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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Newsday on SD15 Conflict

Newsday puts up an article on the School District 15 death threats of quite some time ago. Certainly not the most timely of news, but a very reasonable article on the matter:
Teach the children well? Not this
The crowd went wild as the Lawrence Golden Tornadoes football team scored one of the biggest upsets in the 15-year history of the Long Island Championships nine days ago.

The team, in its ninth straight win this season, came out of nowhere on the last Sunday in November to become the best on Long Island.

And that's exactly where the district, and the community of Lawrence, want to be.

For some, the team's achievement balanced out some of the bad - no, make that shocking - news that roiled the community for most of the same month.

On Nov. 8, school board president Asher Mansdorf and three board members received death threats, according to Nassau County police. The message was clear: Close another public school in the district and you will die.

Whoa.

This is the kind of venom spewed by dunderheads during the long, bitter fight over school integration.

In Lawrence, tensions have been brewing for years. But religion, rather than race, has become the community's central and divisive theme.

District 15 now has more children attending private religious schools than public ones.

Those whose children go private want Lawrence's public schools to accept the new reality, and shrink accordingly.

Those whose children go public want to protect what they have, fearing that any movement to shrink is, in reality, a movement to abolish public schools.

That's the shorthand version of the dynamic between the Orthodox Jewish community and just about everybody else in Lawrence.

But now the ongoing tension has devolved into death threats. That's a low.

The threats were timely, since the district closed one of its elementary schools and the board - now with an Orthodox majority - recently directed superintendent John Fitzsimons to report on the possibility of closing another.

A letter went to Mansdorf's home and business, threatening him, his children and grandchildren. I could not reach Mansdorf yesterday, but he has told local newspapers that police asked him not to talk about the incident.

Police are investigating the incident as a misdemeanor case of aggravated harassment, officials said yesterday. They've sent evidence to the lab to find fingerprints or other potential clues.

"It's troubling," said school superintendent Fitzsimons, "but it's not the focus of what is going on here."

Maybe it should be.

Anyone who sends missives, anonymous or otherwise, threatening adults, children and grandchildren is wrong. But this is about more than some dunderhead.

Lawrence is a fast-changing community in desperate need of common ground. But to get it, both sides will have to bend. And that does not seem to be happening.

As a result of the threats, a uniformed police officer is slated to be posted at school board meetings.

Is this, along with other protective measures, what the community really wants? Is it the only way to navigate the district's challenges?

"People of good will need to find some way to build bridges, but it seems not to be happening," Fitzsimons said. "What message are we sending our children?"
This article gets it exactly right. The fact that the private school community is quite correctly rallying around calls for fiscal responsibility in response to a quickly dwindling public school enrollment does not in any way justify the response of death threats. The fact that the public school community has the unfounded and quite paranoid fear that, as the article puts it, "any movement to shrink is, in reality, a movement to abolish public schools" is simply not grounds for the heights of discord and disharmony that this community has reached. And I expected to see loud and strident condemnations of the threats on the part of the public school community, or at least their leadership. That might have been wishful thinking.

And not only did we not hear any sort of concerted effort to condemn the threats, I particularly don't like the way district superintendent Dr. Fitzimons attempts to brush off/play down the horrifying nature of the threats by saying that "it's not the focus of what is going on here". Well, as the article states, "Maybe it should be".

Maybe it should be.

When we've reached the point of threats to a board members family, I think we can all agree that the rancor is way over the top.

Enough with the madness. Closing schools is not equal to killing family members - or threatening to do so. Where is the community leadership? Why are they not trying to ratchet down the fury? Hello? Anyone?

281 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitzsimons is the problem; not the solution. I don't care if he was given a stupid new contract thanks to the lame duck board. Fire him and get someone who can heal this town

9:15 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

i have to second that. I cannot think of a more divisive personality to be leading this conflict. The response he gave to Newsday is nothing short of shocking. I'm still flabbergasted that he made such light of the incident with no effort to repudiate such actions. That, in and of itself, is grounds to extract him from this process. He is clearly exacerbating matters. And to everyone's detriment!!

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, but community leadership has been onesided. When the board president reports in the New York Times, he would like to see two strong school systems one wonders. The new refferendum that was put up by Mr. Kaufman is costing taxpayers money, we have children who are sitting three in a seat, walking without crossing guards, and walking down Rockaway Turnpike. (ALL our CHILDREN) Free usage of the buildings, is fine, but when ALL groups want to use our buildings, do not cry. If the local Bloods want the building, you will not be able to refuse them. Even if the KKK comes in, we would have to let them in. Perhaps things like homework centers, Saturday and Sunday, things to that nature, would be monies better spent. Equal treatment should be for our children not for the parents and special interest groups. The article is embarassing, and hurts the religous side when it basicall states you should just shrink. Closing another school should not be a death threat, but, let it be known when they "claim" our schools are under serviced, they count the Speech Room, Occupation Therapy Room, etc. Rooms we all use. Listening to the Football captain speak last night, I was saddened by a great group of kids whose first remark was to thank the board for the sports programs, and the opportunity to win the LI Championship, what a waste of money!!!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitzsimons is the problem; not the solution. I don't care if he was given a stupid new contract thanks to the lame duck board. Fire him and get someone who can heal this town

Fitzsimmons, is a scapegoat used by the board to put up someone else more geared towards other interests. Fitzsimmons does not want to put pre-k busing in, Fitzsimmons put together a great educational plan, that once again we did not discuss. How about if Fitzsimmons goes so does Mansdorf, Sussman, etc, they were on the board when 16.7 million disappeared.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He made light of it, because, it is absolutely humiliating. What did you want him to say, He played it down to show we still go on. I would not worry about the threats, they sent want to Stanley Kopilow and skipped one board memeber, who is religous, they cannot be that bright. Anyway, most who cause violence don't write, and they will not be showing an ID

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about if Fitzsimmons goes so does Mansdorf, Sussman, etc, they were on the board when 16.7 million disappeared.

Get rid of Sussman too. Elect him out....he's a public school parent by the way. The money disappeared before Mansdorf was elected. Sussamn was the one that picked Kellher that wasted all of our money.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need people on the board that care about our children, ALL our children, special education services, sat prep home work centers for ALL, these special agendas, are going to raise our taxes, and gives us nothing. Free use of buildings, is another disaster, Present us with real equality. Busing is not a child issue, it is a parent one. What about our kids?

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You realize this, or any post, on a blog provides people a forum to express their frustration and anger at whatever or whomever they please.

I'm not saying your posts on this subject have ever been unfair or improper. However, if you're goal is to achieve calm, or at least civility, posting about the situation in a blog format is the last thing you should be doing.

Unfortunately this is a situation where you can't have your cake and eat it too.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The football team deserves a lot of credit for the outstanding job they did in playing "TOGETHER AS A TEAM". We could ALL learn from their efforts. Coach Andre did a magnificent job to have OUR students achieve great recognition for OUR district. Winning the Rutgers Cup is the pinicle of their efforts and they are the BEST on Long Island. A waste of money, I think not.

So where is the "Great Educational Plan" Fitzsimmons put together? He's here five years and scores are still deplorable. Please share with us what this great plan.

If he truly cared about the well being of the district, he'd do the right thing and resign so a true educator can be hired to turn the district around. He's lost the respect of the community, teachers, BOE and administators.

His legacy to the distrcit is closing Number 1 School and falling test scores at all levels.
Paying Fitzsimmons is a waste of money!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed....Fitz is a waste.

I think it takes away the success of the Football team by sharing the article with the District issues.

Also, i think it is unfair that the Public school community is being depicted as irrational as a result of one person's stupidity.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So where is the "Great Educational Plan" Fitzsimmons put together

He has been trying to present this plan for months, It was handed out last night, it is very good, but as usual it was on the agenda, and it had to be taken off because of open meeting laws?

12:23 PM  
Blogger WoodmereGuy said...

OM, you are the community leadership! You influence more people in the community than any other individual actor.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does she influence? She does some reporting and flame blowing.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

talking about goals. look on www.lawrence.org, you will find those for the prior THREE years;were any of those acomplished?

The whole idea of spending all his time on those fancy goals is CRAP.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We in the 5Towns are living through a period of transition that began in the late 70's. Here we are 30 years later and the situation we are witnessing is comparable to a beast that has been mortally wounded and doesn't realize it as it is dying. So it drags itself through the forest, trampling upon everything in its way. It is dead but does not know it YET.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I expected to see loud and strident condemnations of the threats on the part of the public school community, or at least their leadership. That might have been wishful thinking.

This is unfair.

An unbalanced lowlife sends an anonymous death threat to Orthodox board members and you expect public school advocates to apologize or condemn the action? Should all the whites in NYC condemn the police because of the Bell incident? Should the homosexual community stand together and rail against some Catholic Priests to insure that people know that good homosexuals don't stand for that sort of thing?

I am a public school parent and I was horrified at the report of those threats. But I certainly didn't feel the need to publicly denounce them as if the person who sent them has anything at all to do with me.

BTW I wasn't reading your blog before the GG thing, can you point me to the blog where you condemn any and all members of the Orthodox community who have been sent to jail for fraud. Cause if you don't condemn it that means you approve it, right?

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The value of the land upon which the schools stand is priceless, and rising. If there is a need to consolidate, could the district lease the buildings, rather than sell them? That way, if the population shifts to a majority of public school families, we would not have to burden our children with trying to purchase land. It would also calm the nerves of those who think the private school community is trying to shut down the district.
Can someone address this idea objectively?

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sdfifui

Gates Wins Unanimous Senate Committee Approval as Defense Secretary

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a public school parent and I was horrified at the report of those threats. But I certainly didn't feel the need to publicly denounce them as if the person who sent them has anything at all to do with me.

BTW I wasn't reading your blog before the GG thing, can you point me to the blog where you condemn any and all members of the Orthodox community who have been sent to jail for fraud. Cause if you don't condemn it that means you approve it, right?


You must be kidding. Death threats are leveled against school board members and you don't think public school officials or those involved with the public schools are obliged to respond.

And if you spent any time reading this blog you will see she regularly points to failures by Orthodox Jewish leadership to take action against wrongdoers in the community, such as the recent rioting that has been going on in Israel. But you are right -- she hasn't called on Orthodox leaders to condemn all those Jews going to jail for "fraud" becuase, you know, as money hungry as we are, we just can't help ourselves. It's in our blood, right?

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the shorthand version of the dynamic between the Orthodox Jewish community and just about everybody else in Lawrence.



I cant wait in few years till its the orthodox jews and the chareidim going at it. what will you post then?????

