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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Jewish Week Does It Again - AGAIN

I feel like this has become a bit of a refrain, but the Jewish Week has another awful attempt at journalism in this week's issue. One would think that with them coming as late as they do to the Lawrence Jew vs. Jew saga, they would have ample time to actually get the story right. Alas, one would be wrong in thinking that. Their take on the story is so totally one-sided, poorly sourced and reported, and just plain wrong, that the mind boggles how this piece can actually be considered an example of reporting. Let's fisk:
The Lawrence school district in the Five Towns has become an increasingly favorable place for Orthodox families to raise children: private school students, including those who attend the yeshivas where the majority of Lawrence families send their children, have long been the beneficiaries of public services like transportation and special education above and beyond what New York State mandates.
Um, yes. The district has become an increasingly favorable place for Orthodox families to raise children - but not because my children are "the beneficiaries of public services like transportation and special education above and beyond what New York State mandates". The reasons are more along the lines of affordable homes (as compared to homes in NYC), great Kosher shopping, and numerous shuls and Yeshivas. But I can pretty much guarantee you that no Orthodox homebuyer chooses Lawrence for the busing. I will also add that perhaps the district offers special education and transportation at levels above the state mandate, but this district also provides far above the state mandate for every public school child. And we're talking FAR above the state mandate. So there's nothing unusual about those few services entitled to private school children being provided in a somewhat equitable fashion.
But the thriving Orthodox population in this Long Island enclave is also the catalyst of a major, growing rift in the community, pitting Orthodox yeshiva families who want to make use of public services against liberal Jews and non-Jewish families whose children attend public schools they fear lack the necessary money and care to ensure their survival.
They may fear they "lack the necessary money and care to ensure their survival", but the article fails to point out that the per/student spending in this district remains among the highest in the state. Hard to make the case that the public schools are being bled dry - with the Orthodox as the "catalyst" for the rift, no less.
Tensions have intensified over the last few weeks after a school board election in May landed five Orthodox trustees on the board of seven total members, increasing the majority the Orthodox had previously enjoyed and alarming community members who fear for the future of the public school system.
Really. Tensions have intensified in recent weeks? I don't know about that. As a matter of fact, most people I have spoken with - on either side of the divide - would like to put this sorry episode behind the community and move on. I certainly do not sense intensified tensions over that which was palpable in the period leading up to the elections.
“It’s been extremely divisive having a school board whose primary interests are their children in private schools,” said Penny Schuster, the parent of an eighth-grader at Lawrence Middle School and former president of the Parent Teacher Association there. She added that public school families are fleeing the district, which she anticipates having trouble retaining qualified teachers. “Their interests are not our interests, and that’s a very grave concern.”
It shouldn't need to be said that Ms. Schuster's (mis)characterization of the board's "primary interests" are her own opinion, and far from a statement of fact. In addition, I'll believe that teachers are "fleeing" the district when I see it. As of right now, the teachers in this district still enjoy among the highest salaries in Nassau County.
Nahum Marcus, one of the newly elected Orthodox board members who will start serving July 1, disagreed.

“The bottom line is the district is there to serve all children,” he said. “There has to be an excellent public school system, the best we can offer those children. ... At the same time the district has the responsibility to serve children who go to private school.”
How any thinking, fair person can disagree with Marcus's statement above that all district children should be served equitably is beyond my comprehension. Yet apparently some do.
Schuster, who is Jewish, countered Marcus’ assessment. “I absolutely think [the board’s] primary interest is not the public school district. It’s not their charge.”
Again, solely Ms. Schuster's opinion.
In the last several years, the demographics in District 15 — which includes the towns of Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, Inwood, Lawrence and Woodmere — have tipped, with the number of private school students outnumbering those in public schools; thus a board composed of mainly private school parents is not an anomaly here. There are currently around 3,900 private school students in the district, mainly attending yeshivas, and 3,400 public school students, according to the Lawrence School District Transportation Department, which monitors how many students it transports.

Along with the influx of Orthodox families come questions about the direction of this community that citizens say have led to ugly encounters between neighbors.

“It’s horrible walking the streets in this community,” said one observer, who asked not to be named, of the rivalry public and private school families face. The observer recounted chaotic school board meetings and children insulting each other after hearing slurs from their parents. “The tension can be cut with a knife.”
Uh, any evidence? Any specific allegations of such behavior? I will admit to having been present at board meetings when names were called - but I will tell you, they weren't from any of the Orthodox who were present. I will also say that I don't know where in the district the anonymous "observer" who spoke off the record lives precisely, but thank God I don't see walking the same streets as my non-Orthodox or non-Jewish neighbors as being in any way "horrible". I guess for some the prospect of coexistence and the compromises that come with it are "horrible". Sad situation for our Mr. Anonymous and his ilk.
Marcus, the new board member, agreed.

