Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Burning Question About What is Right....

Paul Jayson ·
I was under the impression that when a student attended one of the county's academies the sending district paid the bill. I guess in this case that wasn't so.
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Lucy D. Walker · 
You deserve a blue ribbon for that observation. Fact is, they may attend the County Academies for free. They just have to test in like all the other students. The Academy@Englewood is NOT a County School. It is merely a DMHS Academy program that was created under the guise of integrating Dwight Morrow High School. It did the opposite, after accepting and spending approximately 30 million dollars to supposedly integrate.

In the Englewood A@E Program the Englewood Cliffs students get priority over Englewood students before any test is given. In the beginning, entrance was supposedly based on Math Scores. Englewood students are not prepared to compete in Math or Literacy with Englewood Cliff's students or any of the other applicants. The cards are stacked in pre-school. School Choice is a Choice for students who do not live in Englewood. Englewood parents have begun to take advantage of this Choice by sending their children elsewhere. This has been a lose lose situation since the School Choice deal was struck.

Few would listen to those of us who know of the sending/recieving agreement. Englewood Residents were fed a line about how a great deal of money was coming into the District with students. That scenario ended circa 2008-09, when the Equity and Excellence millions stopped coming into EPSD. In reality, we have been supplementing the Education of students whose parents can pay the required tuition. There is also a discrepency in the actual amount that EPSD receives per School Choice student. This very publication has reported the amount as $10, 500. What iexactly is the correct amount?

It is time the smoke is blown away so we can all see what is actually in the mirror. Qualifying Englewood students/parents have been told that their children must wait until Englewood Cliffs students have been accepted into the Academy and counted. That does not nurture warm and fuzzy feelings from those of us who are keeping up with the charade.

Some of us have been demeaned in meetings by Englewood Cliffs parents who tell us that we do not belong in their PPA meetings. Right up in our faces, they have cried out for "Academic Segregation" on our dime. They were under the impression that they were paying tuition that covered buildings, heat, teachers and the right to have "Academic Segregation" and their own building with no chance of their children ever having to even walk the same halls as our children. They treated us like crap to our faces, and all the time their politicians were lying to them while ours lied to us. (30 million dollars spent to integrate, yeah right.)

Just yesterday, a friend told me that someone had suggested an answer to this problem.
The suggestion was that Englewood Cliffs and Englewood should merge School Districts.
Clearly that person has missed the point. The 2 school Districts merged long ago. I graduated DMHS in 1969 with more than a few Englewood Cliffs students in my class. DMHS was their high school. Back then, no one questioned that. What changed?

The burning question here is...Whom does Englewood's School Choice Program really benefit?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Make History

Elect a School Board that is of the People
and that upholds the laws of the 
State of New Jersey

George Garrison III Colum 2
Henry Pruitt III, Colum 3
Howard Haughton, Column 4

Sunday, November 1, 2015

2-3-4. Open The Door

Election Day November 3, 2015

Vote Columns 2 -3-4 and
Open the Door
to Change.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Englewood Has A New Superintendent of Schools

September 17, a new Superintendent was hired.

Mr. Kravitz was introduced to the public on Sept. 17. 2015
Robert Kravitz, who formerly served as Superintendent in Englewood Cliffs was hired on September 17, 2015 with a unanimousvote of approval. 
Mr. Kravitz has settled himself comfortably into his new surroundings and is ready to deal with the issues facing Englewood's Educational Community.

I found him both knowledgeable and engaging. Contrary to some opinions, he knows full well what he is getting into with his new responsibilities. He is not a stranger to Englewood. It was a pleasure to know that he chose us,  ON PURPOSE!
  • Huffington post describes our new Superintendent as an Educator, Entrepreneur, and Author. 
  • Read his philosophy on what we are doing in education as published June 16, 2014

Good Students

It is so great when someone we once had faith in reaches an epiphany and realizes that he has been on the path of least resistance, but that path leads to a place that does not help our children academically.
It is rather like the spy coming in from the cold. The Jedi Knight emerging from the dark side, scarred but ready to fight on the side of the light.
We should all welcome Howard Haughton, Henry Pruitt III and George Garrison III into the light.
Regardless of what group of people gets a Board Member elected, that Board Member is then responsible to the State of New Jersey and must uphold the laws of said state. One cannot do this if one does not take the time to educate themselves to the laws governing education. This is what GOVERNANCE is all about.
We, the taxpayers spend $26,000.00 per year to train and educate our Board Members.
Ask Molly Craig-Berry how many credits she has.
If we are going to raise the bar for our students so that they are able to compete beside students
educated anywhere else in the world, then our Board Members must also educate themselves.
Up to now, too many of them have been very poor students. We want excellent students creating policy and establishing goals and objectives for our Superintendent.
Anyone who is unwilling to take advantage of the training, for which we pay, should NOT be returned to the Board of Education.
An educated public is the best defense against an un-educated Board of Education.
The LAW is the great equalizer. The Board must learn to create policy that demonstrates they understand and uphold the law and are true to their Oath of Office.

