Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

Reader Says,"I believe that change is in Ridgewood’s future."

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2008 at 2:40 am

If at first you don’t succeed; try, try again. Checks and balances will be restored when Brogan and Bombace are voted out of their trustee positions. Botsford should be asked to resign and if she declinces, then she should be fired! A new superintendent would commit career suicide if he/she pursues this constant circular nonsense. Public education is for the people, not for the institution’s employees. We are making a difference and we will not stop until the job is done. Bottom line… I will not accept mediocrity for my children. I will expect a great traditional education for my kids and do what I must to make it happen. Who’s with me?

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.


Respectfully, I think you are mistaken.

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Don’t think Ridgewood sought out NBC….
Glad they walked into this hornet’s nest….
Tim would have been smarter to have declined given that he is on the other side of a big brawl over bad math with parents…
They don’t know when to duck and cover over there….

Respectfully, I think you are mistaken.

More likely, Regina and he BOE are happy with these developments…

This is coming along nicely.

Everything is going according to plan.


The Ridgewood School district will standardize on Everyday Math

… for a while… at least until all of the “troublemaker” parent’s kids are out of the school system and the rest of the population has “gotten comfortable” with the soft math and has come to regard it as just “math”. Then we gradually “improve” Everyday math by S-L-O-W-L-Y moving it further and further away from traditional math.

OK, let’s look at how this strategy is playing out.
It has a multitude of positive points for B+B and the BOE.

1) NBC Visit
WHY do you think that NBC is going to Ridge and not Travell?

a) Ridge is the premier elementary district in town (Like it or not – if you do not believe me, ask any realtor). Willard has always given it a run for the money and has made some significant moves since Bill Ward’s departure, but they have always preferred to stay out of the spotlight. Besides “Ridge” has a nice association with “Ridgewood” which helps with name recognition on national TV.

b) Ridge uses Everyday Math – which BTW was HATED until TERC was more HATED, making Everyday MATH look “OK” (I mean it does have SOME merits to it whereas TERC essentially has NONE).

2) Pros vs. Joes
All Star Panel of “education professionals” with reams and reams of numbers and statistics and papers and backing materials at their finger tips. Professional Speakers and “true believers” who are practiced speakers and who have honed their answers and presentation by giving their speeches lectures and talks and having had to refine their answers to questions from many, many critics.


Honest, sincere parents who ARE NOT professional speakers; Who DO NOT have reams and reams of statistics (and the ones that they have are well known by the “pros” who have their polished rebuttals ready); Who DO NOT have “education credentials”. They also have lots of pent up frustration and anger since they see their children’s future in jeopardy… The BOE needs JUST ONE parent to lose it and the whole bunch look like a bunch of whack-o parents. Then NBC can run with it… it makes for good television, you know.

Don’t you find it interesting that the BOE defenders and/or stealth BOE bloggers have been curiously absent from the blog lately? Maybe let those Math Moms stew a little so they will blow-up in front of the TV cameras?

3) TERC at Travell
With Arilotta out of Travell and out of the school district entirely, wouldn’t it just be easier for Regina to “phase out” TERC and champion Everyday Math?
That would (apparently) make her life easier and she would still have reform Math in the district.
But in doing so, she would jeopardize everything.

a)Not so fast buster… if the routing of R+R and the BOE and the removal of TERC from Travell is too fast and easy, then Somerville or Ridge or others would think… hey, I can do this too and they might rise up…bad news for Regina. Better to go on and on for YEARS… Better to wear down the parents and keep shifting the “pool” of parents as their kids move out of the school or graduate out of the district… I mean why waste my time and effort on this fight, when my kid is “out of the situation”. And money… the BOE is working with 82 MILLION… against what? I HAVE NOT SEEN 1 FUND RAISER TO PRODUCE COMMUNICATIONS OR HIRE A GROUP TUTUOR OR TAKE ANY HIGHLY VISIBLE OR IMPACTFUL VILLAGE WIDE CAMPAIGN TO STOP THIS MATH MADNESS! NOTHING! Maybe I missed it, but let me tell you EVERYONE IN TOWN DOES NOT READ THE BLOG! Regina has the MONEY.. Regina has the TIME, Regina has the TEAM (they don’t change every year like parents come and go). Regina has the ORGANIZATION. Regina has the CONTACTS. It’s a waiting game and a money game and it is laughably one-sided.

b) The removal of TERC needs to be viewed as EXTREMELY PAINFUL and SLOW and COSTLY to discourage others from trying it in their districts. And THEN the removal needs to come at a cost to the program. IT WILL NOT be replaced by Traditional MATH. But the battle weary parents with a timetable will take Everyday Math when it is offered. The thinking will be… what good is a Traditional program to MY kids in 5 years… they’ll be gone. better to take Everyday Math NOW and at least get SOMETHING.