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

om you are always the victim. truth is you are an instigator. your blog does nothing but incite racial tension and bad blood in our community.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

om you are always the victim. truth is you are an instigator. your blog does nothing but incite racial tension and bad blood in our community.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

om you are always the victim. truth is you are an instigator. your blog does nothing but incite racial tension and bad blood in our community.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stay focused folks. It's all about improving the education of our children. Dr. Fitzsimmons great plan was to be presented last night? Why was the meeting not scheduled as a public meeting? Doesn't the district clerk handle that? Doesn't Dr. Fitzsimmons review the agenda? Didn't any one of the 7 BOE members realize the error?

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be kidding. Death threats are leveled against school board members and you don't think public school officials or those involved with the public schools are obliged to respond.

Respond how?

It's like when a reporter pushes a microphone in the face of someone who's just suffered a tragedy and says, "How do you feel?"
"Oh, my whole family's just been wiped out and I feel terrific!"

So, my point is that the death threats outraged every decent person in the area and outside. To try and imply that because someone doesn't speak out against it means they condone it is ludicrous. After all, what is there to say? "It's horrible", "it's disgusting", "I'm not in favor of the Orthodox majority on the board but I wouold never stoop that low".

Is that what you need?
Is that your opinion of the people in the community who send their kids to public school?
Do you honestly think we were cheering like the scum in Paterson NJ on 9/11?

The letters were offensive, disgusting and out of line ON THE FACE OF IT. I wouldn't think you would need someone to step up and say it for you to know people think it.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An unbalanced lowlife sends an anonymous death threat to Orthodox board members

A. The death threats were as I understand them against non-orthos' too.

B. The issue is not who was the recipient of the death threat, but that fact that a death threat was received at all. It shoukd be taken as seriously as is needed, irrespective of who the target is.

C. I believe to give this death treat story too much life is to ligitimize its. As said many times, a freak made the threat. why are we giving the freak his 15 minuites of fame??

Move on people, there is so much more to accomplish/argue about.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its hilarious that people are suggesting that Dr Fitzimons didnt have a responsibility here to condemn and denounce the threats. I dont care if it was a lone madman, the superintendent had every resonsibilty to loudly denounce it. its nuts to say that because its only one guy we should ignore it. if lone madmen are ignored, somtimes people think their hateful rhetoric is ok.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

think its hilarious that people are suggesting that Dr Fitzimons didnt have a responsibility here to condemn and denounce the threats

Maybe he should spend all day, every day responding to death threats. I recall that early on he said that this is avery bad thing. Now 3 weeks later you expect the same time and attention to responding to a crazy.

Oh, are u the same one who complains he does not do his job (which it appears he does not).

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitzsimons is the single largest waste of taxpayer funds this district has ever seen.

His salary and benefits are exhorbitant considering the little he accomplishes, and his incompetence and failures only serve to inspire the failure and doubletalk of many other district employees below him.

What corporation in the world would keep on a CEO with his record of failures?

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not you see eye to eye with them, the members of this board are by and large, successful, intelligent and dedicated individuals. Yet, it's quite obvious that they've been just spinning their wheels since taking office in July, although this sort of innaction does not appear to be their nature. It's also no secret that the having Fitzsimons as the superintendent is the impediment to any and all change that they wish to accomplish.

Sadly, all the intelligence, compitence and dedication now on the board will go to waste. Sadly, they will be voted out having accomplished very little because they don't have the "balls" (pardon my expression) to deal with Fitzsimons as necessary.

Fitzsimons has only one agenda - to maintain the status quo at all costs. And he'll only need to coast for a couple more years. As soon as his pension kicks in, he'll hit the road for greener pastures.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First it was the stolen funds
then it was the busing
now it is fitzsims, What a shame, He was supposed to present the educational plan, which we received last night. Once again he wasn't able to. I think we should talk about the kids those boys who won the Li championship and the Rutgers Cup award. We are supposed to be for all children, let us just be proud for once of our town.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First it was the stolen funds
then it was the busing
now it is fitzsims, What a shame, He was supposed to present the educational plan, which we received last night. Once again he wasn't able to. I think we should talk about the kids those boys who won the Li championship and the Rutgers Cup award. We are supposed to be for all children, let us just be proud for once of our town. once of our town.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Replace Fitzsimmons now!!
Replace him with the smartest man in the world.
The man who knows everything.


RABBI REISMAN

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of educational plan are we talking about? Is it like the "District Goals" that he's been rehashing for the past 2 years and vacilating over for the past 6 months? What good could possibly come of some more doubletalk from Fitzsimons? With all the missions and goals and plans that he's blown out of his ______ over the past few years, can anyone point to any mission, goal or plan that he's actually achieved?

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder who will be to blame when an Orthodox person becomes the superintendent. Won't be able to blame him, won't be able to blame the school board. Let's blame the bus drivers. I'm pretty sure there are no Orthodox bus drivers. And the janitors. No Orthodox janitors. let's get 'em.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That may be the only hope of someone objectively scrutinizing the failures of this district.

Then again, that comment really doesn't warrant a response

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about an academic program. I just heard that Fitzsimons and Company want to do away with honors programs. They'll claim its for money or something. Now the Board should be watching this. Last year they let this administration completely lose control of the program at the Middle School. They did away with the whole early program and went from 8 to 9 periods. It gave more work to teachers but most of the kids were taking extra shop or art. The whole concert program in the winter was going to be ruined and the Board had to put more money and put back the early morning or zero period.At first, the Superintendent promised that the extra period would be used for language or another academic program. No such thing happened last year. This year it got fixed and back to early morning. In other words more taxpayer money wasted last year and children used as pawns before a program was well thought out. Well, Mansdorf and the rest of the Board should demand to know about any program changess in the forming period. That is what they are around for.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it's obvious that Fitzsimons has little motivation (or incentive) to really turn this district around. So what is his motivation?

And how many districts has he already been through with this charade?

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not you see eye to eye with them, the members of this board are by and large, successful, intelligent and dedicated individuals. Yet, it's quite obvious that they've been just spinning their wheels since taking office in July, although this sort of innaction does not appear to be their nature. It's also no secret that the having Fitzsimons as the superintendent is the impediment to any and all change that they wish to accomplish.

So if the board fires him and gets stuck paying out the balance of his brand new contract that Pam Greenbaum and the lame duck Board did for spite last spring, the community will not be angry that we'll wate $1 million to get rid of such a bad leader? The Board only renewed this guys contract to "stick it" to the new board out of spite.

How does Greenbaum justify giving a new contract to a superitendent that closed a school and rewards the community with even lower test scores?

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when an Orthodox person becomes the superintendent

That may be the only hope of someone objectively scrutinizing the failures of this district.

Yes, only a truly Orthodox educator will be fit for the task. Maybe we can ask David Kolatch to take a shot at it.

BTW does anyone know who you have to pay off to get on the HAFTR executive board?

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW does anyone know who you have to pay off to get on the HAFTR executive board?


What up w/this?? Why are we knocking HAFTR again?

You sanctimous s//B. If you want to hit below the belt, maybe we should hire Kolko.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What up w/this?? Why are we knocking HAFTR again?

The District 15 Superintendant, Board of Education, Principles, Teachers, Teachers' Union, test grades, building upkeep, and the like get examined under an intense microscope, and I suppose that's how it should be seeing as how the taxpayers foot the bill for everything. It's a public school and its business should be public. The thing is a huge portion of the public send their kids to HAFTR and HALB and no one seems to have anything to say about the way they handle their business. As a public school parent I would think that if HAFTR and HALB's books came under scrutiny perhaps a way could be found to lower the tuition giving a little relief to those who are finding things a little tight. If they found some relief at that end maybe it wouldn't be so imperative to try and slash the school taxes. Maybe we could get a few non-orthodox community members of high reputation to sit on the board of HAFTR to let the public have a say in what goes on behind closed doors. It really shouldn't matter that these people don't send their kids to the school. I'm sure they can be just as objective as private school parents sitting on a public school board.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last comment. Too bad person does not know the difference between public and private. Besides,the level of chaos and weak administration of the public school is incredible. Obviously, by lloking at the scores of our at risk population, neither the LTA,PTA or administration give a hoot. Dr. Mansdorf Board is the first Bd that has actually spoken about how poorly the at risk children are doing and how this has to change. Am I the only person that goes to some Board meetings and realizes that Atlantic Beach takes buses past Number Two School to go to Number Six. Fitzsimons complained about extra money on Orthodox busing when he tried to fix us good this fall but did not try to even talk about bringing Atlantic Beach to Number 2 School. Guess that is one Super who knows where his bread is buttered. But keep on trying to distract everybody from the public mess by bringing up HAFTR.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a dumb comment regarding sending AB to #2. #2 is all of Inwood and some of Lawrence. That school is filled with students with the strongest steadfast public school population.

Many people are moving out of the District but Inwood is not going anywhere. The majority can not afford to move. That comment is not meant to be hurtful or divisive. It is what it is.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point is that #2 had no room whereas #6 did.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Inwood and I can afford to live anywhere. I live in Inwood because that is where real people live.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's your point?

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was the Minority Report.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Economic data shared by Superintendent Karant says the free lunch and lower income level is more than 2x higher at 2 than 5. Best scores are at 5.We should keep make all our schools equal. Lack of equality is Lawrence's dirty little secret. Wonder why Newsday does not touch that issue. Why is Fitzsimons not worried about it. Someone said idling time of buses cost extra. Does it cost extra to take well off Atlantic Beach kids past Number 2 to Six everyday. Longer ride and inefficient. Did not hear Superintendent or PTA worry about that. Wonder how many school groupings on L.I. have same incredulous difference in populations as 2 and 5 with bussing going past 2 from Atlantic Beach. Maybe that is why AB threatened to secede to Long Beach. Maybe they are afraid of equality. Administration and PTA and Lawrence Faculty Association must be with them.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we realize that a large portion of #1 also consisted of Inwood??

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please. The spoiled parents of this community bickering over the "Orthodox" as the enemy considered "those kids" in Inwood the enemy a few years ago. Everyone voted to add more classrooms to #2 rather than get a minority kid in their child's school.

If we were able to close an entire school last year, there was absolutely no need to build a new wing to #2 a few years ago. More kids could have gone to the other buildings and no one would be moaning now about a closed school.

