Thursday, June 30, 2011

Are Our Schools In Crisis?: Not Another Pilot Program!

Some opportunities ARE really PIE in the sky ideas for many reasons. School districts should beware of stretching too hard at the seams. If teachers are rationing paper and the children do not have textbooks, you don't put up a $14 thousand or $19 thousand dollar tent and let it stand from Monday to Sunday. Unless you really need the money, why would you jump at every pilot program or grant that surfaces? It is time to take care of home. Straighten out home and students from other towns will want to attend your school choice without bribes of special treatment and separation from the general school population.

Parents also get really sick of being told that their children are being used as guinea pigs again. We take programs and never evaluate the effectiveness of them. The last thing we need is another program. Englewood jumps on every single grant that is offered. Our Board of Education Members are grant junkies. We watched the board jump on an offer today that is clearly not for us, because of the distressed  state of the district. They knew that $100,000 was not a lot of money for the participating program. This did not stop them from working out the amount they would have to add to it in order for it to work. $140,000 more. Now do we need money? Something fishy here much? They saw another way to stick it to principals, teachers and parents that they have labeled unruly. They didn't care that our district has just had a major shake up. The middle school is being reorganized. Principal from the Middle school shuffled, Principal from the high school shuffled, assistant principals shuffled from high school, middle school and elementary schools. Two major program changes in curriculum and instruction and a new Superintendent once he figures out how to get the money he wants.

Hello Board of Education. All is NOT well. We should get ourselves together. The last thing we need right now is to subject our students to another Pilot program.

No one expects you to jump on every single grant that is offered. That is fickle, not to mention just plain greedy.

Business is booming. Facilities are beautiful. Profits are high. Scores are down. Academies are NOT numder one in the State. Academies were slated to be evaluated after two years. Did it happen? It was evaluated as part of Dwight Morrow High School. So why does the Board President continue to claim they are the best in the state. I know for a fact that the criteria for admission in Englewood is less rigorous than of the Bergen County Academies. Smoke and mirrors. I am choking right now. Avid has not been evaluated. Ivy has not been evaluated. Small Learning Communities have not been evaluated. Average children with the capacity to achieve are being neglected and some are even being segregated to a place that resembles a reform school in nature. More of them are slated to move into this same environment, because public silence signifies agreement.

Are Our Schools In Crisis?: Sometimes Silence Signifies Agreement

I arrived at the DMHS Alumni Educational Alliance picnic late and did not get to see many of the people that I wanted to meet. I had my two little grandkids with me. One moves significantly slower when in that situation. I was only in Dwight Morrow High School for 2 years. I was also on work study leaving school before 1pm each day. Consequently, I spent very little time even in the cafeteria where I would have mingled. I had to support myself during high school. I even worked as a maid and nanny for a family in Tenafly in order to contribute to my Grandma's household expenses. When I got my yearbook, I put it down and did not open it again until I joined Facebook and started looking for former classmates. My memories of DMHS are quite different from people who grew up in Englewood.

I do however understand how people may attack a tradition and use the demolition of that tradition as a way to emasculate a people. This is a tactic that has been used world wide throughout the existence of mankind. I am a strong history buff. Dr. Segall and Mr. Garrison knew exactly what they were doing when they removed the plaques and banners that represent the strong sports history of DMHS graduates. They have been putting the plan in action to change the colors and the name of the school since early 2000. ( "We must segregate in order to integrate." These were the late Dr. Grieco's words.) We have the segregation he spoke of, but when will the integration begin? They have also been monitoring the attendance at the picnic and other Alumni functions. As long as the Alumni Organizations are only involved in fundraising to benefit its members and to give scholarships, they are participating in their own erasure.

After reading the agenda for June 16th again, it has become quite clear that the Board has no respect for Alumni. They only want the Scholarship money to keep coming. They also want to make sure that the Alumni Association knows who is boss. They thought Curtis and I were part of the Association. They know that their wrongdoings have been uncovered. Dr. Segall and board members have put through changes that needed a board resolution to make official. Regardless, of what you think of me, this is being done without formal objection from anyone. If all of the Alumni Associations of DMHS continue in their own division there will be nothing left of our Alma Mater that we recognize. 

I am not against the Academy. What I am against is that the Academy is an honors program that separates the students physically. Any student that takes an honors class in the Academy is recorded as an Academy student. NOT SO. This is causing an unreal number of children to be counted as Academy. Those students do not get all of the special consideration of the Elite children. Also the process of getting into honors period is too restrictive for the average student who does not have the right parentage or address.