“What’s amazing to me is [it’s fine] when you talk to your neighbor, but when it comes to district issues, it’s like World War III has erupted.”
That I can agree with. I am careful to discuss everything and anything with my friends and neighbors who send their children to public school - but the situation with the school board. I'd like to keep our relationship friendly, and I have a feeling that broaching that topic remains a bad idea to that goal.
In the run-up to the recent elections, the conflict between the two sides played out in the local newspaper, when the group Advocates for the Lawrence Public Schools took out an ad in the local Nassau Herald asking, “Should the Lawrence Public School District Be Run By An Orthodox Majority?” The ad supported candidates Pamela Greenbaum, Maribel Cancelliere and Andrew Levey and opposed the ticket of David Sussman, Nahum Marcus and Solomon Blisko who ultimately won the election; Blisko and Marcus are Orthodox and send their children to yeshivas, while Sussman has children in public school.
Is the Jewish Week referring to the ads that every local political figure condemned as discriminatory and divisive? The ads that the newspaper who run them basically agreed were a mistake, and issued a long apology for running them? Perhaps that would have been somewhat relevant to the issue.
The same observer said that counter ads were placed in area Orthodox newspapers, and that even people who had made aliyah were enlisted to vote, calling into question whether the new board had indeed been elected by a transparent democratic process.
Yay, it's Mr. Anonymous Observer again. Did Mr. Anonymous Observer give the Jewish Week any examples of the "counter ads"? Anything that would indicate their obviously inflammatory nature? Did the Jewish Week make any attempt to back up the claim? Obviously not, because the ads didn't exist. Every ad that I saw for the candidates in question was clearly about the issues that affect this district's children. And is their any evidence that people who had made aliyah were enlisted to vote? I am aware that much was made over an ad that attempted to recruit voters who were living in Israel - but it clearly only mentioned students and other temporary visitors, who are certainly entitled to vote under election law. Nothing untransparent, shady, or thwarting of the democratic process about that.
Community members worry that the problems already plaguing the public schools are bound to increase with the new board. They mention out-of-date technology, classrooms with falling tiles and cuts to middle school lunch periods. A $92.6 million budget that passed easily in a community vote has also been widely criticized as too low, with a less than 1 percent increase that many felt should have been closer to 4 or 5 percent.
Again, it might be widely criticized among public school parents, but this budget still puts this district among the highest per/student spending in the state. Hard to make the case that the district public schools are being robbed.
One issue sparking particular ire is the $600,000 allotted for pre-kindergarten busing — being offered for the first time next year — which will largely serve yeshiva students. While critics on the side of the public schools feel the allocation is too low and doesn’t allow for supervision, board members feel the money will more than cover the expense.
Let's count the mistakes here. First this is hardly the first time pre-K busing is being offered in this district. Not only was it offered to all district children years ago before being cut in the face of the contingency budgets, it has been provided this year, by the district, to all pre-K public school students. So the only students who benefit from the referendum may well be private school students - but that is because they were, in a show of inequitable allotment of services, not provided with the pre-K busing that public school students were given.
John Fitzsimmons, superintendent of the Lawrence school district, reiterated that the school board’s primary responsibility is to the public school children, but said he could not yet predict whether the new board would indeed have those students foremost in mind when making decisions.

“It does create some potential challenges for the community,” said Fitzsimmons of the school board composition. “But the only time it becomes a problem is if the community begins to feel the interests of public school children aren’t being met. [Then] they’ll voice that concern.”
I disagree. The public school community did voice their concerns, in a divisive and ugly manner, with the prospect of an "Orthodox board" - and they did so well in advance of their fears being realized. That's the problem with unfounded fears. The hysteria they cause is often far worse that the actual subject of the fears themselves.
People on both sides of the debate agreed that it is particularly upsetting to see observant Jews fighting secular Jews.

“I respect everybody’s right to worship the way they want to, but that’s very different from ‘let’s now rule your school board,” said Schuster.
Um, what? I agree that it is sad to see neighbors fighting - whatever their observance levels, but my own observance levels have nothing to do with my interests in seeing this district run in a fiscally responsible manner, with equitable services distributed to all district children. It's depressing to see people resisting such fair treatment.
Marcus insists that is not his intention.

“God forbid, I would want to hurt the public school system,” he said. “We get along as neighbors, in the stores, in the streets. Why can’t we get along in the schools?”
Isn't it about time we got along? (With no help from the Jewish Week, of course).

122 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pre-K busing is provided by a state grant. Yes a grant.
-"with equitable services distributed to all district children, It's depressing to see people resisting such fair treatment." The comment, it is depressing to see people resisting such fair treatment,- is why public
school parents are afraid. The laws
of New York govern our school system. Being able to send any child to any private school ia a privilege. However if the student does keep up to the standard of the private school, the student will be asked to leave.
The state of New York governs the public school system. The law is the law, and the seperation of church and state is the law. A student with a diability is classified under the laws of N.Y.
Special eduction is a service, not a placement.
Why are public school parents afraid? Truth- the old money thing.
The cost to send a child to private school is alot of money.:)
But you know that already, and you knew that when looking for a home in Long Island what the tax base would be before you purchased your home. (knowing that taxes always go up.)
Some homes in the neighborhood are reasonably priced and then there are some homes that are just breath taking. Those homeowners mostly send there children to private school.
The comment about fair treatment is lost to many when they see homes that are bigger than their whole block.
Please remember the children in public school have no other choice. The State Standards are hard enough,
(oh by the way , did you know that private schools do not have to give the State Tests? Why? They are private. Same rules do not apply. Amazing isn't it.)
Remember the children is all I ask. Thank you for reading and posting, sign me the Irish Jew. MY poor kids:)

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The pre-K busing is provided by a state grant. Yes a grant.


Actually, pre-k busing for public school studnets was begun because of a state grant. However the district then started to bus all public school pre-k kids. Even those not covered by the grant got the service. So saying it is all provided by the grant is not true and not the whole story.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with a lot of what the article says. I think the opinions of Orthomom are just those - opinions. I do, however, agree that tensions have lessened since the election - they are not at such a high level at this time.

I have to also disagree with Orthomom's statement: "Not only was it offered to all district children years ago before being cut in the face of the contingency budgets, it has been provided this year, by the district, to all pre-K public school students.

The only busing to pre-k this year has been for those who are economically disadvantaged and was paid for through a federal grant, and those with handicapping conditions.

Glad you brought the article up for discussion. It appears that EVERYTHING the Jewish Star writes does not meet the standards of Orthomom - and I have a problem with that.

But I still support Orthomom's blog. It keeps issues on the forefront.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So,let me understand this-Fitzsimmons said"...he could not yet predict whether the new board would indeed have the students foremost in mind when making decision"

Where was he last year when the BOE had a majority of non-public parents. Did he attend the BOE meetings, Executive sessions etc?

Sounds as if he is just trying to fan the flames to create contoversy
to cover-up his ineptness and poor leadership the past 5 years.

Let's hope that Dr. Fitzsimmons retires and move on so the district can return to delivering a quality education to my children. He's been a failure.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a superintendent who was hired and could only deal with budgets that were under austerity really didn't have a chance to begin with. This will be the first year under his tenure WITHOUT an austerity budget.

Furthermore, Ari Kaufman downsized the need for labs - from 12 to 5 under the capital construction plan (not yet voted upon, but will probably pass). While he may be right - that the need for so many labs aren't there, who is he to decide where the savings will be spent??? On bleachers, rsurfacing tennis and basketball courts??? I would think the money has to be put back into direct instruction before the extracurricular amendments are taken care of.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only busing to pre-k this year has been for those who are economically disadvantaged and was paid for through a federal grant, and those with handicapping conditions.