Take away all of the mindless talk and allegations, your own bigotry closed #1

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the Holiday season upon us let's wish everyone peace and happiness. Let us all enjoy our children and the meaning of the holidays for both Christians & Jews

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the point of the last Blog. By rerouting AB to #2 we can set up equality in the school system. We can stop the concentration of "at risk" children due to demographic and economic factors and institute a better learning environment for everyone. Does anyone remember Brown versus the Board of Education. If you have seperate populations things can never be equal. Why would we have all of our pre-K children together all of our first graders together and then have such an obvious segregation in the elementary school. There can be no logical reason to keep the AB children on the bus an extra ten minutes, waste all that gas and spend all the extra noney to send AB to 6 unless there is an ulteriot motive. If not,redivide the district along more equitable lines. Fitzsimons was sure willing to create a rumpus when he went after Orthodox busing to save a few bucks. Why not now. Maybe we need the Civil Liberties Union or whatever governmental body looks at discrimination to look at the busing of AB past Two.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In honor of the Holiday season let us dedicate our district to fairness and equality. Imagine a District where the senseless yelling and ill feelings are gone. Where everyone respects each other. Where all special interests respect the rights of the taxpayers just as the taxpayers understand the need for excellence in education. Where everyone is committed to public education that is fair and equal. Where the needs of equality and fair minded play lead to an equality in each public school. Where the goals of the district are adopted and include everything they should. Where the workings of the public system are easily understood. Where teachers are hired who are the best possible choice for every position and not based on any favoritism or "who they know." Where the private sector is given the respect and thanks it deserves for so generously supporting the public system. Wkere everyone honestly wants to contribute to making everyone elses burden just a little less heavy.Finally where everyone in the community can go to sleep knowing that all our children are achieving to the best of their abilities and none are held back by any action of any adult in this community. That is my hope for this holiday season.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where the private sector is given the respect and thanks it deserves for so generously supporting the public system.

It isn't generosity, it's the law. This person feels as though the Orthodox population deserves a medal for paying their taxes.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not the law to set up a public school with the private perks that the Lawrence system has. From among the highest paid teachers to the contract with the lowest guaranteed class sizes on Long Island. PreK which is not mandated along with a separate Kindergarten school(4) along with special programs in the High School which are not mandated. Though taxes are the law the elegance of the school system is not. There was no problem until those like the previous blogger thought that they had everything as a right and did not want to share. Just like the last teachers contract and the extension of Fitzsimons that were done to twart the will of the people. Obvious from the scores that the public does not even care about the education they get,only that they can spend money with no remorse or conscience or sense of being fair. If marks were inportant than the last Teachers Association contract and Superintendent contract should not have been given.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to blogger two posts back. If it is the law to spend 28,000 a child om the system and 25ooo if you take off 12 million for the yeshiva children then almost every district on Long Island is breaking the LAW.they all spend less.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to blogger two posts back. If it is the law to spend 28,000 a child om the system and 25ooo if you take off 12 million for the yeshiva children then almost every district on Long Island is breaking the LAW.they all spend less.

Is that really what the blogger two posts back said? If you're a product of a Yeshiva I would demand my money back, because they never taught you how to read.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taxation doesn't buy you a medal, but in this country, it does buy you REPRESENTATION. So tell your friends to stop trying to get a judge to overturn our democratically elected board.
Oh, and thanks for taking a positive, problem solving post, and finding the one little thing to bicker about.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peace on Earth

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

finding the one little thing to bicker about.

Yes, one little thing you all bicker about; you're taxes are too high. Well, so are mine. And as a matter of fact many of the people who contribute to the tax load in District 15 do not have representation. Unless a commercial landlord also lives in the district he gets no say whatsoever in how the money is spent.
But at least he's adding to the revenue of the District rather than taking house after house off the tax rolls to build more and more shteibels until each and every one of you has his own. Yeah, you guys get along so well together.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a public school parent. Each time a new schul opened in our area I was exstatic. It meant more tax dollars for my public school children with fewer children in the classes. The orthodox did not ruin our system. It was a system already in disrepair that became more exposed as the level of student decreased. There was one educational blunder after another, such as whole language reading programs.Or teachers who were not the very best. You public school parents think back. How many teachers per grade level would you have wanted for your child, versus those teachers that were "not up to par" I knew if my child was in a class with children of PTA leaders then I had the right class and teacher, if not it was close to a wasted year. I can count the exceptional Lawrence teachers on one hand. Once I was even asked to sit on a teacher hiring committee. What a crock, the teacher was "pre" selected and in my opinion WAS NOT THE BEST!Our assistant supt.s for education were equally awful. Over the last 15 years I don't believe any were exceptionally qualified and were only yes people to the supt.Speaking of which we have a real doosy this time. It seems that Fitzsimmons has no respect for the community, the children. Including our own public school children and he has no repect for our inteliggence or our ability to remember what he says and what he does.First he was closing the high school, making #6 a middle school. Then he closed #1, then he is closing the high school again and now I hear he wants to close #6. Last year he added 9 periods to the middle school and took away zero period almost ruining the music program. Tell me public school parents what did your children get out of the 9 period a day change? Mine got double art, and technology, great! Maybe some one who cared about education would have thought to add math or english to all the children in stead of fillers. And how are we paying for this 9 period addition. Teachers still only teach 5 periods a day so obviously we have to pay extra teachers to teach the extra period. For What? He took away the weekend review schools at the High school and homework centers. He also cancelled the late buses we had a t the high school a few years ago. He had money to put planter boxes under austerity outside the high school to beautify the building, but when it came to new computers I don't remember hearing a proposal. But his final kiss goodbye i hear is yet to come. He plans to bring the same fiasco to the high school next year as he did in the middle school last year and in doing so, so as not to create scheduling problems he intends to get rid of honors and AP classes.. So you Lawrence public school parents who can get out now, I suggest you do, because when fitzsimons gets through there won't be much left for our children and it has nothing to do with the resourses we are giving to the orthodox. Stop the bickering...if you intend to stay clean up your own house. Boot the carpetbagger fitzsimoms out before he completely destroys the little that is left of our system. Has he ever been rehired as supt.in any other school system but ours? I bet not.I am sure if you look at each and every board member that voted to extend his contract you might see "favors" that he did for them and their children. Demand excellence from our system. We are not getting it. Our test scores are a disgrace and they have gone done under fitzsimons administration. Stop fighting over insignificant things over and over. Fight for education and a system that can deliver it.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relax, everybody. AB would love to get the heck away from North Woodmere where the locals in their minivans flip us the bird as we try to get to our kids' school. We'd gladly go to Inwood, or Long Beach or any place where the neighbors don't try to make us feel bad for not being part of their club. If the Lawrence School District is to become a religious enclave, let MY people go!

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here here Johnny. Time for you to quit and make your money off of another school district you can destroy. You've done enough damage here. And take Karant with you. She couldn't even make principal so you promote her over that to an even higher position? What a moron.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear AB is willing to go to #2. Of course that is the right place for them so that all demographics are equal. Years ago Weinberg brought up something called the Princeton Plan where all grades would stay together. A plan like that would save money,increase educational opportunities and proclaim that we are a district that believes in equality. Seeing how little the PTA really cares about the at risk students I see little chance that something like this could happen. I am sure Dr. mansdorf will consider any plan that promotes equality and education. Does anyone want to bet how the public school brethren especially the PTA from Atlantic Beach is going to respond.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THat flower arrangement at the LHS was donated by the class of 2005.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am PTA from Atlantic Beach and I would be offended by your comments if I thought you had any clue at all about what I do or say or think. Instead of attacking people you don't know, why don't you figure out a way to suggest the princeton plan be revisited if you think it will help improve our students' performance. We need constructive and rational discussion of ideas, not idle character assassination.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article was about the football team, and once again we are way off base. We have blamed fitzsimmons, when it is not him who put up a refferendum to spend millions on pre-k busing, and to open the buildings for free.I am sure when we have electric bills though the roof, and the bloods or crypts from inwood want to use the buildings, we will all complain. We can all blame, blame, blame, and still we accomplish nada. There is an agenda, look back at the campaign promises, pre-k busing,free buildings,close a school. Now, correct me if I am wrong, your children go to these schools as well, those empty classrooms the board claims there arem, currently are a speech room, occupational therapy room, etc. Should we take those away? Then you will complain about that. This is all about control. The state mandates what we are allowed to give to the non public children in this district. I would think programs for your children, homework etc, S.A.T. prep, are equality, a building, busing, this is for you the parents. Give me some demands that are for your children. This community cried for fiscal responsibility, equality for children, which the government does not require, and yet this district does, Private school children get new books every year while public doesn't. NYS busing laws, state any bus after school hours sent to a private school, the same has to be offered at public. NOT, Districts only have to pick up children once from a school. We don't, Stop using every official as a scapegoat, the WHOLE board voted on fitzsimons, move forward, stop blaming greenbaum for the teachers contract. Stop blaming the teachers. I was raised when you blame one group of people for everything that goes wrong, it is a recipe for disaster. The cost of peace between both sides I fear is going to cost this community dearly.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person above who is "extatic" over shtiebels being opened on every street: Besides a course in spelling, it appears you also need to review social studies. LOL ... you think these "shuls" ADD to the tax pool ? The primary reason someone turns their house into a (ahem) House of Worship is to get TAX EXEMPT STATUS.

To all the AB bashers out there: All I can say is you've got major chutzpah. You flood our boardwalks without regard to the bicycle lanes, you complain about paying tolls and you're here calling us racists ? If we were racists your non-VAB status would prevent you from entering the boardwalk. Have you seen the signs ? "VILLAGE RESIDENTS ONLY". That means YOU. Alas, that law is not enforced because we love our neighbors.

My AB kids go to school with all races and religions and are just fine, thanks. Who are the racists here ? You care about the Lawrence "at risk" kids like I care about who is the mashgiach at Gourmet Glatt.

All these self-righteous, sanctimonius posts are at best, a riot. You can't even get along with each other, let alone with non-orthos. This is the only thread you don't fight in. Chickens, rabbi child molesters, clothing, shuls, frumness or lack thereof, materialism, tolerance of homosexuals ...ad nauseum.

You should be thanking us low-life public school people for giving you a topic you can agree on!

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:18 here again. I was errant in my post. Until recently I was a public and private school parent. I no longer have any kids in public school. However, I support the public schools whole-heartedly and don't whine about my private school tuition OR taxes.

By the way, since this $20,000 special vote came up, I've been wondering what kind of people would put their (barely) 4 year olds on a big bus. I always liked being at pick-up at nursery school to see my child's happy face at seeing me :)

See you all at Chanukah World ! Gotta love the Chabad ... they like everyone !

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in AB, am on the PTA and my children go all the way to #6.
Many of the parents of young children who live here would not mind at all if their children went to #2.
It is a beautiful school.
Stop rehashing that prejudicial crap from 10 years back. We are not those parents!
And from what I heard most of the cries came from Cedarhurst of not accepting the Inwood overage. So go blame them.

If any of you bothered to set foot into the #6 building you would notice a beautiful blend of races there.
Look at any of the class photos and I defy you to claim there is more of ANY race , creed or color.

I for one am pleased that my children are growing up in such a racially diverse district. I believe it to be a healthy and nurturing environment.
I do not teach my children to be prejudiced. If only the adults in this district could go back and learn this type of tolerance- maybe we would not be in this mess now!

So before you write your venomous nonsense- check your facts!

