Friday, January 9, 2009

Questions for Quinn and Co.


I have to give Matawan-Aberdeen school board attorney, Michael Gross, his dues. After receiving conflicting information from the county, state, and special education attorneys, I finally contacted Dr. Robert Higgins, the Director of the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Licensure and Credentials. His response confirmed Gross’s positions regarding a Supervisor of Special Services (Education) and Director of Technology. Does that mean everyone else is guilt-free? Hardly. But at least the district’s attorney is proving his mettle. As for the rest of the school board and former Superintendent Quinn, in particular, there are still many unanswered questions.

Regarding the question of having a Director of Technology who was previously a secretary that only completed high school, Dr. Higgins said the position only required certification if it managed people who were certificated, exactly the answer Gross provided in private discussion; the DoT’s job description specifically excludes certificated personnel from oversight.

At the last board meeting, Gross claimed that changing Ms. Rappaport’s position from a director to supervisor was not a demotion because, at the time, they had the same salary guidelines and responsibilities. That is true as well.

As for whether a supervisor can oversee all child study teams throughout the district, Dr. Higgins has stated the law is unclear on this point but that his office would not oppose such an appointment unless the courts rule otherwise. (It also explains why Ms. Rappaport never pursued a director’s certification. The job description only requires a supervisor’s certification.)

Unfortunately, there are still a number of unanswered questions.

Was Ms. Rappaport’s position ever changed from director to supervisor?
In December 2003, the school board voted to change Ms. Rappaport’s position from a director to supervisor. By law, Superintendent Quinn was required to implement the board’s directive yet the only evidence that he did so is the matrix report listing her as a supervisor and submitted to the state. All other evidence points to the fact her position was never changed. Ms. Rappaport retained the title of director, signed a sworn affidavit attesting to her being a director, and was paid a director’s salary (even when subsequent salary guidelines differentiated between the two positions).

Plus, the school district doesn’t have a job description for a Supervisor of Special Services. Ms. Rappaport always worked under the job description for a director, even after the board vote. (At the same December 15th, 2003, BOE meeting, Ms. Caroline Pond was reassigned from Director of Testing and Special Programs to Supervisor Planning/Research and Evaluation (Testing). The school district does not have a job description of that supervisor position either.)

Why did Quinn recommend changing Rappaport’s title?
If Ms. Rappaport was going to perform the same duties for the same pay, why bother changing her title? Why was it so important to change her title on the matrix report?

Was there collusion between Quinn and Rappaport?
Surely, Ms. Rappaport, one of the most senior and longest serving members of the school administration knew her position was being changed yet she happily retained the same title and benefits.

One curious point is the MRAA contract. Why were supervisors and directors on the same pay scale? Ms. Rappaport’s signature is on the contract which was ratified only five months before the board voted to change her position. Did she have foreknowledge of the position change?

Also, Rappaport’s relationship with Quinn is well known. Quinn’s wife worked under Rappaport and is one of her biggest supporters.

What was the school board’s role?
The board voted to change Ms. Rappaport’s position. As one of the most prominent members of the administration, it was no secret that her position was never changed. Why did the board acquiesce? Was the board also aware that Quinn never intended to change Ms. Rappaport’s position? What was the board’s rationale behind the vote?

Were funds misappropriated?
From 2005-2008, Ms. Rappaport was paid at the higher salary of a director. Since she should have been paid a supervisor’s salary, who’s responsible for the overpayment? Why was her salary not commensurate with her title as reported to the state in the matrix report?

Regarding other positions –

Why did the school board believe that Ms. Cholewa, Quinn’s former secretary and a high school graduate, was the best candidate to become Director of Technology?
Some of the qualifications for a DoT include:

  • Successful experience with the development, deployment and daily maintenance of large Local/Wide Area Networks
  • Successful experience with contractors, architects, electrical engineers in the modifications of existing facilities for technology
  • Successful experience with the purchase, implementation, successful deployment and daily maintenance of payroll, accounting, personnel, automated calling systems, automated library services, and photo identification cards systems, and other types of services/systems
Ms. Cholewa undoubtedly had experience with computers, as does every reader of this blog, but that alone isn’t qualification to become a Director of Technology.

