Friday, December 4, 2009

A Modest Proposal Redux

“I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children. . .

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.”
– A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1729)

Political satire, demonstrating the fallacy of logic absent principle, is surely a lost art but one that, even employed imperfectly, still has its uses.

To my readers’ credit, it didn’t take long until someone who wasn’t an incorrigible critic recognized the title of my prior post was a reference to the most renowned political satire, Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. Nor did it take long to recognize the essay was contrary to my declaration of support for the new mission and vision statements. Granted, nobody noticed that it also conflicted with my statement at the prior week’s board meeting that “I believe no student should be forced to sit in a classroom with an unfit teacher” but hardly anybody watches those board meetings, anyways.

So, let’s first demolish the underlying logic behind the article and then consider some of the responses.

The notion that a student who’s withdrawn from an extra-help tutorial has forfeited his right to an education is ludicrous. As for the idea that we should assign our lowest performing teachers to our lowest performing students, that had been a quiet practice in the district that Dr. O’Malley terminated. For example, Kimberly Rogers, one of our finest teachers, is the instructor for AP English and SRA Prep Language Arts (for those who failed the HSPA). Simply put, every child is entitled to an excellent teacher unless he forfeits that right by stealing another child’s opportunity to learn or stops coming to school.

The assumption that a significant percentage of high school juniors will always fail the HSPA is false. The middle school made dramatic improvements and I expect those improvements to grow. The high school has been making long overdue changes to the curriculum, such as making writing a core element of a student’s education. With better prepared students and an improved curriculum, our test scores will rise, as they must.

As for the comments, some of them were absolutely delicious. The outrage, shock, and horror that we would assign unfit teachers to our neediest students. Yet, many of these same commenters maintain the administration should be barred from removing unfit teachers from the classroom, thereby subjecting our students to the very outrage, shock, and horror they abhor. The only difference between their plan and my satire is they would assign these unfit teachers randomly so that every child has the same chance of being robbed of an opportunity to learn.

At least, for the first time, my critics have finally conceded our district does have unfit teachers. Only a handful, to be sure, but we do have them and no child should be forced to accept them as an instructor. I propose every parent have the right, at the beginning of the school year, to transfer his child to another class if he is unhappy with the instructor.

Still what do we do about the 20% of juniors who withdrew from the lunch tutorials? First, shame on them and their parents from withdrawing the program. Shame on them! I don’t know what the administration plans but I would suggest the following:

  1. Have the juniors meet with their guidance counselors to discuss their post-high school plans, discuss the benefits of graduating, and formulate a life-goal and action plan that includes graduation
  2. Align the class grades with state assessments and end social promotion. If a student can’t reach proficiency in English or math, give him all the help he needs – lunch tutorials, early morning tutorials, after-school tutorials, summer school, online programs, parental aides, etc. – but do not let him advance to the next grade until he’s ready; he’ll always have the opportunity to later catch up to his peers
Lastly, I concede the teachers are dealing with a far more difficult teaching environment than I imagined. I was wrong. Assuming that the parents of the junior class are representative of the community, 20% of parents and young adults don’t care about education. Horrific. Just horrific. But it changes nothing. For the 80% of us who do care, our mission remains the same - to provide a safe and supportive environment where educators inspire, empower, and encourage students to excel. >>> Read more!


Anonymous said...

I still think you should Mrs. Phillips in a rubgber room

Anonymous said...

Matawan 28 Mansquan 12
Matawan State Champs!
It was a beautiful night as Matawan fans filled the stands and cheered the team on to victory.

matawan advocate said...

Congrats to Matawan. You make us proud!

Anonymous said...

The students and fans showing all of their school spirit made me proud.....

Close to 2000 drove well over an hour to show support.

Great job Huskies.

Think about it said...

I find the last two posts very refreshing as it has included many things that have needed to be said for far too long. Too powerful teachers in this district have gotten there way far too often and caused us to lose principals and a few others they did not like or more importantly want to listen to. Similarly inept and ego driven control is everything board members have divided and fleeced the taxpayers while many sat silent or fearful. The improper and possibly illegal use of PTO's and more also needs to be addressed.