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 6:20 Pm I am glad that you do not teach prejudice. Now I hope you will agree with me that facts shed light om an argument. The demographic differences between 2 and 5 are enormous. They are also extremely large between 2 and 6. I believe that Ms. Karant wants these facts out as she keeps saying them and publishing them. Since you claim not to be prejudiced I am sure you would want Karant to fix the injustices and reconfigure the numbers, using something like all children to a grade go to the same school. Short of that AB can go to 2 and reapportioned bus routes can help to fix an obviously segregated district.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like some people in the public sector are getting riled up at the thought of AB going to 2. How odd. Like the previous posts facts would be nice. Greenbaum or Kopilou to be blamed for teachers contract? Passed with 4 votes.One of them votes no, no contract. Fitzsimon extension...4 votes. Without Green baum or Kopilou no extension.As far as equality goes, no one talks of how bad scores are. NO one wants to fix the demographic inequalities. Rather,spending the most on Long Island( even subtracting for Yeshivas) is not enough. More,give me more.Poor scores,why not ask teachers to give more time in their contract. No problem for Greenbaum and Kopilow, sign contract anyway and then ask for more teachers. Then what, then the PTA cheers. Same PTA that cheers when they go after Orthodox busing.Blame Fitzsimons? How many districts on state need improvement list for last 4 or 5 yrs? maybe problem is we are not paying teachers and Fitzsimons enough! Should taxes go higher?

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're dreaming, 7:17, no one in AB is resisting a redistricting; we'd welcome not having our kids so far away in a neighborhood where the locals turn their noses up at us for wearing pants. More to the point, this has not been presented to us as an option for us to like or dislike. Apparently you have some source of advanced information we PTA parents lack. Tell us more! The Board might be surprised what AB parents would elect for their kids if given their druthers.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many districts on state need improvement list for last 4 or 5 yrs? maybe problem is we are not paying teachers and Fitzsimons enough! Should taxes go higher?

ARE YOU TRULY THAT STUPID? You really think paying the same incompetant people MORE money will mean the kids will be taught better?

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look Pam Greenbaum and Stanley Kopilow voted for Fitzsimmons extension and we all know what they care about. So it is important that we focus on fixing the District and not getting involved in these traps. Why let the Bd and some insincere bloggers pretend they care about the at risk children. Do we need Karant to draw us a road map about the Bds plan to redistrict. The PTA should declare itself for the plan of redistricint that puts all children in the same grade together. That plan will probably free up a school,but we will never give up our kindergarten school. The PTA could suggest at the same time that at least 20 million dollars from the sale of #1 be used to fund the complete overhaul of the remaining schools.When the freed up school is sold at least 50% of the proceeds must go back to the school system and not the taxpayers.We should also demand universal preK so that all our children have the benefit of the program the school is offering.Finally why is it so terrible to think that we should expect more from the administration and Fitzsimmons and just like in big business when you have to do more people give you more money. If a measly few thousand could help solve our problems why not give it to him.Believe me he didn't take the tests that the kids scored low on.This is a long thought but the Council leaders should call for the redistricting,the use of the number one school money and universal preK at the same time.

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Fitzsimons is twiddling his fingers for the past few years, why in heaven's name would you give him one penny more to **beg** him to do his job? If the donkey won't move, you don't feed it a varrot to say please. You kick it, kill it or else get a new donkey.

This **ass** needs to be shown the door before the state has to come in and take control of our failing school. We're only 5 years away from becoming the next Roosevelt

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.oms.nysed.gov/stateaid/NO_AUDIT.HTM
The number of districts that failed to submit the Independent Audit Report for the year 2006-2007 : 60
Districts that have failed to submit the Independent Audit Report required by section 3601
of the Education Law:
(as of 12/09/2006 02:00:09 AM)

IS ANYONE AMAZED THAT LAWRENCE IS ON THIS HUMILIATING LIST WITH ROOSEVELT AND WYANDACH.

When will Fitz and his flunkies get on the ball and do their jobs to some degree of competance?

Hey School Board, isn't failure to submit timely independent audit reports grounds for termination for cause?

There's a way to not have to pay Fitz his lucrative contract that idiots Greenbaum and Kopilow gave for no reason last spring?

Why not suspend Fitz now and show the rest of the staff that you're serious about fixing this mess that the past school board has created?

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't anyone bring this up at the last Board meeting? The public needs to raise this issue. Its embarassing since we were already the focus of 2 scathing audits from the state.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might be like tenure. Short of hitting a child or commiting crime Bd is stuck.Kopilow is attorney.Almost everything was known with audits,marks,rumors,failed programs,but everyone got contracts.Whats a few lousy audits going to do.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not ask that the audits be put on line so that we all can see them.In a budget just south of 100 million dollars surely the Board of Education can have a secretary take care of this.You have to think that there is something in the audit that no one wants anyone to see.Otherwise they should be posted.

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone is all over the place,simply publish the audit reports on the web site and be done with it.Fact is all reports like that should be published in every district at every level of government.That might put the scoundrels in their places.Also like the number of public school children and their teachers.Heard the number again that there is one teacher for every nine kids but the teachers only work 5 out of nine periods, that is quite a deal.Seems like each teacher only covers 5/9 of a day. Heard it is the same in their nursery school and that some of the teachers there make 120 thousand for nursery school. I sure would like to see the audit.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to the district www.lawrence.org, and hit board of education it is on the left. What will everyone complain about when the truth really comes out. No teacher is making 125,000. There are not 1/9. The amount of teachers is inclusive of all the teachers we hired for the private schools.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can find the list of deliquent districts NOT filing their annual independent audit reports at www.oms.nysed.gov/stateaid/no_audit.htm. BTW that's the districts auditors, Coughlin etal.

Fitzsimmons is doing nothing and letting everyone cloud the issues in hopes that the BOE will buy him out. He's told some folks he'll leave willingly for the $700,000 to buy him out.

AB willing to have their kids go to number 2 school? Ask the #1 PTA and BOE member Licatesi the only school they would send their kids to- Number 6 or bust. (Didn't Licatesi's their kids to private schools?)

Why not have Fitzsimmons draw up a plan to redistrict kids from AB to #2 and see what reaction you get from the AB parents. Weren't they the ones trying to form a charter school in AB with the help of the deputy mayor? Weren't they the ones looking to have AB be part of the Long Beach School District? C'mon folks, stop the BS and get to the real problem. Lawrence has HAS leadership in it's Superintendant and Ass't Superintendants. In the private world of a $100 million business they'd be gone long ago for incompentence.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off the #2 school is at capacity, as is the #6. If you count the ot pt and speech rooms as empty classrooms, then we have 4 rooms. Stop the blame game. The problem is not just one person. When you have a board fight over id's for 45 minutes, and two referendums put up that will cost this district and the tax payers more, who do you blame? Try putting up a proposal to consolidate a school. There is no way under the Law section 462a that you will be able to close a school. This board will have to demonstrate the financial savings, but when you spend another million on busing, it looks as if you close one to support another. Vote yes!!! The public school parents want you to help us save our schools. Speak with M Clarke State Dept of education law office.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No teacher is making 125,000. There are not 1/9. The amount of teachers is inclusive of all the teachers we hired for the private schools.

Oh Please! Foil the district to get the list of salaries for all staff. You'll be shocked to see teachers making well above 125 thousand. With stipends, theres some reaching $140,000

And don't forget the administrators making more then they should (if we based salary on competance). Why do we need not 1 but 2 overpaid people running the Employment office? Fitz didn't want to lay off the adult ed director when they canceled the program years ago, so now we pay another $150,000 to keep her sitting around

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get your facts correct. They do not make 150,000 dollars. My question not to be disrespectful,is you pay$25,000 a year tuition. If we supply books,transportation, and your teachers make less where does your money go?

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get YOUR facts straight. Private school tuition runs about 10,000 for tuition - not 25,000 like it does in the LPS system. Its called spending money wisely.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes-check your facts. The personnel director, with benefits makes over $150,000. Simple enough to resolve this issue; have Fitzsimmons publish ALL the administrators and teachers salaries and benefits. Then there's no guess work, is there? They're public employees, so the information should be available to the public. List them all by position, building they work in, years of service, salary and total benefits. Make sure they include the pension contributions and ALL of Fitzsimmons perks.

Is M. Clark the SED counsel? How have the other districts on LI close schools?

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facts are facts. We can get the list of teachers and their salariesThen ass 12,000 for medical, 4000 for dental, 9 percent for pension,2000 for sick days,add in what the bd pays for FICA,Social Security and Medicare and NYS witholding and you get the salary for teachers that work 184 days, only teach 5 periods a day and also have 18 days between personal and sick days off. Facts, gentleman and ladies, no spin.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not forget extracurricular pay like Yearbook,going to graduation,all clubs. Now some teachers work extremely hard and the pay amounts to only a few dollars an hour. But how about 1500-2000 for 10 minutes of bus duty a day.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, teachers do not get paid for bus duty. This is exactly what happens in this district, people lie, and others swear to it. Teachers have a certain amount of hours they must give for no charge to the school. Bus duty is one of them. No one gets paid for bus duty. 2) The yearbook is done by the PTA. Teachers do not get paid for graduation, either. Is there anything else? Look we did not make the laws, the state and the federal government did. There won't be equality, because like every other private school in the country the constitution won't allow it. Also, most states do not provide half of what New York does for private schools. They did not have the board vs allen. You want to feel superior by passing busing and free building usage fine. When your taxes go up because it will cost another million, and the local gangs are in your neighborhood. We do not want to hear it. Also, if you think the teachers jobs are so amazing, apply to the school district, Many religous people work in our schools and we would be happy to have you. In the mean time, come up with a different scapegoat, the ones above Greenbaum,Fitzsimmons, etc are old. If you are not happy with the way the law is go to the supreme court and overturn Blaine. Until then, why not figure out why private schools are 25,000 a year, and textbooks,transportation and other incednetals are paid for by a school district,salaries are supposedly lower for teachers, where does your money go?

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can get the list of teachers and their salariesThen ass 12,000 for medical, 4000 for dental, 9 percent for pension,2000 for sick days

First off these figures are completely off. People who start rumors like this are either board, or on the school board.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the above, while I do not agree with your tone, I see your point. The private community is bent on pulling figures that make no sense, and blame to those who the community has picked out. The truth of the matter is all services required by law are being given, Free building usage prek busing if this makes you feel better go for it. Anon above is right, you will never be ablt to close a school. THese two referendum pass, as per 462a nys law, you must show a financial need to close a school. Hmm adding more money to an austerity budget. Then you will have nobody but Mr. Kaufman to blame.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How have the other districts on LI close schools?

In the past ten years, one district closed a school.

Lawrence

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the person who pays 10,000 for yeshivot, where do your children go? I have two at HAFTR, total tuition is $32,000

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:59. Get YOUR facts straight. Yearbooks may be a PTA job in the elementary schools, but teachers get paid stipends of $4 to $6k at the middle school and high school. Some teachers DO get paid for graduation, as its part of their STIPEND for class advisors, band, chorus, etc.

