Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Different Perspective

Finally. At Monday’s BOE Committee of the Whole meeting, Board Member Larry O’Connell stated for the record that “Proficiency” on the HSPA exam was a low bar. He made the comment when asking about the high school’s educational goals. Ms. Ruscavage, the newly appointed principal for the Matawan Regional High School, stated that, for the short term, she’s focused on ensuring that the 30% of seniors who failed the HSPA exams last year are on course to graduate. As for long term goals, she doesn’t have any.

An earlier comment to the blog suggested that school officials and parents may be setting their expectation levels according to their personal classroom experience. If so, that would go a long way towards explaining the chasm between my expectations and the school district’s objectives.

I attended a private Hebrew day school. Most of my teachers were not certified; they were primarily Rabbis and local parents. Nor were they well paid, earning about twenty percent less than public school teachers, not to mention a lack of benefits. As for socio-economic diversity, everybody was white and Jewish with household earnings ranging from low-middle income to fabulously wealthy. I only had one friend whose parents were divorced.

I’m consistently surprised by expectations that students from Matawan-Aberdeen will do worse than their counterparts from Holmdel. In my class, the brighter students usually came from the poorer families because they knew they’d have to work harder for success. Everyone was expected to go to college and did. Community colleges weren’t considered “real schools” so many of my friends went to Queens College to save money.

We didn’t have teenage pregnancies, hard core violence, or widespread drug abuse. We didn’t need an onsite police officer, drug counselor, or full-time psychologist; nor would the parents ever send their children to a school that did.

We were required to take the New York Regents exams but no one took them very seriously. The only time we ever discussed the regents exams was during the last week of class when students could ask questions from the Barron’s review books.

In fact, my school had a philosophy that our focus should always be on education. We never studied test-taking strategies or took practice exams except at home. The school allowed Kaplan to give SAT courses on premises but not Princeton Review because Kaplan taught substance and Princeton Review taught strategy.

Being a Jewish school, we were never proud of our athletics department. To be honest, we didn’t have much school pride. Our pride came from individual achievement.

Compared to my alma mater, the Matawan Regional High School resembles Club Med. We didn’t have artificial turf, just a paved-over yard. No air conditioning, showers, weight room, TV studio, lunch program, or music room. We were happy the toilets flushed.

I don’t know how we compared to the other schools. Like I said, it didn’t matter how other people did, only how you did. Each student was required to take 4 years of math, 3 years of science, and 2 years of a foreign language (not including Hebrew, which we began learning in kindergarten).

We did okay. I still remember my 8th grade math teacher, Mr. Samuels, who was crazy like a fox (and tragically died young). I never had a more demanding teacher. Half the 8th grade was in honors math and I still remember him reprimanding a classmate who had only gotten a 90 on her algebra regents exam, the lowest score in the grade. I had gotten a 96, one and a half points below the class average. 10% of my senior class later graduated from Ivy League universities.

Ms. Ruscavage and our school board see a socio-economically diverse student body. I see bright-eyed students with vast potential. They’ve set proficiency (50%) on a state exam as our district’s goal. I view scoring 50% on a state exam as a failure. At the prior school board meeting, Athletic Director Martucci commented that our athletic team’s failures were attributable to our students. I hold all wins and losses are attributable to the teams, both students and coaches.

Granted, I come from a very different community. My classroom experience is quite distinct from what we see in Matawan-Aberdeen. I view our students and schools very differently from the school board. My question isn’t whose view is closer to reality but which view is more beneficial to our students. Personally, I never want my children to have a teacher, coach, or administrator, who does not have high expectations.
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53 comments:

NSectionJoe said...

Excellent subject matter and just what I am so concerned about. I have met with the new Superintendent and will not be addressing on anything specific until the school board meeting in October.

I am very satisfied with some of the changes and positions he has moved around. I do not agree with some of his administrative and clerical decisions as these are the people who do most of the work. But as it may be found out to be positive or negative what the Matawn-Aberdeen school system has been filled with has been a divisive school board, pointing fingers, hypocritical blame forced upon many and much more. So the negatives in a similar fashion to Raegenomics flows from the top on down.

In Aberdeen it is time for the bottom to rise up and take back our children's educations. Those at the top are too busy blaming each other and failing to address that which stares them in the face.

As for Mrs. R. good luck.

Divide and conquer does not always work. Neither does the management style of organized-confusion.