Ms. Rappaport and Ms. Pond were reassigned to positions that lacked job descriptions. Is it common practice to assign staff to positions for which no job description exists?

As was evident at the last board meeting, BOE President Demarest, one of this blog’s most avid readers, has assumed the role of Sgt. Schultz in “Hogan’s Heroes” – “I know nothing!” Thank goodness for Dr. O’Malley. Plainly, none of these issues concern our board leadership. >>> Read more!


Anonymous said...

Though I am glad to hear that at least the district lawyer is a big liar pants (which many believed, lol), that doesn't get us past the point that under Rappaport's watch, the special education portion of our district is severely broken.

I still would not want her anywhere near my child if it can be stopped.

Hopefully there are plans to offer the director of special services job to someone who deserves it and will put the children at the top of their priority list.

Though this straightens a lot out, it doesn't get us past the fact that Rappaport is now in a job with the position to "get back at" all the parents who have complained about her (or that she has even thought complained about her).

Fingers crossed that she will just go away.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your effort in chasing moot points again and again. Don't let your spirit die, no matter how many times they prove you wrong! May the winds of controversy deliver you through the seas of sensationalism! The truth shall set you free but it shall never shut you up!

Anonymous said...

Although the Stg Shultz remark, is a funny comparison, it is sad that our school board president, Ms. Demerest, doesn't really care about these issues of Rappaport, Pond and Cholewa, and claims no knowledge of it.
She certainly was on the board in 2003, and was allegiant to Barbato,Zavorskas and Quinn, I guess for their efforts to get her on the board.
It is clear where her allegiance still lie.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, the director of technology used to manage a teacher. I believe teachers are certificated.

Aberdeener said...

If she did, that would have violated her job description as well as the NJ Administrative Code.

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest you confirm the allegation of the last anonymous post before casting aspersions.

I've noticed a trend on this blog. There are a lot of "rumors" which are often repeated here and then take on the form of "fact" simply because they are not rebutted by someone.

I do give the Aberdeener credit for acknowledging when he is proven wrong, but it often takes a lot to get to that point.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I totally agree with the answer you got from the State, perhaps you did not accurately explain the circumstances in this situation. Regardless, even IF it turns out to be basically true that there is "no difference" in job description (according to the State), Rappaport STILL was not certified to be a Director, as the Code defines the title, and should NOT have been paid as one, anyway you slice it she STOLE money from taxpayers.

If there is really no difference why, as you say, Aberdeener, would anyone have seen the need to change her title or that of Ms. Pond? If there was no difference in authority, why does the State differentiate between the two in NJ Code? If there is no difference in authority, why would Quinn deliberately disregard his own recommendation to the BOE in 2003, the subsequent vote to approve the change AND LIE to the State on the last 6 yrs of MATRIX reports?

I say, there is too many shady things surrounding all this for it NOT to be ILLEAGAL!! Gross is just a bad lawyer who has made a living twisting things enough to make it look like everything is on the up and up. The reality is he got paid to "protect" these slimeballs while they did illegal things and now he is neck deep in it with them. Of course he is going to try to get everyone confused.

Regarding Cholewa, she has been supervising certified teachers for years. Isn't Bill Vogler a teacher? And what about the computer teachers in the schools?

Aberdeener, I think perhaps it is premature to concede to Gross just yet. I think there are still too many questions unanswered to let up now.

Aberdeener said...

You make a good point. I did not ask whether a director of certified professionals requires a director's certification.

I'll check again on Monday and update you as soon as I hear.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, I am not certain that the Aberdeener was proven wrong. Why did the Aberdeener receive so many conflicting answers from various professionals if it was that clear?

Perhaps the Aberdeener could post the code that defines the position for a Director again?
Perhaps Mr. Higgins should be asked about the code? This could just be an example of the state not enforcing their own rules and these situations have become tolerated standard practice.

The biggest question still remains as to why the former superintendent would recommend to the Board that the title of Director be changed to supervisor when there was no intention of either employee to ever acknowledge that change except when reporting to the state? Too bad there is not an explanation stipulated under the rational section of the 2003 agenda that you posted for the title changes.