When students leave Quarles School they are already slated into the Ivy program which becomes Academy Prep in Janis Dismus. I am speculating now. If a student is already reading in first grade they are placed in IVY based on his/her address and reading ability. (Meanwhile, a very high number of special education students have been included in classes at Quarles with children without disabilities. For the teachers among us, we know that the children w/o disabilites have a slim chance of learning to read and write while the autistic, down syndrome and numerous other classifications get all of the attention.)

In pre-K the odds have already been stacked against the students w/o disabilities. Now I have a question. How many Blacks and Latinos have their children classified at 3 years old and younger? Give a PIE AWARD to anyone who says, slim to none. These children never move into the public school from Quarles. They are only in the public schools long enough to pick up the classification and the money that will pay for their education all the way through high school.

While we are trying hard to keep our kids out of special ed. they are fighting to get theirs in so the money will follow them right out of the district to all of the special schools. Some of these schools are out of state and we the taxpaying public are paying for the tuition and the transportation. They have now removed all of the old agendas from the District website, because we ignorant Blacks and Latinos were reading too much for our own good and we uncovered this situation. It should be noted here that I am NOT against parents fighting for their children with disabilities. I am against the way the System has not dealt with the children who do not have disabilities at the Pre - K and Kindergarten level. I have been told by board members on several occasions that things will only change when parents come out to object. That very statement lets us know that they cannot be trusted to uphold the oath taken to make sure ALL children get a thorough and efficient education. It means that if a large enough group makes enough noise, then perhaps that group will be considered. They cannot be trusted. It hurts my heart to admit, because of all the young ones, but it is nonetheless true. My mission is to inform parents of the situation so they may make informed decisions from there. The district is nurturing oppositional attitudes in children from the time they enter school. Is there any wonder why so many people have decided that they would prefer their kids in charter school buildings that cannot hold a candle to our beautiful public facilities?

Meanwhile, little Sally or Enrique over there who had no disabilities and has a great capacity to learn has been neglected. It is a miracle if any of them are able to read by the time they enter 1st grade. The Ivys go from Grieco Elementary to McCloud. At Janis E. Dismus Middle School the Ivys become Academy Prep. (Oh and our children have become disagreeable and angry without knowing why by this time. They are now proposing another school that would remove these disagreeble children that they have created by neglect to an Alternative School.)

The special and privileged IVY/Academy Prep children are then tracked into the Academy. These children are already labeled as Academy from 1st grade. Now you tell me. What is going on here? Oh and, the children of the board members and folks affiliated with that click ALL end up in the Academies. That is the reason they pretend to object to the DMHS Alumni Educational Alliance giving a Scholarship to DMHS students.

Academy students are only referred to as DMHS students 2 times. They are DMHS students when they want the Scholarships. They are Dwight Morrow High School Students on their diplomas. The state of New Jersey does not recognize the Academy as a school. This is the reason DMHS must be erased. The Academy will arise out of the ashes like the historical and mythical phoenix.

In case folks were not aware of the fact. Mr. Garrison made his presence known during the picnic. He drove slowly by. He also sicked his daughter on me at the June 28th board meeting when I objected to them changing the colors. I openly asked for a truce and to have the plaques returned and the gym floor repainted to maroon and white. I have never seen a white girl head wiggle so much in my life. I was shocked into silence when the man trained his daughter onto me. She was  yelling and head wiggling like a crazed teenager. Mind you, I was not even talking to her. I was talking to the Board President who had been instructed to show us the proposed brick sign they plan to erect on Knickerbocker road that gives an honors program top billing over the sports teams. I was suggesting that it was improper and inconsistent to list a program there when no other program is listed there. If a sign is erected, it should read, Dwight Morrow High School, home of the Raiders.

As you see from the video, the Board of Education have opened a dialogue suggesting that the Alliance is discriminating against children. As far as I am concerned, the Alliance needs to answer them, because they have been publicly challenged.

Every teacher that has been hired with the exception of one or 2 since Dr. Carlisle came into the picture has been female. I will also suggest that the Board of Education has not done "due diligence" in researching this man's past employment. Beginning September 2011, the teaching staff of the EPSD will be close to 74% whte female. At first glance this seems whiter than it was when I graduated in 1969. Are we going backwards. When will the integration that Dr. Grieco spoke of when he started the Academies begin? We are waiting.