Try something revolutionary. Being involved with your teachers and the student body.

Look up or ask about Mr. Stachura.

KennyCB said...

There he goes again NSectionJoe on education topics. Input from the mouth that roared. That is before he got his job at town hall. His silence on the subjects appearing most on the Aberdeener are coming from his workspace and that seems to be hands off for the mouth that roared.

Or in his case the mouth that once roared. Very disappointing for those of us who remember his zeal for improving his neighborhood.

Many criticized him then but many were thankful that he worked hard to improve the area. I for one would hope he would roar once again on more important topics than the schools.

russ in strathmore said...

Here we go again with the Aberdeener and his great vision to save our schools. I am sorry, but you do not know what you are talking about in the least.

You moved here recently and therefore do not know a thing about our school district, its parents, kids, teachers, or anything else. You beleive what you want from what you can get off your computer. You skew names and numbers to fit your topic of the day.

ANY PRIVATE SCHOOL IS A DIFFERENT LEARNING EXPERIENCE THAN A PUBLIC SCHOOL. Read how you described your school and classmates - that is apples and oranges when it comes to our schools.

Your "problems" you listed are in all schools of MARSDs stature. We are not Holmdel. Police are in many schools since Columbine. Drugs have been a target since Reagan. School pyschologists and free lunch programs HELP KIDS..

Your commments are ELITIST. Community colleges have their purpose. Aberdeener, you do not live in Princeton or Deal or Wayne Hills. Your town has different needs and people than those areas or your little Jewish school. I actually think kids in MARSD get a better view of what life is like in the REAL WORLD. Tough, diverse, and every man for himself at times. MARSD sends kids to the best colleges in the country year after year. The amount of athletic success in all sports has grown in the past 5 years as well. I believe the AD was answering a question in a bottom line format as to we are not winning championships (I believe was the comment) and sometimes you do not have the horses as the saying goes.

You have high expectations and that is well within your right and higher scores should be the goal... I agree. But this constant hammering of a district that does work hard for its kids is getting tiring. I went to Matawan, many of my friends did, and my kids do. GIVE IT A REST WITH THE NEGATIVITY.

Aberdeener said...

Russ,

I think you've made my point. The two of us have very different educational backgrounds. That likely explains why my expectations are much higher.

Would you agree that the kids in Matawan-Aberdeen and my former classmates have the same natural ability? The same potential? If so, isn't it better to have higher expectations?

KimsMomshusband said...

Russ

Thanks for letting us know that pompous and self important people are not a dying breed.

It is obvious many see the Aberdeener and the rest of us as wasting our time and bringing up nonsensical topics like the fleecing of the taxpayers by political corruption and greedy uncontrolled political hacks, $4.2 million dollars awarded to one engineering firm without any real bid process, schools that fail to educate and we have the test scores to prove that year after year. On behalf of us who try to bring about open and responsive government I apologize.

So listen everyone, according to Russ we should not be discussing any of this on such a website. A website Russ that you do not have to visit or contribute to. But you can't stay away. Can you?

So sit back in your easy chair, open another slim-jim and a pop open a beer, and don't forget to stick your hand in your pants. You know you like that feeling.

Go back to being a waste of human flesh with a defensive agenda bought and paid for by hacks.

Tell BARZA you were not successful.

Try working for Norman Kauff and his crew of thieves. They are always hiring hacks like you.

Remember Russ you chose to be on the Aberdeener. So leave us idiots alone. Keep writing that bigger tax check year after year and give in to the fact that you are being robbed.

Don't you get it Russ we are getting ripped off by those sworn to serve us, the people.

The truth sucks doesn't it Russ?

Turn of the TV Russ. You might accidentally turn on the news and see the world is not a comedy or sporting event.

Anonymous said...

MARHS doesn't send kids to the best colleges, go look at the list! Russ you are WRONG! Unless BCC is a top notch school, get a clue!

U C Brother said...

KIMS MOMS HUSBAND

You kill me.

Slim-jim, beer, hands down his pants and an easy chair.

That is funny I do not care who you are. That is F U N N Y.

Slink away Russ before you get embarrassed.

Too late!

russ in strathmore said...

Wow - kimsmomshusband

Imagine someone talked to your wife like that. I did not attack you or the Aberdeener in the way you wrote to me.

Get your own material because half of what you wrote - your wife writes. Did you have her permission to use the computer?