The changes that Mr. Warren proposes or puts up for discussion are refreshing. They deserve to bring about discussions and varying thoughts for change. This of course is at an up front cost of insider criticism that he knows he will bear the brunt of. Such courage is long overdue. Mr. Warren does not want to be disliked or ridiculed for speaking out, seeking improvement or positive change. Mr. Warren also deserves to be a representative for parents whose children do not go to our schools and the no child couples and seniors who pay and pay with little input.

It is sad that many school insiders do not want things to change. They like it the way things have always been. That is why it needs to change. It is broken and for far too long.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I saw a poster in town advertising the HS play. On a whim we went to see the performance. Those kids blew our socks off! They were young professionals who obviously spent many hours preparing for this performance. Congratulations to the football team as well. As far as I am concerned the kids on that stage are state champs as well!

Anonymous said...

hmmm so you proposing that the guidance counselors provide guidance and counseling. Interesting. What are they doing now? Wake me up when you dismiss or improve your first unfit teacher. Annoying them till they resign doesn't count.

TruthTeller09 said...

Joey Warren, ever since you joined the board, you have eliminated the talks of having a corrupt board and bashing O'Malley. Now, Joey is the lab dog of O'Malley. You point the fingers at the teachers, when administration is doing wrong. Administration is not keeping good communication with the staff of students and everyone knows it except administration. The question is Joey, when is the board going to dismiss inadequate administrators who are just a puppet that O'Malley can control? As for the tutorials. Lunch is approx. 46 minutes. cut that in half, and the students have 23 min. to wait on line to get their food, eat and socialize. Lunch is also a time for socialization, where students can have a break in their 6 hour and 48 minute day. This school district is such a disappointment, and the board sits on their prized seats and don't even do anything. It is a dictatorship of O'Malley, with 9 lap dogs + Ruscavage, who equals 2 lap dogs. Joey Warren, you are a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

How quickly the coaching problems are forgotten

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the kids on the football team.
That being said...Of course the coach problem is forgotten. They won. That's all that matters. Bullies, gangsters, whatever, just keep winning, that's the only thing that matters.


Great lessons for our youth. The facts never matter just winning. Sad!

Coaches who use violence and arrogance means a winning team in Aberdeen.

All is forgiven?

O'Malley we are waiting.

It is long past the time for a change.

If you let violence, arrogance and worse rule the day you will be the disappointment many foretold.

Anonymous said...

I think the people congratulating the football team including myself were congratulating the young men who played their hearts out and won a state championship for their high school. I think they were recognizing those seven busloads of MRHS students who came to support and cheer on their classmates. Sitting in those stands at the end of the game, I saw a very excited group of young men who will have something to be proud of for the rest of their lives. It was wonderful night for Matawan and Aberdeen.

Anonymous said...

Your readers haven't directly addressed your little charade, Aberdeener. Wonder why? Do you think we're not so Swift? Maybe you're right to consider us stupid. We do go on sometimes.

Our ignorance apparently annoys you. You've obviously gotten to the stage that you must toy with your readers to make your points. Maybe it is time for us to exit stage left?

You should find it disturbing that most of us thought you capable of traveling down the road you suggested. One way or another, you certainly have been too cute by half in this lame exercise.

Don't worry. The ones who want to put Mrs Phillips in a rubgber room and put the town counsel, town architect, and football coach in jail will adhere. They jabber on to hear themselves talk and pay no mind to the particulars of current discussion. Have a nice chat with them. Some of us have better things to do.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joey were you at the game?

Anonymous said...

Joe Martucci quoted in the newspaper as saying he and his coaches have worked 24/7 to accomplish what they did. If he was working 24/7 on football who was the A.D. during this period. That is what he is getting the big money for and what effect will this have on the other sports. Football winning is great, but at what cost to all the other athletes. Lets hope the past doesn't repeat itself.

Anonymous said...