Business is booming, facilities are beautiful, profits are high, programs are flailing, and students are failing.
How did we say the children were doing?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are Our Schools In Crisis?: Are Our Children Getting Lost in the Mix of the Melting Pot?

How important is History? How many times must the many scholars demonstrate with data driven research that everyone needs a healthy connection to their past? Cultures that we are eager to emulate, nurture their children with a good dose of a rich cultural legacy filled with age old traditons that connect them to their ancestors. (examples: the Chinese, the Japanese, the Jewish, The Africans who still live on the Continent and the list goes on) Children and adults gain a sense of pride when they are able to trace their roots. Know who you are, then mingle, with your identity intact.

Lucy D. Walker & the late Rosa Parks
A really good friend of mine, a math teacher, married a Jewish man. My friend is no longer with us. Her daughter recently married a Jewish man. The ceremony was officiated by a female Rabbi, who is also an Educator and a Yoga Instructor. (A new and different kind of combination) It was a beautiful ceremony and even though I did not understand the words, the saying of them was mesmerizing. I was awe inspired. The actual ceremony and the physical decorations were based on traditions that date back to before Christ. This is a fine example of a rich cultural history. Americans of all natiionalities and religions must be able to teach traditions that date back to before America existed. (We must forget about the "Melting Pot"... since this suggests that we will lose ourselves in the mix) We must never lose ourselves or our children in the mix.

In the small hamlet of Englewood, NJ and in others across the country, a small group of people try to reshape history to their own convenience. This is the reason that we must never allow the tampering with History in the schools. We must know the History in order to prevent this tampering.  The Civil Rights Movement happened and is still happening. The System of Slavery happened and remnants of it still exist. The Spanish Inquisition Happened. The Holocaust happened. The Systematic Elimination of  America's Original People happened. We do not want the past to repeat itself.  When the schools refuse to teach our traditions, we must teach them ourselves. We must also let it be known that the schools are not teaching inclusive history. Our children must be armed with a strong sense of self. Right now "Self" is having a difficult time. Many children have become disenchanted with our silence and inaction. They have turned to groups that make them feel wanted. Our children are asking for our help. Help them embrace their ancestors without shame.

"Business is booming, facilities are beautiful, profits are high, but how are the children?"

Are Our Schools In Crisis: New and Improved or Recycled?

June 27, 2011


EPSD President and Board Members
Englewood Board of Education
12 Tenafly Road
Englewood, NJ 07631

Dear EPSD President and Members of the Board,

I am writing to formally object to the assignment of Peter Elbert to the Dwight Morrow High School as principal for the upcoming school year in September 2011. This letter shall serve as my formal complaint. Peter Elbert was transferred to the Alternative High School at the Russell C. Major Liberty building in September 2010. The Englewood Board of Education made that decision because the Middle School was unable to reach the state mandated average yearly progress in the No Child Left Behind Act. Additionally, the 2010 New Jersey Assessment and Skills Knowledge test showed that the Janis Dismus Middle School failed to meet the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress in the same content for five consecutive years during Mr. Elbert’s assignment as principal there.

I would like to remind you that the New Jersey School Ethics Act (N.J.S.A 18A:12-23), Code of Ethics, paragraph (c) requires local board of education members to vote to appoint the best-qualified personnel available after consideration of the recommendation of the chief administrative officer, and paragraph (h) which states that you will vote to appoint the best-qualified personnel available after consideration of the recommendation of the chief administrative officer. The selection of Peter Elbert violates both of those. There are other more qualified principals with better track records such as Dorian Militeer, Malva Wise-White, and Joseph Bell. I strongly believe that the shuffling around of principals is neither in the best interest of the District, nor its students.

We want changes that improve our school district, not break it apart. Englewood parents want to keep their kids in town, not send them to private schools in other districts. It is your responsibility to give the children of Englewood the schools and the programs they are looking for. Assigning a principal who has a record of spectacular failure to lead the same students which he failed in the Janis Dismus Middle School is disgraceful. In doing this you fail our children miserably. Please consider the consequences to the community and reconsider the assignment of Peter Elbert to principal of Dwight Morrow High School for the fall 2012 semester.