4) Compromise
Need I say more?
This is the ultimate goal… really; it is the only “fair” way to resolve the problem. We don’t want to let anything messy like excellence or accuracy or correctness or (God forbid) “Right” and “Wrong” come into the picture

5) The big WIN – David Beats Goliath – all is well
TERC is out – Travell Math Moms “Win”… Yea! We did it! Let’s have a party and go back to sleep. Thank God that’s over with! We beat Regina… she is still here on the board as the Assistant Curriculum Director, but we made her listen to us and change course!
Yea! We Win … NOT.. you have just reduced the dilution and forestalled the inevitable. You LOSE.

5) Comparative Analysis vs. Objective Analysis
Regina and the BOE look like they’ve learned their lesson. They had strong beliefs but ultimately saw the error of their ways and removed TERC to replace it with a strong Math Program in Everyday Math. The parent’s Win… The children Win… everyone is happy.
…But not really… The parents LOSE… the children lose… by getting this inferior program, but since it is not the demon spawn of TERC then it is OK. And Regina will “vow to improve it and make it stronger”… Which will be the code words for SLOWLY moving it further and further away from “real math”.
And here’s the best part… the comparative analysis model of Bad Math program – Everyday Math vs. Really Bad Math Program – TERC makes BAD look GOOD.
This comparative analysis will be used with test scores and achievement to reinforce the lesser of two BADs, rather than promoting the GOOD.

So there you have it…
Ridgewood is to be a showcase Everyday Math district in your lifetime.
Mark my words.

To the BOE, it’s like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

Now that you have a small idea of what you are up against, you are going to have to get organized and hunker down.

You can do it, but it will be brutally painful.

CCS.com Girls

Ridgewood Police Supervisor Charged In Local Sex Crime

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Officer will likely receive probation

The Record, Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bergen County prosecutors have recommended probation for a Ridgewood police lieutenant who was accused of groping a woman last summer at a colleague’s retirement party.

Richard Whitehead was accused of criminal sexual contact after a dispatcher at his department alleged that he ran his hand beneath her dress and touched her during a party in June 2007.

A state Superior Court judge will decide Feb. 26 whether Whitehead can enter the Pretrial Intervention program, a form of probation available to some first-time, non-violent offenders that can last up to three years. A defendant who completes the program without violation of the terms will have no criminal record.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli did not return telephone calls or e-mails seeking details about the case, and why his office did not publicly disclose the allegation against Whitehead. Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Liliana Silebi, who heads the sex-crimes unit, also could not be reached.

The woman, whose name is being withheld by The Record, told detectives that an apparently intoxicated Whitehead then looked at her smugly as she complained about his act, according to her statement to detectives last year.

Investigators at the Prosecutor’s Office interviewed several witnesses and other police officers who attended the party. They asked the woman to call Whitehead in an attempt to get him to talk about the alleged incident.

On Aug. 22, 2007, the woman called Whitehead on a recorded line and spoke to him about the party, in which Whitehead said he was drinking and does not recall touching her, according to a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Record.

“You know, I apologized for it,” Whitehead said during the conversation. “I don’t recall doing it. You said I did it. I took you for your word at it, and I was upset about it when I found out that it did happen.”

Whitehead also apologized profusely for “what happened.”

“Please don’t hate me, all right?” Whitehead said to the woman. “I made a mistake. I am so sorry for it, truly, truly sorry for it, saying prayers about it every freaking night about it. I don’t know what, what else I can do. I never … like I said, if I could take it back, I would take it back.”

The next day, Ridgewood Police Chief William Corcoran wrote a memo in which he stated that Whitehead informed him about his conversation with the woman.

“He wanted to advise me of this incident because he thought it may become an issue and believed she was out for money,” the chief wrote.

Whitehead’s lawyer, Merick Limsky, did not return two phone calls Tuesday.

Whitehead, 56, joined the Ridgewood Police Department in 1981 and has been a lieutenant for the last seven years. Department officials said he has been on vacation since Jan. 23 and plans to retire on March 1 with a base salary of $123,000.

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"Reader thinks," Assistant Superintendent Botsford is pulling out the big guns to intimidate and frighten Ridgewoood parents and taxpayers"

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 12:48 pm

you are mistaken if you believe that NBC Nightly News is actually interested in telling the truth. Their story is already written, at least in template form–it’s just a matter of collecting enough video footage to string together to support their pre-defined script. If I had to guess, the template is: constructivist math reformers good/brave/really smart, traditional math supporters bad/provincial/akin to troglodytes.

It’s much more likely that the NBC Nightly News crew will be eager to allow the Interim and Assistant Superintendents to lead them around by the nose like the communist minders did in the old Soviet Union, and as they still do in Cuba and Red China.

As far as letting the truth be told, this blog is about all you have going for you right now.

Reading about this upcoming intrusion by NBC Nightly News makes me wonder if what is really happening is Assistant Superintendent Botsford pulling out the big guns to intimidate and frighten Ridgewoood parents and taxpayers into going back underground with their complaints and dissatisfaction. I can’t think of anything that I would put past her at this point. She really seems like the Manchurian Assistant Superintendent.

I think we should counter by calling the local channel 2 “Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame on You” newscrew to cover the real story, as we all know it to be.

Write to NBC and ask them to cover the math controversy in Ridgewood. Here is their e-mail address:


The National Math Panel should really be recommending all grade school children be introduced to algebraic equations

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 12:44 pm

The National Math Panel should really be recommending that all grade school children in the United States, at least from the 4th grade and up, be introduced to algebraic equations such as 4x + 3 = 3x + 9 using Hands-On Equations. Research data has been provided to the Panel showing that 4th and 6th graders can be as successful with these concepts as 8th graders, when all three grade groups go through the first six lessons of Hands-On Equations, with all grade groups scoring in the 85% range on the post-test. This research study can be found at http://www.borenson.com.

However, instead of recommending that all students be provided with such an opportunity to do significant algebra in the grade school, the Panel may speak of “prerequisites” for doing algebra, which will mean keeping this subject away from many students who can really experience a high level of success using Hands-On Equations.

One of the charges of the President to the Panel was to recommend specific “instructional practices, programs and materials that are effective in improving mathematics learning.” It is not clear that the Panel will fulfill this charge. If they do not fulfill this charge, and they do not relate in their report the high success level of success obtained by the Hands-On Equations program and the Making Algebra Child’s Play workshops for teachers, they will have missed an invaluable opportunity to provide the President and the nation with essential information for providing access to algebra to all students and for raising the level of mathematics education in the United States.

Henry Borenson Ed.D.

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Ridgewood school aide quits amid charges she partied with student

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 12:37 pm

The Record, Wednesday, January 30 2008

School officials in Ridgewood accepted the resignation of the high school instructional aide found in a parked car with an underage student, beer and drugs.

Lindsay Murphy, 29, of Mahwah was sitting in the car with the 16-year-old boy — a student at the high school – when police approached them around 10 p.m. on Jan. 23 in a section of the duck pond parking lot on East Ridgewood Avenue, authorities said . Beer and the substance believed to be marijuana were found in the vehicle, police said.

“The board accepted Ms. Murphy’s resignation last night,” said interim superintendent Tim Brennan on Tuesday.

Murphy was charged with child abuse and neglect because of her job as an instructional aide and the teen’s juvenile status, police said.

Murphy, who was earning $12,097 a year and had worked for the district for three years, was offered a meeting with the superintendent, but declined on advice of counsel, Brennan said Tuesday.

“This was a rare occurrence in Ridgewood,” Brennan said. “There is disillusionment on the part of the kids . . . .a sense of betrayal . . . . a betrayal of trust.”

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NBC Nightly News Visit?

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 2:14 am

It seems Tim Brennan passed this email to some people. A friend forwarded it to me. I am a tad confused as RIDGE does not have TERC2. So what is the district showing NBC Nightly News at Ridge? Why not show Travell? Why not show Orchard? Is Ridge the poster child of an Everyday Math promotion?

I mean Everyday Math was voted AGAINST by the TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. Yet here in New Jersey, and more so in Ridgewood, we are becoming the poster district of reform math.

And we’ve heard from Somerville parents that in the past, yes Somerville is a designated “Everyday Math” school, but teachers there were more or less teaching beyond reform mathematics (throwing in an odd Everyday Math sheet now and again) but this year that seemed to have changed due to a directive from above.

What is Regina Botsford gaining? Notoriety? Money? Pearson Education reported record profits. Will Ridgewood be the center piece of a new add campaign and push of their products into other districts? Is Regina Botsford now attempting to sell Ridgewood Public School District to the Everyday Math camp?

The Wednesday night panel discussion is about “skill set for the 21st century” of which a parent at last night’s BOE meeting quite nicely asked – how in the world can you say you are preparing kids for types of jobs you do not know of yet?”



Ridgewood parents need to wake from their slumber before this district is entrenched in reform math and constructivism beyond the capability of parental affluence and tutoring to save their children’s education.

Write to NBC and ask them to cover the math controversy in Ridgewood. Here is their e-mail address:

NBC Nightly News Visit

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 2:11 am

Subject: NBC Nightly News Visit


As we approach the release date of the National Math Panel’s report, NBC Nightly News is following the national debate over America’s potential competitiveness in a global economy. We have granted them permission to visit the district on Wednesday January 30. They will be interviewing at Ed Center in the morning, visiting a math class at Ridge School just before noon, and covering the panel discussion tomorrow night at 7:30 in the RHS Campus Center. This is for your information. I do hope you get a chance to attend the panel in the evening. It promises to be a most interesting discussion.

Please call Debra Anderson or me if you have questions. Talk to you soon.


Write to NBC and ask them to cover the math controversy in Ridgewood. Here is their e-mail address:

Netflix, Inc.

He assessed me for a fireplace (which isnt there).

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Got my Letter from Appraisal systems last week. No CLUE how my increased valuation compares to neighbors ( I know the current numbers so I want to make sure my increase of 57% was in line with theirs) All i did was add central AC since the last assessment. My dads home only went up 42%. Its ODD. When the ‘appraiser’ was here, I walked around with him to make sure he was accurate. He assessed me for a fireplace (which isnt there). I called to his attention and he supposedly removed it. Today, I called to check and sure enough, I am being charged for a fireplace. The woman on the phone cannot tell me what my neighbors new assessments are, nor what else is on my card. So she suggested and I accepted an appointment with this company and I can report back with the outcome. Unfortunately, as a homeowner, most will accept their assessments, without knowing whether or not the information used to base the assessment is accurate. That is a FLAW. The assessment for my beach house is available ONLINE, which ensures accuracy. With high taxes, I would not want any extra valuation. If I have an asphalt roof, I do not want to be assessed for slate. If I have linoleum floors, I do not want to be assessed for tile. If have regular countertops, I do not want to be assessed for granite. etc etc. Probably going to be too late for most since there is a ’10 day window’ from receipt of letter.

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DelVecchio Would Play Key Role in County’s Lease of Pease Library for Historical Society – Could Central Dispatch be a Secondary Target?

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Under a plan publicly introduced late last year by Ridgewood Councilman Pat Mancuso, Frank DelVecchio would play a key role in negotiating a building lease agreement between Village officials and the County of Bergen.

It was revealed in October that County officials are considering leasing all currently unoccupied portions of Pease Library to accommodate the currently homeless Bergen County Historical Society. The County has already paid a professional engineering firm to assess the building’s suitability for use as a museum. It was reported that the firm identified over $2 million in required infrastructure upgrades.

At public meetings held during November and December, it was Mancuso who suggested that DelVecchio be asked to assist in cementing a deal between the Village and Bergen County’s Buildings & Grounds administrative staff. Other members of the proposed negotiating team were Mayor David Pfund, Village Manager Jim Ten Hoeve, and Mancuso himself.

Separately, but possibility related, it is rumored that County law enforcement officials are interested in assuming control over Pease Library’s only current tenant, the Northwest Bergen Central Dispatch organization. On January 4, the County Prosecutor’s office sized control of a data transmission line that killed dispatchers’ access to records stored in motor vehicle and criminal databases.

Some local law enforcement officials believe the Prosecutor’s move to “disconnect” Central was politically driven, as the County is currently constructing a multi-million dollar E911 call center and public safety radio dispatch point in Mahwah. The facility will be located on the grounds of Bergen County’s Police and Fire Academy, which Frank DelVecchio used to be in charge of.

County School Superintendent, Pease Library, Waste Water Treatment, extended bike path to Linwood Avenue, E911, public safety radio dispatch – what’s next Mr. McNerney? DelVecchio as Village Manager?

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