Mandated Training

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More Unadorned Facts...

stig·ma  stiɡmə/  noun
a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
"the stigma of mental disorder"
synonyms:shame, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy, opprobrium, humiliation, (bad) reputation "the stigma of bankruptcy"
(in Christian tradition) marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion, said to have been impressed by divine favor on the bodies of St. Francis of Assisi and others.

"As a public servant you should be out there tying to improve everyone's quality of life--not just your own..." Jack Drakeford

Why does Molly Craig-Berry, who is already on our Board of Education, feel that a stigma will be created if EPSD becomes a Title I School Wide Model? In responding to a direct question, she made a point of saying that she was absent at the Board meeting in which the resolution was presented, but that she would have voted "no" because of the stigma.

Our entire High School Campus is already designated a FOCUS School by the United States Education Department and the New Jersey Department of Education. Why would we refuse the "coupon" that may be able to help us?

Englewood;s Identity Crisis is showing again. Englewood is NOT filled with rich people. It has never been filled with rich people. Last I heard, we are over 70% free and reduced lunch. How does a Mother of 3, who makes suggestions that we should favor her, because she is a female say that she would have voted against something that will help all children, because it is humiliating to her. Did she mean that the entire City will be humiliated. Rumor is that we also have approximately 50 homeless families. Where is the shame?

Who is to say that we have not been blessed with "divine favor" in that we have been chosen to be the stewards of those less fortunate?

Are we supposed to hide our faces in disgrace, because the media and those in power, call us the "working class". As far as I am concerned, anyone who works is the working class. So get over yourselves.

Title I — Improving The Academic Achievement Of The Disadvantaged

The Englewood Public School District is now a Targeted Assistance Model. That  means that we ALREADY ACCEPT TITLE I FUNDS. Every year, Title I funds earmarked for helping children Read, Write and do Math are returned to the Federal Government. Thousands of dollars go unspent when there are hundreds of children in need of help in READING, WRITING AND ARITHMETIC.  Check the past agendas and minutes if you are skeptical. Check out the reasons given by the law as to how Paraprofessionals should be trained and utilized in School Districts that accept Title I Funds.

The Title I School Wide Model helps ALL students who need the help academically. Where is the stigma in that? So if Parent A falls above the poverty line, the child will still qualify for the academic assistance needed. If anything, the STIGMA is eliminated.

George Garrison III, who is competing for a another term on the School Board, called it a coupon. You might even call it a "built in voucher" that allows students to remain in their own schools. It can be used to improve the entire school district. It might even bring help for our Professionals who seem to need assistance determining the most effective way to spend the funds to raise test scores.

Where is stigma in helping others? Where is the stigma in helping yourself?

Board Members are not required to be "educators" but they are required to read. They are required to learn more about the LAWS that protect our children and help them ALL to become successful "literate" additions to society. They are required to get the training required to accomplish this goal.

As taxpayers, we require the Board of Education to hire a Superintendent who will lead the professionals who are charged with the task of preparing Englewood children to compete in a global society. At the very least, they must be able to compete with the children from surrounding towns.

Listen to this 18 minute Webinar:
Title I School Wide Program: Transitioning from a Targeted Assistance to a School Wide

Thursday, October 15, 2015





Where is the savings?

We are talking about real people who work with our children on a daily basis. REAL PEOPLE!!!




"....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..."
How can we fill this out truthfully?

Friday, September 25, 2015

And Now, Some Good News...

Attention Englewood Residents:

There is only one more School Board Meeting before the November School Board Elections.

October 15 is the last regularly scheduled School Board Meeting before the November 3 elections. You have 38 days to decide how you are going to vote.

Do you even know who is running to fill the 3 member's terms that are up?

Are you planning to vote?

Do you have any idea what is at stake?

Have you seen any mention of this extremely important event in the newspapers? 

Have you gotten any Literature in the mail or attached to your doorknob drawing your attention to this very important election?

The following School Board Member's terms have expired and all 3 are running for re-election.

