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Readers question ,"is Ridgewood education is a bargain?"

In BOE, math wars, taxes, teachers pay, teachers union, tutorville on February 23, 2009 at 11:48 am

Ridgewood education is a bargain?… in “J” districts… you get what you pay for. RPS doesn’t teach grammar to its elementary students. Elementary schools don’t even use textbooks in any of the subject areas. Schools are run like the wild west where principals (paid over $100,000 in salary) make decisions about the quality and type of education their students receive based on the best marketing tactics out there, not solid research.

BOTSFORD is rewarded with a salary of over $150,000 and DOES NOTHING BUT DESTROY THE SCHOOLS. Katie Kashmanian kisses her arse because she wants what’s best for GW, she’s an operator. Margy Leininger can’t make a decision for herself to save her life and follows Regina like a puppy dog. The new principals are crossing their fingers to keep their jobs so whether they think Regina is effective in her position is irrelevant. Most of the faculty can’t stand Regina, although we now know Dan Ilaria is her new fall guy… parents in the community loathe her…. how the heck does she drag herself out of bed in the morning?

So I guess you’re right 9:01 the education offered here is a bargain. That’s why Ridgewood is known as Tutorville. Students are tutored here not because they need supplemental help, but BECAUSE RPS DOESN’T DO ITS JOB.

Ways to find $ to help with the 2 million dollar budget shortfall… fire Dan Fishbein, Regina Botsford, Angelo DeSimone, Carlo Ritschel (or however you spell his name), Steve Tichner (or however you spell his name) and replace them with qualified people. In today’s economy, we can offer new hires a lower salary.

I predict the admins at Cottage Pl. will tell us they aren’t going to take a pay raise this year to make themselves look like they are doing EVERYTHING they can to help during these difficult financial times. Give me a break and a barf bag if they do!

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  1. yes education of children is of great value but a bloated wasteful school system is not educating children ,neither is this silly math garbage … I love Ridgewood Schools but this math stuff is a joke and these people run the school system for there own personnel gain and nothing else I am sorry for all the good teachers and caring parents but this school system has become just another make work pay for play junk machine….

  2. Ridgewood pays approximately $13,500.00 per student (and more because they jigger the numbers). Yearly tuition at Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic and IHA are $10,000.00 per year.

    How about the BOE refund to parents the tuition for those attending private schools, up to 10K per student. They will still have at least $3,500.00 free.

    Or better yet, create a voucher system and let the dollars follow the students. Then you will see the market place dictate prices. Heck, our taxes might actually go down.

    Competition is the only way to control spending. Planned economies do not and will not ever work. Free-markets are the only way to ensure the best product at the best price.

  3. They must have known Fishbein was a zero when they hired him. Now they have what they want.

    Ridgewood parents better get a grip on this soon otherwise their kids will only be able to get into Rutgers when Regina and Dan are finished with them.

  4. Who is Dan Ilaria ?

  5. Many town employees make over 100k per year and if you factor in the pensions most do. Cuts can be made to the school system, however education is the key to a healthy society.

  6. Dan Ilaria was hired by Regina to replace Deb Ives. He is our districts new math supervisor for grades 6-12. Which is a blatant and obvious mistake. Way to go BOE for keeping your head in the sand while Regina brings in more inept and ideologically driven staff.

  7. You can get a quality education without spending a fortune, that was the point of the Don Bosco post.

    Village School, $7,000
    Eastern Christian, $7,000
    St. Elizabeth’s, $7,000

    The Ridgewood teachers are not making a lot of money, frankly I think they are underpaid. I’m not sure where the money goes.

    It might be the army of aides and special ed folks that probably out number teachers.

    We could outsource some of the special ed services, hire speech and OTs on a per diem basis, this way we won’t have the cost of the benefits.

  8. Here’s a 100,000 savings.

    Fire the math guy because we are just spending the money on consultants anyway.

    The idea of a consultant is to replace having a full time staff. You shouldn’t have consultants, plus full time staff.

    We have a Superintendent for Curriculum, then a Math Curriculum guy for 6-12? Then we hire Nancy Schultz? Meanwhile, we really only talk to the Pearson salespersona anyway.

  9. 9:51 raises the old question about how excellent private and parochial schools can offer lower tuition than per student public school costs.
    The answers are quite simple:
    – They do fund raisers to help defray tuition costs.
    – They get donations that help defray tuition costs.
    – They are able to reject students that have special needs. Remember some special needs students are placed out of district and can cost in excess of $100,00 per year.
    – Most state mandated programs don’t apply to them.
    – They underpay highly qualified and professional teachers. Many teachers are happy to teach for lower pay in exchange for less disruption and bureaucracy.
    – They don’t have to have the phalanx of support personnel to deal with behavior issues. Their behavior issues leave and come back to the public schools.

