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Too Much to Hope For?

Saving our schools.

Those who attended the Woodbridge School District’s Board of Education meeting on the evening of September 21, 2012, know there was a large turnout of people from the community and from the SEIU32BJ, which is the union that represents the district’s cafeteria workers.  Also present were an unusually high number of Woodbridge police.  Apparently, the BOE was ensuring they had support, should the meeting attendees become too outspoken. 

 

There were many hot topic on the agenda that evening.  Perhaps, the most important was the announce by Dr. John Crowe, Superintendent of the Woodbridge School District, that he would not seek renewal of his contract and that he had advised the Board to begin the process of selecting his replacement.  Let us hope the Board can do that in a very timely and highly productive manner.

 

It should be noted that Dr. Crowe’s announcement to leave his current position and return to that of a tenured  Principal was, apparently too many, well received.  Clearly, Dr. Crowe in making his announcement, demonstrated his strength of character, a commitment to the community in which he was raised, and his love of teaching.  Let us hope his calling and passion will serve the educational needs of children in this community for many years to come.

 

The topic of test cheating and those accused of it also loomed large on the BOE’s agenda.  As required by law, the BOE’s attorney read aloud  the findings of the State Department of Education’s Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance (OFAC) yearlong investigation.  The names of two principals and three teachers currently on suspension for the alleged cheating were named.  Let us hope those accused of cheating, especially the teachers, are given a fair hearing by the Trier of Fact, and not by administrators and elected officials looking to quickly affix blame.   Let us hope those accused will have their teaching record look at in totality, and not just in one or two instances of alleged wrongdoing.  Let us hope  if they are guilty of wrongdoing, their punishment fits the crime; not the heavy retribution that those with higher political ambitions might seek to extract.

 

While much of the meeting was dedicated to matters concerning the feeding of young minds, it was made very clear by the union employees of Chartwell, the school district’s contracted cafeteria food service operation, that they, the workers, handle the nutritional needs of the children.  Let us hope the Board heard and heeds the impassioned pleas of those workers, who are asking for a fair wage and benefits.  Let us hope a Board that can find money for consultants, the lighting of school stadiums, and various extracurricular activities, can find money for those who help to nourish the bodies of the school district’s children.

 

Let us hope the residents of the school district have learned they must remain ever vigilant as to what is happening in the schools, that they must be active participants in that process,  and that they must use their voting power wisely.

 

So, is all this too much to hope for?  Let us hope not, for without such hope what will the morrow bring!    

 

 

 

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Can't shut me up September 23, 2012 at 04:39 AM
" I as a parent of a student that was "helped" during testing " That's called CHEATING. Did anyone else get "help" Cheating is cheating and obviously is it not cheating when it's your child... Home school your kid if you you like the way it is.
Tom Maras September 23, 2012 at 02:15 PM
@NotInKansasAnymore. You may wish to read page one (1) of the Middlesex Edition of Sunday’s Star-Ledger, specifically the article entitled: The mob boss’ son and the pot clinic: a feud grows in Jersey. After reading it, call John McCormac and asked him (apparently he is ‘well connected’ to the pending Woodbridge “Retail” marijuana store) when the shop will open. If you will re-read what I wrote, you may notice I never said the “guilty” should not be punished or that cheating was acceptable. In fact, I specifically stated that if they are found guilty under applicable laws (we are a nation of laws), they should be punished as prescribed by those laws. Suggesting that any punishments given to them take into account their entire teaching record is not an unreasonable suggestion. If the records show they are “bad” teachers, let them lose their teaching certifications. If, however, the records show they are “good” teacher, who have made an egregious error in judgment, can they not be punished in a manner that is not career ending. People, and teacher are people too, learn and can grow from their mistakes, given the chance to do so. At what point in time did you become aware that your child was “helped”? And upon learning of such “help”, what actions did you take? Did you notify any state agency, the news papers or your state Senator or Assemblyman? If not, are you not also somewhat complicit, by your silence, in the test cheating!
NotInKansasAnymore September 24, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Oh yes Mr. Maras sir I did take action. I went to what seems to be your new best friend Dr. Crowe and apparently the person who they are now acting was the big bulldog of the operation aka Mrs. Rotella and voiced my concerns. That was about 2 years ago. I also had other issues to discuss and when the "helping" was brought up it was just met with SILENCE! Not even a question to me as to who exactly, when exactly, NOTHING! So maybe you should run down to Crowe's office again like you did with your buddy Pete's letter and ask him about it. When it fell on deaf ears I also tried the county office and was told if I thought a crime was commited I could always go to the prosecutor's office! LOL. But maybe they are like you and thought if it was just a little it was okay. Also, since you seem to love expressions so much here's one for you..... I am starting to believe your "an educated fool!"
NotInKansasAnymore September 24, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Can't shut me up......What!? I can't even make sense of what you wrote
Tom Maras September 25, 2012 at 02:08 PM
@NotInKansasAnymore. Having no reason to doubt the actions you state you had taken regarding notifying those you did about the cheating, I commend you for you efforts. Certainly, it must have been a very frustrating endeavor. One that perhaps, in part, because of your efforts and those of several others, has made this matter a cause célèbre within the community. There are many lessens to be learned from all this, not the least of which is people must be vigilant and must fight dishonesty when and where they find it

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