This is far from the truth.

The District expanded pre-k for 06-07 to include children who are not economically disadvantaged. (In reality, many children were admitted into the program without meeting economic standards, even before this change.) The federal grant may have subsidized the cost of transporting the pre-k kids, but it has never come close to covering the full cost, especially with cost of matrons that were placed on every one of these busses (by exploiting IEP requirements).

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that these 'tensions' of which everybody speaks, are not really as big of an issue as this blog makes them out to be. the election is over, the majority has spoken, finished. yes, in the weeks leading up to the election a 'rift' was able to be felt in the air. now, there is nothing to argue about. articles in the jewish star or no articles in the jewish star, the bottom line is that a walk through the neighborhood suggests that everything is just fine.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Creative Child, which is the sister-program to the pre-k for disadvantaged children has existed. However, busing for all pre-k is not (2006-2007). No, matrons are not on ALL buses for pre-k, so this is a wrong statement. If there were a child with special needs on the pre-k bus, then there was a matron.

No, there is nothing more to argue about - we're moving on.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of the pre-k kids are in the same program now, whether or not they are economically disadvantaged.

All or most of the pre-k busses have matrons because they strategically placed one IEP child on each bus (although all of the IEP children could have been on the same bus cutting costs to only one matron)

You may not want to "argue" about this anymore, but the truth will prevail.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Really. Tensions have intensified in recent weeks? I don't know about that. As a matter of fact, most people I have spoken with - on either side of the divide - would like to put this sorry episode behind the community and move on. I certainly do not sense intensified tensions over that which was palpable in the period leading up to the elections."

the above is part of Orthomom's discussion.. why is it EVERY time there is a conflict between her "people" and the rest of us jews, she always makes the exact same comment...That EVERYONE wants to see this issue put to rest.. i guess orthomom lives a "cloistered" existence within her shul... most of the non-ortho jews in town are sick and tired of this nonsense.. they feel that the goal of the MO is to get rid of every other jew (non MO) in town. every " episode" that OM refers to makes the MO look horrible to the outside world... whether iit refers to the " episode" of the school board or the "episode" last year of GG. all these " episodes" make us look ridiculous in the eyes of the community. lets keep giving the goyim ( and the non Ortho jew ) more reasons to hate us.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:25 PM said: "All of the pre-k kids are in the same program now, whether or not they are economically disadvantaged."

That's correct. Creative Child and pre-k was put together. BUT, parents have to pay for Creative Child, and those who are financially disadvantaged can enroll their children in pre-k. No big deal. No surprises here.

The matron issue is a non-issue. There are a higher amount of kids coming into the Lawrence School District with disabilities because Lawrence handles all but the most complex handicapped children in-house. I can't believe you are making an issue about this. If a child with a disability needs a matron, so be it. And those children from a low socioeconomic standpoint tends to have children with disabilities.

Busing for 2007-2008 will be different, so this is a non-issue.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point that's being made is that District 15 separated all of the IEP kids who required matrons, so that they could justify putting a matron on each bus, although the logical and fiscally responsible move would be to bus all or some of the IEP kids together so they could share matrons.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will admit to having been present at board meetings when names were called - but I will tell you, they weren't from any of the Orthodox who were present.

Of course, it's only the non-Orthodox who cause all the trouble. What a shock!!

That I can agree with. I am careful to discuss everything and anything with my friends and neighbors who send their children to public school - but the situation with the school board. I'd like to keep our relationship friendly, and I have a feeling that broaching that topic remains a bad idea to that goal.

So, you're scared to find out just what your neighbors think about you and your opinions. Yes, that's a great way to form strong lasting friendships.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 12:28 Fitzsimmons had a budget the first year he was here. He never got a budget passed since until this year. Much of that due to his lack of effort to get the budget passed.

He had ample funds to provide a good education for our children. The teachers, administrators and Fitzsimmons all got salary increases during his tenure, while we were on austerity. So stop making excuses for a man who has not done a single thing to improve the educational quality for my children. His claim to fame is he orchestrated the closing of #1 school.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see our test scores? There is no accountability for these scores. Fitzsimmons gets his raise and wants raises for all of his administrators. Penny Schuster is a former teacher who was paid to teach in this District 3 years ago. Why was this not placed in the article. Did Schuster offer the info or did she hide her obvious bias. Last year 100 pre k public school children were bussed. About 60 met economic standards. The money received from the state NEVER covered the cost of busing. In fact, using fair accounting practices the money spent on PreK was in the range of one million more than received. Instead of admitting this Fitzsimmons and company used cost shifting techniques to justify lower costs. Every single bus that had preK kids on it had a matron. Every single bus. Yet Fitz and company said there was no cost. Hmmm.No charge was accrued to the PreK component of 100 children for heat, custodians, nurse, library,gym, administrators or supplies. Honest injun.Moving on let us look at our newest math scores compared to the rest of Nassau County... are you ready? Thirg grade..third lowest. Fourth grade second lowest, Fifth grade 7th lowest,6th grade 2nd lowest,7th grade we are 4th lowest ,and in eighth grade we are third lowest in Nassau County. Ms. Schusters teachers are failing to impart knowledge to the students but her good friend Pam Greenbaum made sure that the teachers will get their raises every year no matter what the scores are.Is it finally time for a clean sweep of Administration and those responsible for these awful showings?. If we care about the children we need to show it. There should be no room for courting favor with an administration and PTA/LTA alliance that care more about salaries and jobs than they do about the children. The Board has a challenge to do what is right and confront a system that seems not to be able to educate. Board meeting is Tuesday nite, lets all see what the reaction is and if anything but spin and lip service is given to the most recent failing of the Lawrence Educational Enterprise.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TALK ABOUT DELAYED REACTIONS !
Is the Jewish Week a NEWspaper or a history journal. I think they had a slow news cycle so they dragged this story back to life.
In real time the election was months ago.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon:7:07 "Hmmm no extra money spent on heat, nurse, etc." Do you realize that the preK program is held at the #4 school? The building is in use for kindergarden, so no extra money.
and I am very happy to hear that every pre k bus prior to 2007-08 has had a matron on them, do remember how young 4 really is? In case of an accident who will help the children? Oh and put all the special needs kids on one bus, sounds great, so they should ride around town for an hour, nice, think how long an hour is, both ways. Some prek children were allowed to take the kindergarden bus to school, empty seats, arriving at the same school,same time, no extra money spent. Just seats being filled. So the bus had to make a few extra stops, same money is being charged for the bus if one child is on the bus or 30.
Scores: with 19% of our district children with special needs? The state does not care what the disability is or if the child can talk or not, they only want the test results, meaning: the 3rd grader with austism is to pass the same test with no help, no rereading, or to check for understanding from the teacher.
oh and you'll love this one, if a child can not read english, just moved here,( or is blind,) tough, same test, in english, (no braille) no joke.
Please take a deep breath, relax.
Let's work together. There are always two sides to a coin, together they are one.
So do you want heads or tails?

