Sandra Stotsky Speaks with Village Resident

In math wars, Sandra Stosky, Sarah-Kate Maskin on January 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Sandra Stotsky this morning. She has indeed offered her services to the district and has offered them pro bono requesting that only her traveling expenses be covered. She has not however received an invitation from our district to participate in the process to unify our K-5 math program. Dr. Stotsky has not withdrawn her offer and reiterated to me that she would be pleased to serve in this capacity if asked.

According to Sheila Brogan, the district has budgeted $20,000 to facilitate this process. The modest amount required to bring Dr. Stotsky to Ridgewood should be available. Daro was paid $2500 plus traveling expenses from California and Schultz is receiving $200 per work session for approximately 10 work sessions. Posamentier and Rosenstein are going to make only a token 30 minute visit to the math planning team without compensation.

It is not too late for our administrators to bring someone of Dr. Stotsky’s caliber to help ensure the very best outcome for our children.

Sarah-Kate Maskin

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  1. You need to address this to the Board of Ed, not the Ridgewood Blog. If you grandstand you will get nowhere.

  2. How is giving pertinent information to the community grandstanding? Please explain 11:23. I am grateful to Ms. Maskin for shedding light on a very disturbing decision that some could not believe even happened.

  3. Is Ms. Maskin assuming BOE duties? I thought she lost in the election.

  4. Sounds like 11:23am has anger issues.

    Thanks Sarah-Kate. You are am invaluable assess to our children. Now it has been demonstrated that Dr. Stotsky offered her services and the BOE has not accepted them, to date.

  5. I applaud Mrs. Maskin for going to a credible source. She has proven that this occurrence is not a rumor but a truthful account. 11:23 how do you know that Mrs. Maskin hasn’t already approached the BOE? I am willing to bet she has and they dismissed her as they usually do.

  6. 11:23 you are being rather too transparent as a flack for the BOE. Hope they are paying you.

    Now, can we just focus on what’s best for the children here and would you please address your comments to the more pertinent issue of our math situation.

    If the BOE and Fishbein does not invite Dr. Stotsky, then I would like to see some community effort launched to get her hear to speak to parents. There will be many, many people interested to hear directly from a sitting member of the Presidents National Math Panel.

  7. When people ask you what has changed in Ridgewood over the years, you can point to this situation as an example of Ridgewood’s decline.

    In the past, not only would Ridgewood be speaking to a member of the President’s Math Panel, the district would hold up this relationship with pride for all to see as another indication that Ridgewood is indeed a premier district. In fact, Ridgewood would not only be speaking to someone of this stature in the past but would likely have had tight connections and input into the President’s panel.

    Very frustrating indeed.

  8. So, once again the BOE and Cottage Place demonstrate that they are not truly interested in what is best for our children but rather what serves their pedagogical ideology.

    Having Ms. Stotsky contribute to the process of selecting a comprehensive math program interferes with their constructivist agenda.

  9. Let’s get her here period. Don’t care what it takes. If the BOE and its administrators shirk this responsibility to our children, then we as parents must not let them get away with it. It would be a very shameful mark on Ridgewood. Cutting edge, indeed. Premier district, indeed. Tradition of excellence, indeed. Pap, just pap.

    What say you, flack of 11:23 AM

  10. “It is not too late for our administrators to bring someone of Dr. Stotsky’s caliber to help ensure the very best outcome for our children.”

    Our cursed district has administrators who will do exactly that to spite parents who challenge them — WAIT till it’s too late.

  11. “Proud Ridgewood Parent,” you couldn’t be more correct. How sad that this is what passes for “excellence in education” by our BOE and its administrators.

    As for the flack (11:23am)one must wonder why he would defend this incompetence by Cottage Place, unless he is from Cottage Place.

    It is obvious that excellence has been sacrificed at the alter of ideology when it comes to education in Ridgewood.

  12. I am not angry. Ms. Maskin should learn to work with people if she plans to run for office again. Posting that message on this blog looks like grandstanding or challenging someone. Lots of people work to get things done without telling the world.

    She is not a board member and her post shows why. Not very professional.

  13. Go away 11:23/3:28.

    Posting that message was informative. Sarah-Kate’s not challenging anyone. Unlike others, she’s giving us FACT.

    I’ve yet to see Ms. Maskin act unprofessional at the many board meeting I’ve seen her at. I have, however, seen our BOEs past and present act unprofessional many times (need I mention Bob Hutton’s meltdowns).

    Her major flaw (and it’s not within her control) — she embarrasses the BOE by being better informed and better prepared. Can anyone forgot Bombace’s deer in the headlight look?

    I don’t know Ms. Maskin personally but I her only goal is to see an fair review of math programs which could be implemented in our community.

    And this isn’t about Ms. Maskin or BOE trustees and staff; it’s about an extraordinary offer of assistance that our either our Superindent and/or BOE has passed on.

  14. 3:28… Do you characterize Congressman Garrett and Assemblyman Russo as unprofessional too? They share information on this blog on a regular basis? It’s only our incompetent BOE and Administrators that stay away from this forum because they are cowards.

