Friday, August 8, 2008

Elephant in the Classroom

Quick – Name a dynamic industry that is union dominated. Can’t think of one? How about a highly regarded monopoly? No? Does anybody think it’s a coincidence that the most successful and enterprising companies in America have little to no labor union presence? Or that our ailing industries (i.e. manufacturing, steel, and transportation) are union dominated? In fact, the only industries that have thriving unions are the ones immune to competition – government licensed monopolies. It’s time to acknowledge the elephant in the classroom. We will never achieve a stellar educational system so long as we’re crippled by unions and monopolies.

I cannot understand how teachers, dedicated to their students’ welfare, would support a union that regularly puts children in harm’s way. Our teachers love our children. How can they force our kids into a classroom with a teacher who will rob our children of their opportunities to learn? Teachers are quick to respond that bad teachers often simply need more training but what of our children in the meantime? Are they to be sacrificed for the “greater good” while a failing teacher receives remedial training?

The two most promising industries, technology and finance, are also the two fields our children are least prepared to enter. We have no ability to compete for the best teachers because the best and worst are all paid the same. Nor can we make space for great teachers because the terrible ones have tenure. Our school district will always be handicapped so long as we’re beholden to labor unions.

Our only hope for salvation is a charter school that needs to compete for students. No public school in New Jersey has ever become a charter school but it can be done. All we need is the political will and leadership to make it happen.

According to the Charter School Program Act of 1995 (N.J.S.A. 18A:36A-4), a currently existing public school is eligible to become a charter school if the following criteria are met:

  • At least 51% of the teaching staff in the school shall have signed a petition in support of the school becoming a charter school; and
  • At least 51% of the parents or guardians of pupils attending that public school shall have signed a petition in support of the school becoming a charter school
In contrast to a secret ballot, petitions are a far simpler method to garner a majority. People can be approached individually, over time, and pressured to take a public position. Still, attracting a majority of teachers and parents would pose an immense hurdle.

The only way to get a majority of teachers to sign a petition is to throw buckets of money at them. At the very least, we would need to offer them a bonus equal to one-year’s salary and guarantee all existing benefits and job protections for three years. In exchange, the teachers would accept a non-unionized charter school. (Such an offer would also result in a high turnover rate among teachers near retirement since they could use the bonus to inflate their pensions.)

For the parents, we would need to conduct an ongoing informational campaign touting the benefits of a charter school that needs to compete for students.

At the same time, the teachers union, at the local, county, state, and national levels, will strongly oppose any measure that would diminish their power. No matter how hard we try or how much we invest, the teachers union will always be more organized and better funded.

Still, let’s say we successfully petition the teachers and parents, we would still need to submit an application to the State Superintendent who then passes the application to the Commissioner of Education for approval. We can only imagine the political array of characters doing their utmost to stop the first New Jersey school district that ever applied to become a charter school.

Another concern is that, even if successful, it could all be for naught. The national Democratic Party has been pushing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Under present law, a workplace can only be unionized following an election using secret ballot. The EFCA enables workers to unionize a workplace using the same petition process we’d be using to get a charter school. Barack Obama has endorsed the bill.

If the EFCA becomes law, the teachers union would be able to go into a charter school and strong-arm the teachers into forming a union, thereby defeating the whole purpose of creating a charter school. Even without the law, the Commissioner of Education has the right to withdraw or not renew a school’s charter.

Once we get our charter approved, we would then need to negotiate with neighboring school districts to give our children a choice of schools. Labor unions and bureaucracy are only part of the problem. The other part is a monopoly that’s not allowed to fail. Our district has to be forced to compete with other schools and the only way to create competition is to allow our children to choose among all the nearby schools.

Throw into the mix all the frivolous lawsuits we would be forced to defend, the concessions to gain teacher approval, the increased cost of busing, and we could be looking at 5 years and $30 million. Bonded over a twenty year period, we’d be looking at annual payments of $3 million or just under $300 per household. (Government funding would drop by 10% but that would likely be balanced by cost savings as charter schools have lower operating expenses per pupil.)

That’s a lot of time, money, and effort for something that Congress or a government bureaucrat could undo with the stroke of a pen. Is a charter school in a competitive environment worth it? I say yes.

That we need to debate whether bad teachers should be removed from the classroom or whether good teachers should be rewarded is sheer insanity. Despite the costs and all the attendant risks of creating a charter school, our community will never achieve academic excellence as long as our schools cater to the whims of labor unions. Our teachers are the first to argue that our children’s futures depend on a sound education. I agree. Let's start a petition and see what the community thinks. >>> Read more!

35 comments:

NSectionJoe said...