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I emailed To the Editor of the Jewish Week
Dear Editor:

Your article only serves to add more fuel to a hopefully dying fire. Your outsider's perspective is a bit skewed and serves no purpose but to fuel flames the neighborhood is working very hard as a neighborhood to put out. Maybe the answer in itself is to reduce school taxes and reevaluate how it is propotioned throughout the neighborhood. After all why should the elderly and people who have no interest in the public schools system what-so-ever be taxed so highly for their properties with a whopper of a school tax when they gain no benefit for themselves or their grandchildren what-so-ever from it. The point being when you live in a community such as the Five Towns and you are paying through the nose in Real Estate and Property Taxes and School Taxes, you should and always have in the past, receive something of value for your contribution. Those valuable perks such as busing, after school programs, special ed programs, and such has been cut time and time again from the "private school" community. This caused a tremendous concern and the necessity to take action. The action taken was to voice our concerns by way of putting up our own people to look after the interests and concerns of the private school community on the school boards. It is not the intention of the private school parents to remove services from the public school community nor to diminish their education as it does us no good, and serves no purpose to deny education to anyone. As religious Jews we understand and have always valued quality education and the need for every child to reach their full potential. What do we gain from our neighbors' children not following their dreams and being the best possible and capable adults and citizens they can possibly be? The alternative to that would be a destructive and not productive outcome. So the thought that having an Orthodox majority on the board would lower the standards of education for the public school children is a ridiculous concept, it is absolutely the oposite and the parents should get ready and geared up to start working with their children once again to raise their marks and scores because "work" is the key word here. It is not going to happen on its own. It will require team work, all the way around.

As far as damage and repairs are concerned, it was the previous board's neglect that got the buildings into the disrepair and state that it is in today. If they themselves will not stand up and take responsibility and be accountable for their own actions how in the world do they expect to be good role models for these children? How will they ever expect to teach them to be accountable for their actions. The neglect and irresponsibility of the former boards "fuzzy" accounting and mismanagement of funds has begun to trickle out. A full investigation and audit is in order. Items were bought and never distirbuted, funds were spent frivilously. These are unforgiveable wastes of our money, money that could have been used for repairs and for the kids.

And as far as teachers are concerned. There are many qualified licensed teachers who live in this district that were never given the opportunity to work for the past school board and I personally want to have an answer why not? Who would work harder for these kids than their own neighbors? I have seen and heard the teachers yell and scream and make ridiculous "a's" out of themselves at the school board meetings, screaming for their "rights" well what about the rights of the board certified teachers who actually live in this district that wanted the opportunity to earn their salaries and their benefits and would have been thrilled with that without the pay hike and the benefits they voted for themselves in the lame duck session!! And I am not just talking about the Orthodox Jews who were qualified both as regular teachers and special ed. There are plenty of non-religous jews seeking employment in this district that couldn't get in. Most of the district's teachers don't live here at all!! I wish someone would explain that. I wish you would do an article on that, thank you very much, but that wouldn't suit your purpose would it? Because that wouldn't tip the scale against the Orthodox Jews.

So to be fair, if you want to come into our neighborhood and visit us you are more than welcome to do so. If you are coming here to stir up trouble we would rather you just stayed out.

A concerned citizen.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so tired of hearing everyone complain about the pre-k busing and how much they think it would cost the board. Give it up already. If you are so concerned about it here is the neighborly thing to do.

If everyone would chip in $100 to cover the cost of a car seat for the year, you would have enough money for enough car seats and a matron! How is that? I know the ortho parents will do it? What about the rest of you? You don't have to pay for anything else!!! That's only $10 a month. How is that for peace of mind, I think it is worth it.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi evry1, I am Yankle! I vas edumecated in an orthodox yeshiva, I know lot of gamara and lot of Chumash, but we think the secular studies are for goyem!

Once I tried and applied for job in Information Technology. I don't know what it is and when I went for interview I was laughed out of door and i can't figure out why!!!!


Vhat is HTML?


joke, ROFLROFLROFLROFL

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure i understand the humor of the previous joke.Lucky the jokster was not applying for a job that required math skills if he or she was from Lawrence. look at our scores,anywhere from the lowest to 6th from the bottom in math from 3rd to 8th grade. you want humor, Greenbaum and a lame duck Bd gavbe the teachers a five year contract and extended the Superintendents contract. the joke is on the taxpayers and the children. Chuckle,chuckle.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If everyone would chip in $100 to cover the cost of a car seat for the year, you would have enough money for enough car seats and a matron! How is that? I know the ortho parents will do it? What about the rest of you? You don't have to pay for anything else!!! That's only $10 a month. How is that for peace of mind, I think it is worth it.


OR THE BOARD COULD HAVE TAXED FOR IT, BUT THEY DID NOT.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im the joker from before, I was doing an impression of a ficticious / not so ficticious Yankle dude who "graduated" from on orthodox yeshiva and got his edumication.

public school kids get educated, yeshiva kids get edumicated.

got it?

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Brooklyn said...

--Im the joker from before, I was doing an impression of a ficticious / not so ficticious Yankle dude who "graduated" from on orthodox yeshiva and got his edumication.

public school kids get educated, yeshiva kids get edumicated.

got it?

9:18 PM --

Well, if you were trying to tell us that you are a JERK, you have succeeded.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least in public schools they don't teach such stupidity as the holocaust was caused by those evil cheezeburger-eaters the nonreligious jews!!!