    Maskin does not practice the same tactics as our current BOE and administration. As demonstrated over and over by her actions, she deals in the truth and isn’t interested in what makes HER look good, she is obviously focused on what is in the best interest for our children. Sharing info on a local public forum is very professional practiced by politicians all of the time. They see the value, Maskin sees the value, why don’t you?

  15. 3:28 PM,

    La,La,La, La,La. You are so smug.

    Thanks you Ms. Maskin for speaking up and exposing the hypocrites who pretend to be “for the children.”

  16. 3:28 – “Lots of people work to get things done without telling the world. “

    I don’t know what this means. This story was a rumor until Sarah-Kate took the initiative to make the call. I don’t find it unprofessional, or grandstanding. I think she did the responsible thing by going to the source.

  17. Sandra Stotsky – Harvard Graduate School of Education

    No wonder they didn’t invite her, she’s not part of Montclair State or Rutgers.

    We don’t need any dopey Harvard guys to advise us.

  18. hey, sorry I’m a little late to post this, it’s from the bottom thread.

    “She(Dr. Stotsky) currently serves as Chair of the Sadlier-Oxford Mathematics Advisory Board”.

    I thought I’d mention my child has the latest edition of that math textbook and workbook in private school and it’s excellent.

  19. 3:28
    What makes you believe that Mrs. Maskin did not contact the BOE? Maybe you are making an assumption, so that you can pontificate or possibly even granstand?
    You are right about one thing, Mrs Maskin is not a board member, and thats unfortunate.

  20. I just love people like 3:28. They seem to know all the rules, and whats right and wrong. Hey wake up this is a Math War!! Save your rules of engagement for your next ettiquet class.
    Mrs. Maskin is a breath of fresh air and isn’t it just too bad that she’s helping to bring transparency to the BOE Math Panel’ process. Transparency that this board has no stomach for.

  21. 3:28 maybe one of the “professional” members from the BOE will let us know why they are not taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity …?

  22. Any one who has ever tried to challenge the system has to get the word out and attach a name to those words. Sarah-Kate ran for a board seat. She is still committed to her issues. I admire her for her guts and determination.

  23. 3:28 you sound like a self-rightous idiot. Mrs. Maskin has continued to work “behind” the scenes as we all endure the incompetence of administrative fiat in this village. She does not need to be a board member to continue her advocacy for her children. She, as every parent, except you, has a duty to pursue their best interests relentlessly.

    How do you know whether or not she previously contacted the Board or Fishbein directly? Answer: you don’t, you simply entertain the sycophancy of bashing an upstanding resident of this village for no other reason than to defend the bankrupt nature of your comments here. You must be Charlie. Who else in this village is molded in bronze as the village idiot? If you’re not Charlie, then you are imitating the most discredited man living in Ridgewood today.

    Oh, and by the way, nothing should be “behind the scenes” in a PUBLIC school system that runs on the money of taxpayers, nothing.

  24. Neither is the BOE. You must fight fire with fire in this world.

  25. people do the right thing for your kids for a change school is not about njea its about kids learning something !

  26. BOE denies distinguished Harvard grad who sat on the NATIONAL MATHEMATICS PANEL?

    F’in Hellloooooooooooo!!!!!

    It’s either:

    A) Money
    B) Stupidity
    C) Ego
    D) All of the above

    I’ll go with D with a special emphasis on B.

  27. I am so tired of my child’s math (CMP) homework! It makes my head hurt and seems so NOT useful. I know how to find the answers, my husband knows how to find the answers, but neither of us can help my son to do so! Neither of us can see the value of the homework either. He is 12 years old. Instead of working on processes and algorhythyms, he is asked to look at a graph, answer questions and then SUPPOSE the graph had this or that amount of people surveyed (I had to read this 4 or 5 times to ‘get it’ and I am a teacher myself)and then estimate the answer. Come on………. for what purpose? My husband is an engineer. He says he never estimates.

  28. Has anyone else watched Maskin’s questions during public comments at the Dec.15th BOE meeting? Go to the district’s website… click on BOE… click on webcasts… click on Dec.15. She asks the questions that I, as a tax-payer, wish our BOE would ask Dan the Man and Regina the King. One thing she asks about is where the proper documentation supporting CMP2’s adoption could be found. Does this mean the Board approved a new program without following the policy outlining program adoption? Cough it up Regina the King!

  29. To 11:38:

    Ms. Maskin made an effort to get to the truth so that there is reason for discussion on whether the BoE was right or wrong. We know that they were wrong, and 11:38 is upset that she made an effort to get to the truth? That she did not follow procedure, and wait for those iggits to do something? Are you kidding? They did something: they’ve ruined the school system.

    As to you, you must be one of those legendary bureaucrats, you know: one foot in front of the other, never look up to see the bigger picture, and always, ALWAYS respect and follow the red tape!

  30. This isn’t about Sarah-Kate Maskin. It’s about the process used to select our math program.

    I guess it is easier to sling a few arrows at Sarah-Kate rather than address the point she is making: the BOE is ‘stacking the deck’ in favor of non-traditional math.