    While not all of these things are bad, they do make things very different for private schools. Apples and oranges?

  10. “Most of the faculty can’t stand Regina, although we now know Dan Ilaria is her new fall guy… parents in the community loathe her….”

    You got that right!

  11. 2:18PM you seem to have forgotten the following when comparing apples and oranges.
    – the HSA’s fundraise (like $85,000 for Orchard which was spent on a stupid outdoor amphitheater). More was raised to renovate the library. At Travell they even paid for math consultants from fundraised money.

    – our Ridgewood schools also get donations

    – special needs is not the problem with our overspending

    – please name the “state mandated” programs that cost extra money; no one ever does. As a monopoly, public schools have no competition, unlike private schools.

    – they do not underpay teachers. These teachers are free to work for private or public schools and have chosen the former for various reasons.

    – private schools also have to deal with behavioral issues. They are less bureaucratic and therefore more efficient about it.

    Fundamentally, private schools provide a better education because they have to. Public schools provide a sub-standard education because they can get away with it. It has nothing to do with money, but with processes like tenure, which makes it just about impossible to fire a teacher unless they are an ax murderer. And a bloodied hand on an ax may not be enough to even prove that under their union rules.

  12. What are we? Fools. We are paying a math supervisor to advocate against our children’s best interests. I really don’t care if he must maintain associations with professors from his former college or his friends in administrative positions who can help him in the future.

    If he is going to choose them over us, then he should do the ethical thing and leave our district.

  13. Ridgewood is loaded with excellent teachers, both regular and special education. It is the BOE administration that needs to be questioned. They are the ones not allowing our teachers to teach.

  14. We can likely survive the poor-performing tenured teachers. But we cannot survive the inept administrators at Cottage place.

  15. “like $85,000 for Orchard which was spent on a stupid outdoor amphitheater).”

    Correction, it was $110,000 dollars on a stupid outdoor amphitheater.

    The library renovation cost less than the amphitheater.

  16. we should also not have created a stimulus package that keeps nancy and joe in business.

  17. From someone who heard it from Fishbein’s mouth-
    The new math program is costing about $90,000 per grade level to implement.

    When teachers heard this, they questioned the need for this program. They also said, and I quote, “we already know how to teach….why are you constantly trying to reinvent the wheel?”

    We have tried and tried and they just don’t listen. They schedule, arrange and pay for consultants to “teach” the language arts teachers how to use the Reading Workshop model. Over, and over and over again.

    Can they just step aside….. stop trying to do it differently, “better,” trying to make their mark and just let the teachers teach the students that they love!?

  18. How does cottage place know the cost of the program if they “don’t” know what the program of choice is yet?

  19. I am not sure, but that was Fishbein’s answer – without a hesitation. It was one of the only specific answers afforded the teachers.

  20. “The new math program is costing about $90,000 per grade level to implement.”

    For that price, the kids better get real textbooks and workbooks.

  21. I know it can sound self-defeating, but maybe we need to start voting down these insane budgets with $90K thrown in for another math experiment. Don’t ask me for another dime for these schools when the waste is so rampant.

  22. It’s the blind leading the blind at Cottage Place.

    The seeing shall pay for the follies of the blind.

  23. I always vote “no.” And only once, in ten years, was I in the majority.

    The budget was sent to the VC and they trimmed a paltry .4%

    And they cry about the school budget being our of control. Hypocrites.

  24. 11;48 is right- put it on the ballot!

  25. Glad to hear that someone FINALLY has Kashmanian and Leininger in their sights. The original Bad News Bears, I believe. Ladies, time to leave Ridgewood.

  26. Do you think they could just find a good math textbooks that would not require retraining our teachers. Come on — do we really need thousands of dollars of retraining for our high end Ridgewood teachers to teach ELEMENTARY MATH?

  27. Today, I was directed to the BOE to get 09-10 budget information. I was told initially that it was available on the website( it is: the April 2008 version!) When I asked the courteous person at the BOE for a copy of the proposed budget, I was told that it was not available. I asked to file an OPRA application for the information. This is concerning to me. It appears that the Board and the superintendent are attempting to keep a ” budget news blackout” in effect because they do not want to tell the taxpayers…? This should be of concern to everyone. I do not have kids in the schools. I am an educator, but I am first a citizen.

    What is the Board hiding from the taxpayers?

  28. Check out the public information on the salaries of Ridgewood teachers. Something like one third of ours are making over 100,000 a year for ten months of work. At that salary shouldn’t every school in our district be number one? Shouldn’t we always have been number one? Somethings not adding up here, people, fuzzy math or not. Lets just fire everyone and start again from scratch. That way we’ll not only get rid of the budget deficit, we’ll have a surplus.

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