Thank you,

Donna Sumler
Concerned Parent/Englewood Resident

cc: Senator Frank Lautenberg
Senator Robert Menendez
Congressman Steven Rothman
Senator Loretta Weinberg
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle
Governor Chris Christie
Chris Cerf, NJ Department of Education
Robert Gilmartin, Acting County Superintendent of Schools
Englewood Residents

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Are Our Schools In Crisis?: Do you feel yourself being Erased?

Mr Garrison and other board Members who enforce the separation of students on campus should cease in the interference with the school. (ie. ethics code violation) The academy is a program, like any other program. Students from outside of Englewood attend Dwight Morrow High School, because it is an Official State Certified School of Choice. Which basically means that students from other towns may attend. When you read the description of School Choice the academy program does not come to mind, because it is a program. The School Choice option has been perverted into a tool to segregate the campus. School Choice Funds may never be used to construct buildings. School Choice is described as Voluntary not Exclusionary.  Perhaps you should really go read the description.

The controversy over the colors has come up many times. Curtis Caviness has questioned the board in open session about the colors. Mr. G. Hollander, the band director took credit for the change, but he could not have done it alone. More to the point, he would not have done it alone.

Mr. Hollander, the Band Director said he changed the colors to maroon and black for the band and the twirlers/color guard, because the kids didn't like the white. He said it was impossible to keep clean. I wrote an earlier article where I gave Mr. Hollander the benefit of the doubt and suggested that he might want to use the black for practice and that there was nothing wrong with having a choice of colors.

This was before I saw that:
  • There were two sets of Home Coming King & Queens
  • A display of Memories
  • There were two sets of Prom King & Queens
  • There were 2 Valedictorians, one for DMHS and one for the academy program
  • The words of the Alma Mater have been changed from the original EHS to DMAE. It had been EHS since the origin of the school.
  • The gowns are maroon and black for academy program students who graduate from DMHS and maroon and white for DMHS students who acknowledge it as their school.
  • The Board of Education President questioned why Dwight Morrow High School was named after Dwight W. Morrow. He suggested that the man was unimportant in the scheme of things.
  • The Dwight Morrow High School Yearbook has been captured and held prisoner. The spine of the book reads Academies@Englewood, then Dwight Morrow High School. Check and Match. Our School is being erased.
  • A board member's wife said to a principal, "do you know who he is?" when her son was not inducted into the National Honor Society. That Principal has been removed from the HS as principal.
  • In most schools Honors Program
    Particpants are identified with a sash
    like the one shown here. Why isn't
    this enough for the Board of Ed.?
    There is no T in PTO - yes I'm going there also. What Teacher wants to be in an organization ran by the wives of the board members. Talk about ending up in a dusty closet with no pupil contact.. Pillow talk. What would we do in Englewood if there was no tenure? That my friend, is a scary thought. The Vice President of the Teacher's Union did not think that this was a conflict of interest. Okay, it may not be illegal, but it is certainly suspicious and the cards are totally stacked against anyone not in the click. Board Members and their wives are too much in the business of the school. Oh what a precious web we weave...once we practice to deceive.
  • There are very few parents in the PTO's.  How many do we have anyway? Quarles, Grieco, Jan Dismus PTO, Jan Dismus Avid PTO, Jan Dismus Academy Prep PTO, PPA, DMHS PTO. The only time these organizations want to know us peons is during school board election time. They want to know us then. Well, we see you now. We know you now. How are the children?
  • Principals are shuffled around so much that they are dizzy.
  • Certain people are scared away from even registering in the Englewood School District, because they are treated badly in the registration office. Very poor customer service/public relations. I witnessed this first hand.
  •  The wall plaques commemorating Dwight Morrow High School's rich sports history had been removed from the Gymnasium walls.
  • An Athletic director who is NOT highly qualified called the basketball team together and announced that their hall of fame coach had been fired from the coaching position.
  • A principal who failed miserably in the middle school and was removed to Liberty School was slated to move to the high school where he will be entrusted with the same children that he has already failed when they were younger.
  • People are running away from the School District, because of the people at the top.
  • The jerseys worn by former sports figures that have served to inspire pride in young athletes for years have been removed.
  • The traditional school colors formerly on the gym floor have been repainted to maroon and black. The board suggests that others are treating students differently. Hah!
  • When the students marched down Palisade Ave. in The Juneteenth Parade they chanted DMAE half heartedly. DMAE was explained to mean Dynamic Motivation Attitude & Excellence. There is only one thing wrong with that Mr. Hollander. It has no rhythm. A band director would not choose a mantra that cannot be chanted with conviction while high stepping. Try again.
  • They were almost invisible. They Captured our Colors and Made our Children Invisible. The kids have better fashion sense so you can't blame this on them. The rationale was lame. 
  • The Band Director however, did not paint over the white on the gym floor or the wall. That would be Mr. Hunkin.
  • 8th graders must identify themselves on forms as Academy or Dwight Morrow students. When it is convenient for this board, they are DMHS students. Stop using the kids.
  • My neighbor complained with good reason about AVID and her son was thrown out of the program in a very unprofessional manner. As a consolation prize, she was offered a place for her older son, who is enrolled in private school, in the academy program. Englewood's Elite few would have hissy fitted if she'd accepted that offer.
  • A K- 3 Summer program was only posted on the walls of the Liberty School Building the same day that registration was over. This announcement was sent home to a select few. Did your child get one?
  • There are too many bullies working in the Englewood School District.
  • William Walker Jr. points to a photo of
    he and his track team members. Mr.
    Walker still holds the record for the
    100 yard dash.
  • Historical plaques disappearing from walls. What is this with plaques being removed from walls? Mr, Hunkin would have been instructed to do so by a Mr. Glenn Garrison who would have been breaking his oath as a board member. Yes, I did name names, didn't I? Isn't freedom of speech a wonderful thing? I don't work for the board of Education. They can't fire me or move me to a dusty room where I will have no pupil contact while they must continue paying me six figures. This is also NOT the Wild Wild West where the newspaper editor's printing press would be burned.  The Ellen S. Bindman Dedication Plaque was also removed from the Dwight Morrow High School library wall.
  • Our students do not know about FREEDOM, neither do our principals or teachers. They know only fear. Fear and apathy are constant companions to board of education employees.
The Juneteenth Parade and Carnival was a thoughtful gift given by some proud men and women who also have a historical connection to the roots of this town. Those children should have been chanting a mantra or slogan that demonstrates they understand what the parade was all about. The Jersey City Kids were stepping like they knew the importance of FREE. The cheerleaders were stepping high and looking rather prideful in the traditional colors of maroon, white and gold trim.
Business is Booming, Facilities are Beautiful, Profits are high, but how are the children?       