  31. I couldn’t be happier with Mrs. Maskin. I couldn’t be unhappier with our BOE and Superintendent.

    To our fearless leaders: This is not complicated. Dr. Stotsky should be invited to come here. That invitation should come from our BOE president, if the administrators remain mired in their effort to lower our standards to the minimal ones exhibited by the State DOE.

  32. There was no evaluation done of different math programs from different publishers either by topics taught or price of program.

    When the math moms asked two years ago, the CMP2 glossy provided by the publisher, Pearson, was placed on the BOE website. That was supposed to be proof of the validity of the decision. In other words, the salesperson said it was good, so we bought it.

    Our BOE approved CMP2, TERC and Everyday Math without seeing any evaluation or comparision done by our Superintendent of Curriculum.

    That is a fact.

  33. Monday's BOE meeting shall be very interesting. Let's see if Vallerini & Co. take the fall for Capt. Dan's decision to ixnay exnay input from some one as credentialed as Ms. Stotsky in favor of some one like Ms. Nancy Schultz, who hails from a 3rd rate teachers' college like Montclair State.

    Harvard vs. Montclair State. Is there any comparison?

  34. But they are idiots. They prove it time and time again.

  35. Harvard vs. Montclair State. Is there any comparison?

    Both schools are bastions of lib claptrap. Harvard charges more $$$ for tuition and has higher-profile lib alums like Barack Obama.

  36. But they are behaving like idiots. Why should we avoid the truth? I know it hurts, but for them to change, they must face the music.

    Also, this is NOT about “winning friends and influencing administrators.” This is about ensuring that our representative government actually represents our interests. I don’t need these people to like me or be my friend.

    If an elected official cannot do due diligence and carry out their duties because some people call them names, then what business do they have seeking to serve in any elected capacity? They should just step down.

    If you believe you are correct 11:07 AM, then you have made the point why they ARE idiots. Please spare me the “I agree with SK” mantra. Your slip is showing. Now, I didn’t call you a slip. I just said that it was showing.

  37. “Taking over Math Panel meetings with handouts…”

    That was not a math panel meeting. It was a meeting of parents and I appreciated the information Mrs. Maskin made available. Do you think the district would have taken the time to give parents a math problem from Every Day math so that they would better know what this program promotes?

    The district shares as little as possible. Whatever it provides is scrubbed, scripted, and usually not revealing of its true ideological thinking.

  38. “Continuing to throw rhetorical Molotov cocktails will ensure that your ideas are ignored.”

    Maybe or maybe not. Depends if it is on target. It might even make people sit up and take notice.

    Some times a loud blast is what it takes to get ones attention.

    And besides, I enjoy the rhetorical Molotov cocktails, they are entertaining.

  39. I am so sorry to read that people take “sides”. The SIDE I am interested in is that of the children’s.

  40. 12:16

    Liberal claptrap? WTF are you spewing? I consider myself liberal however I don’t agree whatsoever with this crappy math agenda. It has zero to do with political ideology. It’s about what is best for the children. The Bush administration did a very thorough 2 year investigation into the state of mathematics in this country. Amongst their findings-move away from spiral approach style of math (like we have here in town). Spiral is where you briefly visit a subject, move on to several others and eventually return to the first one without mastery of any of them. Practice is labelled, “drill and kill”. Simple problems become gargantuan, time consuming, multi-step babble. Through it all our BOE still defies the National Math Panels’ recommendation and surges ahead with this expensive, delusional program.

    Simple question:

    Is Regina preeminently more qualified than the National Math Panel? I think not.

  41. It has zero to do with political ideology.

    But people on this blog claim that it’s some sort of Marxist-Leninist campaign based in Montclair’s school of education.

  42. It does have to do with ideology. And that ideology, like it or not, is from the left, which is liberal, which has its roots in Marxism and its tenents of egalitarianism.

    Sorry to burst your bubble 2;42. However much you disagree with the bad math here in Ridgewood, there is no escaping the fact it is based on the new age nonsense propagated by the “progressive” (read: liberal) minded in the education establishment.

    As a side bar, Google the word “tenents” and you get “five tenents” which links one directly to “The Five Tenents of Constructivism” by Brooks and Brooks. That is Brooks, as in Marty Brooks. Name ring a bell?

    Oh, the irony of it all.

  43. Who said this….

    “However, she might want to use a little more tact in working with the BOE. “

    Why? The initial Math moms were very tactful and worked for years behind the scenes and got – nothing.

    Also, 60% of the town voted for the board, but 40% of the town did not.

    So, should our BOE continue to ignore 40% of the population? 40% of the parents of “all the children?”

    Will we get vouchers for our tax money so we can put our kids in Dwight Englewood? Then we will go away

    God Bless Sarah-Kate!!!

  44. the BOE started all this crap when they attacked the math moms ,no reason to be nice to them they deserve what ever they get

  45. It is not for nothing that this nation wide reform movement to establish a balanced traditional approach to teaching mathematics is called, “The Math Wars.”

  46. re: the Poll “Did Dr. Sandra Stotsky get a fair hearing from the BOE?”

    I’m aware that the BOE owed Dr. Stotsky a “hearing” of any sort. Is she a resident of Ridgewood with kids going to our schools?

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