Don't try to pass the LTA line on us. We're not as stupid as the superintendent

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're not as stupid as the superintendent

This superintendent was given a new contract by the board this community voted in. Your not happy talk to your boys!. Also his salary is 25 in Nassau. So come up with something new. This blog was about the boys football team, and yet it is all about the non public again and again. Get over it already, no matter who your board is, who your superintedent is you will not get equal treatment. It is not about screwing anyone it is the law. Accept it already, your taxes will continue to go up, and you will still only get what you get. So opent the buildings up. I suggest if you live near some of these schools move. It is rest assured groups we kept out because of financial shortcomings will be back. The traffic, and tax increase because of prek busing, huge. But you have your fiscal responsibility. Now live with it.




http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/education/ny-lisupe1022,0,3384066.story?page=5&coll=ny-lischools-utility

Pages of all salaries of superintendents. First page is the highest paid, notice lawrence is not there.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had 3 years of pre-K bussing a while back. Does anyone remember horrendous traffic problems and gangs coming in?

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning the last few blogs.The problem is you are either just plain wrong or purposefelly telling mistruths. Nothing new,we have been told there is no money in this district for several years. Last year there was a 7 million dollar surplus. Now to your mistruths. Pensions,9 percent of salaries. Bus duty is paid for boys and girls. Thousands of dollars to teachers every year at each school for AM and PM bus duty. Look it up or FOIL it and then apologize to the the people on this blog who try to tell the truth no matter what side of the question they believe in. Next,lets get the Bd tp publish the teachers salaries. Nursery school teachers making 115 thousand before benefits. Benefits count as to what you earn. Say for instance a lawter makes 200,000 working 48 wks a year (not 39) and then pays 12000 for medical 4000 for dental and puts 20 thousand for his pension. He still had made 200 but takes home less. The nursery school teacher making 115 is making the equivalent of over 140 thousand for her 184 day year teaching 4 hours a day. Those are the facts. Like on TV ,the no spin zone. We can argue about value, debate use of resources but lets try to be honest.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superintendents extension was voted 4 to 2 on June 20 by old Bd. Parting gift for teachers contract and what else?

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, who is telling the truth here. I have an idea, let the PTA leadership stand up and ask for the teachers salaries and benefits to be published. Let the Nassau Herald carry the request. By this simple act the Public School contingent will show that they believe that their numbers are correct. Is there or is there not Am and PM bus duty at every school? Again a simple question demanded by the PTA will show that the previous blogger is just blowing smoke.I personally would like a straight answer to the next question: Are any teachers paid in any way to attend the High School graduation. If so, why and how many and in what way? If anyone reading this knows specific answers I would appreciate it. It is really a simple question.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the teacher that gets 6K to do the yearbook. Isn't this covered by the cost of the yearbook so in essence the teacher and the yearbook are not being subsidized by taxpayer funds? I hope the answer is yes. If the answer is no then I am not sure of the rationale as to why the tazpayers are subsidizing yearbooks. Especially to the person who wrote we will get what we get because it is the law I wonder what law says that public school children should get subsidized yearbooks.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

every year at each school for AM and PM bus duty

To the person who wrote the above statement. I would like to clue you in on the truth, which you are a little off on. Teachers must give a certain amount of time back to the school a year. Bus duty is included in this free time. Call the schools, or the superintendents office. As far as the high school yearbook, all public school on long island have the same services provided to their public schools. The key word being public schools. If you think it is so wrong please call your local representatives. Complain about teachers salaries which are posted on the web google search. Nassau county has the highest paid teachers. central islip 1/5 teachers make over six figures, manhasset has the most teachers being paid over 100,000. By the way Manhasset also has a very large parochial population. Funny I do not hear any complaints from them. Enough is enough, go to the state website, see what you are entitled to see what we are entitled to, electives, yearbooks, art, these are all afforded to us by law. Fitzsimmons contract was extended when the new board came in. Below please find salaries of teachers. No kindergarten teacher makes 125, nice rumor, who started it Mrs. Sussman? If anyone has questions about public school children getting more than they should call the state department of education legal department. Speak with Mrs. Clarke.

http://www.myshortpencil.com/schooltalk/messages/2/5249.html?1151293629

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who said that 2 is at capacity. Hard to believe that with decreasing population and the extension built 5 years ago that this is true. At the time of the extension I believe that Argento and Janet Rose made sure that they could easily add a second floor to the extension through architecture. It may be possible to move AB to 6 and acieve real equality in the school system after all.Years ago this never could have happened, but with the new Bd and the willingness of the PTA in AB to be responsive to change we can see a real renewal of educational excellence and leadership in this district. I for one woulod pay higher taxes to see that happen even though the closing of a school would save money.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the teacher that gets 6K to do the yearbook. Isn't this covered by the cost of the yearbook so in essence the teacher and the yearbook are not being subsidized by taxpayer funds? I hope the answer is yes

The answer is NO. That $$ comes out of the extracurricular fund that is paid for by the taxpayers!!!! Your taxes underwrite the yearbooks for middle school and high school students.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume you are correct but may I ask the question a little further. Don't the children sell ads? If they do doesn't that money get used to pay the teacher or teachers involved?

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atlantic Beach attends #6, The architects came and looked at number 2, and found the school could not be expanded. The population has not decreased as much as everyone thinks. The schools have religous children coming in, and they are keeping our enrollment up. Closing a school will save money? Anyone see the savings from 1 yet? If the pre-k busing passes they will not be ablt to close a school, as one cannot claim the need for savings while spending so much on non educational needs.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which architect said that 2 can not be expanded.The savings from 1 will come and most assuredly the economic mismatch in 2 will change with the apportionment of the District even if it takes a government audit. The numbers presented by Ms. Karant almost speak of segregation in a District this small. Are the non educational areas you are talking including the above question on yearbooks,am and pm bus duty and previous questions on art directors and the like? Or are you simply hoping that preK busing will keep the Board from pursuing equality in this District? The threat of ATlantic Beach leaving the District sounds little different than similar statements made in the 50's and sixties when this country committed itself to desegregation.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume you are correct but may I ask the question a little further. Don't the children sell ads? If they do doesn't that money get used to pay the teacher or teachers involved?

Ah my ignorant friend. The ads pay for the cost to print the yearbooks. Your tax dollars pay for the advisor, the computers and the costs to maintain the yearbook office. None of those costs are factored in.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which architect said that 2 can not be expanded

The one that came in last year when the district wanted to try the princeton plan. where did segregation come in? #6 is 49% white the rest minority. So I am not sure where your comments are coming from. I have no problem with equality for our children. Prek busing is a parent issue, and usage of buildings a parent issue. Please explain what type of equality it is your speaking about. AM PM busing should be offered to both non public and public, should we start a protest?
I would like to know exactly what equality you would like under the law, not being rude, Every district on LOng Island have people going to private school, districts where taxes are higher and not one complaint.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you get pre-K bussing if the pre-K is a block away from home? Or is there some distance requirement?

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there will be no distance required if pre-k busing passed, You can live next to the school and get busing. Now that is fiscal responsibility.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a gross inequality in the distribution both demographicaly and economically between 5 and 2 and to some extrent 6. Ask Ms. Karant that has expressed this in several public meetings. The PTA and community should be outraged.This disparity should be brought forward to Newsday,CNN and the appropriate sections of the government. It seems as if the PTA,administration and even the Board have tried to keep this injustice from the public. Ms. Karant almost by herself has mentioned these inequalities. They must be addressed and if the PTAs and parents refuse to give us this unjust state than other methods should be used. There is two to three times the economic difference in things like free lunch between 2 and 5.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those people who are speaking against the bussing referendum must know that only Atlantic Beach will be spared if it fails to pass. Why am I not surprised.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About yearbook.I am not sure that ignorant is the word for me, but are you saying that everybody pays for the teachers and the equipment and the ads the children get are only used to reduce the cost of the Book to themselves. In other words, if they had enough ads and I am sure they never do, they would reduce the cost of the book to zero and never reimburse the taxpayers for paying for the teachers to the tune of 6K and 4K according to you?

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I need to add to my last post. I thought the PTAs pay the costs of the yearbooks and even help with them. This is from ignorant but trying to understand.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets be clear: AB has no representation on this or the prior school board, and the PTA has nothing to do with school board policies. Dr. Sussman and Dr. Mansdorf make absolutely sure of it. If they are in favor of integration, it will happen. So far there are no such proposals on the table so stop accusing the non-players of blocking anything.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To my knowledge prior Board was run by Frank Parise and vp was Kathy Raquet from AB. No representation,hardly.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A yearbook advisor is worth their weight in gold. The stipend they are paid does not really amount to much when you figure all the time and effort they out into the project. Not to mention the time away from their family.

This blog has "we vs them" posts. The best solution, as mentioned earlier, is for the PTA to request a listing of ALL salaries, Administrators and teachers and publish the list. The PTA, Greenbaum & Kapilow have supported the teachers & Fitzsimmons so why wouldn't they want to publish this information to ensure the facts are out in the open? What's to hide. It may be nice to publish the NEW teachers contract that they just voted in-that would also eliminate any questions about what is extra comp and what is not.

Unitl then let's stop guessing as to who gets what. Liar's figure, figures don't lie.

IF the PTA truly wants to settle all these questions once and for all they'll demand the information be published immediately.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About yearbook.I am not sure that ignorant is the word for me, but are you saying that everybody pays for the teachers and the equipment and the ads the children get are only used to reduce the cost of the Book to themselves. In other words, if they had enough ads and I am sure they never do, they would reduce the cost of the book to zero and never reimburse the taxpayers for paying for the teachers to the tune of 6K and 4K according to you?

Correct. Just like sports. Your tax dollars pay for those programs too. Even if the Moms and Dads club raised a rediculous amount of money, we're still paying for sports from tax dollars.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is PTA in the position to demand anything of this Board?

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they are in favor of integration, it will happen. So far there are no such proposals on the table so stop accusing the non-players of blocking anything.

Isn't integration an inherent part of the hypothetical consolidation plans that the PTA and union are fighting.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The PTA's have demanded and RECEIVED many things from BOE's!
Many of their members are in the schools more thn staff.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No plans have been announced so there is nothing to "fight". When plans are announced is the Board going to ask PTA's permission? Advice?

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As was discussed at a recent meeting, the PTA and faculty have already been presented with the idea of further consolidation, along with numerous requests for their input.

Of course, rather than giving the input that they've been asked for (i.e., the relative virtues of consolidating different buildings), they've all emphatically responded that no buildings should be consolidated.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is just not true. Now you are just fabricating lies for the fun of it. The Board has not asked PTA's input on building consolidation and PTA has not had the opportunity to give any official input. In fact, back in August Dr. Mansdorf promised Central Council that the Ad Hoc Committee would be convened but it never was. But all this begs the question: if PTA had the chance to actually get some facts and weigh in with a position, would the Board listen let alone consider it?