As the very proud husband of a teacher soon to enter her 30th year of teaching. I can only tell you of our personal experiences and the absolute truths my wife has dealt within in her time as a PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR all of these years.

The term professional educator is very often overused. The fact that the term tenure seems to also be the only prerequisite to being labeled a professional educator is flawed on many fronts. Tenure is merely used to describe many who enter the profession as a backup to their degree and job search. Sadly, that probably accounts for 25% of those teaching today.

The word and often mixed reward of "tenure" seems to be the reason many enter the field. Many do not really have the true desire, love, dedication and more that it takes to be a true professional educator. Further such people hurt our children really.

The key to every problem my wife has ever confronted in all of these years, breaks down to two very basic conditions, problems, tactics, excuses and far more that have negatively impacted and caused problems at every level in the education of children over the years.

PARENTS AND ADMINISTRATORS

Parents and Administrators are the true cause of problems with the education of all children. A look at our own districts test scores year after year is all of the proof I need. Granted I am not a degreed individual as I attained my education in life through experiences and being well read.

Many years ago a well respected educator whom I loved like a father, told me that college for most people was a waste of time and money. He said that you could read the classics of literature, visit museums and travel around talking to people of varying races and ethnicities and learn what most colleges would teach you. The costs of college and sitting in lecture halls was just the price to be paid in order to get that sheepskin (diploma),that everyone thinks is so important.

Do not get me wrong I am paying the price for my children's sheepskins, BUT... That is societal.

Administrators are all (mostly) hacks of the system whose fear is based on job performance criticized, analyzed and decided upon by School Board members whose experiences in the education of children and the ability to review someones performance is most often based on their being parents. A basic and accepted fact is without question that these Moms and Dads are most of those who serve on school boards are often just that, Moms and Dads. Their vast experiences in the field of education is from teaching their children right from wrong. It is unfortunate that school board elections are nothing more than popularity contests. Although and most unfortunately that changes year after year as local political machines are sticking their presence and resources where it does not belong. But we all know that money is to be made for the political parties coffers in education. It is no different than blood in the water for sharks.

While I applaud most of those who give their time as Board of Education members, most are truly in short order Bored of Education. Their initial belief is that they can do good and be a positive force to educate children. That quickly falls by the wayside as soon as the politics of greed, egos and corruption raise their ugly heads, or is forced upon them. Then they buckle, most of the time and become pawns in the political games of "tug of war" between unions and political machines.

Moms and Dads are not the experience and expertise that is needed in education on any level.
Rudy Guilliani said it many years ago when he was the Mayor of New York City, at a time when he was dealing with the Board of Education in contract negotiations and construction projects. His most truthful and exacting statement was that from his experience "Boards of Education should not be in construction', and "Boards of Education should not be in education".

Like Rudy or not, we have seen this time and time again in our district on both fronts. Our test scores are proof of that, and our taxes to fund education and ridiculous buildings and other expenses are the result of out of control spending and lack of true accountability in any form going back decades, is truly a crime.

Just tell me how a man or woman is qualified to decide and approve the implementation and dispersal of tens of millions of dollars annually in a fair and balanced manner, with little if any experience with finances, other than their own checkbooks.

Granted our school board has more educated people as of late, who have joined a very small percentage that truly care for the children from within their hearts. The rest are political hacks and egomaniacs who control the PTO's like their own private armies, to be used only during elections of the school boards and most wrongly used during municipal elections. This has grave and very negative consequences and allegiant beholdings, to ensure their one sided views are kept in the majority.

This political involvement is done improperly and perhaps illegally through the use of phone chains and more, which are misused to get the(one sided) word out to parents too busy with their own lives to attend School Board meetings much less parent-teacher conferences to keep check on and make corrections to ensure their child's educational needs, and the accountability of the instructors and administrators providing and overseeing that education.

That is the reality of every School Board everywhere.

I apologize for my frankness and honesty. I have watched proudly as my wife has worked all of these years to ensure the education of "her kids" as she calls them. This as the true reality that she spends more time with these children on a daily basis then their own parents. She has often sat waiting year after year, grade after grade when parents routinely failed to show for parent-teacher conferences, check and acknowledge homework or respond to notes seeking input or advice on their children.

That is the reality of my teacher, my wife and a woman who amazes me every day she goes to work. As she leaves the driveway I know that the children in her class are getting the best education they can get from someone who truly cares and is dedicated to "her kids".

Charter schools are not the answer for society's problems with education. Teachers are not the problem with not educating children. The politicization of children and the uncontrolled costs that are choking our society through taxes, is the true problem.

The fact that we live in New Jersey is just an unfortunate fate. New Jersey is as the book I have just started to read is truly "The Soprano State".

