englewood Residents. Do you follow? It will do wonders on helping to repair the Toxic Climate and Culture that has been pervading our high school. Then perhaps children, teachers and administrators will get down to some learning.
Everybody is looking to register white children. This very paper did an article a few months ago about Teaneck Public Schools. It seems that Teaneck still thinks that they need white people in order to survive and educate all children. The perception that education must stop because of a person's address and skin color is old and played. White flight is at its highest. Population growth among Caucasian people is said to be about 0-1%. It is time to stop chasing Anglo Saxons. Some people don't like being in the minority, so they fly. Englewood must buckle down and teach the diverse population of children enrolled.
There are just not enough white people to go around.
What does Englewood get out of any deal with Englewood Cliffs? There is no real gain from even the School Choice Program since we lose money on every single student. Add that to the cost of the extended day and there lies that deficit that was defined in 2012. This same deficit was predicted in 2008 - 2009 when the last check came from the Equity and Excellence millions that were given to the EPSD for the purpose of integrating DMHS. How did that work out for us? School Choice does not earn money for the Englewood Public School District. Those False Rumors have been dispelled.
A Focus School Designation has a negative impact on our HS and our district.
The burning question on the lips of taxpayers.....
Would DMHS have been designated a Focus School if there was no School Choice Program in our district?
In the words of one of our Board Members, "We are who we Are!"
And that includes Englewood Cliffs.
Solve your problems and we will solve ours.
So that is what I think...
...And how are the children?