I do not support Barza or those in town who rip us off. I am just as frustrated as you with our town's leadership. I go to meetings - do you?

You want to go on here defend your buddy that is fine but there are more educated ways to do it. You showed part of the reason that our kids are the way they are. IF IT IS NOT YOUR OPINION IT DOES NOT COUNT? I did not come off as pompus or self important and I did not support the tax payers getting fleeced. Acquire some reading comprehension skills.

Come to think of it- you did not answer one thing I brought up in my post - just attacked with senseless humor and your buddy thinks it is funny - shows his intelligence as well.

Aberdeener, thank you for not economically profiliing me or telling me to put my hands in my pants and kimsmomshusband did - maybe he does that on his own time while she is on the computer.

Anyway, as to what you said - whether you agree with nature or nurture - all kids are different skills, natural ability, and potential. I just dont think that your schooling can be compared to MARSD in the least. So we can agree to disagree. I like what you do here just dont agre with your take on the school problems.

Anonymous said...

O K Children Play nice.

This is what the corrupt and ignorant like to see.

They will not be gleeful that we discuss them and let people know of their corrupt behaviors and illegal and immoral acts. All they will talk about is that we OCCASIONALLY go against each other which takes them off of the highlight reels.

Back to the topic at hand.

Anonymous said...

Russ do really believe that Matawan/Aberdeen send kids to the best schools? I think you should review where our graduates are heading, they are not the best schools as you put it. I want better for them.

NSectionJoe said...

As a father of two above average children in or graduated from this district I can assure you that my concerns for them even as they excelled and scored well in school was a constant. There was also a obvious level of father's pride in their development as they became well rounded students and young people. This developed as they were involved in many activities in school and out as well as a very well grounded and varied groups of friends.

This is what my reality as well as my wife. Yes we were no different than other parents as we made sure they crossed the T's and dotted the i's.

What many of us need to realize is that our school system is set up for children like mine as well as it has come a good distance in handling special needs children in varying forms.

However the average students that struggle have alway been my utmost concern having been just an average student myself.

The emphasis on athletic fields, building projects and more has taken much away from the 3 R's.

Add to that the political in-fighting, interference and a school board whose members have worked counter to much of the list above, is our reality.

Add to that the economy and taxes that seem to be out of control for years now and it obvious as to why the doubts of many whose children go to this district's schools have legitimate concerns. That is our reality on many fronts.

The Aberdeener's education and background was an honest look at a specific type of school. Mine and all of ours was much different. Our only concern should be making this one the best it can be. That very often requires opinions counter to most which seem to be accepted and the norm.

If you trust those in charge of your life and do not question their leadership, experience and more all becomes just another day.

Think about it.

russ in strathmore said...

I agree. I just did not feel all of those comments were warranted. I fully support may of the Aberdeener ideas about local govt. and some of his gripes about the BOE and schools.

I just don't think you can label an enitire school district that has done well for thousands over the past 30 years. You would be insulted many who live around here to tell them their district failed them and therefore they are failures. School performance in this day and age in a choice - by the student and their parents. I check my kid's work nightly. Their friend's parents do not even know that progress reports came out.

MARSD is really a you get out what you put in type of district over the past 20 years.

And I am sorry, if you do check where graduates have gone over the past 20 years, there ARE good schools there besides the dreaded Brookedale as people describe it
here.

There are shortcomings, yes. Scores should be higher in some areas, yes. I just dont think it is a problem that has ONE answer.

And yes, the more that people write nasty things toward one another - the detractors win......

Anonymous said...

N Section Joe is right again. Sure some of the BARZA types or others will probably attack him but they will not be able to tell us he is not telling the truth. Many of us go on here and speak our minds. Some whose minds express views that are limited or bought and paid for by others who seek to cloud the issues or their involvement in that which fails us.

That is called and unfortunate reality.

So be it.

Russ in strathmore said...

and Joe,

I actually see your point. You and I dot I's and cross T's - others do not and that is their choice. MARSD can improve in helping more of its' kids.

Anonymous said...

Russ you said "MARSD sends kids to the best colleges in the country year after year."
I would disagree, while some may go, the majority don't. Again, look at the schools they are attending, you may be shocked.

Brookdale is a fine CC, but that is what it is, not a top tier school as you would suggest.

Get a clue!

David in Stathmore said...