The business of government and education are no different than organized crime. It is controlled by people we do not know and is legislated in a manner that is forced upon us, with little choice options, accountability or input.

Let forth the criticisms upon me. But read this over once again before you doubt my true intentions and my brutally honest opinion.

I thank you for your time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was a long read but very well put.

Brutally honest and a great expression from NsectionJoe.

Refreshing to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Unions must be looked t as costly and often that which brings down a company, business or educational system.

Look at Chevrolet and know that every car that is sold has an average price per vehicle of $2800.00 to just cover the union benefits paid to employees or former employees. In education that is much much more.

The reality of the educational system is that the obviously too powerful teachers unions and as pointed out the voting process is a true blockade to real honest voting by teachers on many subjects.

Why do you think they are fighting to keep the school board elections away from the November election day voting date.

April is the most convenient month to hold school elections to get the minimal public and taxpayer response in order to maintain control.

Anonymous said...

Some real honesty out here tonight. Great subject Aberdeener.

I hope this a Kauff free weekend?

Anonymous said...

Old fashioned or not, I was more afraid of what my parents would say to me if I ever brought home a negative note from my teacher. The parents today seem to blame everyone else but their "little Mary or Johnny."

Like nsection joe, I too, am paying for my kids sheepskin. And it don't come cheap. Never having the opportunity to attend College, promised myself my children would get that education.

Thanks Joe and thanks to your wife for being a dedicated teacher. Teaching is not a livlihood, it is a profession!

Anonymous said...

I think that the Aberdeener is wrong on this one. Personally, I am not a Union member and I do not have any family members that are; but, I do think that those who blame any union for multi-faceted problems do not appreciate the history or value that organized labor has brought to our society.

I don't blame the NJEA for all of the problems in our public schools any more than I blame the Pilots' union for all of the problems facing the airlines. It is almost always a failure of management that causes industry wide issues. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler did not embrace innovation and modernization like Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. It was management that did not look to the future of what people would need and it was management that chose profit over investment in new design and technology.

The issues such as tenure, professional discipline, legislative giveaways to teachers, etc., are the fault of pandering at the legislative levels of government and management that fails to do their jobs.

Shoprite, Stop & Shop, A&P -- by the way, all unionized, all profitable. Yes, Walmart is successful, as measured by profit - but hardly a model company when it comes to its treatment of employees.Do you really think that Walmart would offer the benefits to employees that it does without threat of unionization? Unions are responsible for bringing safe mining practices to this country and for creating an expectation of healthy working conditions throughout entire industries.

The Union is only on one side of the negotiating table. Let the other side of the table (management) do their job!

The buck stops at the desk of the Superintendent and the Board of Education. It is their responsibility to engage the teachers in an effort to raise the bar.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how nsection joe's most admired teacher was forced to resign by "administration' because of his incompetence. This person would allow students to fill in the grades in the grade book.
Seemed like a good idea at the time but it didn't prove I learned a thing. Sounds like his wife has problems with administration as well-hmmm.

NsectionJoe said...

To the anonymous mind reader:

Perhaps you are not so anonymous after all? Obviously you must be the "Amazing Kreskin" as you seem to be able to read the names of people whose names are not even placed in a posting. Or can you read my mind? Read this A------.
Somehow we are supposed to be amazed by you, as you are obviously so gifted in other ways, and can read our minds. OK Genius try reading my mind and tell me what I am thinking of you now? Read this J------.

As for my wife, yes in fact my wife has had problems with administrators who are like you, merely hacks. Ever wonder why most every administrators in education and politics don't last very long in their jobs? Wait I forgot you are the Amazing Kreskin.

Just a few examples of the hundreds my wife has had to deal with, which may give some proof of what teachers have to deal with: When a child attempted to hit my wife over the head with a chair. her Supervising Administration did nothing. When my wife tried to report abuse or neglect of children, on numerous occasions over the years. Administration did nothing and then warned my wife that she and the school could be held liable for reporting such a thing. When my wife tried to tell administrators that the teaming of first and second grade multiple handicapped children in one classroom would hurt the children's education, and it did. Administration did nothing. The list is endless as administrative hacks like you would rather hide behind their anonymity than confront reality.

And understand one thing you did not know the man I speak of and admire, and I can assure you that you could not shine his shoes. The reality for all of us is that those like you who hide and point fingers do so without one shred of proof. You and those like you in the dark are the true root cause of the failures and problems in the educational system. Come into the light.

Nice try though. Try the truth next time. You should seriously consider your obvious need to go back to that mind reading school for a refresher course. Maybe a refund would be better as their may not be too much talent to work with.