Thanks Aberdeener for all your research and probing. Regardless of the outcome, sp education needs are finally getting the attention and support it deserves.

Anonymous said...

I think steps are being taken in the right direction for spec ed in this district, but things haven't actually changed much yet. People still aren't getting the supports and services that they are entitled to. People are still fighting daily for their kids. Hopefully these things are going to start changing, but the trickle down doesn't appear to have trickled down yet. Until actual changes start happening for everyone, not just a few, they aren't really changes.

Anonymous said...








Anonymous said...

I must agree with the previous posting the word professional when it comes to people in public service is very overused.

Other words like that and more especially when it comes to our local politicians here in Aberdeen and Matawan along with our Bored (sic) of education are NONE of the following and much more:

Honest, trustworthy, diligent, accountable, managerial, forthright, persistent, culpable, helpful and last but not least, no where near ethical.

I am certain all of you could add more but it is time to pull out the snow blower. Have to go now. Enjoy the snow. Be a kid again.

Anonymous said...

I just hope that who ever takes over the role of Rappaport shows or reports changes they are making.

I am not supporting Rappaport at all, I am just saying that everyone has their own answers to their problems. I can easily see people not being happy with the Special Ed. because they did not get WHAT THEY WANTED or were not satisfied with what the district said. People who do have a back ground in making decisions for special needs kids. In other words, I wonder how many of those parents who are mad -"did not get their way". There are hundereds of SPED. students who pass through this district year by year and many DO NOT have complaints.

What does our district do wrong? Compared to districts nearby? What are our studentds being purposefully denied? What does Hazlet or Red Bank do for theirs that we do not do for ours?

I only ask this because my sister in law has a special needs student and she does not realize that her particular district is trying to help that child succeed in the LONG TERM, not the short. I mean no disrepect, just asking what are the particular short comings that the NEW director or supervisor should correct.

Anonymous said...

The operative word in your comments above, is that many sp ed students "pass" through this system without complaint. That's just it, they pass through without ever reaching their potential. In fact, you might say they are passed over.

What you need to understand is that the entire sp ed system in NJ is badly broken. All you need to do is attend advocacy meetings, workshops, and search sp ed issues on line and you may be enlightened.

There is no doubt that many local districts are at the same level of performance as this one when it comes to sp ed. On that point, we agree. And that is the sad news, because parents throughout NJ are facing the same battles and challenges for their kids. Just because districts are similar does not mean that this district can not do better when it comes to meeting the needs of all of their students.

For starters, why didn't the former superintendent adopt a policy that recognizes RTI referral and is clearly part of the federal law in IDEA? The severe discrepancy method for classification has been disputed for years by the leading educational researchers and creates a "wait to fail" environment. Why should any child who has a learning difference have to wait to fail before their needs are addressed with a sound research based program? Not only does this policy create regression but destroys the individual self esteem of a student.

You are embarrassing yourself by saying that parents are "mad" because they did not get what they wanted. Parent are fighting for the rights of their children to receive an "appropriate education". Do you honestly think that any parent would spend thousands of dollars on advocates and attorney fees when they could be taking the family on vacation by choice????

You state that in the case of your niece/nephew, that the district is looking out for the LONG TERM Needs of this child and not the short term. I would rethink that if I were you. It is my experience that most school districts only focus on the short term amd move these students throught the system until graduation. They are not focused on their futures based on their potientials. They have already made that decision for them by not providing quality research based programs, by not monitoring progress and adjusting programs and accomodations accordingly and by not meeting their own IEP goals.

Many students with learning differences can be very successful. Just google successful people with Asperger, Autism, ADHD and Dyslexia. You will be surprised. Imagine how that list can grow with the right programs and strategies in place and when school districts start treating these sp needs as a contributing part of the entire school population!

These "mad" parents are not the parents who are asking for an artifical turf field at the cost of over a million dollars, they are not asking that more AP classes be put into the curriculum, they are not asking that their kids learn to speak Mandarin. They are not complaining because their kids are getting a brain freeze from the new slushy machines.