Go to a yeshiva for preparation for the next world. You'll just have to SUFFER in this one! because yeshivot wont prepare you for a career!!

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANTI ORTHO HERE : The orthodox will not chip in $100 dollars for car seats they will just have Ari Kaufman that champion for ALL THE CHILDREN just cut funds from one more lab or some other useless educational program like new textbooks to cover the cost. After all we need to have tennis courts resurfaced and new bleachers for those sensitive ortho tushies to sit on. If we spend money trying to improve our educational programs we might bring up our test scores and that would give orthomom and her crowd one less thing to cry about and give Kaufman one less excuse for taking away programs from the public schools. Oops I mean doing what is fair for ALL THE CHILDREN.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AntiOrtho
Rather than railing and ranting about Kaufman how about coming down and encouraging the Bd to tackle the problem of a bloated system where teachers are paid but children do not learn,administrators are paid and controls are lax to nonexistent and students are achieving in the lowest 10-15 percent in Nassau County.If you want to be fair,our teachers are amongst the highest paid in Nassau County and yet our scores are awful. We have many many workers getting full time benefits for part time work with no review towards consolidation .We also have not had an adequate review of electives or initiatives. For instance, with our reading scores and math scores where they are do we really need a full time director for 12 art teachers. Would another reading teacher instead be more desirable? Should we review our cooking and home ec electives and see if we should substitute more reading and math courses?Fitzsimmons added a ninth period to Middle School 2 years ago.This added 11 percent more teaching salary(1 period over 9)Yet scores have gotten worse. Is this the best use of the money?How should we respond to consistently scoring in the lowest rungs of Nassau County? More extensions and raises, more money to be spent, or a thorough review with responsibility placed and action taken.(Maybe a little of both, responsibility and new money). But clearly, with the amount of money being spent in this District, to blame Kaufman or any group except the teachers and administrators is bogus. By the way, between the issue of refacing the High School and the telephone system, Mr. kaufman has personally saved this District in the range of 2.5 million. This is in direct difference to the amount of money previous Bds have cost this District. Why not begin by asking how much money the teachers contract and the hiring of a new law firm cost this District.Legal bills doubled after the law firm of nine years was replaced and there well may be even more issues. Anyway, if you are looking for constructive rebuilding of this District go to the Bd and contibute,not rancor but reason,not capitulation but mutual compromise, not finger pointing but rebuilding community cooperation for all the children and all the citizens. How about it?

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Don't you get tired of being predictable?

2. Yes, we can see from the posts here that people in the district are really putting the tensions of the elections behind them.

3. Always a gas to see an Anonymous Observer who never, ever gets feedback from the other side criticize others for not doing so to her satisfaction.

4. Seems your beef here is not so much with the slant of the story, so to speak, as that it didn't slant as much in your direction and includes critical comments that the paper didn't go out of its way to delegitimize.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't take Judaic Studies 101 to figure that orthodox jews don't give a rats ass about public schools.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose it would be just as safe to assume that non-orthodox jews don't give a rats ass about education outside of public schools.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't take Judaic Studies 101 to figure that orthodox jews don't give a rats ass about public schools.

DONT PAINT WITH BROAD BRUSHES.

I AM ORTHO AND HAVE A KID IN PUBLIC SCHOOL, JUST BECAUSE I AM ORTHO DOES NOT MEAN YOU KNOW A RATS ASS ABOUT ME OR WHAT CONCERNS ME.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because you are ortho, you flag yourself as being apart of a certain mindset.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because you are ortho, you flag yourself as being apart of a certain mindset.

And that is why you are a bigot. You hate me because of mu kippah, not what is under it. That is what has happaned to me at the BOE meetings. At lease on the savesd15blog, people apoligized for the bad apples like you. You don't know a rats ass about anything.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rofl temper, temper. i don't hate you for the kepah, i don't hate you at all, i don't KNOW you!

I was making a sound sociological statement, which of course there are exceptions to everything.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't you find ari kaufman's involvment with teach nys, which is an organization trying to get vouchers for private school tuition, just a bit odd. maybe conflict of interest is a better way to put it. one cannot help but question every decision he makes. why is it that these school board members are never seen at public school events where the kids are highlighted and their talents seen. the only board of ed member that came the high school spring concert was pamela greenbaum. maybe the "orthos" who do not have kids in the public school should attend a concert, even once. they are free. you might even be pleasantly surprised at the level of performance. did any of these trustees who "are for all of the children" come to the district art show? are any of these trustees planning to come to the lawrence high school graduation to hand out diplomas? none of the above take place on shabbot or any erev yom tov. do any of these men care? oh, excuse me, mr. hattan has been seen on occassion at the hs school attending a program. thank you for that. what about the rest of them? say what you will about pamela greenbaum, at least she knows and has seen for herself that the lawrence district kids are great and deserve the best education that can be offered. i for one am sorry to see her term of office end.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure she'll find some other way to serve the community and the greater good, with her free time.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enough

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its uri kaufman. please, if you are going to criticize someone - know his name.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was making a sound sociological statement, which of course there are exceptions to everything.


So is this an apology

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is it that these school board members are never seen at public school events where the kids are highlighted and their talents seen.

SK Included

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope no apolgy :-) It is a GENERAL truth that the orthodox don't care about public schools. you might be the 1 out of 5 people who are different.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

* apology

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get with the program. The election is over. Hatemongering is no longer the "in" thing. Reasonable people are interested in working together. All your anti-orthodox stupidity is is not going to get much traction.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you would think that jew against jew is unheard of.....except where the five towns are concerned.. we are such a small group anyway....why are we fighting each other? grow up--MOs are not the only jews out there, but they sure act like they are.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the anti orthos have to recognize that not all Orthos are extremists. Many of the anti's sure act that way.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a GENERAL truth that the orthodox don't care about public schools. you might be the 1 out of 5 people who are different.

See what I mean. They sure act that way

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uri.. ari.. ass.. all the same

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uri Kaufman is a disappointment. Sad to say.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope no apolgy :-) It is a GENERAL truth that the orthodox don't care about public schools. you might be the 1 out of 5 people who are different

Truth to you fiction to others!!! Smartass!