Are Our Schools In Crisis?: Why is the Board of Education at odds with the DMHS Alumni...

I attended the DMHS Alumni Educational Alliance's Annual Picnic today. I will begin this post by referring back to the board meeting of June 16th. Check out the video below. All participants deserve a PIE AWARD of some sort. The acting is exceptional.  I refer to it now, because I must. One board Member suggested that perhaps the DMHS Alumni Educational Alliance should not be allowed to use the premises during the picnic without payment, because they do not give scholarships to students from the Academy program. He also alleges that the DMHS Educational Alliance refuses membership to students from the academy. He and Dr. Segall allege that the Alliance treats the academy students differently. They also claim that the DMHS Educational Alliance has refused to comment on the situation. What a chuckle. Dwight Morrow High School is in serious need of a REVISED MASTER SCHEDULE.

I would like to go on record to say right now that Mr. Garrison, Dr. Segall, Dr. Carlisle and anyone else who supports the separation on the campus of DMHS is in fact supporting segregation. In so doing they are infringing upon the basic "Civil Rights of all the Students" that they are sworn to protect.  They are perpetrating a separation or division among the people of this town and this school district with the mere existence of the academy the way it stands." The DMHS Educational Alliance clearly states that the Scholarship goes to a Dwight Morrow High School Student. It was noted that the presentation of this award has gone to about 50-50 to Dwight Morrow High School Students on the North Side of Campus and to Dwight Morrow High School Students on the South Side of Campus. Why are we allowing this to go on? Does the North and South problem sound at all familiar to anyone?

We are not impressed. You know what you are doing is wrong. You are using the children to advance your own desires. You unite on the wrong things because you are feeling the pressure of your misdeeds.
"We see you. How are the children"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

They Captured Our Colors...And we didn't even know we were at war.

