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

Monday, September 7, 2015

Read Out Englewood!

Have you Pre-Registered your child for this event? 
There is still time. Use this  link and Pre-Register online. 

Or Pre-Register at Ebenezer Baptist Church
Mon - Fri. 10 am - 4 pm

Register at the event to participate in our Junior Classroom Style Spelling Bee.

                                        Help us "fill a bus" with School Supplies.