They are asking that their kids learn the basic skills, reading, writing and math using research based programs with trained instructors. They are asking for social skills programs that can help their children transition into the mainstream environnment.(which is being mandated by the federal govenment)

They are asking that the IEP for each child be taken seriously and implemented. They are asking that someone be accountable for the outcome of their learning success.

The real reason why so many have "passed" through the system without complaint is because parents did not have the same access to information that they have today. Parents are better informed and they know the laws. Parents are now asking the right questions and expecting the right answers. CST have not been accoustomed to being asked for accountability. Why is that? Why are parents, who would like to see their kids succeed in school be considered hostile or "mad"?

I have seen many sp needs parents who "seem" satisfied with the services from this district and maybe their child's needs are being met BUT that does not change the fact that there are MANY who are not satisfied. That is why it is called an IEP, Individualized Education Plan (emphasis on Individual). Every child counts!

I will bet you that there are more parents than not, who have a sp needs child that has already "passed" through this system and are looking back and wondering how different life might have been for their children if they had the knowledge and the support that these parents have today.

The research shows that the benefits of investing in sound educational and social skills programs for students with learning differences and other special needs during their educational years far out wieghs the cost to society later on.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, Rappaport does have the job as the School Psychologist at the middle school. Her name is even on the door. Oddly enough she didn't show up all week. Guess she's on vacation - so now what? Who is the point person for that job while she's not there (collecting her salary)?

Anonymous said...

She may be calling sick. Sick days accrue. The MARSD will have to pay her & pay for a sub to do her work while she's out - if indeed she has called in sick.

I hope she just goes away.

Anonymous said...

I am once again excited to see that parents of all students are finally putting pressure on those elected to work and sworn to improve our flawed educational system. While the BARZA and former superintendent Quinn left their very negative marks on our school system, the changes and personal decisions and marks that Dr. O'Malley has left this past year is as far as I am concerned a very positive step. Sure he has upset some of the too long in place dead wood and some others whom were thought to be somewhat powerful in their own minds, but before his arrival felt they ran the show. Those same people now know what it is like to have someone who is dialed in and in charge and who will not stand for their petty power plays and revenge motivated firings and more.

The initial steps O'Malley has taken will bring about the changes our students need, as well as allowing others on the staff to sink or swim in their positions without the pressure of favoritism or a collective grab for power. If these people sink it will not be because they were not a favorite of a certain school board member of in the reverse being targeted by one or more. Yes it happened and it has happened far too often. They will sink for not doing their jobs.

The steps taken by Dr. o'malley to stop certain school board members from spending inordinate amounts of time in schools interfering and perhaps pressuring faculty and staff, is what I think has been needed for a very long time, years in fact.

In my opinion f Dr. O'Malley does nothing else ever, he has done a great service to our school staff and its students by doing that one thing alone.

Glad to be back as computer was down. We are now running on FIOS.

Aberdeener said...

If you have a look at Monday night's BOE agenda, O'Malley already has someone for Interim Director of Special Services and Rappaport is getting a pay cut.

On the downside, looks like we have another teacher getting a Walden degree.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect of our leadership when other school districts are monitoring, criticizing and checking such degrees while our school leadership when questioned responds with mostly an arrogant and dismissive response. Such is the waste of flesh that is Joel Glastien and his response to athat topic not to long ago from the Aberdeener himself.

Joel Glastien is the first cut they should make if we are to rid this school of incompetence and do nothing jobs. That may be the problem with tenure when someone like that cannot be let go. If he can I urge Dr. O'Malley to put Glastien on the first train out of town. He is not a benefit to this school district whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point you bring up Aberdeener. Matawan Aberdeen School board member Mr. Gambino holds a PHD from an online university and he is employed by the New Jersey State department of Education. What is even more interesting is that the University that gave Mr. Gambino his degree is not even accredited in the United States. I think we should be looking into his salary and pay scale.

Anonymous said...

As the husband of a 30 year teaching veteran I watched my wife firsthand get a masters degree on line a couple of years ago. While this degree came very late in her career and did not jump her pay whatsoever, the time and workload was very significant. Similarly was the testing procedures and checking of progress and the like by the specific instructors she communicated with and was supervised by quite often. I do not know of other on line programs such as this but I can state without question that my wife worked very hard. I am very proud of the eighteen months of her hard work and her masters degree certification.