Russ,
Hmmm...

ELITIST....NEGATIVITY.

So tell me, which board member gave you this crap to post? Are you a board member? Sounds like the code words for the same trash they spew when people question the status quo? Good stuff, you should save it for a letter to the editor on behalf of someone running for re-election.

This school system has not performed at an above average level among similar schools in many years. I hope the new Supt. can change this trend.
Demanding better performance is not ELITIST! Our community deserves it.


Russ, go back to sleep.....

Just close your eyes and believe what you are told..

close your eyes
and believe......

close your eyes
and believe....

.......Zzzzzzz

Also, what exactly do you mean by "a little Jewish school." Sounds a bit anti-Semitic, don't you think? Do you have some problems, unresolved issues, or is this a consequence of your own HS education? Guess they did not teach much about tolerance back then?

U C Brother said...

Russ you need to relax.

Come over to the right side.

Leave the dark side and the typical spew of the BARZA clan alone. It does not work any longer. The truth will set you free my brother.

At least the Kauff Crew just ignores us as if we are going away. Let them keep thinking that. Kauff and his crew are not that smart. Norman how is the heart by the way.

Keep taking your meds as things are about to change and change for you Norm is not good. Wait till you see what we have planned.

Start looking for a rocks fro you and your crew to hide under.

It is coming Norm.

russ said...

Aberdeener said:

I attended a private Hebrew day school. Most of my teachers were not certified; they were primarily Rabbis and local parents. As for socio-economic diversity, everybody was white and Jewish with household earnings ranging from low-middle income to fabulously wealthy.

I said little Jewish school. I am sorry if restating what the Aberdeener said sounded harsh, if so I am sorry. I do not know of that many large Hebrew Day schools.

I just love how everyone on here asks for the Aberdeener to get the word out about this blog, but when people who come on here offer a different opinion or point of view, they are shunned. They are ridiculed or told they support BARZA or Norman K. There are OTHER opinions out there. Yet anyone who does not agree, it blatantly harrassed or made fun of.

The Aberdeener comes on with his ideas. Most of them agreeable. But I did not agree with his take on the district. I am sorry. But I do not support Barza or the corrupt govt, or I have my hands in my pants as one said, or was told I'm pompous, self important, I am a waste of human flesh, and whatever else.

This is ridiculous. I know there are those out there who want to hide the problems of this town and whatever, I DON'T and what has happened here on this topic is nuts. If you do not think the powers that be are looking and laughing, you are wrong.

Aberdeener, I am sorry if my disagreement came off wrong. I do like what you do here. I feel bad that some of your followers may be ruining what you are doing by such negativity.

frmranchorguy80 said...

Just got off the train and I stopped in to pay my bill at town hall. Is there a council meeting this week. let me know. I forgot to check the board in town hall.
By the way I also agree with NSectionjoe. This district has been status quo for a long time. You got to know they bother him about speaking out about stuff at the school district. Part of the unwritten rule I bet that employees of the school district cannot say anything about the town and vice versa. I too remember when he used to speak out on numerous topics and write to the papers. I had to buy the weekly every week just to see if he was in it. He was one to get involved. So much some say that they hired him. Who knows. It cannot be easy.

Aberdeener said...

Russ,

I appreciate your comments and hope you will continue to contribute to this blog. Some of the responses you got were a bit harsh.

This is our town, our home, and it's hard to have a real debate without getting personal. Still, we need to debate these issues because our elected representatives are not providing the solutions.

Please don't take personally any negative feedback. Rather, try to take it as a sign of how dear we value our community.

As for our schools, I believe our students are capable of far more. In truth, I'd like the opportunity to prove it.

Anonymous said...

I know there are a lot of people who just gave up any hope for the district when Quinn was in power. At one point he basically called everyone that lives in Cliffwood crackheads. Between that and routinely giving out personal information about students, he did not give much hope for our school district.

Hopefully O'Malley will be up to the task of getting the district back on track and working towards higher standards once he's worked out all the bugs that were left by Quinn. Of course, that will take a while...

russ in strathmore said...

Thank you Aberdeener for being able to carry on a conversation with someone who may disagree with you one time or another.

I, like you, love my community. I do think it can be alot better through local govt. and the school system can improve in certain areas.

Anonymous said...

I meant, local govt. could be ALOT better


Russ

KennyCB said...

Local government? We do not have a local government. We got kaufferment.