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a question to pose- why is it that other communities which host ortho and non ortho dont have the fights that we do? wait- i think i know the answer. because it isnt the public school education which annoys the orthodox- god forbid. its the fact that for the past several years the system was run in a way were ortho were payiing millions and getting nothing

4:38 PM  
Anonymous David Susman said...

say what you will about pamela greenbaum, at least she knows and has seen for herself that the lawrence district kids are great and deserve the best education that can be offered. i for one am sorry to see her term of office end.

say what you will about pamela greenbaum, at least she knows and has seen for herself that the lawrence district kids are great and deserve the best education that can be offered. i for one am sorry to see her term of office end.

say what you will about pamela greenbaum, at least she knows and has seen for herself that the lawrence district kids are great and deserve the best education that can be offered. i for one am sorry to see her term of office end.

say what you will about pamela greenbaum, at least she knows and has seen for herself that the lawrence district kids are great and deserve the best education that can be offered. i for one am sorry to see her term of office end.

say what you will about pamela greenbaum, at least she knows and has seen for herself that the lawrence district kids are great and deserve the best education that can be offered. i for one am sorry to see her term of office end.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Orthomom said...

say what you will about pamela greenbaum, at least she knows and has seen for herself that the lawrence district kids are great and deserve the best education that can be offered. i for one am sorry to see her term of office end.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Isn't it about time we got along? (With no help from the Jewish Week, of course)."

With no help from ORTHOMOM !!!

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy if you can't get your act together why even bother teaching the kids!!! The only thing they are bound to learn is hatred and bigotry for YOU!

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth to you fiction to others!!! Smartass!

You see now (s)he has gone to name calling. I have been nothing but respectful to your dispespect. You have accused an entire community in a braod way, and when I point out to u that u are wrong all you can do is start calling names, yea you are a child advocate because you use kindergarden tactics.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind complement. My ass is indeed a smart one, how much more smarter is my head.

Its one thing that I can agree with you. :-)

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think anonymous 4:38PM is the best comment on this page

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 4:38 and 11:34;
The question was why don't other communities have the fights we do? They knew what the tax bill would be, and the private tuition would be, before they moved to their town.
I know that private school is a way of life,
it was your choice not to send your children to public school. Save your tuition money-
send them to public school,
then when the TAX bill comes, you may have change left over from not paying the private school tuition for each child.
However if your home is one of those homes that is bigger than most blocks, shame on you for whining. You knew the tax base prior to moving in.
You are very blessed, yes, you work hard, as the rest of us, still a blessing is a blessing, stop whining.
The bible says love thy neighbor, no where does it say "only" a jewish neighbor.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon 8:36 am:

it rarely is seen on this blogsite::: a voice of reason and intellect.

i remember the good old days when my parents struggled to send us to yeshiva..no vouchers in the 60s... they could of sent us to public school but chose not to.. they also did not complain about the "inequities"... if you choose to send your kids to yeshiva,,,butt out of public school politics and go 0n the yeshiva board instead. stop your whining please.. spend more time with your yeshiva brood and teach them how to get along with the rest of the world instead..

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They knew what the tax bill would be, and the private tuition would be, before they moved to their town.


Yes and no! They (WE) also knew at the time we moved here what the services were that we were being given that were compensation for these high school board and property taxes. What we didn't know was they would slowly but surely be taken away from us as the years past by and our children settled into the neighborhood as well.

But thanks for being neighborly and pointing this out to us. I do however agree with that poster who said we should fight the high school tax and remove it from the tax roles of those elderly citizens and those citzens who have no children in schools any longer. It is not a matter of choice for them whether they choose private or public schools they have no kids in the race and they shouldn't be taxed at all. I shouldn't be taxed at all for schools for this reason, therefore I am sick an tired of being hated because I am an orthodox Jew. So when my taxes are lowered I can afford to help MY CHILDREN with their tuition bills.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

orthodox people do not have a concept of finding out why somebody else may not like them and trying to fix it, they believe that every hatred or mere dislike against them is innate.

granted, we jews had alot of shit in our history, which would lead orthodox jews to think this way, but Lawrence is not nazi germany and the orthodox jews are not perfect and they should realzie that, and maybe there is something in the orthodox's behavior that they need to change.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:46
please don't be angry with the following question; what services were cut over the years? Thank you.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"granted, we jews had alot of shit in our history, which would lead orthodox jews to think this way, but Lawrence is not nazi germany and the orthodox jews are not perfect and they should realzie that, and maybe there is something in the orthodox's behavior that they need to change. "

12:03 PM

after last years rabbinic fiasco with GG..how can yu NOT compare the behavior of the vaad to be like pre-war nazi germany? for those mo who actually know history..forced closing of businesses ring a bell? jew against jew nonwithstanding? bagel island ring a bell??

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had some pretty sad experiences just when I first moved into this neighborhood and blogs weren't even invented.

I walked into a local store holding the door open for my kids and some nieces and nephews and some "local folks" commented "YOU PEOPLE just don't believe in birth control do you?".

Obviously this was totally uncalled for, unneighborly, nosey, none of their business and extremely rude. This was my "welcome to the neighborhood" comment and that was 13 years ago!

Let me first say that I am not "YOU PEOPLE" and I never considered anyone who was not orthodox "YOU OTHER PEOPLE". So I would like to say that this issue was here way before this school board issue began.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please don't be angry with the following question; what services were cut over the years? Thank you.

What services were provided?? Special Ed Parents had to sue. When the orthos asked for scraps they were denied. All that the boards of the past had to do was be a little more generous, but instead they said no. This situation grew into the present dispute. Your welcome

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Special Ed Parents had to sue.

For your information, public school parents had to sue as well if your child did not meet the criteria set by the district and state to receive services. Therapists went into the private schools to give children services in their own private schools in Lawrence district when no other district did. Lawrence gave busing beyond state mandates when other districts didn't. Services to private schools in district 15 only increased over the years. so, what services to private schools were cut? For some reason, new people coming into the neighborhood are handed a bucket of nonsense when it comes to the schools. Sounds to me like it's political power that is at question.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Services to private schools in district 15 only increased over the years."

Only in volume, not in the quantity of offerings

"new people coming into the neighborhood are handed a bucket of nonsense when it comes to the schools."