We should all consider that such programs criticized as of late as being perhaps easy and unchecked, are similar to programs run by the government wherein there is little oversight. Years ago GED programs and other various training programs were just money making opportunities, who were taken advantage of on a broad scale while our government failed to have a prudent system of checks and balances to supervise and qualify such programs for their legitimacy and instructional value.

I too was put off by Mr. Glastien's comments on the subject and review of computer generated degrees, and like some others feel his time coupled with his often dismissive tone needs attention. Perhaps Mr. Glastiein has forgotten for whom he works. That would be all of us. My other problem which I have voiced before is with his and others censorship of literature, music and play selections. We should not be so politically correct because one person may be anti-religion or one who merely makes a point by denying others subject matter which is real life and an everyday thing.

I will say it again God is not a four letter word that needs to be kept from children, whether it be within the walls of a school or on the sidewalk outside same.

The censorship that has been under taken in this district needs to be reviewed and stopped in my opinion. When a Christmas, holiday or winter concert takes place there should be a broad representation of all faiths or beliefs as has been done for many many years, within all school systems. Ms. Anne Hannah an institution of the music system for whom the High School auditorium is named would be turning in her grave on the subject of censorship and the meddling that is going on in the high school. Censorship in the music and theater system by unqualified persons is insulting. The little secret is out on the censorship and the CHOOSING of POLITICALLY CORRECT materials. plays and songs is insulting. I do not need a Joel Glastien or any other administrator choosing what I can listen to, or what my child should be exposed to.

We are to prepare our children for the real world with all of its positives and negatives. Does Joel Glastien or any other person not think that almost every child sees and hears far worse on TV or on the school bust ride home.

Wake up people and administrators alike. Life is filled with good and bad and you cannot stop it from having an effect. We all learn ever single day and our decisions in life do not come from a play or musical performance with the word God in it. People do not kill other people because they heard the Hallelujah Chorus or saw a performance of Godspell in a school auditorium.

Censorship is not a good thing and it needs to be stopped.

Anonymous said...

If what you say is true maybe this is the reason this board is not stopping this practice. That would be wrong and then where is O'Malley on this. He can stop it if he wanted to.

Anonymous said...

Below are contained the State of New Jersey requirements for the Supervisor and Director’s certifications. The major difference between the two is that the supervisor is limited to a specific building or program and may only supervise instructional personnel.
The director title on the other hand is district wide and encompasses the duties of the supervisor with additional duties and responsibilities. Child Study Teams, Social Workers, Psychologists, Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultants, etc, are not instructional personnel. The question may then be asked, “Are Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) written since 1990 – the year of the enactment of the Director certification – valid and legal?” If not, what are the liabilities of the district?

It appears that the former administration of the district – Quinn, Gladstein, and Rappaport - knowingly subverted the Board of Education’s mandate to place at least Rappaport and Pond in positions for which they were certificated. A matrix, supplied by the Aberdeener, required by and submitted to, the state monitoring agency indicates they lied about the position realignments. There was a press release stating that Pond retired some years after 2003 as a director and Rappaport was in the director position until 2008 when O’Malley removed her. Who attested to the validity of these matrix reports and what are the consequences?

Mr. Gross of course asserts the positions of Supervisor and Director are identical. He has to or admit his own part in this situation. He knew or should have known of the December 2003 Board resolution realigning Pond and Rappaport and yet as late as last year he represented (or allowed representation) of Rappaport as “Director” in legal situations.