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the PTA won't give input because they don't expect to be taken seriously?

The principals and administration have been playing the same games.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think that an organization not endorsing a consolidation plan without seeing it first is playing games. Don't you have patients to see?

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they don't recommend a plan or provide any insight, then there's a good chance that their perspective won't be taken into account in forming the plan.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give them a chance. Oh that's right, they're supposed to just agree with you that closing a school is the thing to do. Yawn.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Closing a school isn't really supposed to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. But someone is still going to have to take a step and make an objective determination as to whether the district is pissing away money on keeping buildings open to preserve "Lawrence Pride and Spirit"

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Closing a school isn't really supposed to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. But someone is still going to have to take a stepback and make an objective determination as to whether the district is pissing away money on keeping buildings open just to preserve "Lawrence Pride and Spirit"

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So will the PTA ask for the salary numbers. Maybe you just need to ask the BOE at the next meeting if they'll provide the info to the public. Then it's on there shoulders to provide it, right?

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Closing a school is necessary when the impact on the community will save taxpayers money. Unfortunately with the recent pre-k busing and free building usage this board has dug a hole for themselves. The district must show the commisioner how the district will save money. They also must show the room that each other school has to handle the volume. At this time, there is no room to absorb these extra children. The board counts the occupational therapy room and speech room as empty rooms. If a school closes these rooms will be used, and ALL are children will be in the hallway getting there services. I would love to see this board discuss real issues, like Pupil Personnel cutting childrens services, any student receiving erss occupational services will only be allowed to receive it once a week. I find this to be more of an issue than people who pick at everything. Stop picking at stupid things and start to worry about your children. No matter how much people complain, there is only so much the district is allowed to give. Letting the public schools go down the tubes will hurt everyone. Children from both communities send there children to these schools. Think about it, issues for our kids or issues for parents to lazy to drive their kids to pre-k

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:11, maybe you would benefit from attending a board meeting or two, rather than sit back and speculate from your couch.

1. There are underused spaces in all the buildings.

2. The district saved $900k+ a year by closing #1, plus they saved $10 million in upgrades the building still needed to have

3. Closing another building could mean another $1 million that could be used to pay for more specialists and better curriculum

So if you have $1 million, would you prefer to spend it on an underused building, or use that same money for more teachers and resources that help kids do better?

Stop worrying about bricks. Start worrying about teaching

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately with the recent pre-k busing and free building usage this board has dug a hole for themselves. The district must show the commisioner how the district will save money. They also must show the room that each other school has to handle the volume.

Whether or not you feel that anyone should get pre-k busing really has nothing to do with consolidation. The voters will decide whether or not the busing policy should change, and the board will make an educated decision whether or not buildings are underutilized and should be consolidated. Contrary to your comment, there is no law requiring the board to convince the commissioner of education of anything at any step in the process. And all your talk about the commissioner and the federalies and the supreme court and the NAACP and the ACLU coming down to Lawrence to shake things up isn't going to make those fantasies come true. Aside from being a bit stale, your hollow and nonsensical threats won't manipulate the board any faster than those "clever" death threats. So sit back for the ride and enjoy the democratic process.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there, in a nutshell, is the problem here in Lawrence: an "F.U." attitude by "Trustees" and their backers who are set on paring down the public schools to nothing, and who proudly proclaim that they will do it, just try to stop them. Nice.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

board to convince the commissioner of education

New York State Law

462

Since you are so well informed call Mrs. Clarke at the state legal department she can clue you in. I personally did not mention the NAACP, or any other group. The laws of new york state are clear. This referendum should not have been put up. For those of us who have spoken to the legal department equal busing should be for k-12 grade. The school board is interested in one thing getting rid of the public schools. If anyone does not like any of the above write to your senator. Private schools will never get more. Perhaps some parents would like to appeal Board of Ed vs Allen, ACLU has asked a group already. Since most states do not have the same liberal policies in supporting there private schools, perhaps this is something we should look into...

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If THAT'S the problem here in Lawrence, then how do you explain the fact that district has been failing so miserably at everything for years before this board even took over?

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So there's a NYS Law #462 that says the Board needs to convince the Commissioner of the need to consolidate buildings?

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can call Mrs. Clark she works for the NYS department of education legal department. She will fill you in on the laws. Perhaps she can share with you pre-k busing does not have to be put up for a referendum, and how this board is throwing our money away.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consolidating underutilized buildings to save millions of dollars each year does not constitute "paring down the public schools to nothing." Those families who are moving out and taking their children out of the schools are paring the district down to nothing. How sad it is that the district wastes millions of dollars each year on maintaining excess buildings, which are populated by children whose education could be impacted tremendously if those millions were better spent.

It's unfortunate that it takes a board turnover like this in order for there to be objective assessment of the district's building needs, but this is also the first board in recent history to make an objective assessment of the academic failures of the district.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can call Mrs. Clark she works for the NYS department of education legal department. She will fill you in on the laws. Perhaps she can share with you pre-k busing does not have to be put up for a referendum, and how this board is throwing our money away.

I guess we're backing off the assertion that the board must consult with the Commissioner to consolidate buildings. Correct?

Perhaps Mrs. Clark might wish to moonlight as the district's counsel every other Tuesday night. Perhaps the board should rely on the district's counsel until Mrs. Clark is retained by the district.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

clever" death threats

First off, do not lump everyone into one group. Those death threats could have been written by anyone, personally, since a non orthodox board member got one as well, guess the screw the jews comment cant be used. Democracy is when the law states you are entitled to one thing and you think you are entitled to another. You want busing, whatever, the million dollars from the number 1 school will now be thrown into prek busing, oh and don't forget the free building usage, which no other district in New York state allows. But hey, democracy, I was raised to be tolerant, but there comes a point we have to draw the line. You think it is logical to come up with millions for busing while not complying with No Child Left Behind guidlines? I personally know five or six children in this district who are being screwed by this district, and the special education department, and low and behold some are religous. This board needs to put our CHILDRENS best interests first. Not special interest groups who want to prove they can strong arm the public schools. Talk with me about programs you want for your children, and don't sell me crap about how closing a school will save millions, when where are you going to put them. Before you answer that, stop listening to the rumors, and go visit the schools. The aba inclusion class at #6 one of the only one of its kind on long island, 4 autistic children, with typical kids is severely overcrowded, but yet we do not have time to discuss this. So this year when the third grade fails miserably on the ELA's we know who is to blame. I am tired of this petty crap. For all you who know everything, call the schools and visit, those so called empty classrooms are being used for speech ot pt, perhaps the bathroom would be more appropriate for them since the district is cutting them little by little. Open your eyes people the board is playing us all. Pre-k busing, school closing, how about looking at what is broken, Speak with the prinicpals of each school, go visit, then write your opinion, when you have first hand knowledge. Stop letting the men make decisions for things they have no idea about. We raise our children, let us all start thinking about them.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad people write things they have no first hand knowledge about. The people who have pulled there children, have stayed in the area, the schools are not undercrowded. This board had a chance to win over the non public community. They are still over the cap, and special ed services are being cut on a daily basis, you will never get more than the law allows, your taxes will not go down, and when this community runs the district totally in the ground, it is you who will suffer, the trend in this country is to better public schools. Some of your children need to be in them. Continue this path and all they will have is a decaying school district that has there schools used for free, and prek busing,

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps Mrs. Clark might wish to moonlight as the district

How sad, nothing better to say. What thought we would all wither and move. Funny most of us were raised to have tolerance, I guess they do not teach that in the yeshivots.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. Closing another building could mean another $1 million that could be used to pay for more specialists and better curriculum


Okay, if that was true, what will pay for the busing that will cost and estimated million dollars. There will be no room for more specialists, and have you not heard cse is cutting all services.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one would be most happy to present the Comish with a plan that would probably close one building,totally use the money necessary to bring all other buildings cutting edge and redistrict the entire elementary population into a Princeton plan. Same time I would extend the preK program to entire community. Comissioner would see the gross inequity brought up by Ms. Karant at two or three Board meetings when she went out of her way to demonstrate the economic and demographic mismatch that is 2 compared to 5. Doubt this will ever happen though. AB has already threatened to leave and Board,PTA and LTA together do not have political to really take care of the at risk student.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

extend the preK program

The pre-k program is currently open to the community all you have to do is apply, last year another grant was awarded to our district. If a school has to close that is fine, but, there is not enough room in the other schools just yet. I know what the buzz is, but go into the schools and you will see there is no room just yet. Atlantic beach residents have every right to be mad, they pay more taxes than anyone in this area. There total taxes are over 16,000 not living on the water. If Long Beach does accept them, our district will be in trouble.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like a bit of an intruder here. I've been to one meeting, and although I'm not at all familiar with all of the facts and statistics thrown around in this blog, I am trying to bring myself up to speed and better understand what all this conflict is about.

However, I can't understand the following:
I watched Greenbaum and Kopilow at the meeting and I have the utmost respect for their staunch advocacy for their positions despite being outnumbered and bullied by the majority. But I can't understand their automatic reflexive hostility to every single statement and position taken by any of the "majority" or "orthodox" trustees. When I hear trustees questioning the bidding process probably for the first time in the district's history and when I hear trustees lending their professional expertise and expending additional time and personal resources to drill down to the bottom of an issue, I feel like the trustee is earning his/her keep. It's a joy to see talent, professionalism and expertise on an elected board. Why do the aforementioned two trustees automatically and reflexively dismiss everything these trustees say as though they are satanic messengers, even when there is obvious virtue to some of their positions?

Whether or not this is the best board for the district, it has an unprecedented amount of talend and business expertise. Why not harness and embrace that expertise for what it is? I can understand why issues like pre-k busing and facilities usage are hot button issues, but what justification is there for arguing about the virtue of more open and transparent bidding for district work and greater understanding of district expenditures for outside contractor work? Isn't it disingenuous to dismiss these issues simply because their are raised by an "opponent" when addressing these issues could bring so much value to the district?

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mrs Clarke I spoke with is with the SED state aid department. Unless there's another M Clarke in SED Counsels office M. Clarke in state aid is NOT an attorney.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

doesn't sound too qualified for the job

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out www.emsc.nysed.gov/mgtserv/educmgmt/adminsalary/sal0405.htm

It shows the administration salaries by category for 2004-05 school year, 2 years ago! Fitzsimmons was $190,550, Benefits $47,731, other $10,000 (car allowance).

Excluding the 2 assistant superintendents, the AVERAGE administrator in Lawrence was paid $126,825 in 2004-05. That DOES NOT include medical, dental, life insurance, car allowances etc.

Who was it that said the Personnel Director didn't make $150,000 inclusive of benefits? Remember, those are the figures BEORE the NEW contract. What is it now? Be interesting to figure out what it costs us per student in administration costs for each building, HS, MS, #2,4,5&6.