I am in this area since 1969. Is that new??

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 9:26

Only in volume, not in the quantity of offerings

volume and quantity are the same. what does that mean?

the public schools have been losing educational opportunities in recent years. and no, you might not be new to the community, but you are obviously relatively new to the school district. it is entirely possible that you just did not pay attention until recently.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that all the comments are directe at the orthodox community relative to taxes and tuition. The parents sending their children to Brandeis, Woodmere Academy, Chaminade, Sacred Heart, Holy Trinity, St Raymonds, Long Beach Catholic etc, pay hefty tuitions, don't they? Don't they get busing and special Education services? I see many buses in Atlantic Beach picking up students attending non-public schools? A former AB BOE member sends his children to a non-public school, why?

The postings are directed at the orthodox community, when in fact many other families in the community choose to send their children to other private and parochial schools. Why have they chosen to do so? Could it be they want their children in a religous environment as well? Or do they feel the public schools do not provide the educational quality they want for their children?

Please share with us where the district provided transportation services that were more than the state allows. Please name the schools to which these services were provided. Let's investigate and if it's illegal, let's stop it before the next school year begins. How far is it from AB to Holy Trinity? Less than 15 miles?

Living in a community comes with the responsibility of paying taxes, school included, whether or not we have children in the school system. We choose to live in our community for the quality of life it offers.

A more concerning issue is the number of illegal multifamily houses in Inwood (Mistero land) that put children in the school system that require many services. (ESL, SPED). Let's get our elected officials to enforce the building codes.( Call Tabak) Lord knows there are enough people on the county and town payrolls living in Inwood & Cedarhurst. Some of them must work for the building department. Don't they see what's going on?

Let's start addressing the real proplems that are draining our public school resources.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the public schools have been losing educational opportunities in recent years. and no, you might not be new to the community, but you are obviously relatively new to the school district. it is entirely possible that you just did not pay attention until recently.


Due to the disastirious actions of past boards.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

would that be under the leadership of dr. sussman who spent the district's reserves and pushed for 0 % increase resulting in the condition of our buildings and grounds - they are in a sorry state of disrepair. the same school board that approved the pips who went into the private schools to give special ed services so that the children would not have to go to the public schools for services? oh yes, that is a good thing, but it does cost money, alot of money. an it is not mandated by the state. and who loses when there is a negligable budget to budget increase or austerity? the public school children. not me, not you, not the teachers or other employees of the district (and as an fyi, there are many orthodox jews employed by the district, as there are italians, spanish, black, et al) point being, the ones who are losing things are the students. are you aware that the current school board has not yet approved the EMERGENCY PHONE SYSTEM. how do you explain that? they need to take the responsibility of the public school children seriously, and stop giving lip service to how they are for all of the children. maybe some of this is why we can't get along in the schools. there is a lack of faith that this sitting school board will ever do what is right or good for the public school children. and please let's drop the line of equitable services distributed to all...that will only happen when all are enrolled in the public schools. now that can be a wonderful thing.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Sussman was one member of a Bd of seven. He voted against disastrous teachers contracts that robbed the district of resources and did not reward any initiative or goal setting by teachers. Scores get lower, students do worse, the teachers are paid. Buildings were not fixed because bds paid off their employees with raise after raise, holding the public and students hostage by not doing building repairs. ultimately the fiendish plot will work. New money will be used to fix the buildings while budget money was used to keep salaries high and work loads low. Facts; Secretaries are paid full time but only work Monday-Thursday over the summer. Want to register your child for preK bussing over the summer up till July 16, you do it Monday to Thursday, no one is there on Fridays. Pretty good job huh? We pay for a segregated system. We pay for busses to go past Number Two School to deliver AB kids to number six. Yet the highest concentration of poverty(the most determinant factor in a multiplicity of factors for poor student achievement)is at Number Two School.Previous bd made up of a majority of what ALPS would call " public school representatives" voted a teachers raise and contract extension for Fitzsimmons in spite of low scores and a failing infrastructure. That kind of irresponsibility is why the public turned to Dr. mansdorf and his initiatives to right the system. The public has faith in the new Bd as evidenced by the sweep in the last election. It was nothing short of a good old fashioned thrashing. Now, it is up to the new Bd to deliver fresh ideas, fiscal integrity( even as it might spend more money to get our scores out of the gutter) and bold action. I look for initiatives like the Princeton plan, a hard look at our tenure system and a jaundiced eye when it comes to perpetuating the "old boy" network that has sapped the stregnth and achievement in this District.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

again in 12:08's tirade, not one word of concern about the children being educated. so i guess it really is all about money and politics and to hell with the students...they belong to someone else.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweep in the last election? No. The margin was about 300-350 votes out of thousands.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maribel and Andrew lost by less than 250 votes in many of the schools. The difference being that there are more Orthodox living in SD 15 than any other legal voting population. So, in number, the Orthodox automatically win if they all vote (and they do).

I don't think Uri Kaufman should be closing science labs without administrative authorization - and taking saved money to fix bleachers and re-surface basketball and tennis courts. If indeed only 5 labs are needed, the savings should be put back into instruction - not extracurricular entities. I see where he is going with this - and it is not right.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strange, one either believes in Democracy or they do not. The last election was a sweep. Maribel and Levey had their names associated with ads that displayed bigotry and arrogance. Levey's response was something like " that is the way the game is played." No apology. Then again Levey has spent the last year refusing to obey the rules of good conduct at Bd meetings. he call out from his seat and constantly speaks out of order. Again no apologies offered by this failed candidate. Wonder how long the Board will put up with his behavior. By the way, it does seem to me the election was a sweep. From preK busing, to the budget to the candidates. An overwhelming win for Dr. Mansdorf and his supporters. ALPS can spin it anyway they want, the majority of the public told Pam and Andrew to sit down.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, in number, the Orthodox automatically win if they all vote (and they do).

Hardly. Maybe the Orthodox turn out at around 60%, at best.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone want to talk about the children and their education? Fitzssimon has been here for four years and the scores in the papers were like the worst in nassau County except for Roosevelt. Is is time to say ggodbye to Fitzsimmons/ Why do we keep giving the teachers tenure and raises? I for one would like to see a Princeton and a new Administrator come in that will report to the Bd and the Public. We need answers not political spin and we have to end the segregation in our elementary schools.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that Levey has not apologized for the ad?