A word about Special Education vs. “regular” education: I would ask the citizens of Matawan-Aberdeen to not fall into the trap of believing that SE is depriving the educational system of goods and services. That argument has long been the refuge of incompetents. It is the administration of mandated programs that determines the effect of SE on the greater school community. Consider these points:
1. The MARSD spends between $5M and $7M on out of district placements. Additional legal expenses inherent in these processes are not included in this total. At the given rate, most, if not all, of the placed children could have their own teacher and aide. Make the ratio two or three students per teacher and aid and you begin cost effectiveness. However, programs meeting the needs of these children are needed, that’s where the district falls short. For example: anyone who has a passing acquaintance with the media knows the instances of Autism in all its forms are endemic in New Jersey. Is there a setting for these children in the district so that they reach their full potential? Shall we take the easy way out and place them in facilities over which we have no physical or programmatic control? What about the effect on the children, their parents, and you my tax paying friends?
2. Poorly run districts “manufacture” their own special education students through incompetence, indifference, negligence, and lack of expectation. National statistics (2006) cite reading difficulties as the single most prevalent factor (70%) in classification of children in need of special education services. It’s just too easy in this district for incompetent or disinterested teachers to cover their mistakes through classification. Take this to its logical conclusion and the child is then responsible for his/her educational condition. What, my fellow citizens, are we going to do about this?
3. The issue of “disgruntled parents not getting what they want” is also overstated. It is not a question, in most cases, of parents being unrealistic about their child’s needs. To this point the SE administrative attitude has been “this is it – take or leave it.” There has been no choice or alternative. The vast majority of parents are not in search anything exotic, “just try something else, what you’re doing isn’t working.” There are new programs and methodology emerging virtually every day. Parents ask why we can’t try some of them to a limited degree. There has been, in numerous cases, no follow through on the mutually agreed upon IEP. Ergo, no progress. This feeds into the placement issue as parents believe something (there) is better than nothing (here) and agree to go out of district.
4. Its beyond time that we demand realistic, cost effective programs that educate all children. School systems should not be devoted to the education of the “easy” students but rather all students. That’s what I – and presumably you - pay taxes for.

NJ Department of Education

(a) The school administrator endorsement is required for any position that involves services as a district-level administrative officer. Such positions shall include superintendent, assistant superintendent, and director. Holders of this endorsement are authorized to provide educational leadership by directing the formulation of district-wide goals, plans, policies and budgets, by recommending their approval by the district board of education and by directing their district-wide implementation. Holders of this endorsement are authorized to recommend all staff appointments and other personnel actions, such as terminations, suspensions and compensation, including the appointment of school business administrators, for approval by the district board of education. Holders of this endorsement are authorized to direct district operations and programs, and to supervise and evaluate building administrators and central office staff, including school business administrators. They are also authorized to oversee the administration and supervision of school-level operations, staff and programs.

(c) The supervisor endorsement is required for both supervisors of instruction and athletic directors who do not hold a standard principal's endorsement. The supervisor shall be defined as any school officer who is charged with authority and responsibility for the continuing direction and guidance of the work of instructional personnel. This endorsement also authorizes appointment as an assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum and/or instruction.

Anonymous said...

Looks as though this weeks Bd. of Ed. meeting will be interesting. I cannot wait to the hear the answers suggested by the mouthpiece and the Bd. of Ed. members who signed off on or were complicate with this fraud perpetrated on the students, faculty, administration, parents and taxpayers of our district.

When Gross starts off like last time with THAT IS NOT CORRECT call him on their reasoning and flawed excuses as he must represent them with what they tell him is the truth or their requirements, whether it be the truth or not. It is time for some explanations, accountability, official investigation and perhaps some firings over this mess.

It will be interesting to seek Dr. O'Malleys take on all of this as well. His response last time was dwarfed by Attorney Gross and his telling some of those present they were wrong. Things may have changed in that regard?

Aberdeener said...

My problem with Walden University isn't that it's online but that it's so poorly regarded.

Any compensation system that steers teachers away from promising programs that may actually benefit their students and towards dubious programs like the ones offered by Walden University is sheer lunacy.

Anonymous said...

O Malley needs to set a standard and do something about the sins of the past. Those whom he sits beside at these meetings need to be held accountable for their misinformation and more on numerous subjects.

O Malley stand up against the machine that has caused us many problems and kept test scores so low.

I thank you.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener - what do you suggest would be some acceptable online programs?

Anonymous said...

Momus, you sure laid it out. I was wondering myself why Dr. Higgins would have told Aberdeener there is no difference in the job authority between a Director and a Supervisor if the law clearly says there is? Guess it is another case of some "professional" picking and chooseing what laws to adhere to. Perhaps Dr. Higgins realizes that his office could be under a microscope soon too.