Now all we need is the teachers salaries. Perhaps our $150,000 per year Personnel Director could find the time to get us that information for the next BOE meeting.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay so he makes 190,000 guess what he is making far less than most on long island. I think he is 24th. So here is the question, did you look at the list of all administrators on Long Island? Our district is no where near the top.Do you think your taxes will go down if we cut there salaries? Come on now, try to accept the following,

1. Taxes will continue to rise no matter what budget we have. Even if you never give a raise to another teacher, they still will go up.

2. All private schools will never get more than busing,books,special education. It is the constitution, and you should be speaking with Washington if you don't like it.

3.Most states non public schools get nothing from the school district. New York is one of the few.

Stop picking, and picking. Public schools will always get the money. No matter how many budgets you fail, or how many teachers you fire, or how many board members you elect. When the two new proposals pass, do not be suprised when your taxes increase even more. Try to figure out who is going to pay for the lights,heat etc. No district on long island offers free usage of buildings, it is insane. The NYC schools do not give free usage, I don't see nyc yeshivot going crazy.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be interesting to figure out what it costs us per student in administration costs for each building, HS, MS, #2,4,5&6.

Just ask the new board, they voted on those contracts when they first came in. Is this how you justify the board throwing away millions? These adminstrators make a fraction of other schools on Long Island. Try not to pick on something, because you are throwing millions of tax payer money away on certain groups agendas. Give it a rest.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the OLD BOE voted for the Teach4ers, Fitzsimmons, & ALA extensions, PRIOR tothe new BOE being sworn in.

Yes, I did look at the other district administrators pay. At # 24, Fitzsimmons is in the middle of Nassau County in pay. HIS district is in the bottom 10% in student performance. That's ok with you, anon 12:25. Please expalin your rational for the defense of Fitzsimmons. Please share with us what you feel he has done so well in the district.

When he, his administrators and teachers improve the students performance where their back in the top 10%, where they used to be, I'll be the first person to support their salaries being moved to that level. In the private world your out on our a_ _ for non-performance. In Lawrenec we reward our staff for poorer performance of our students.

His salary hasn't gone down, but the student scores have since he's been in Lawrence. Anon 12:25 your message is clear, let's continue to reward incompetence.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How on earth do you expect the teachers and fitz to do anything when they are overcrowding the classrooms, and cutting programs, while increasing free building usage. Children at the # 4 school just now started to get their erss occupational therapy and speech. Why? Because they did not have the staff. In order to obtain better scores the NYS department of education web stite, states smaller classes and better intervention. Well how do you propose to do that? Why not take a trip to one of our elementry schools. See how many teachers we really have, and then you can see what we are complaining about. Most people complain but have never actually been in a school. WHen you do that then you can complaing a fitzs salary, until then comments will be like the rest of the flock

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitzsimmons has been here 5 years and the scores have continued to go down. You blame the new BOE for ALL the current problems. What about the prior BOE and the 4 years they were in control. What's the excuse for the students performance those years? You can't use the current excuses because you had no problem with the prior BOE. Can't have your cake and eat it too!

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How on earth do you expect the teachers and fitz to do anything when they are overcrowding the classrooms, and cutting programs, while increasing free building usage

Oh Please. Kelleher and the old Board wasted the $16 million in reserve funds by adding 100 extra teachers and having rediculously smll class sizes and all of the extra specialists possible. Test scores STILL continued to go down.

Stop with the "you're overcrowding schools" garbage. Nobody is buying it. Your old Board wasted our money and got no results for the past 10 years. Now give someone else a chance to fix your mess....could you stop picking fights for even 30 days? Otherwise we're all going to lose.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're overcrowding schools"

Why is it so hard to believe that the classrooms are overcrowded. The district is currently in arbirtration due to classes over cap size. Is that a lie. Channel 12 news did a special on it. I guess this new board spending millions on busing, and building usage will fix that. Is it also a lie that children in the public schools who were supposed to receive erss services in September just started to receive them? Well it is true, the new board has cut spending. Children who were receivig these services had them cut to free up time. If you need proof, just go into Pupil Personnel. All of the above is available under the freedom of information act. If you really want the truth write and you will find out. Until then, do not tell me what goes on in the public schools, request the information, then give your opinion and not the opinion you are told to have.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a crock of @#%!

The board doesn't even control spending. It hardly makes any decisions related to what you're complaining about.

It's that doofus at the helm of our district, who's laughing all the way to the bank and waiting for his contract to be bought out.

He may have arrived here with ambitions, but he gave up on doing any good in the district a short time later.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh really, the board during mediation with the teachers due to violations of the class size advised the teachers they would hire another teacher but would fire a reading specialist. The board has to approve any hiring or adding to any program. All this is also available under the freedom of information act, I suggest you request it, this way when you pick on somone it is the appropriate person. Really first it was fiscal responsibility, state audit found no stealing, I guess not it's fitzs turn,

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you need proof, just go into Pupil Personnel. All of the above is available under the freedom of information act. If you really want the truth write and you will find out. Until then, do not tell me what goes on in the public schools, request the information, then give your opinion and not the opinion you are told to have.

Anon 6:21, you're full of crap. If you had any fathom of what the truth was, it would smack you in the face and you still wouldn't know it's there. Don't recite the FOIL crap either. If you had foiled the information yourself, you would post it.

Glad to see stupidity runs wild in this town. No wonder the public school kids are so bad off.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:21, you're full of crap
Glad to see stupidity runs wild in this town. No wonder the public school kids are so bad off.

What an articulate and well thought out statement. Is this what the yeshivot teach your children? Interesting, I have the information and not from pupil personnel. Call each elementry school and speak with each specialist, you will see the truth. How do I know this. My daughter is one of those children. So before you stick your foot in that very large mouth of yours know what your speaking about. As far as stupidity? I find anyone who votes on issues they have the slightest idea about because somone told them too is very sad. I would be more concerned about your own children who have no idea the world is not the five towns. No matter what you will never get more than legally allowed, don't pass a budget, it still doesn't change the fact taxes go to the public schools, and all you get is your transportation, books, and soon very little special ed services, and next year when other districts will test your kids and you have to drive for your services, nothing that your community leaders publish in the paper will be able to save you. There will always be seperation of church and state, and with the newest politicians pushing for more funding to better public education, you will get less and less, perhaps even the overturning of allen vs the board.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had foiled the information yourself, you would post it.

What does this mean? Foiled the information? Talk about stupid.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom posted teachers salaries last year. teh inof has been foiled, and there totally were many teachers earning 6 figures.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone link to the teachers' salaries lists that were posted last year?

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just looked over a copy of the salaries list from last year (which I printed out then).

It shows 366 teachers (including a few part-time). Of those 366 teachers, 112 receive over $100k in base salaries alone. The list also shows "extra compensation" which, when added to the base salaries brings 5-10 more teachers over the $100k mark. In the extra compensation column, some teachers show as much as $28k on top of their base salaries. The list still doesn't even account for benefits, which are said to be valued at $20k+

NYT put Lawrence at the top of the list, citing that 25% of teachers make $100k or more. In reality, that percentage is much closer to 33% - and that's only by last year's numbers which were before the new contract increases

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off Scarsdale and Manhasset have the highest paid teachers in the state but figure it this way
a teacher responsible for a class of 25 students were paid $5 an hour (standard babysitting wage) for each student each hour that student is in school, 6 hours per day, for 180 days a year, that teacher would earn $135,000. Can you find somewhere else to try to justify the referendum that will hurt all our children.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a odd attempt at justifying these salaries. Maybe they deserve to get $5 for each hour spent in class with each finger and toe of each student.

I'll never forget the speech that stanley kopilow made on that Tuesday evening towards the end of June about how poorly the teachers fared with the new contract, and how their salaries are no longer even close to the highest in the area.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what kind of referendum is hurting the children? did I miss something?

And how does that justify paying 1/3 of the district's teachers over $100k plus extra compensation and benefits, in exchange for subpar teaching.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off since your children do not attend this districts schools you cannot judge their teaching abilities. We do not pay our teachers that much, below please find a link, to the truth and not the propaganda machines. Perhaps the district should follow the state smaller classes and support staff expansion.


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/nyregion/15liteach.html?ei=5088&en=b7dc5f3ec2343ad9&ex=1273809600&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although you're in denial as to how high the salaries actually are, at least you seem to agree that the salaries described by Anon 9:28 are too high.

The NYT site above links to the article text (which does not say anything about Lawrence) but does not include the table, which listed Lawrence as #2 in salaries on Long Island. But as noted above, the information that the NYT article was based on was not even current in May '05 at the time the article was published, and is even farther from current now - which is two years, and one contract increase later.

So, what's your point? More smoke and mirrors?

You can argue about how hard they're working or how well they're teaching (though the evidence on that is quite damning), but you really can't dispute the salary numbers - it's public information, it was posted on this blog for the whole to world to see, and I'm looking at printout right now of those salaries from last year

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's a link to the post about salaries, but the download doesn't seem to be working anymore:

http://orthomom.blogspot.com/2006/04/district-15-salaries_26.html

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is enemy of my enemy a friend? Only answer for the adoption of Fitzsimons by the public sector. Years of low scores, teachers contracts with not one education goody(like more time) for the public school children,and plans that have never worked. You would think that public school parents would care.Their apathy proves why Boards under their control, and they were ALL under their control until July did nothing but spend money,complain about budgets and watch achievement plummet.Oh yes, and keep their segregated school system. Does anyone wonder why the scores at 5 are the best? Look at demographics. Tell you what, let us make sure that there are people aat every meeting so when CNN comes down the question of equality can be brought up. Imagine the nerve it took to complain about Uri spending his own time to try to save the District money while no one in the PTA wants to complain about the inequality in their own system.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To person who wanted to figure teachers salary at 5/hr like babysitter. Sorry, forgetting how absurd argument is, my babysitter does not get paid per child/Woman with 5 children would have to be rich to go to a function ,leave house at 5 and get back at 1. Tell me,does anyone out there pay their babysitter per child? More interesting, who thinks nursery school teachershould cost 140 thousand a year.Is anyone reality based out there. Or is everyone paying with other peoples money.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, let us get a grip, there are no teachers making 150,000 in pre-k, request a copy from the district. Teachers who do make over 100,000 a year have been working for 20-30 years. Can you please try to find something new to pick on? You all look like a bunch of children who want what they want and will do anything it takes to get it. The one thing you willn ot do is get rid of the public schools. No matter what you pick on, who you blame, we are not going away, and at the end of the day, you will still get whatever you get now. If you think the teachers are ruining this district file a lawsuit, if you think fitzsimmons is ruining things, file a lawsuit. Until then get used to the fact you live on Long Island and taxes will always go up. Electives will continue, under ciricculum laws, art,music,gym, same, face it, majority or not, you are the minority in the state. Oh Well....