Don't you get it he is giving Aberdeen away. A councilman who formerly served the Republican side told me recently that they hired this new manager just after setting in motion the Kauffagenda. Yes that is one word. Wait until you see what Kauff has been able to accomplish since he kicked Stewart brown to the curb. What will be the price for that? Kauff doesn't care he will be long gone before the Aberdeener can uncover that mess. That is if he can get to it before it disappears that is.

Do not kid yourself they will blame Brown for everything the first day this new puppet takes his oath of office. Is there an oath of office for the new puppet? Who gives him the oath Howdy F'n Doody?

The joke of an oath our present elected officials take must not have not had the words; best to my ability, honesty or God, on behalf of the people anywhere in the entire oath. Unless they violated all of the above.

Welcome to Aberdeen.

Anonymous said...

This is the oath Aberdeen's leadership took.

I pledge allegiance to Norman Kauff and to bankrupt the Township of Aberdeen . I swear to take everything that is not nailed down and turn it over to Norman Kauff. I promise to give CME everything but the kitchen sink to in turn fund the democratic and Norman Kauff agenda. I promise to lie to the people and to check in with Norman twelve times a day. I will think of nothing but serving Norman Kauff just before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up. I will avoid any conversations with the public having to do with truthful and honest governmental service. I will give as much favoritism and special courtesies to whomever Norman tells me. I will allow the people to be gouged and to be fleeced for every dollar they had hope to spend on food, retirement, clothing or their children. I will not allow the people to ask any questions of me without first clearing any answer whether it be not believable, unreal or completely false and purposefully misleading without first asking Norman Kauff. I will vote only the way Norman Kauff tells me for as long as I shall live. So help me God I mean Norman Kauff.

Love ya Norm.

Mullaney watch continues. Hi Bud.

Middlesex Jim

Anonymous said...

I too went to private school,(Catholic), and we never used state standards as a goal, they were far too low! None of us were rich, (way back then Catholic school was not that expensive). Most of us were children of immigrants, and we all learned because IT WAS EXPECTED!!! Expected by our parents, expected by our schools and expected by our teachers, who by the way, also earned far less than public school teachers.

Before we moved to Aberdeen my children went to a wonderful public school, in a very diverse community, and learned a great deal. Why?, because it was EXPECTED! By me, by the school and by the teachers.

So what changed when we moved to Aberdeen??? Same student, same parent, I still expect my children to work hard and do well, but the school district does not have the same standards as I do. The administration (and teachers) don't seem to care about pushing kids past the bare minimum level of knowledge. Standards are far too low. Content of material is far too weak. Homework is assigned at a bare minimum, and only checked if a students says they had a problem with it. (Am I the only one to think a student might not realize they don't fully understand the homework and know to ask the teacher to review it? Or maybe, they are too embarassed to say they don't understand it....a topic for another day)

I'd be interested in knowing what percentage of our students are in Enrichment, Honors, Merit, or AP classes. You expect at least the same percentage of students to achieve Advanced Proficient on standardized test, but they are not. And remember, the minimum for achieving advanced proficient is knowledge of about 65% of the material.

Dr. O'Mally, please raise the standards!

Anonymous said...

http://www.aberdeennj.org/comag081908/comag081908.html

town council meeting agenda for the earlier poster

KimsMom said...

that oath of office is the funniest thing I have ever read on the Aberdeener.

It should be copied and handed out at evrey event Aberdeen has or will ever have as long as Kauff screws the people.

I swear to god I mean Norman Kauff.

I am laughing so hard I have to pee.

Anonymous said...

Once again the high school principal and athletic director continue to set the bar low and the blame game goes on. The only thing O'Malley continues to do is spend money. If his administration doesn't work to set higher standards nothing is going to change. The leadership must come from him. He needs to demand more from them. I don't see it.

U C Brother said...

I must agree with KimsMom that the oath of office was all to sad and true. No matter what words they may have used they pretty much said the same thing that was posted here only with different words. They have done exactly what the oath says whether the words cam out of their mouths or not. I am laughing hard and crying at the same time since it is the exact truth of where our leadership is responsible to NORMAN KAUFF.

They have done every one of those things listed in the posted oath. That oath is genius.

The part about I swear to God was a little blasphemous. True but very close.

Anonymous said...

One must admit,Kims mom sounds like a class act.

KennyCB said...