Keep trusting the administrators, politicians and the bobble heads on television who tell you the news. But know that the only news they want you to know is what they tell you. There is a big world out there. Try leaving the closet.

Let us know how that mind reading thing works out for you. I would not think it will be something you can retire on. Maybe there is a career in a sideshow for you after you finish being a hack.

To the rest of you reading this I apologize. I will not-not defend my wife, her career and those who have impacted my life from the "anonymous" hacks like this one. I put my name out there and stand by my beliefs unlike our anonymous Kreskin.

Have a nice day. Especially to you (anonymous) Kreskin! But wait you can read minds so you already knew I was going to wish you a good day. Right?

Anonymous said...

I have lived in aberdeen for 20 plus years. My children have all attended catholic schools and still do today.With RBC costing me 10,000 dollars plus a year but it is still up to my wife and I to oversee their education we rely on no one but ourselves to make sure that they are ready and able to attend college. Leaving their education to a teacher or some administrator is a huge mistake. The only person who really cares about them is Mom and Dad

U C Brother said...

N section is right on the mark. Those who are anonymous and obviously are intent on being accusatory and divisive to throw a wrench in the subject matter.

I will tell you though the parts where N section said to the amazing kreskin as to if he or she "can you read my mind A------, was one of the funniest defense statements I have seen to date on the Aberdeener.

I will be the first to admit it, but once in a while these hacks have to be knocked down a peg or two. N section made a statement for all of us so tired of the political hacks.



Once again well done N section.

Touche! French transaltion i think is WELL DONE.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that BOE and parents shoulder the blame. I cannot even go after the administrators because these people are in constant fear of their job security because of which BOE member they may have a problem with in any particular week - and they are to do the bidding of the BOE at all costs yet must answer to the crazy requirements and rules and laws of the state education office.

I also have to agree that many parents do not take the time necessary to help their children with HOMEWORK or even keep up with progress - many parent teacher conference nights are filled with parents who's kids are not in danger at all - but that shows the chicken or the egg theory - kids perform because parents go the extra mile. Those students whose parent need to be there - frequently are no where to be found and there can be some very good excuses for that as well - 2 jobs, kids at home, sickness in family, etc. OR do not care enough.

Yes, some teachers are not as good as others but as someone wrote here a few weeks back - tenure protects teachers from agendas of certain parents and BOE members and down the road when they are at the top of the pay scale, they cannot be let go to save money. IT DOES HIDE SOME TEACHERS WHO ARE NOT UP TO PAR - to be fair.

One thing I did not like was nsection joe's figuring:


The term professional educator is very often overused. The fact that the term tenure seems to also be the only prerequisite to being labeled a professional educator is flawed on many fronts. Tenure is merely used to describe many who enter the profession as a backup to their degree and job search. Sadly, that probably accounts for 25% of those teaching today.

The word and often mixed reward of "tenure" seems to be the reason many enter the field. Many do not really have the true desire, love, dedication and more that it takes to be a true professional educator. Further such people hurt our children really.


= This is not a fair statement on any level - I would stand to bet that 98% of the people who teach especially in our town, do so for the reasons that your wife does JOE, and to say that tenure and secondary job choices is a reason for people to become a teacher - is not true and just not fair or even PROVABLE on any level. In fact, your post was great except for that dreadful statement - and professional educators IS THE TERM TO BE USED.

If you could only see what teachers do on a yearly basis ===the constant changes to be made in instruction, material,current information, learning styles, - not to mention various student abilities, learning styles, problems in class, problems at home, disabilities, amongst 100 other factors - I think if this was studied and theorized - professional educator would be an appropriate term.

U C Brother said...

More "anonymous" garbage from an obvious school employee or administrator;

Just forget it on both sides.

Education, politics go hand in hand. The powerful unions have government in constant fear. That is not a tool of the educational process it is a constant threat.

Be real people NSection and a few others speak the truth.

Professional educator is no different than professional...anything else. It is not to be labeled or held out as some sign of achievement. Professional Educators do not walk out the door of a school on the heals of the kids. Be at the High School some day and watch a great majority of faculty and administrators leave the building on the button. It is a race between all of the above very often. Starting at the top. Right Mrs. R.?

But her days are numbered, many of us hear.

People are finding out more and more what is going on in our schools and teachers and administrators do not like it one bit.

Now back to the Charlie Rodgers thing. What is up with that? Did one of Martucci's "angels" go off track? It will not be the first time. The last time Martucci was raising money for an "angel" who ended up being a convicted murderer.

Please tell the rest of us about Rodgers.

Thanks and God Bless.

Aberdeener said...

A union completely changes the dynamics of the workplace.