Howard Haughton, current President
He has served 1 term, 3 years

Henry Pruitt III, 9 + years, 3

Molly Craig-Berry
1 term, 3 years

The 3 incumbents ran together in 2012,
the year that outsourcing
changed the face of the School District.

George Garrison III is competing against his former Board Members in hopes of returning to the School Board. Mr. Garrison has previously served 2 terms and was School Board President for 2 of those years.

George Garrison III
A little backstory.........
George Garrison III ran on the 2014 ticket with current School Board Member Betty Griffin and Kevin Lake in 2014. Only Betty Griffin was elected that year.

In 2014, voters returned SEEK Outsource champions Glenn Garrison and Stephen Brown to the Board. It was the first School Board Election held in November. It was not a shining hour for voters in Englewood. It is hoped that more Englewood Residents will exercise the privilege of voting this year. A 70 million dollar budget is controlled by these elected officials. Since the School Board Elections moved to November, the public is no longer able to vote on the School Budget as in the past.

This Taxpayer is wondering if moving the elections to November, where it is swallowed up by the partisan machine, is obscuring the importance of the event. Please remember that School Board Elections are non-partisan and have nothing (on the surface) to do with political Party Affiliations.  There are no Republicans and Democrats when voting for School Board Candidates.

Is serving on the Englewood School Board becoming less attractive? 

Where are the Candidates?

Look for announcements of Candidate Forums. Debates are more important than ever before since all Candidates are basically incumbents.

During the year that Glenn Garrison and Stephen Brown were
not on the School Board, members actually embraced the training offered to them by the New Jersey School Boards Association. We, the Taxpayers pay the NJSBA $26,000 per year to train, advise and generally protect our School Board Members from frivolous lawsuits by training them to serve according to the laws of the state of New Jersey. 

In the last 2 years, the Board has been functioning more as policy makers and less as micro managers. Mr. Haughton has become a President who understands his role of presiding over meetings. He worked better with Dr. Carlisle and supported the cause of preparing students in summer PARCC Camp for the online standardized PARCC test that was introduced in 2014. We are waiting for the results of this test now. It is still not clear whether terribly low test scores in the high school will force our Focus School into the designation of Priority School instead of raising us up to become the desired Reward School.

Stephen Brown has demonstrated that he is uncomfortable not being in charge. It appears he does not play well with others unless he is in charge. His presidency in 2012 represented one of the most contentious and turbulent periods in Englewood School Board history. Over 100 employees were outsourced and their jobs eliminated in order to save money and to break the union. Did we save money? What happened to the services that were degraded by outsourcing? Harley Ungar, the then VP 
June 7, 2012
It was very important to some Englewood Residents that the
Paraprofessionals understand that they did not rate a Union.
One Englewood Resident actually suggested to me that
these single women with children should not have a union
because they were single. I told him that I was once
a single woman with a child and in a union.
of the Board said that they expected a degradation in services. 

In class Instructional Support was destroyed when Instructional Paraprofessionals trained, as per the law, were fired and the position was abolished. Did we save money?
We certainly did not hire better, more Highly Qualified personnel. We are concerned, not only with the Academic Success of our children, but also with their Health and Safety.

How has outsourcing impacted the Academic Success of Englewood children?  It is a question that needs answering. Since their return to the School board, both Stephen and Glenn have participated in voting that seems contrary to the objective of improving the Academic Success of the children in the District. One wonders how long this behavior will continue. 

Interim Superintendent Michael Roth 
made the first and only Educational Proposal based on Data Driven Evidence and research that has been presented to the public in many years October of last year. It chronicled the downward spiral in the test scores of Englewood students since 2006 when the schools were reorganized. He speaks to the fact that students practically "fall off a cliff" at the end of 3rd grade. That proposal is collecting dust. During Roth's year in District, we saw the flickering of a school board that functioned with the needs of the students coming first. The problems in Elementary Education connected to Math and Reading Comprehension must be addressed. 

We witnessed a different and much more healthy relationship between the School Board and the Professional Educational Leader, that we pay, beginning to develop. We wish M. Roth well in retirement. We would like to see this new and different direction of the School Board continue with the new Superintendent. 

Some good news.......We have a New Superintendent......An Educator is coming............

September 17, a new Superintendent was hired.

Mr. Kravitz was introduced to the public on Sept. 17. 2015
Robert Kravitz, who currently serves as Superintendent in Englewood Cliffs was hired on September 17, 2015 with a unanimous vote of approval. Dr. Michelle James is currently serving as Acting Superintendent.
  • Huffington post describes our new Superintendent as an Educator, Entrepreneur, and Author. Read his philosophy on what we are doing in education as published June 16, 2014