Joe and his coaching staff went above and beyond the call of just being a football coach. The men who volunteer their time in the summer preparing these young men for the not only the upcoming season but their college football careers.
My nephew played for Joe, and was trained by Charlie. If you do not have direct contact with them stop going on hearsay. Times have changed it is not as easy as many of you think to be a student athlete as it was 30 or so years ago.
As adults let these young men, coaches and family members enjoy their great accomplishments.
With a State Championship these young men and the familes can enjoy full scholarahips.More coaches will be in contact with Joe,for players who could play college ball. Oh by the way Charlie is not the thug so many of you think he is. Charlie works hard with these young men. Played 4 years at Georgia Tech and 7 years in the NFL. So intead of going after the coaches, develope a program to help with all athletes. The importance of the ncaa clearing house, helping with fafsa information, official visits, assigned a councelor to just deal with athletes. I will say it again it is not as easy as you think.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that Mr. Warren has failed to recognize the State Champions. Rather interesting that an elected official who rules over the school district feel no need to honor an athletic team in our district that has played with pride. Instead of bickering about the coaches we should be proud of our children for going above and beyond what is required. These kids put in the time in the weight room, on the practice field, and during the summer to be number one. And the coaches make so a small financial amount for all they do, it is a shame that you commenters are bashing them. All you commenters, including Joseph Warren, where are you when the school district needs volunteers. I don't see Joseph at the bake sales or at the school plays. I don;t even know the last time I saw Mr. Kenny at a school function either. But clearly by not attending events at the school district you are getting all the knowledge necessary for how to run our district. And yes it is sad that our society only honors results, but that is the way the world works. Please tell me a time where a job told you that you got the proper results but did it improperly so you are fired. Case in point our standardized tests scores. I don't see Mr. Warren investigating the teachers who have their students passing the HSPA, but if a teacher has students failing students we begin to question everything form the way they sharpen their pencils to the way they dress. It is just amazing how we take the advice of a man with an economics degree from an Ivy league, that is currently employed as a stay at home father.

Anonymous said...

Whatever..he's. a thug.

Anonymous said...

although the aberdeener refuses to acknowledge anything good or positive about the district, I'm glad to see so many others do!

the whole satire thing is such a lame attempt of his to get out of his dispicable comments about our children...a day late and a dollar short. reminds me of my kids when they're caught doing something wrong. the next day after plenty of time to concoct it they have a story, excuse, or lie if you will to explain their actions, so transparent.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad people are finally stating what has been obvious for so many years- Mrs. Phillips in an incompetent.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joey were you at the game?

Anonymous said...

More like "Gotcha!" Baloney Redux. To what intent? To feel superior, no doubt. And to gain self-perceived talkling points about "unfit" teachers. The whole exercise was just another thrown bomb.

NSectionJoe said...

Here we go again. NO MR. WARREN was not at the game. Friday evening starts his religious observance.

Hope that answers your question Anonymous on Dec. 6, at 2:27 PM.

Aberdeener said...


Thanks for playing defense for me. I don't know whether these people were born stupid or chose to be that way but trying to use my religious observance as a political weapon against me is definitely a sign of mental deficiency.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some people do not know what your religious practices are. Of course, you'd just rather assume that people are idiots like yourself and are attcking you based on religious reasons. Who's the idiot now?

Aberdeener said...

If there's an idiot in the room and you can't find him then the idiot is you.

So, go ahead and play stupid. Pretend my attackers don't know I'm an orthodox Jew who observes the Sabbath. Make-believe they don't know I run my own computer programming business and am thrilled to work from home and care for my children during the day.

Go ahead. But the only one you're fooling is yourself and that's certainly no great feat.

Anonymous said...