Imagine being the superintendent. How much of your energy is spent battling the unions? How much of your time is spent dealing with BOE members who need union support to get reelected? How often do you stop tackling the big ideas because there's too much work and too little support?

Removing bad teachers, performance pay, reallocating resources, raising standards, innovation, accountability, how much of this will be accomplished despite union opposition?

How much reform will we ever achieve so long as labor unions dominate our school district?

Anonymous said...

Now this is what this forum was supposed to stop?

u c brother= why do you bring up rogers? I do not see his name on here before and the Aberdeener did not mention him?

So you saying something derogatory in his direction is exactly what this blog's new posting policy was supposed to stop.

I am not defending Mr. Rogers in any way, just stating a fact.

And what are you talking about teachers leaving on the button? Are you near the HS at dismissal? I pick up my kid daily and never see a teacher beat a student out of the parking lot? And what about the principal? She was JUST made peramanent.... so your days numbered idea goes out the window.

For a man of God, thou shall not bear false witness sound fmailiar?

proud 2b anonymous said...

what is the difference between an ANONYMOUS post and a name like - u c brother?

How can you complain about someone weighing on a topic and then use an alias yourself when you trash what they wrote? and I agree with other person, those comments about the 2 people in u c's post are unfounded and accusatory

U C Brother said...

Proud to be anonymous needs to take their head out of their, well you know.

Do you think that people who know of the items posted are just putting them on and are liars. How about they are telling the truth.

Yes Martucci did raise money to defend one of his former players who is in jail for murder. Did Martucci raise money for the victim? TRUE statement guaranteed.

As for Mrs. R. she will run you over leaving the building most days. Guaranteed.

So for those of you like proud 2 be keep living in Disneyland and let the rest of us live in the reality that is our Matawan and Aberdeen.

U C Brother by the way stands for Cornelius Bertrum Brother. That is my real name. So keep being "proud 2 be anonymous" while also being in denial of the reality of a school board leadership and corrupt local government that lies, cheats and steals all the while as you think everything is right with the world.

Some of us "stir it up" as Dick Gregory used to say.

proud 2b anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with what the original post of the Aberdeener was talking about mind you; I am just expressing the following:

I agree with the anonymous poster.

U C-

You brought up Martucci
You brought up Rogers
You brought up the one in jail - no on else did.

I am not defending Martucci or Rogers. I feel terrible for the family of the deceased as most anyone in our area does.

And a principal of a school, I did some research, is contractually obligated to be in the HS until I think 4pm during the school year and stays beyond that time when there are events. I do not beleive Mrs. R leaves at 2:15 - it would be noticed by parents, students, faculty, and BOE and therefore, she would not have been made permanent for this school year.

This has been said here before - you, as others on here do, have an apparent agenda. You have said things that are not true and/or will rile up people who do not know what you are talking about. The Rogers and Mrs. R comment you made - had nothing to do with anything being discuused at the time.

I did not defend the school board or the local government - as you said I did - I mostly agree with you about the corruption - I applaud your enthusiasm but beleive it is being directed at the wrong people at this time.

The things being said here, that are borderline libel, is the reason the NON-BLOGGER account posters were shut out of here a few months back, ruining it for everyone else. I am just saying be careful what you write or the post shut down may happen again.

U C Brother said...

If the truth gets shut down by the blog police so be it.

That means the blog would be shut down because of you, and those like you who are and remain proud to be anonymous with a defense agenda for the Barzas and the others who violate the public trust.

As far as those who should be careful it is those with a defensive reality that twist our words and what you still do not admit is THE TRUTH.

I am out of town on business this week so feel free to continue to perpetrate your fraud. The truth is the truth no matter how hard Proud 2 be anonymous might defend those who are wrong.

Just remember Jeffrey Dahmer was defended by people. The others he just killed and ate.

Defending those who are without fault is honorable. Defending those who are wrong, misdirected, fraudulent, egotistical and truly incompetent gives birth to those who hide in the shadows of lies.

keep hiding, proud 2 be anonymous.

U C Brother said...

By the way the U is just that U.

My Mother and father used the initial as I was told to never let me forget that U started from the love of life and U control it.

While I may be from a slave working family out of North Carolina, New Jersey is my home and where I will raise my family. New Jersey just so happens to be the most corrupt state in America where leadership and it failures gets more protection from those like Proud 2 be too anonymous and the rest of us are rebuked.

Times they are a changing. Watch.

KennyCB said...

Power to the people. Right on.

Anonymous said...

U C

Are you out of your mind?
That guy did not defend anyone. Did not defend Barza. Probably did not did not like or even know Jeffrey Dalmer. Did not ask where you were from or what your ancestors did.....