No matter what way you look at it something stinks here. Hey, John in Matawan--did you ever catch up with the guy from the State? What happened?

As for all this discussion about on-line degrees, it is simple folks, some respected colleges offer on-line classes-Rutgers, Seton Hall, NYU, Farleigh Dickenson, just to name a few local colleges. Some are just money making schemes and don't hold the same respect in "professional" circles. I agree with the Aberdeener, the fact that so many teachers in this district has chosen Walden seems to indicate that there is something "off" there. Remember, he doesn't have anything against on-line degrees, he just has an issue with teachers chosing a substandard institution that may not be as challenging as others in order to get a bump in salary.

As for the comments that inevitably pop up regarding Gambino's Dr. degree whenever this subject is discussed, Has Gambino ever questioned the online degrees of teachers? I haven't heard it. Why do we care where his degree came from? He doesn't work for MARSD, if his employer is satisfied with his degree, then let them worry about it. We have to worry about the monumental mess we have here. If you think Gambino is part of the mess, don't vote for him next time but lets get side tracked here.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony,

I did get in touch with a lady in the State office last week. Wish I could go into detail but was asked not to discuss. Let's just say "There is something a foot my dear Watson!". Oh, and I don't think the Commissioner agrees with Dr. Higgins.

Aberdeener said...

If we only offered tuition reimbursement and then rewarded teachers based on merit, I would leave it to each teacher's discretion. However, since academic performance is not reflected in a teacher's review, we need to set standards.

I would honor any online program that is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

One example is Seton Hall University. (Their tagline - "An M.A. from a real university")

Anonymous said...

John, thanks for giving us an update on your inquiry with the DOE. Thank you momus for once again presenting the code on this issue.

Clearly the code makes a clear distinction about the qualifications and responsibilities of both positions as Director and supervisor. It is understandable as to why the former superintendent made a recommendation to the Board in 03 to change the Director title to supervisor based on code.

What still has yet to be explained as to why HR was allowed to continue to use the title of Director on legal documents and under oath when her position was being reported to the state matrix as a supervisor.

If you don't wear your seatbelt while driving and a police officer does not see you, does that mean that you are not violating a law?????

The fact that Mr. Higgins stated that the law was unclear on whether or not a supervisor could oversee a CST and added that the state would not oppose such unless the courts ruled otherwise, really makes you wonder how long the code has been overlooked/ignored because nobody challenged it in court! I think Mr. Higgins needs to read the code. John I do hope you keep us informed as details become public.

Anonymous said...

Was hoping to go to meeting tonight but a very bad headache kept me in.

If anyone went and can give a blow by blow of the School Board meeting please do so. Thanks in advance.

Aberdeener said...

At tonight's BOE meeting,

Michael Lake was appointed Interim Director of Special Ed - Barbato objected and Zavorskas abstained.

O'Malley made a presentation on upcoming budget challenges.

Rappaport took a pay cut as school psychologist.

During Q&A, O'Malley stated Rappaport has reported in sick each day since her reassignment.

Also, none of the administration, board members, or attorney could state for the record what Rappaport's position was during the 07-08 school year.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but this just seems to be the beating of a dead horse.

The Walden which you speak so negatively of is accepted by RUTGERS and other institutions. The credits are transferrable to and from.

I know a few people who have taken the online route and it is alot of work. Mr. Aberdeener you say that you do not like programs that steer teachers from programs that benefit the students - but you said on here several times that it is NOT supported that MA degrees help students.

SO which is it? I just don't think we are being fair here and JUST LOOKING to find things to bitch about. Now Seton Hall correspondence learning is OK? Maybe, just maybe, the teachers speak to one another about their positive experience with Walden. Do any of you even know what Walden asks for weekly? It was written on one of the posts here a few months back.... someone should try to find it. It sounded like a lot of work to me. Marygrove was one the online institutions that had a bad reputation in the past. But who knows, I never saw that curriculum.