Why do you assume that everyone who comes on here knows that you are jewish? I'm sure that people who are on here on a dailyy bases knows. Someone who may have been told about this site wouldn't.
The boys on that football team worked their asses off to get that championship. All the glory goes to the team. They are the ones who walk out on that field and play.
Anyone who thinks that its easy being a student athlete look again. You not only have to have the abilty to play that sport better than the next guy, you have the grades to go with it. Thats not even to get a full scholarship to a big school. If their parents make a penny to much your screwed and you get 0 finacial aid.If it taked them winning a state get 4 kids into college than great for them. Stop complaining and support the kids who are doing the right thing and not hanging out late at night. Go to a practice and see how hard they work to get a spot on the team. That goes for all sports not just football. All my childern are in sports all at different ages and the level that the kids play at now is crazy. They go to camps clinics and do that sport year round just so they can compete with the other kids.

Anonymous said...

He assumes because then he can turn it around and make it look like people are persecuting him because of his religion instead of the real reason....he is a moron.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren,

Your satire once again proves our contention that you are an arrogant, self-agrandizing sycophant. April 2012 cannot come soon enough...

--Actual Aberdeeners

Aberdeener said...

I suspect you don't know what sycophant means. :)

Anonymous said...

News Flash!

Kauff is staying where he is to soak every last dime out of you because Christie could care less now that he is "KING". And if you think Christie is going to reign in the NJEA then you better get off whatever it is your smoking.

Teacher union gets what it wants due to Joey's opening salvo on the union.(They picket his house first, Mrs Warren is "verklempt" for a week)

Coach M goes nowhere, just because he doesn't have to AND he knows it p----s all of you off.(More like giving all of you the middle finger)

Your taxes are going up again next year and you are powerless to stop it. (unless you move)

Next time O'Malley is up for a contract he gets over a 7 per cent raise (with Joey's blessing of course).

That about it (for now)

The public is right! said...

N Section Joe,

I was the one who asked if he was at the game on Friday and I did not know that his religous practices prevented him from attending.

Warren you are an arogant man who doesn't deserve any respect from anyone. I asked an innocent question and expected a civilized answer. Instead you have proved to me what people have been saying in the community over and over. You should be ashamed of yourself and your behavior.
I had no idea you were an Orthodox Jew, is it stated on the top of every page?
Political weapon? Are you kidding me? Are you going to play that card? You really do live up to your reputaion. I'm glad I learned early on what a hateful, arogant, man you are.

Aberdeener said...

Puh-lease. I've been in the public arena for two years. You're telling me you've never seen me at any of the school board meetings for two years. You've never seen any references to my religious observance. You've never seen any attacks against me for sending my son to a religious school. No, you've seen none of it. Yet you still know enough about me to treat me with venom.

Go tell it to the tooth fairy. Maybe she'll believe you.

Anonymous said...

In a modern context, a sycophant (from the Greek συκοφάντης sykophántēs) is a servile person who, acting in his or her own self-interest, attempts to win favor by flattering one or more influential persons, or by saying lies against a fellow citizen for gaining a kind of profit. These actions are executed at the cost of his or her own personal pride, principles, and peer respect. Such a manner is also called obsequiousness.
See also, Joseph Warren.

--Actual Aberdeeners

P.S. As you can see, the description fits you like a glove, so I trust it's clear I knew the meaning before posting.

P.P.S. I am not a pseudo-intellectual like you and your fellow bogus-Ph.D.-holding board members, so please refrain from the condescending tone you typically use with them or, in what will be your undoing in April 2011, members of the public...

Actual Aberdeeners said...

Pardon me, April 2012.

That was merely wishful thinking...

Aberdeener said...


Thanks for the comedy relief. I challenge you on whether you know the meaning of the word "sycophant" and you respond by googling the word, clicking on the first link (which happens to be Wikipedia) and then copying the entry word for word.

Then, to top it all, you say you're not a "pseudo-intellectual".

All I can say is encore. :)

Thew Public is Right! said...

Mr. Arogant Aberdeener,

I have lived in this town for 3.5 months. And althought you are a total jackass as proven once again from your narcissistic statements, I have now found a new place to amuse myself.

The venom you talk about is brought on by your hatred filled, egotistical LITTLE mind!

Wow I'm going to have fun here.

3.5 months don't know jack said...