Wow. He just said if we kept to the point on some of this, the blog as a whole would be better.

Let us just say the Mon. Co. Prosecutor does go on here to read what is going on and sees some of the crap U C is writing, the other accusations may be clumped in with his crap and agenda and not taken seriously.

U C, I have read some of your previous posts and they are pretty insightful. But your writing here is totally off topic.

And if you want to get nasty with me, check your grammar once and while and try to write at least one coherent sentence.

Anonymous said...

Back to the original topic. Unions do not teach our children - teachers do. On this subject I let the Aberdeener off the hook of just being wrong because he doesn't have children in the school system yet.

Maybe I've been the only lucky one to see my son have teachers that challenged him and that he admired since kindergarten. Maybe I'm the only one that gets specific feedback from his teachers and teachers that care about him as a student and individual.

It is easy to put down the generic idea of the "union" as the root of all evil in the school system. But the reality is that most teachers work hard and care about their students. Yes, a few rotten apples, an unwillingness of administrators to do their job and hold teachers accountable, partisanship, nepotism, and an underwhelming school board, pull some bad planets into alignment. But, at the end of the day, teachers, individual teachers teach, not an impersonal omnipotent union.

Aberdeener, I agree with you on many issues; however, on this one I think you are ranting at an obvious easy target. Does the Board need to stand up to the union during negotiations? - of course. Do they? - sadly, some spend more time and effort asking its members for votes and money during campaigns.

In summary, we must deal with the failures of individual teachers; but, more importantly we must deal with the success stories which do not get as much attention.

Anonymous said...

Did I get this right?

Mr. Nspectionjoe is proud of his educated wife. She is providing an excellent education to the children of many neglectful parents. These parents are one of the main problems in our district. The bad test scores are all the proof he needs of their guilt.

Once more, these same parent types have somehow wormed their way into the school board via pesky PTA organizations riddled with even more of these parent pariahs. He opines that these Moms and Dads have ruined the system.

I have a solution. In the future, we should only enroll children conceived in test tubes by anonymous donors. Let the embryos be carried by surrogates. We'll snatch the babies at birth and keep them in institutional nurseries until we present them, totally uncorrupted by parental influence, to the beloved teachers of Matawan. I betcha that will get our test scores up. Yup.

Kennycb said...

What you think the problems in our educational system do not start at home with two parent working families and lack of parenting skills and much more.

You think teachers and administrators and their unions are not a big part of the problem?

You think the things parents used to tell, instruct and be involved in with guiding their own children now no longer has parental involvement on the whole., Students are now instructed on every topic and far more than the basics. That same instruction by teachers does it not take away from the basics or reading, writing and arithmetic? Does the problem of uninvolved parents not take away from instruction? Think about it.

Many parents are not involved with their children period, which is the root cause of most problems as teachers have to take significant time away from instruction. So now children are given that same information which they should have been given at home by teachers, a lot of information.

Governmental programs, no child left behind and many more mandated subjects and actions also contribute to the "government is your parent and will take care of you" mentality that is also a major stumbling block.

So teaching to the test becomes the norm and parents are forced out of or let the kids be raised by the government.

Many of this is reality and as far as test tubes you are off the mark.
I have to agree reality is missing from many on here.

The program is huge and N Section hits the nail on the head despite anonymous fears and attacks.

Why do so many on here not accept truth and the reality of a failed system and discuss same rather than attack those who open the topic?

Aberdeener said...

I agree that parents bare the ultimate responsibility of educating their children but the school district has been on a quest to remove any parental authority. Not only can't parents choose the school, they can't even indicate which teacher they want. Very often their kids don't qualify for extra help because the kids scored above 50% on a state standardized exam. 50% isn't enough for a drivers permit but it's enough to qualify for "proficiency" in English, math, and science.

Very often parents don't even know how badly their kids are doing because of grade inflation. Only 10% of our juniors scored above 75% on the Science HSPA exam. Are we prepared to say that the other 90% have parents who are incapable or unwilling to help them in science?

I have been arguing with the school board and administration to give parents more control over their children's education but they refuse. The answer has always been that education should be in the hands of the "professionals".

Just like in any organization, the one responsible for success must be given the power necessary to achieve that success. If we're going to hold parents responsible, as they should be, then we must also entrust them to manage their own children's education.

Does anybody believe the labor unions would ever allow for that?

KimsMom said...

Aberdeener needs to let it flow.

It seems that things changed when Councilman Vinci claimed that his vehicle was damaged in some sort of retaliatory attack. More political BS and we who seek the truth should pay the price for being limited in our discussions and inputs on the subject, either named or anonymous.