The Jabari Society:
International Associaltion of Black Professional Firefighters
Lynn Algrant, Mayor,    Photo courtesy of Kenneth Walton
Mayor & City Officials. photo courtesy of Kenneth Walton
It was a good day.
Everyone seemed interested. Some were confused.
In the war stories of old, soldiers fought to the death to protect the man bearing the colors. The flag. The flag bearer did not even carry a rifle. His job was to keep the colors out of the dirt and mud, to raise the colors high in order to inspire the soldiers toward victory. Our board president has often commented on the lack of enthusiasm or spirit for sports. How shall I put it? You have killed it. These students do not know for whom or what they are cheering. They chant the diabolical DMAE mantra with no air of pride. The traditional colors worn by their Mothers, Fathers and Grandparents have been erased. The colors on the gym doors and floors have been changed to maroon and black.

Our flag, our colors have been captured and we did not even realize that we were at war. Where are the plagues of the sports heroes that tell the story of the school. A rich legacy has been erased. There is obviously a separation in belief systems since some of the participants in this parade still strut about proudly in the traditional colors. The maroon & white & gold still looks best here.
Where are the banners? Children who are 100% involved and invested would have made their own out of school pride. Who is the Student Activities Director? Does the Athletic Director hold that job also?
They Chanted DMAE with little enthusiasm. The attire was not formal enough.
Again the color choice. The Fire Fighters set the tone with formal attire.
The black flag is not working. Who  did this? They captured our colors.
Gary Dennis & Garry Hollander with Band and Color Guard
Is there anyone who cannot see the difference? This group is seen. They
wore their dress outfits.
They have a sleeker look. I still question why the colors were changed.
It seems unlikely that the children made the decison without coaching.
Where is this group's uniform? I've heard so much about it, I expected more.
Only one school board member was in attendance. He is a father today and
marches with his son. Kudos Mark! Where are the others that belong
in this group? Did they boycott the event?
It was a great Father's day celebration.
Jersey City's Chill Town Steppers had the spirit of Free...
Strutting the colors, upholding a tradition.
More cowboys. The horses danced.
The actual parade lasted only minutes. From behind.
Business was good.
The little kids had rides
Fried whiting (fish) was delicious
Families shared food and stories
Thanks to the "Jabari Society" and other organizers the children were well on this day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thank You

We would like to thank the dedicated men and women of the “Jabari Society” for the Parade, the Concerts, the Sports and Carnival Activities celebrating the First Annual Juneteenth Parade. We appreciate you and all you do. We are proud to have been selected as the location for this celebration.  Firemen and their families from Newark, Jersey City, to name a few Joined those from Englewood to celebrate the decree. They were all splendid in their dress uniforms. As you can see, those collars were fully buttoned. I love watching men dress up and stand proud. It does not matter the age. Pride in themselves and pride in the uniform and what it represents is awe inspiring.
The Jabari Society: International Association of
Black Professional Fire Fighters

Attiring oneself in full dress uniform makes one feel wanted, and strengthens self-esteem. There was a real sense of comraderie in these men and their families. The children and adults enjoyed themselves. The Fathers stood proud on Father's Day and Juneteenth
The following is from a speech delivered at the Liberty Pole.
“Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, the Mayor and Council will designate June 19th as “Juneteenth Day” in the City of Englewood. Juneteenth was first observed over 130 years ago on June 19, 1865 when General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free. Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the abolition of slavery in the United States, symbolizes freedom and reminds all Americans of the significant contributions African-Americans have made to our society. The first State to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday was Texas in 1980. In 2004, late Englewood resident and District 37 representative Senator Byron Baer sponsored Senate Bill No. 566 in the legislature designating the third Saturday in June of each year as “Juneteenth: Independence Day” in New Jersey “to commemorate the emancipation of African Americans and foster respect for all cultures.” The Jabari Society of Bergen County, in a partnership with the City of Englewood, is pleased to announce the City’s First Annual Juneteenth Independence Day Celebration and Festival, running from June 16 – 19th at Mackay Park. This celebration is a very special one for the City of Englewood as it will surely bring together the diversity of our City…”

To the Jabari Society, thank you.
We see you. How are the children?

 Photos courtesy of Kenneth Walton, Englewood Photographer and Resident

Monday, June 20, 2011

Juneteenth Celebration: The African American Cowboy

ATTENTION! ATTENTION!: Extra Board Meeting & Free Alumni Picnic

Saturday, June 25th
DMHS Alumni Picnic
Dwight Morrow High School Campus
the DMHS Alumni Education Alliance
from 12pm to 3pm – DMHS Campus

Spread the word while you break bread and remember the good old days with classmates at Dwight Morrow High School. We need parents, community members, and alumni to attend board meetings. The Board of Education has announced a new direction. Stand with us as we demand to see the road map. We must no longer follow blindly where the chosen few leads us. We look forward to seeing you at the picnic and the board meeting Tuesday, June 28.