You are just mad that the teachers get a pay raise. This just seems vindictive to me.... another thing to complain about. Want to save money - look at all the money spent on wastes of space jobs at Central office.... their names have been all over this blog... ONLINE DEGREES ARE CURRENT TOOLS BEING OFFERED to teachers by technological advances. Do I think principals and others in the higher ups should be allowed to get degrees as such- no - but the teachers already have a degree and use the MA to enhance or keep current with what they know. I don't know, I am just sick of the negativity here toward people who are trying to improve their skills and the first thing complained about is the money and there is a cynical spin put on it....

Anonymous said...

Supers and BOE have come and gone over the past few years...... who is the constant trying to pull the puppet strings????

JOEL G.......

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you again. I was wondering what happened to you but now I think I understand. So, I take it that someone in Trenton has decided to check this whole mess out. About time someone down there pays attention. I'll be watching for any news you can share.

And for all you crooks out there...buckle up!!

Anonymous said...

Joel G., Atty. Gross, Quinn, and BARZA.

That is just the start of what needs to looked at as far as incompetence and under handed dealings, patronage appointments and job giveaways. The jobs, positions and more they gave away to control and ensure control over PTO's and elections over the years has cost us all dearly in taxes, test scores and more.

Historically going back to that idiot Superintendent of Schools Mr. Klavon, a man who could never answer even the simplest question in less than 10 minutes. Was the true start of the devastating effects on this districts students, parents and taxpayers that seems to have finally been addressed by Dr. O'Malley. It will take time to correct the idiocy of the past and its effects and some feathers will be rustled on those who thought they were large and in charge.

BARZA knows the writing is on the wall and their time has come. The constant pouting looks and crossed armed body language by KZ screams "it is my sand box and you can't play in it" along with JB who looks like someone "took his key away to the executive washroom" and he has to use it really bad.

They deserve far more than what they are getting for the damage they have caused. So to KZ and JB and the others they have controlled and manipulated, I say just ride the train until it stops then get the hell off, all of you. The ride is over.

Anonymous said...

WOW neds2change hit it on the head. the comments about the sandbox and barbato needing to use the mens room and that he had his key taken away was PRICELESS.

They do deserve far more then they are finally getting. Their arrogance and manipulating of the soccer moms who are the PTO is a travesty.

They should take the train all the way out of Aberdeen.

Thank you very much barza.

For nothing.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Gambino degree should be investigated as well. As an employee of the state I am sure his salary is public knowledge, and I am positive that it is paid by our tax dollars. I just want to know if he received a bump in pay for a degree not accredited in the United States. If he works for the department of Education I wonder if his tuition was reimbursed and if this phony degree serves any purpose for the children of the State of New Jersey. I believe Quinn was wrong in his actions, but Gambino stealing money from our tax dollars directly into his pocket is just as bad.

Aberdeener said...

Dr. Gambino received his degree from a university accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The commission is the regional accreditation body for the southern states and is recognized by the US Department of Education.

Anonymous said...

NSection or anyone else,
Going back to the issue of censorship, I was told by my child in the high school, students weren't allowed to refer to a "Christmas Tree" as a "Christmas Tree". It needed to be referred to as a "Hoilday Tree" while in the school building, otherwise a child would receive detention if heard calling it a "Christmas Tree".
Has anyone else heard this from their children? Is this how pathetic and foolish our school district has become?
I know this district has many problems, and this issue might fall at the bottom of that list, but I just thought it was so absurd, I had to ask.

Anonymous said...

I just asked my 11th grader about this, and he hadn't heard anything about it. I also asked if he had heard anything about having to use the word "holiday" instead of "Christmas" in any fashion, and he said that he'd not heard anything like that.

I can't imagine a parent not getting pretty ticked off and raising a stink if their child got detention for that. Did they have to say "holiday lighting display" instead of menorah? "Holiday fat man" instead of "Santa"?

Seems pretty ridiculous.

Aberdeener said...

One more point regarding Dr. Gambino - He does not get a salary boost from his doctorate.

Unknown said...

Wouldn't that, in fact, be a violation of freedom of religion?

Anonymous said...

As for Gambino who really cares? He is a Napoleonic complex little man who throws that Bd. of Ed thing around like a badge of courage. He is a joke with a degree. Nothing more

Anonymous said...

if you are really concerned about the "holiday" comment why not call the school and have them check it out?