Anybody check the police report from the investigation. What did that say? What was ruled as the cause? Before we limit ourselves or have the Aberdeener be blamed and fenced in.

I agree reality and defensive input by hacks and the protectors, real or imagined of the BARZA clan and Kauffs crew take away and have many pinned against each other. Rather than be allowed to discuss the subject or the truth that stares us in the face.

Leadership is flawed if leadership controls and defends itself against the people unchallenged. KM

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener0

I'm curious-what do you like about our town?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous post, but let us be honest - test scores are down across the board in many communities.

BUT, the reasons are many:

-More kids have jobs, working longer hours than years ago
-Wasted hours on the home internet
-Both parents working long hours in this day and age which can produce many outcomes = cannot help child with homework or supervise that work is getting done. This is not meant as a deroratory statement as when I remember when I was young and my dad worked 12 hours days, his involvement in my schoolwork was minimal.
- The hardships of single parenting
-Lack of reading (any type of material) during free time. Kids do not read as much as in the past unless it is on a computer screen.
-tests have changed
-politics on BOE not getting the curriculum up to date or agendas
-lack of importance applied to school in some households
-more diagnosed learning disabilities
- students who in the past were offered different programs and courses of study (i.e. vocational) RATHER THAN MAKING EVERY KID TAKE A COLLEGE PREP course of study
- access to the WRETCHED EMAIL
- time spent on myspace, facebook, etc.
- the state of NJ lack of willingness to allow schools to identify children with behavorial and severe educational disabilities and give them alternative education (these students count in the overall test score average where they did not 15 years ago)
- teachers who have not updated their teaching methods
-breakdown of the core of the nuclear family - this could be taken many ways, like how many of us still eat dinner at a table with our kids EVERYDAY or CHECK EACH AND EVERY assignment and test grade
- lack of monetary power to hire the best prep courses or tutors. Face facts= kids in affluent areas mostly test better because their parents' spending power can and will get them resources to improve the learning potential (tutors, prep courses) outside of the classroom and this is a fact

There are many more reasons too. For the most part it is not an indictment of the individual, rather society= just facts.

What is so bad to admit that our town has many of these characteristics. There in lies the problem. We are not Princeton or Ridge or Colts Neck for that matter. In NJ, most affluent areas score the best. It is all socio-economic? No. But IT IS a major factor. Though I do applaud many of us for striving for improvement.

So just as some of you blame all parent, all teacher, all union, all BOE - the reasons are many. Let us take a step back and work together in our community rather point the finger with nasty comments.

Aberdeener said...

There's much that I love about this town. I live in the dream house. I have a big house on a big property on a quiet street, only a block from the shopping district and next door to a pool club and two playgrounds. I live in a safe neighborhood, near a highway, a commuter train, and the shore. We have small amusement parks geared for young children, a nearby state park, horse riding, and hayrides.

I only ask for three things - Community leadership acting in their constituents' best interests. A school district dedicated to empowering parents to provide the best education for their children. And a main street that encourages a pedestrian shopping environment.

I ask for so little :)

KimsMom said...

Once again anonymous questioning and anonymous accusations rule the day.

While there is much I love of Aberdeen there is much I have contempt for. Unlike many I find Aberdeen and its taxes to be out of control. Our leadership just paid its benefactor and #1 Democratic Campaign crooks $675,000.00, a vote by the way that was last on the agenda after a overly lengthy executive session. When Mayor Sobel was asked at a council meeting why such services as CME do not go out to bid? The Mayor of Aberdeen responded in typical political fashion "we have gone out to low bidder before and it has cost us more money in the end". So lets see what that really means is that Mayor Sobel, as directed by Norman Kauff, allows the raping of the citizenry year after year and election after election. Anybody think about hiring our own engineers?

I think it would be far less by far than the gouging bills paid to CME as Norman Kauff prefers to do.

Sobel is kidding no one. Aberdeen and its citizens have paid CME over $4.200,000.00 since 2005. Lets see that means every month for various reasons still yet to truthfully be explained. That means a check on average of $100,000.00 goes out in the mail to CME from Aberdeen, every single month.

Lets just say Norman Kauff and his group shake down, I mean get political donations for the *good of the people* from CME of 10%. That means an average of $10,000.00 per month for Norman Kauff and the group. Not bad. Business is good for our Democrats.

Who says Governmental work doesn't pay. Not Norman Kauff and his group most assuredly.

As for the School system I will have to get back to that later. Time to start up the taxi for dance class and tennis class. Kids?

Anonymous said...

Off subject - Just an idea for the Aberdeener -- How about a "best of" edition highlighting the high points (or low points) depending on perspective.