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that Levey has not apologized for the ad?

12:50 AM

who cares? the election is over. now it is time to focus on the EDUCATION OF THE CHILDREN. enough of the politics.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares? Mr. Levey makes comments as if he still represents something. So tell me are you who says they do not care apologetic for the bigoted ad? Do you care/ By the way, levey did not seem much concerned with the awful test scores. I guess he feels they do not represent his children or I guess the children his wife teaches. There was another woman from Atlantic Beach who felt the scores would be better if the children " had more brain power." When explaining the comment she spoke of transients, parents who could not be reached and that her child was the only one in the class who did homework(I suppose the teacher is giving her confidential information).Now I guess you do not care about Leveys remarks, so do you agree with the 'brain power' quote.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice there are bloggers who never answer questions about Fitzsimons or the teachers. I have gone to meetings and no one talks about tenure or the awful scores. In addition the teachers contract which did not bring one minute of extra teaching time is also never mentioned. In point of fact the two previous contracts brought 4000 and 8000 extra hours. Greenbaums and Kopilows contract not a minute of extra time in spite of our very low scores. The district will have to spend hundreds of thousands of extra dollars to make up for this deficiency. Yet not one word from the public. In fact, there was effusive praise for Ms. Greenbaum in spite of her anti first amendment suit, the teachers contract and the ad

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to talk about the teachers contract. More people should come to meetings. First of all, why would anyone mention Pamela anymore? She is yesterdays news and has served her last meeting. Kopilow on the other hand continues to dominate every meeting with endless speeches. At the last meeting he went on and on about whether the prek busses would really cost 600,000 or more. Even the head of business said that the Bd would jeopardize routing unless something was done right away. The Board acted with Stan and Pam voting against the proposition. The problem is that Stan is making himself less effective by being so hypocritical. Everyone knows he did not cost out the teachers contract but did it because he thought it was right. He continues to give Sussman openings to talk about the class size provision... that is exactly what he was doing at the end of the meeting. Stan needs to stand up for education. He is the only parent on the Board with children in the system. he should be bringing up the low scores and the teaching failures. Why are only Hattan and Sussman taking the role of educational advocates. I am hoping that starting with the very next meeting on the tenth Stan and the PTAs take the lead in advocating for children.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well here is a suggestion from someone who really cares. The meetings should be divided into two areas and never the twain shall meet. Meetings held to discuss issues such as teachers' performance and education should never allow discussions such as pre-k bussing and other monetary issues. Facts are facts and the facts about low scores and what needs to be done to improve student performance as well as teacher performance should be discussed without bringing anything else into the mix. Period.

Other meetings regarding repairs and monetary performance, budgets and financials should not include discussion regarding the students and teachers. Separate committees should be formed to oversee the various issues so that each area gets the absolute attention it deserves.

Teachers that are not giving 100% to the students need to be reviewed and/or replaced as necessary. Children need to be surrounded with positive energy. There is no room for negativity when dealing with children no matter whose children we are talking about and no matter what background they are coming from. Education is the only opportunity the children have for their future success and no one, but no one is allowed to deny them that privilege.

Therefore, the community has a stake in what the teachers are doing and yes, what the staff at the schools are doing as well. Everyone on staff has to be doing their best for the benefit of the children. The board and administration has a double duty to make sure that the buildings and equipment are safe and available to the children as necessary, but the staff has no business getting involved with that. They have to be committed one hundred percent to bringing out the best in every single child and making sure that each child meets his or her own potential.

There are different areas and issues that make up every school and everyone should understand which category they fall into and what their job actually is. Yes it is important for the benefit of the child. A teacher must know that their place is to work with the child and concentrate their efforts on them, working to build their self esteem, encourage their strengths and build up their weaknesses whether they are in public or private schools. And both the public and private sector need to monitor their teachers and train them to make sure they are working up to par. That is the obligation of the parents and the community to make sure our children get what they deserve from the role models that we place in front of them every single day.

When teachers get caught up with the politics and/or financials of what is going on in the school system, they get into the mistaken concept that if "they" don't care why should we, or "our hands are tied" and that is wrong. No your hands are not tied and of course you should care, firstly because it is your job and you are getting paid to do it. And secondly because you chose to be teachers no one forced you to. If you worked at any other job and had such an attitude you wouldn't keep your jobs for long.

Whatever is happening outside the classroom should not deter your focus away from your students and your job to teach them and encourage them to be the best they can be. Your anger, frustration and political opinion on what is going on with the board or the neighborhood should not have an effect on the way you teach or your relationship with the kids. Just the opposite, you need to work all the more to bring stability and grace back into the classroom.

There are many teachers although licensed are not in tuned to what is happening within the mind and heart of the children involved, especially in the private sector. Kids are very troubled these days and are battered and bombarded with outside influences and familial issues. Kids are not children anymore, they are just small adults carrying too many burdens and sometimes the school is their only real safe and secure haven. So let us do what we are supposed to do as adults, let us "be there" for the sake of our kids and stop this stupid and ridiculous brawling.

Let us figure out what needs to be done and lets get it done for the sake of all kids involved. Lets get our committees set up and outline each one's responsibility to oversee separate areas and issues. Lets get everyone's concerns legitamely voiced and noted and lets roll up our sleeves and get to work. Lets also understand that each individual has their own particular issue that is most important to them, but not every individual issue is going to have the same weight of importance to the entire school district or board.

We will need to prioritize the issues such as bringing the students achievements and learning levels up to par and beyond to meet their individual potentials. Equally as important is making all the buildings as safe and winterized as possible. Repairs and equipment for athletics, etc. is also important but might not be as important as the first two issues. So things will have to be reviewed prioritzed. Committees should be formed, estimates and bids need to be categorized and worked on. Volunteers should offer their services in writing to the board with a resume of their skills and experience if they truly care about the issues they have been complaining about, so that qualified committees can get the jobs done, and we can all get on with the business of helping our children on the road to succees.

Is that too much to ask for?

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that too much to ask for?


Yes and no.

Apathy is an epidemic. