Unlike Ridgewood, Wash. Twnsp. meets parents, reviews Constructivist Math

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I’m Lovin’ Our Board of Education Right Now

June 5, 2008 ·

I attended the June 3rd Washington Township Board of Education meeting and I was very pleased. You should be pleased because unlike other Board of Eds in towns like Ridgewood NJ, your BOE listened to the concerned parents and are going to review our K-8 math curriculum. To recap here’s what they talked about on Tuesday:

The Education Committee reported that they supported a review of our math curriculum to examine what’s working, what’s not, and offer improvements
They are forming a committee in the summer to review the math curriculum
They are writing a letter back to the community that basically will say “we heard you” and here’s what we are going to do (I’m guessing because I didn’t actually get to read the letter).
I spoke with several board members before and after the meeting and every one was very supportive of listening to our concerns and evaluating the curriculum. That also includes Interim Superintendent John Sakala who I had a one on one meeting with last Friday. I also spoke with Board President Michelle Skurchak and she was very supportive and seemed happy to help. Here’s what appeared in the May 13th minutes that hinted at board action:

Members of the public commented on the Everyday Math program; equal time should be given to science and social studies in addition to math; request for an update on the gifted and talented program; grouping of students in Middle School classes; and board member e-mail addresses and answering of e-mail in a timely manner. Mr. Sakala commented that the board hears the concerns about Everyday Math and that time is needed to look into the matter. The meeting was closed to the public at 8:37 p.m. “

I stood up and addressed the board after they outlined their plan . So I don’t bore you anymore, here’s a quick synopsis:

I thanked the BOE for listening to the parents who raised concerns
I handed a copy of the petition (without your emails) to Interim Superintendent John Sakala
I volunteered to be on the evaluation committee and offered to help recruit more people
Right now perhaps some of you supporters are not satisfied with just a review and wanted an outright recall. Obviously as the person that started this noise you may be upset with me, but please don’t be. This is a great solution for our community.

There are plenty of parents who believe that Everyday Math works for their kids and are happy with the program. There are obviously a lot of you that want it removed. We could all just dig our heels in and have this town become a casualty in the math wars like Ridgewood or we can all work together and come up with the best solution that is right for our town.

Right now our Board of Education did they right thing and it is my hope that changes will be made to the curriculum. I have some ideas that I’d like to see implemented, but until then the best thing you can do is raise your hand and volunteer for the committee when our Board of Education is ready.

Thanks again for your support. It meant a lot to me to know that there were/are so many supporters out there. As one board member said to me, “it isn’t easy to be a lightning rod” and he is correct. However, running into you at baseball games, restaurants, town events, and etc provided me with a huge boost to keep going. Please don’t stop now, because we still have some work to do.



  1. I don’t get this. Seems to me they are doing what ridgewood is already doin….said they will “look into it” and “evaluate” he K-8 program to see what is best. That’s what I hear our BOE doing, even though many who post on this website feel that is wrong or taking too long or “planning to plan” or whatnot. Doesn’t this support Ridgewood’s current plan…not sure why the writer, “Eric”, feels the need to slam Ridgewood when his beloved board of ed is doing the same thing we are here. Now granted, wash township probably spent a lot less time getting to this point, but what struck me from this letter was the civil tone that both Eric and the wash township boe seem to be using with each other. How refreshing!

  2. our BOE a shinning example of being mute to parents wishes…

  3. Where this differs is that WT did not need to hire a consultant to moderate and do a report. The BOE heard objections and are forming a committee of parents to resolve the differences and come to conclusions. Does WT have a Director of Math Curriculum that has an agenda for its schools like we do. Probably not….they are doing things the old fashioned way…by getting together and making decisions in a civilized way with the folks that have a vested interest and are paying the bills…the taxpayers.
    Sounds to me like a logical, fair and expedient way to do business.

  4. I applaud WT. Ridgewood board members are too defensive to be so open to allowing parents to craft a solution to a one-sided math curriculum. Here in Ridgewood, many parents suggested that for those who want and like Everyday math, let them have it. But for those who recognize its shortcomings and future harm to their children, give them a choice to have a more traditional math program.
    Ridgewood BOE would not hear of it. It allows Regina to force any level of crap down our throats. Further, this BOE uses OUR money to hire consultants and teacher training to futher embed constructivist math. They do not gave a damn what parents want. They have made that clear time and time again. They will do whatever they want because they have the full support of the Stepford Wives.

  5. I wonder if WT BOE president phoned one of her employees to ask why he/she signed the math petition.

    I wonder if WT BOE hired a consultant at $9,000 to “get to the bottom of what really concerns the parents” because Ridgewood’s BOE couldn’t believe the issue was really about math.

    I wonder if WT set aside $20,000 for the 08-09 school year to partner with a local university.

    I wonder if one of the elementary school principals phoned a parent on Sunday night to ask why he/she signed the math petition.

    I wonder if one of WT BOE members wrote a letter to the editor in a local newspaper like our Bob Hutton pointing a finger at the concerned parents and questioning their motives. I wonder if WT interim superintendent took tax payers’ time and money to write a direct attack in the local newspaper against one parent that publicly and civilly expressed his opinion about his children’s math program.

    I wonder if any WT parents wanting the math changed received threatening phone calls.

    I wonder if WT employs an assistant superintendent for well over $100,000 who can’t make up her mind and/or doesn’t know what is the best possible math curriculum eventhough it’s her job title and description.

    I wonder if WT uses 3 different math programs that are on opposite ends of the math spectrum to educate their students.

    I wonder if WT BOE approves new programming like CMP2 without fully disclosed information supporting its adoption.

    I wonder if the poster 8:29is aware of all of this information regarding how Ridgewood’s BOE and administrators have behaved since April of 2007 and we won’t have any answers from them until at least summer of 2009.

    I applaud WT BOE!! How lucky those parents are to have elected officials to really care through their actions instead of spinning wheels / smoke and mirrors.

  6. Like Hillary, you should too move on…

  7. …you should too move on…

    I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that those who defend a broken education system can’t even follow the basic rules of grammar when presenting their opinions.

  8. What a snappy comeback. You totally overlooked the point that was made.

  9. 7:33 AM –

    Why thank you, but it was not quite as snappy as your illiterate retort, nor did it have the shallowness and irrelevance of your off topic swipe at Hillary Clinton.

    While we’re off topic…
    What exactly was your point?

    – Taking a shot at Hillary?

    – Accepting a failed math program just because an election was lost?
    (Did that election actually change anything about the math program?)

    – Showing everyone how clever you think you are?

    – Showing everyone your mastery of the English language?

  10. The Math issue is DOA, it is just some people are too dense to grasp it. Get over it and find another losing cause to fight for.

  11. 11:58 AM –

    “the math issue is DOA, etc., etc., etc….”

    I won’t even mention your misuse of “DOA”… we’ve already established your English credentials. (If you killed the math issue this past election, how could it have been Dead on Arrival?)

    Moving on to your “math comment”…
    So is this finally the long awaited point you were making or is it just another attempted witticism?

    I expect it is the point given your preference for the easy way out (like teaching kids fun and games instead of subjecting them to a rigorous math program). As a quitter, of course you would expect others to act likewise. Fortunately, there are still some of us around who are willing to fight for a good solid education for our children regardless of temporary setbacks or being called names by those willing to settle for the easy way out.

    Sadly it is you who are “too dense” to figure out that you are limiting the options in your kids futures by not giving then a full set of tools now to use when future opportunities present themselves.

    I’m not afraid of temporary losses.
    I’m not afraid of hard work.
    I’m not quitting.
    It’s too important for my kids.

  12. 9:23 PM,

    Well said. They (dopes like 8:03) think that just because the candidates for reform only carried 2 of 5 districts, that somehow they lost the math debate.

    They are still running scared, have lost too many other battles and fear the power of parents who will not “go away.”

    Hence, they say things like “move on” and “the issue is DOA.”

    They know this issue is far from dead and therefore the battle far from over.

    The longer the issue remains in the public discourse the weaker their arguments become.

    Witness the Bill Moyers of Ridgewood, Charles Riley’s letter to the editor in last week’s Ridgewood News.

  13. Mr. Reilly of the Lunatic fringe is alive and well. What an idiotic letter he wrote. I don’t think he knows anything about Einstein, but wishes always to inject himself in any and all conversations. He’s a proven liar too. No shame.

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