Eloquent yet biting. Responsive yet sympathetic. Aggressive yet sympathetic. All this an more.

And best of all she doesn't like Norman Kauff.

That is a class act in my book also.

That is our KimsMom.

KennyCB said...

By the way I was hoping to go to the council meeting Tuesday night. It is supposedly on with short notice from all appearances as the posting in town hall was not up on Thursday when I was in there.

Wait a minute what is Kauff trying to put through with a last minute meeting? Some last minute development deal or maybe something mundane like giving CME more money for work they did not do. Or better yet no bid work like Ken has pointed out.

Ken or Brian if you go to the meeting hit a home run for me and ask if Kauff or Corren have been paid anything in the last two years as consultants, handling developmental meetings or anything else and who authorized it. KimsMom said she thought she saw Kauff sometime this week at town hall. Were the taxpayers being billed for his services as a legal adviser, party boss or? Let them tell us why he might have been there. Just ask the question if he has been around and why. Minutes from any meetings or negotiations. Ask the council if they have authorized him to conduct any negotiations. Flat out just ask the council if any of them have attended any meeting with Kauff present in the past two years where Aberdeen work or negotiations of any type was being conducted.

See what they say. I'm catching the red-eye and will be back on Wednesday morning. I will check in as soon as I get home.

Thanks much.

Anonymous said...

Kencb is right what is this kauff guy doing for us without our approval. This is like letting the wolf wacth the hen house. I never remember anu kauff knocking on my door.

Now many of us face taxes without any true fiscal control. It seems very simple for these people to vote on increasing our taxes. To do so without any real review of bills or any chance to see what other companies would charge for the same service is to be looked at.

I bust my ass to pay my taxes and for these people to just give my money away because kauff said so or as it seems somehow they are beholding to him is insane.

This must stop. Time w to go to my second job just to keep up with the bills. Just is not fair for too many like me and my family.

U C Brother said...

I feel for you having to go to a second job just to keep up with our situation in Aberdeen. The fact that they do not go out to bid is something this expensive is something that we cannot get a true hold on.

The bills get created and nobody checks. That is how companies go out. Except that in private industry if you raise the price and the consumer does not buy what you are selling you go out of business.

I do not buy what Aberdeen is selling and our failies are the ones going out of business.

Aberdeen is a little different as all they have to do is raise the taxes and use any number of excuses to cover their tracks. No different anywhere else in America.

That is why America is doomed. Those as in private industry whose missteps ruin companies leave with golden parachutes. It happens all of the time. Enron and more are examples.

In Aberdeen their are no golden parachutes just a nice check every so often from CME or maybe a land deal that was shameless.

Time to get ready to church. My family I will pray for all of us and for Aberdeen.

Anonymous said...

Front page of today's Asbury Park Prees is about diploma mills.

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080817/NEWS/808170437&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL

I love the part where he had to do a paper to gets his on line degree. He stated it was 2 - 3 pages, WOW! These on-line degree programs are so demanding!

Anonymous said...

All of this back and forth about the quality of the MARSD education must be making Quinn and Barza quite happy. After all, they have always thrived on division and finger pointing.

Here is a reality check for all to consider...the NJ State tests only test our students on 40% of what they supposedly learn in a school year..not a 100%, not 80% not even 70%....40%!!!!! AND in order to test proficient one only has to get 50% of that original 40% correct. Yes, that is right our students only have to remember 20% of what they were taught in a given school year to be considered proficient. And yet....we in MARSD seem to struggle to achieve 100% proficiency. So, perhaps the Aberdeener has more valid arguments than some of you may think.

I have read a few archived newspaper articles on Dr. O'Malley from the last school district he worked at..he really turned them around in very short time. Perhaps there is hope yet.

BTW--this is Tilly, just too lazy this Sunday to log on to my account.

Anonymous said...

Brookdale is not an Ivy League school. A more holistic view of where our students continue their education would take into account the economic climate we now endure. $103/credit vs $30,000+ a semester is a HUGE incentive to look to the local community colleges.

mat ave blake said...

I agree with the above 100%

Socio economics play a HUGE role, but no one wants to admit to that from time to time.

Some call it an excuse, others a REALITY

U C Brother said...

Just so everyone knows the comment about BARZA and Quinn is true. Just remember the mistakes Quinn made was to allow Zavorskas into the schools at her convenience. He paid the price for that.