The Location has changed....Grieco Elementary School is now the meeting place.  Enter the glass doors and continue straight back to the gym on the left.
Tuesday, June 28
Board of Education Meeting
Special Public Meeting
Closed Session: 6:30 pm

Open Session: 8:00 pm


  "How are the children?"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Solo diles cuando..........

We are from many lands, but now we find ourselves together.
Solo dile cuando....... a cualquiera que diga que tu no tienes ,ni voz,ni voto en la educacion de tus hijos.
Nosotros somos los ciudadanos por la educacion de las escuelas publicas.
El proposito de este sitio web es ayudar a cerrar el controversial hueco de pregreso y desarrollo que es principal en muchas de las areas de la educacion. El valor de los maestros es incalculable,cuando son maestros que individualmente se dedican y confian en promover,motivar,nutrir y ensenar cada nino.para lograr alcanzar lo mejor de sus habilidades individuales.Los principales(directores)superintendentes y todos los demas equipos de apoyo en el distrito escolar,deben estar al pendiente para asegurarse de que los maestros tengan todo lo que necesitan para poder ofrecer una mejor ensenanza(educacion) en su mayor capacidad. Los maestros deben de estar disponibles a extenderse una milla extra como se hacia antes. Este blog promueve con exactitud,certeza y objetividad,hablar de la historia que incluye todas las culturas y sus literaturas, y sus contribuciones culturales e historicas para construir America.
We all wish to know about the welfare of the children.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are Our Schools In Crisis?: What are Ethics Violations?

Ethic - a set of moral principles
Ethical - relating to morals, morally correct,
Ethics - the science of morals in human conduct
The School Ethics Act - Everyone should read this. Learn to identify unethical behavior when demonstrated by school officials. Everyone in a society has rules they must live by. That is the way human beings maintain order, otherwise there would be anarchy.

Anarchy - disorder, especially in government, lack of government in a society
How are the children?
Anarchism - a belief system that proposes that all government should be abolished.
Anarchist - an advocate of anarchism, or political disorder

We now have lack of order in Englewood. Rules, due process and protocol have been ignored. Our board of Education swore an oath that is the School Ethics Act. The importance of this was covered in an earlier post. Click here and see that the information comes directly from the state government of New Jersey. I am not making it up as others would have you believe.

Okay, we will begin with (b) of the Act:
b. I will make decisions in terms of the educational welfare of children and will seek to develop and maintain public schools that meet the individual needs of all children regardless of their ability, race, creed, sex, or social standing.

A plan is in the works that will further segregate the Englewood School District. Now they wish to remove even more students from the traditional learning evironment, because they have given up on them. Click here to find the proposal to do this.  Pay close attention to the criteria for removing students from the learning environment.
  1. low self esteem in a school setting
  2. Self fulfilling expectation of failure or minimum grades
  3. Little or no motivation to attend school
  4. High anxiety relative to meeting daily classroom participation expectations
  5. Low parental involvement in student's education
  6. Failure to pass State Assessments
  7. Grade level retention or multiple summer school courses to qualify for promotion
  8. Strong association with a social network that places little value on school success
  9. Involvement with substance abuse (use, possession or sale)
  10. Very weak reading comprehension or even decoding skills
  11. Minimal skills in Arithmetic and working with numbers
#1 if you remove all children from the traditional learning environment that have low self esteem, the building would be empty. All teenagers have low self esteem, even the high achievers. As educators, it is our job to help students with these issues. We do not punish, ostracize or imprison them in some far away place out of sight and mind because of it..

#2 Do we place a student in a substandard environment and building because they are afraid of failure? How many of you have ever felt that way? I know I have. Many times. They know that the establishment does not want to teach them. Read this post on Bigotry. The School Master was ignorant to the fact that his bigotry had driven his best student into a stable to teach the students that he had refused to teach because of his own bigotry.

#3 Who among you wants to go to school when you are reminded every single day that you do not belong?
Would you feel good about going to school in a place where it has been made clear that you are not wanted? They may be young, but they are not stupid.

#4 When a child is placed in in-school suspension, gets a whipping from his father when he arrives home, and is put back into suspension when he arrives at school the next day for the entire day for simply tapping his fingers on another student's desk....where is the hope?