3.5 months you don't know jack. If you want to know why our district needs change and a different view like Mr. Warren or a new school super just look at your tax bill. Then look at the test scores for the last ten years. 3.5 months you don't know jack about Matawan or Aberdeen or who caused the problems the are so prevalent in this district. I'll give you a hint. They tucked tail and ran or were sent packing after costing us millions that should have been watched more closely. But with all of your 3.5 months of experience you know that already. Right? Move in just in time to get the kiddies into the district?

Anonymous said...

"Can't we all just get along" (Rodney King)

Ther Public is Right! said...

I never claimed to know anything about the district and its problems.
My point was that I did not know anything about Mr. Warren's religious beliefs. If you had any comprehension skills maybe you could have followed that.
Kids in this district, what are you crazy? My kids go to private school. that was actually the best decision we could have made.
The psycho's are running the asylum around here it seems!
3.5 months is long enough to know WHY Matawan has such a horrible reputation for its schools. If all the board memebers are like this one, I am surprised the buildings are still standing.

Aberdeener said...

Actually, three and a half months isn't enough time. I don't think you understand what we've been fighting against. Perhaps you should peruse the archives and see if your opinion hasn't changed.

The Public is Right said...

I don't know what we are fighting against, but I am supposed to be aware of your religious practices?

Jump the shark ? said...

If one does not discuss, examine and yes fight history will repeat itself. It always does. The failures of past administrations, personnel, programs, construction, purchases and much more have cost taxpayers significantly. People like this 3.5. months person seem too eager to embarrass many who seek to not have history repeat itself here over and over again.
The changes needed are known. The mechanism that needs to be enacted is known and real accountability is lacking. Many in our community suffer due to the costs of education and have little input for many reasons. The one resounding fact is that those we employ and entrust with the educational process too often fail us and those failures are most often not realized in its fullest extent until they are gone. Taxpayers pay again and our students suffer again as well.
But it seems 3.5 months has it all figured out. NOT!

The Public is Right said...

Wow are you all graduates of this district, because you all seem to have a HUGE comprehension problem.

Funny how my question to Joey and my lack of knowledge about his religious practices made me a target of comments that had NOTHING to do with my question.

I can definitely understand why you guys are so upset, since you obiviously have real educational issues.

I have not made one comment about the schools, teachers, money, employees at any level.

I suggest that some of you learn to follow and comprehend before you post. I know it is easier to jump on the wagon and blame others for nothing, but it's OK I understand that people have to let their frustrations out somewhere.
You go for it shark...but maybe next time you can get your facts straight? OK maybe you can't.

Anonymous said...

3.5 months: You need to understand the district history before you can be your own expert. You don't get it not us! Unpacked yet? Save the boxes.

Anonymous said...

Above post is right on the money. That ironically is what 3.5 months does not understand. Typical. Johnny or Jenny come lately has a big mouth with nothing but bullshit coming out of it. Violence prone coaches, Martucci disrespecting students and parents. And this school board and its overpaid superintendent says everything is right with the world. Time for Martucci to GO. Take 3.5 months with him too.

Anonymous said...

3.5 don't waste your breath on these morons. You are dead on, they have no comprehension skills.
They attack you for not knowing about someone, then they attack you for things you didn't say. Welcome to Aberdeen. That is how people work on this board They just like to attack. It does not matter why or if it is justified. It makes them feel better about themselves.
Fortunately they are in a very small majority in this town. They all seem to gather here because it somehow makes them feel more intelligent than they really are.
Birds of a feather.

I bet you also didn't know that Joe's kids don't even go to the public schools.

Again, welcome I hope you stick around it is fun to sick back and watch the trainwreck.

Play ball said...

Many parents pay taxes and then foot the bill for school tuition. Do they not deserve a voice for the vast monies they pay into our educational system? Do they not have the right to seek accountability for failed programs and possible liability costs for violence prone coaches and disrespectful employees?

Answer those questions.

Just because your kid attends school here does not mean the rest of us have to pay and pay and pay for failed leadership decisions and worse.