He is gone.

Quinn did not listen to many who told him to be wary of BARZA but that did not matter and that cost Quinn and the taxpayers plenty.

If O'Malley was smart he will ensure that BARZA and all of the rest stay out of every school. Zavorskas will try everything to control and interfere it is all too telling when the hair stands up on peoples necks when she enters the offices.

O'Malley learn from Quinns mistakes. PLease.

KimsMom said...

U C Brother is on the mark. But we allknow the other problem with Quinn was his spending habits. Sure there are fixed costs and more buy...get real he and others mishandled the entire construction mess then put in a football field with all the bells and whistles when much more should have dealt with long before the Martucci wish list or demands we often hear about. Unfortunately more goes on or does not go on depending on who lies to you first.

Test scores mean everything and anything the administration, teachers union, parents and students must do is the only priority.

All of the other trash with Barza and their dividing ideologies are trash.

Aberdeener said...

Just thinking out loud -
If the students know they'll be attending Brookdale Community College (BCC) after high school, what incentive do they have to do well in school? If they don't do well in school, will they have the skills and foundation to pursue a 4-year degree at a well regarded university after completing an associates degree at BCC? If not, it makes sense that so many would then choose to enter the workforce rather than continue their education.

Perhaps we need to put more resources into helping parents send their children to 4-year colleges.

Anonymous said...

If you instill in your child the ideals that they should do their best, all the time, it doesn't matter if they know if they are going to Brookdale or to Harvard.

I think Brookdale gets looked down on too much here. It is a very good community college. It's reasonably priced. It's credits will transfer to other colleges.

What's wrong with doing your first two years at Brookdale? Getting an associates degree so that you can go on to a bigger college with a couple of years of maturity and experience under your belt?

What's wrong with taking the basics at a smaller college and getting them out of the way while you figure out exactly what you want to do with your life?

What's wrong with going to college close enough so that you can live a bit longer at home, deferring some of the costs so you/your parents don't have quite as big of a bill to pay for next 4-10 years as your/they are paying off all the bills for college?

In this day and age, with costs out of control, it just makes good sense to consider a community college.

Aberdeener said...

You raise good points. My concern is as follows:

The kids know Brookdale has an open enrollment policy. They know that their scores in high school don't matter so long as they graduate. They know their SAT scores don't matter. They know there's no reason to take any challenging courses. They know they don't need to engage in any activities to improve their resume.

And they're right. With the exception of SAT scores, I don't think anything in their high school record would be considered or given much weight when they look to transfer from Brookdale to a 4-year university.

I imagine that if a kid was trying to get into Harvard he'd be working a lot harder than if he planned to attend Brookdale.

Anonymous said...

My father used to say that he had to walk three miles through the snow and hail to get to his public school in Brooklyn and then had to share his lunch with those less fortunate with him. In today's world, unlike the Leave it to Beaver days that Aberdeen grew up in, parents didn't worry about pedophiles, suburban traffic, and other hazards that confront our children today.

Until recently in history College wasn't the necessity it is today - and even today it is elitist to suggest it is for everyone. Some people seem to have a problem rectifying their "perfect" childhood with the changes that have taken place in society over the last two generations.

I went to a public high school in Brooklyn for gifted students. Many of my classmates went to college and/or ended up running successful businesses. The same high school today is subject to lockdowns and has metal detectors at the doors. It is still for the "gifted", but that is now defined as actually wanting to be there.

I agree that our children today confront many challenges that we did not have to face. However, to compare our schools in 2008 to your private school in the 1970s? is naive and demonstrates a lack of connection with todays reality.

We must strive to do better, demand more from our students, teachers, and School Board -- but we are not going to get anywhere by making elitist generalizations about community colleges or even whether college is for everyone.

I remember the opening song that Archie Bunker sang in All in the Family

"Those Were The Days"

by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade.

Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.

Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight.

Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.

And you know who you were then. Girls were girls and men were men.

Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.

People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.

Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days.

Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.

Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.

Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song.

I don't know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days.


Let's leave yesterday behind and make a better tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Tonight's town council meeting was cancelled.

I do agree that Brookdale is a good community college and if the reason our kids attend Brookdale is to save money, stay at home and help out, college is too expensive, etc. it is a good choice. My concern is that so many Matawan/Aberdeen kids go there because they do not have the grades to get into "better" colleges or universities.