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:25 Where is your reply to your undying support for fitzsimmons for ALL the years of lower test scores during the prior BOE term? Could it be there is no answer? Falling test scores rising salaries That's why the district is in trouble. The test score have fallen since Fitzsimmons has been the Captain of the ship. Remember the Superintent proposes the BOE disposes. BOE's, Old or New DON'T run the day to ay operation of the district, Fitzsimmons is paid to do that.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, and keep their segregated school system

Okay, now here is a new and fresh comment, about time, very original, not true but original. 2005-2006 gave #5 60% caucasian, while # 6 was at 50%, but thank you for caring. Now that we have done the teacher salary,the super,the black/white thing, the reason why the scores are better at five being my child is in the school and I have real knowledge not the stuff that is from the air is the principal. The school is smaller, offering more of an opportunity to zero in on at risk students. Most classes have 21 children in a class, except for the overcap 2nd grade, 26. The reason why the trend is for smaller schools, (bloomberg building 9 small schools) is the ability to focus in.

Try something else, or perhaps you would like to come to a board meeting to fight for more racial equality. I have an idea, in the interest of equality why not call the NAACP for us. Or call the Federal Department of Education Civil Rights division, let them know about segregation. While your on the phone, let them know the average math specialist is 100 children 23 over the federal law, that would really help. Thanks.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitzsimmons has been the Captain of the ship

Our issues began when people voted in a board that puts up referendum that are going to cost the taxpayers, and this district million, spare the fact we are on contigency. The classes are still overcrowded, with the board threatening to fire specialists if another teacher is hired, public school cleansing will not be tolerated, anon above is correct, fitz will be here another 3 years, unless we buy him out. Perhaps if this board would let him actually speak occasionaly rather than have Sussman,Kaufman,and the school lawyer banter on and on, then maybe he would be able to present his education plan. Those of us who read it feel it is great. Will see how "great" the board is when monies will be requested to start them.Until then, public school parents are fine with the super, thank you for thinking of us.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CNN comes down the question of equality can be brought up.

Cnn was brought in to a piece about equality, but it was about the equality of the public vs non public, sorry, not about segregation. If we truly were segregated, I can assure you we would have known. Cnn filmed at 4, and the board meetings. I look forward to seeing this piece, because once again it will shoe public school cleansing has begun. Our district goes over and above to give non public extras we don't legally have to. So stop, and when CNN portrays the religous in a poor light, it hurts ALL jews. Not just the ones who live in the 5 towns.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, let us get a grip, there are no teachers making 150,000 in pre-k, request a copy from the district. Teachers who do make over 100,000 a year have been working for 20-30 years.

More smoke and mirrors? Are you the union spokesman?

No one said that pre-k teachers make $150k, but they do make $100k to $125k.

And the reason why we're having this discussion is that someone did get a copy from the district (last year) and I'm looking at it. It shows that close to 1/3 of the teachers are making over $100k, plus extra compensation and benefits.

Are you suggesting that 1/3 of the district's teachers have been teaching for 20-30 years?

Perhaps if this board would let him actually speak occasionaly rather than have Sussman,Kaufman,and the school lawyer banter on and on, then maybe he would be able to present his education plan. Those of us who read it feel it is great.

You've gotta be kidding! What plan? Fitzsimons has been planning for three years already, but that's it! What's all his planning worth if he never actually does anything to change the status quo? What are his district goals worth if they're identical every year, and no one ever sees any of them being accomplished?

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've gotta be kidding! What plan?

The plan that was handed out at the last board meeting, the plan he has been trying to talk about for months, you would know that if you actually came to a board meeting, and not listened to your friends. Since you do not have children in the public schools, I can tell you that most of our teachers have at least 10-15 years experience. We have not hired a teacher in years, and the ones that were layed off years ago, were the younger teachers making less money. You would know that if you actually knew the truth about the public schools. Not only do they have many years experience, but they also have masters + 200 credits. 5 teachers at #6 have reading certificates, because when the reading program was cut due to austerity, they were absorbed into the classroom. Now, if you want to really know the truth, since in the above you dug out the info, which is public record, you should call each elementry school and take a tour, everyone on this site is so involved in our teachers, and programs, come visit, see first hand, why take the info from a friend. Then write on this blog, you will look less uninformed. We welcome you with open arms.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More smoke and mirrors? Are you the union spokesman?

No, I am thrilled to see how interested you are in our teachers. Please look at the above blogs to see the new york times articles about teachers salaries on long island. Manhasset has the highest salaries. The data is not a secret, but I am curious what this has to do with the football article and the referendum on austerity from a community that demands fiscal responsibility, but does not want to follow it.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- pretty snide

If you're responding to the previous commenter (that's me), you're a bit out of line. I've been to every recent meeting, toured every single building and requested the above referenced materials directly from the schools. That's why I'm citing factual information rather than taking potshots (like you). I can't think of a better place to get this information from, than the source (which I did). As for my friends, I haven't seen too many of them at the meetings, so it wouldn't make much sense for me to ask them for this information.

You may take comfort in belittling the perspective of those who are critical of the district's failures and you may continue to dismiss the perspective of every "non-public school" community member as irrelevant, but that is certainly not a productive or winning attitude, and that is exactly the attitude that got the LTA-influenced board bounced out the door last May.

There's no question that the district's teachers are from the best compensated in their field.
If these teachers are really as experienced and accomplished as you say they are, and the district spends $18k to $25k per pupil and ranks so poorly academically, then it doesn't take any great wisdom to realize that there's something very wrong with the system. It's sad, though, that so many of the people with children in the system would rather blame the private school community for the district's failures, than help pressure the necessary people to implement the necessary reforms.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree are teachers are well compensated, and am glad you toured every building, then you have seen the overcrowded classrooms, which are currently violating the classroom cap. In each class last year out of 25 children 4 did not pass, not bad, If you read the new york state website we spend 14,000 on actual education, teachers etc, the rest is for others. Our transportation budget is huge, Ramapo who have 12,000 students in yeshivots, and 3800 in the public schools have less of a transportation budget. Ny state shows, 40,000 spend towards public busing balance to private schools. The blame falls on a community that rejects a budget that is lower than austerity, that wants everything for free. If you have been at all the meetings you would know on two occasions Dr. Fitz has tried to present his educational plan, which you would have received a copy of. It is excellent. The teachers and principals of the district put it together, saving 30,000 the board wants to waste on another consultant. I have a hard time with a community that cries fiscal responsibility then wastes tax payer money on referendums that are going to cost the tax payers millions, and open the district up to other private and public school parents asking for equal treatment children at HALB get. You know two pick ups a day. If you cry equality, you should do it across the board, don't you think. Yet, I doubt this will happen, considering this blog was about the Football team, which you have failed to discuss, I understand where your priorities are.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about the football team? Let's focus on better education, less waste and equitable distribution of services.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about the football team?

That is what this article was about, how great the team is. Many of those children are receiving football scholarships, sorry you don't see the need for sports. Equitable distribution of services allowable by law, no problem, books, transportation, special ed, which for a lot of students will be determined by other districts, other than that, legally, we cannot provide more. If this is a problem, complain to congress, although they are big on public schools, and NCLB, which we are currently violating. How, specialists are supposed to have a maximum student amount, they have over that amount. This new congress is very big on public education, and being new york is overly generous to its private schools, I doubt you will get far. Ramapo, a district that has managed to live in harmony, has done so by doing the right think. A check of one of there elementry schools the third grade has 5 classes of 20 students, hmm, perhaps this board should read. I agree on the waste, spending 25,000 to hold an election while on austerity is a waste.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Football thing is a nice "feel good story." But Lawrence is not a district that should take pride in it's sports program and ignore its failures.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel Good Story? Many of these young men are getting academic and athletic scholarships, if you read the article I think this comment sums it up Those whose children go public want to protect what they have, fearing that any movement to shrink is, in reality, a movement to abolish public schools. This is printed over and over by many papers. They all can't be predjudice. Every article written in non five towns papers have shown this to be true, from the door to door busing issue, to the man quoted in the Newsday last year
"I voted against the budget, the rabbi's told us to, you know like a mitzvah." If the religous community wants to stop these type articles which put ALL jews reform, conservative in a bad light, they need to stop demanding fiscal responsibility, then demand things that show the exact opposite. How do you think it is going to look, when the Newsday or CNN comes out with Pre-k busing, millions, and free usage of building for Saturday services, which currently are held at the High School and # 6. I really think the Long Island Community will see what we here see. Public school cleansing has begun.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to attend those Saturday services at the high school. Can anyone provide me with details.

C'mon, isn't it time we stopped blaming this all on orthodox judaism? Or maybe we should continue glossing over these issues with dribble like mitzvahs and saturday services. Maybe it's time for a blood libel to bring this to the next level.

There are real issues here which have absolutely nothing with anyone's religion. Anyone who's serious about confronting these issues would not be looking for conspiratorial distractions like saturday services at the high school or rabbinic decrees about the budget. (For the record, the orthodox rabbis in the neighborhood suggested nothing more than the importance of every individual voting. As for rabbis of other denominations, see http://orthomom.blogspot.com/2005/05/update-on-school-board-election.html)

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of these young men are getting academic and athletic scholarships

Is it safe to assume that some of these young men don't live in the district, but attend our schools because the football program is so attractive?

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it safe to assume that some of these young men don't live in the district, but attend our schools because the football program is so attractive?

Get a life. We have not won a county title since 1995, so I do not think they came here for that. Try to find something else to pick on.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to attend those Saturday services at the high school. Can anyone provide me with details.

Call the superintendents office or the principal of #6 or the high school. Why is it so hard to believe? # 5 has been used as well. As a paying member of a local temple, I find it insulting that other people find it okay to get whatever they can for free.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it insulting that you and everyone else here knows about these services in the #5, #6 and high school, but you refuse to share any details with me. Are these services really that exclusive?

I called the District office. The superintendent was out, and no one there seemed to know what I was referring to when I asked about saturday services in any of the schools.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

find it insulting that you and everyone else here knows about these services in the #5, #6 and high school, but you refuse to share any details with me. Are these services really that exclusive?


It is not meant to insult you. It just is a known type fact. Call tommorow the principals of the schools in question. Call the superintendents offices tommorow, and ask if there are schools in our district being used for religous services on the weekend.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Get a life. We have not won a county title since 1995, so I do not think they came here for that. Try to find something else to pick on."

Word is the football uniforms and other amenities are a big draw. Anyway, it's not like they could commute that easily to Jericho, or some other district with a better football program.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not meant to insult you. It just is a known type fact. Call tommorow the principals of the schools in question. Call the superintendents offices tommorow, and ask if there are schools in our district being used for religous services on the weekend.

That's quite alright. I already got laughed at.

I've asked some people who live across the street from those schools and they say they haven't seen anyone going in or out of these schools on Saturday who appeared remotely orthodox.

Who's making this stuff up?

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The superintendent the principals, and the custodians getting the services ready.

5:38 PM  

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