Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What is Autonomy?

Betty Griffin is sworn in by the Business Administrator, as is the custom in EPSD Reorganization Meetings. She is supported by her family? Whatever happened to the Press staying out of the photo? This was a photo opp for the man with the long gray hair?  He was annoying.
Full Definition of AUTONOMY
1: the quality or state of being self-governing; especially : the right of self-government
Mayor Huttle swears in Stephen Brown
2: self-directing freedom and especially moral independence
3: a self-governing state
See autonomy defined for English-language learners »
See autonomy defined for kids »
Examples of AUTONOMY
a teacher who encourages individual autonomy
The territory has been granted autonomy.
The Catalans take the matter of their language
very seriously; it is an outward indication of their
autonomy, of their distinction from the rest of Spain. —Polly Evans, It's Not About the Tapas, 2006
Mayor Huttle swears in Glenn Garrison.
Origin of AUTONOMY (see autonomous) First Known Use: circa 1623
Related to AUTONOMY
Synonyms accord, free will, choice, self-determination, volitionwill
Antonyms dependence (also dependance), heteronomy,subjection, unfreedom+]more

Autonomy in Englewood: The most obvious sign of autonomy in Englewood is the fact that the Budget of the School Board is separate from the budget of the Municipality. The City collects our tax dollars and most of it (over 60%) goes to the School District. Even though the money comes from the same pot (taxpayers). It is separate from the money used by the Municipality to pay for other services. The School Board is supposed to function independently from the City of Englewood. The New Jersey School Boards Association trains, or is supposed to train our school board members.

In 2011, I asked our Mayor his opinion on the situation that existed when we had a Superintendent who was not approved by the state and whom our School Board was paying above the state mandated salary CAP. I told him about the Mayor of Parsippany who publicly urged the School Board to follow the law and cut the Superintendent's salary.  Our School Board Attorney was also the Board Attorney for Parsippany during this time.

Mayor Frank Huttle III assured me that the City has absolutely nothing to do with the School Board. Too my knowledge, he never publicly addressed the situation. He told me on several occasions that the School Board and the City function separately. I became really tired of hearing the word Autonomous, because that is not what I saw and it is not what I see now.

In City Council Meetings, the 3rd Ward Councilman seizes every available moment to praise our School Board as the best on the planet. No one is even allowed to complain about the school board. We have witnessed this same Councilman tell reporters what their next headlines will be where the school district is concerned. Meanwhile, our high school has been designated a Focus School (low achieving) and our test scores in Math and Literacy have been consistently falling since at least 2006. As long as northjersey.com publishes articles that show the district in a good light, these elected officials and others are totally satisfied. IMAGE is the thing.

January 7, 2015 - The Englewood School  Board is Re-Organized
Those of you who did not attend the Reorganization of the Englewood Public School Board missed a rare show of unity and might from City Officials. The Bully Factor was alive and well and in the House. The Meeting was partially turned over to Frank Huttle III, who swore in the candidates that he supported. He invited the Board of Education to dinner so he could "Pay To Play." Very interesting. Howard Haughton explained at the end of the meeting that the Candidates had been given a choice as to whom they wanted to swear them in. Why were they given a choice? He explained that it was not illegal for the Mayor to swear in Board Members. It is not illegal, but is it appropriate? Are we beginning a new tradition with no pretense of separation of City and School Board?
Did Stephen and Glenn decline the services of the Business Administrator in training
in order to help the Mayor kick off his campaign for re-election? So who is the boss?  Who is on First? I am confused. The Superintendent did not speak. The Business Administrator's resignation becomes effective June 30, 2015.
Eugene Skurnick continued to make sure that we Peons understood whom he supports. The Press were so annoying in blocking shots of the action from the audience that I started taking photos of Mr. Skurnick taking photos. 
The Third Ward Kitchen Cabinet/SEEK was in attendance. The Former Mayor Sondra Greenberg, The Gadfly, Suze Gamrin, the Liberals of old have dropped in number, but not in arrogance. The Mayor offered the Board of Education dinner and promised that they will not speak of school business. As if. At the same time he suggested that he is the one who will save the EPSD by finding a Superintendent. Keep in mind that hiring a Superintendent is the most important job of a School Board.
Eugene Skurnick once suggested that we old ones talk too much about what we want and that the young ones should make more of the decisions.
Okay, so why must we listen to him ramble on in a soliloquy about how Education used to be when his children attended school in Englewood? Change has come over the years. No manner of wishing will take things back to the way they used to be. These are the good old days and we must make the best of them for all of the children, not just the ones they want to teach.
The school District has changed. Our grandchildren will not be able to meet the challenges of a global society because key elected officials keep their fingers in the mix instead of allowing the professionals that we pay to do their jobs. 
SEEK Board Members STILL prevent 2 of their fellow Board Members from fulfilling their oath. For over a year we have been watching these Board Members sit out of Closed Session. 
The problems facing the Englewood Public School District will not be solved by the interference of Assemblymen or Mayors. The situation will not improve because the local publications sanitize the news. 
Our children are not being prepared as well as children from other school districts and that is a fact. At some point neglect becomes sabotage. Failure did not begin in 2013. Education and Children have not been a priority in this School District for many years. As a matter of fact, scores have been continually dropping since the referendum. No amount of wishing, turning a blind eye or head sticking in sand will change that. We are waiting with Baited Breath for Glenn Garrison, Stephen Brown and Henry Pruitt to do something really creative and positive that will increase the test scores of our children. They have all been in control for over a decade.

We the People want all of our elected Board Members to Participate fully. 
We will not be hushed.
Looking for Real Autonomy.

Student Participation in the Statewide Assessment Program

Frequently asked questions about Common Core State Standards