Brian in Aberdeen

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree, I'm concerned that many of our students go to Brookdale because they don't have the grades to get into better colleges, the SAT scores prove it.

And there are many other choices between Brookdale and Ivy League schools. So it is not only a choice between $3,000 vs $60,000 in tuition per year, and this "ELITIST" bs talk those in controll like to throw around. There are in state colleges and out of state colleges costing much less than ivy league universities, so why aren't our kids going there??? I guess we're back to low SAT scores again!

Does anyone think 2 years at any community college in enough to make up for 12 years of low standards taught at MARSD???

We don't need to compare our school to those private schools of the "good old 70's", we need to compare it to many, many, many public school districts of today, which offer a much more challenging and competitive curriculum to the students. We need to raise the bar. Our students will be competing globally. We need to prepare them!

And I remember the 70's. You couldn't walk a block without smelling pot, hearing racial insults, or violence on the news... Who remembers it as being such an idealistic time? Not me.

Anonymous said...

To the blogger above-now we just hear the racial comments in music ane I think there is still many violent acts covered by the news. But I do miss smelling the pot!

Anonymous said...

Cancelled council meeting perhaps Norman did not have the votes for his BS.

Perhaps Gallo and Perry may have dared to ask questions. Bad Gallo, Bad Perry. You know the rest of the geniuses and followers do not like questions. It takes away from their Norman time and Norman instructions. Right Dave?

Norm I miss you! Like the plague.

Did you hear the joke about the old lawyer who went to jail late in life and was somones girlfriend from day one. Wait that was not a joke it was a Kauff reality. Soon I hope.

So back to the council meeting thing. What was on the agenda more money for Samuels and the other scum? Maybe another sweet land deal for Vinci?

Anyone hear anything about the pool club yet? Who is the lawyer? Any engineering fees or money for the Lickstein boys? I know it is Leckstein. Like father like son in that whole genetic bundle. The law has nothing to do with it, just the billing. Right boys, You two suck to.

So Kauff apparently was supposed to be at town hall recently. KimsMom said she thought he got into a silver sedan. I thought Norm had a green Toyota? Maybe he was a good boy and got a new car from some as yet unknown developer or maybe Vic played Santa early. That would be a possibility with all of the CME money floating around now that the council except Gallo and Perry I understand who voted NO.

I bet Gallo got a stern talking to when she got home? That is not what Norman expects from people he controls. Is it a possibility that Gallo has a ... Did she go over to the right side with Perry? That will not sit well with Kauff.

Middlesex Jim

U C Brother said...

No Kimsmom is right. The old queen did get a new car this year. Corruption pays really good in Aberdeen. Can you just imagine the graft in places like NYC, Newark under James and other holes all over Jersey.

At least we only have Kauff can you imagine if we still had Koren? We would barely able to stay up above the water line. My house now with the reval will be though the roof. What will Normans be?

The Aberdeener needs to check what all of our leadership pays in comparison to their neighbors. especially Vinny Vinci cause you know Norm will have to take care of those bills. Vinny is on a fixed income, emphasis on fixed. Vinny sure is fixed to do anything Norm says. Right Vinny? Time to stand up before you meet your maker.

Too late some say as you have been dead for years.

I think you are very smart and know one thing for certain. You know who butters your bread. Right Norm.

Norm we are not going away. We do have something planned and you will not like it.

You see Norm hates publicity. Right Norm?

Anonymous said...

"These on-line degree programs are so demanding!"

Another moronic, ignorant, and stereotypical post from one of the Aberdeener's agitated dozen. Heads are surely gonna role now. Here is a link where you can learn the truth (like it or not) about postsecondary institutional accreditation: http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/

Oh, and I'm looking forward to the next council meeting. With all the factual information that is being presented, I am sure the goon squad will be swooping in like paratroopers to restore justice to the community. Maybe this time four people will show up to witness it.

Aberdeener said...

My apologies but how does the provided link relate to the discussion of online degrees? The programs cited in the prior article have regional accreditation but lack (or lost) professional accreditation.

The concern was that regional accreditation wasn't a sufficient standard and that teachers would be drawn to the cheapest and easiest masters programs.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 2 Post Above,
Sounds like you're the agitated one. Agitated that we're starting to demand a better education for ALL of our children, not just the select few. Agitated that we're insisting on ACCOUNTABILITY!

Signed One of the Dozen