#5 This one is the kicker. This one should have every parent marching around the board offices holding a sign. Now they wish to remove your child from the traditional learning environment, because you are not involved in his education. Are you going to sit down for this?  Do you understand that they are telling you that they give up your child, because you are not doing anything? What have they asked of you? Has any school teacher or official asked you to do something that you refused to do? Are you going to let them get away with this? Remember, they are just like you, and just like me every minute that they do not sit behind that long table treating us like second class citizens.

#6 Failure to pass State Assessments - For those of you who do not know. Any student who has not passed state assessments has been scoring poorly on Tests since 3rd grade. Nothing has been done to help them since then. Now they want to put them in a separate school and label them unteachable. Where are the
services and the support systems that are supposed to help them at a very young age? The Federal Government has given Englewood a Title I classification. This means that the money to remediate and help the identified children has been there to help them all along. Why are punitive measures being taken now?

#7 Retention....Where are the Title I services that are supposed to be in place to help support children who might otherwise be in danger of failing? Why did this child not get these services when signs were first noticed? What, if anything, was done to help the child to succeed and feel comfortable in school?

#8 A strong Association with networks that do not hold school important. People, they are talking about GANGS. Is your child in a gang? Why do you think children are drawn to gangs? They are looking for a place to belong. Just like any normal human being on earth, they want to feel wanted. Okay, lets just say they are all herded into a place off away from everyone else. Tell me, who has really created that gang? You are right. Ostracized students will find themselves thrown together in one place where they will  bond  and share the contempt they have for the establishment. So is the Englewood School District in the business of creating GANGS?

#9 Involvement with Substance Abuse. Okay, no one wants a drug dealer in school. But we also do not want anyone punished because of suspicion. If a student is involved in the sale or distribution of drugs, they are involved in criminal activities. The law takes care of that. That is the job of Law Enforcement. The school board has no business ostracizing anyone without DUE PROCESS. (Even teachers have medical plans that help them if they have an alcohol or drug problem. They get help.)

#10 Very Weak Reading. Okay. A child has repeatedly scored low in the area of Literacy since 3rd grade and has not gotten any Title I reading classes and no support from the school to help. Do  we segregate him/her from the rest of the school population?  Interesting. What about the new little ones coming up? Do we have a holding pen all ready for them, because their reading scores are low? Wake up people, there is a pattern here. The system is sick.

#11 Low Math Scores...Same as reading. Do we really punish children, because the system has neglected them and failed them miserably. Oh, and the salary of the Curriculum and Instruction person continues to go up. Why? You have failed the children. For whom are you working?

Back to the School Ethics Act Letter (c)
c.  I will confine my board action to policy making, planning, and appraisal, and I will help to frame policies and plans only after the board has consulted those who will be affected by them.

Do you understand what that means? It means that the state says they must consult us first because we are the ones who will be afftected by the proposals or policies. And they have sworn to this. Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education for the United States of America describes this problem as " A Civil Rights Issue." I agree with him. I am willing to bring the situation  here in Englewood to the attention of the Supreme Court of the United States of America if that is what it takes to make the Board of Education of Englewood listen. They must begin to listen to the recommendations of the State of New Jersey. These CAPA REVIEW recommendations have been outlined in other posts within this newsletter. Read these recommendations and decide for yourself whether or not the Englewood School District has followed or even read them before going to such drastic measures concerning your child's schooling.

To the parents of Englewood children:
If this proposal is approved and your child is identified as one who must attend the new tool of segregation, you are  not alone. We are Parent Advocates. We are retired teachers, former Englewood School Board Members, Parents working in legal professions and just plain folks who care. We stand with you. Use this email address and tell your story if you feel that your child has been treated unfairly. The Education Law Center is there to help.

CHARTER SCHOOL PARENTS: Regardless of how you feel about public schools, charters are public schools. Our tax dollars are also paying for your child's education. You are in effect a public/private school already. We know why you have abandoned this system. We feel your disappointment. If your child is not already slated for private school, your children will be herded along with ours when he/she finishes the 5th or 6th grade. Prepare for your child's future now. Stand with us!  Help us to hold this Board and this Superintendent to the rules (ethics). We do not want anarchy. Attend our school board meetings and we will attend your school board meetings. We all want the same thing. We want a good education for our children.

We know that business is booming, facilities are beautiful, and profits are high, but how are the children?