1. Vinci get free land
2. Vinci and Gumbs get caught stealing parking from the handicapped.
3.Gumbs get paid big bucks for a slice of land
4. Sobel's friends make out like bandits
etc.

An edition each for the town and the school board. Just an idea for the end of summer when the news cycle is slow. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Kims mom,

Not to mention when you ask the question Sobel tries to make you feel like an idiot because you keep asking it. I get tired of his ridiculous answers and his patronizing tone. Does he not realize I ask the question every time I am there to listen to his stupid answer and so everyone else there can hear his ridiculous answer? Does he actually believes that there is nothing to gain by putting it out to bid? Is he that stupid? Does he believ we are? I can only answer him as I did and say "how about saving money".

Brian in Aberdeen

Anonymous said...

Off subject and once again anonymous.

Just to list the things that the newspapers and law enforcement authorities should be looking at in Aberdeen and my Matawan would boggle the mind. What still boggles my mind is that the newspapers and authorities are useless as they know and are complicate with Kauff and crew. All that money for law enforcement agencies to sit idly by while the crooked politicians in our towns and their handlers steal from the taxpayers. And they steal without one spec of guilt and with their arrogant attitudes as though they deserve to be able to steal and serve themselves and the scum they attract and feed off of.

As was previously advised by the fool of a Mayor Sobel "C.M. E. Engineers are professionals in their field". The fact that Soble cannot look anyone in the eye as he answers questions from the public is all of the proof needed. He and all the rest are useless. Although I spoke to someone at the meeting when Perry and Gallo voted no on the next installment of "how to pay for elections in Aberdeen" by Norman Kauff gets published for campaign 2008. It must have been Gallo's turn to stand up as directed by Kauff. Perry it seems always does the right thing. Just after all of the rest of them do exactly what Kauff tells them to do. Or am I wrong? Does Janice Gallo think like Brian and now realize we are paying a great price for that old fool Kauff's crimes and political corruption. I suspect gallo got taken to the Kauff and CME wood shed after that meeting for a stern talking to.

I like many others think next time around it needs to get really ugly and informatively honest. Just one sheet of paper handed out to every household in Aberdeen and handed out just one week before the election, would shake things up. One honest listing all of their crimes and shenanigans will cook the Kauff goose.

One honest listing would do it.

Mr. Matawan said...

I am new to submitting my thoughts to the Aberdeener. I have however been reading quite a few interesting submissions and topics. I myself have a plan for my own elected officials.

I would have to agree with Middlesex Jim that one timely and very honest advisory to the voters advising them of the self serving stranglehold in Aberdeen, Matawan or anywhere else would do significant damage to any campaign.

To quote Horace T. Firefly a part played by Grouch Marx in a very old movie. "To war to war we've got to go to war". I know I am dating myself but I hear 69 is the new 29, or is that 49? I keep forgetting.

I have a few surprises coming up from any votes involving V.S. and his holdings in Matawan.

On another subject I plan on asking Councilman Mendes a few questions about his employment with V.S. Enterprises. How fast can Councilman Mendes say conflict of interest or I must recuse myself?
We shall see?

To quote the Sherlock Holmes character played by Basil Rathbone so many years ago. "The game is afoot Watson".

I do not plan on playing nice I can assure you. I am too old and have seen too many friends leave Matawan and Aberdeen due to the uncontrolled and unchecked political greed in both communities.

Good night to all of the ships at sea.

KennyCB said...

One truthful observation.

Whether you are anonymous or named it is time that most of us realize that it is the subject matter that matters most.

The defensive posts by those who take the time and bring forth topics, proofs or names is meant to keep the topics alive, and just perhaps someone of authority or serving in leadership will have a split second to think about what they are doing to the people they are sworn to serve.

In a similar light those who attack and criticize those of us who post and bring life the contemptible behaviors of officials or employees
do a great di-service to the community.

Save us all your contempt and criticisms for open discussion and stay off of the Aberdeener.

For one simple reason only they should stay off the Aberdeener.

NEVER, NOT ONCE have any of those criticized, brought forth, or been exposed for their behaviors and effects on the community ever defended themselves and shown on speck of proof that any of us or our topics is not the truth. Barbato's attempt at defending his failures do not count. And Zavorskas's anonymous postings are all too obvious and demented.

The silence from those like Kauff, Vinci, Drapkin, Soble, Scudeiri, CME, and the list goes on and on is all of the proof many of us need. The rest who defend them in some twisted allegiance or as ordered show themselves to be flawed spin doctors absent of any ioda of truth and scuples. Let any of them just once defend the subject matter that is exposed on the Aberdeener.

It is not in their politics 101 manual under deflecting the truth.

Reality bites.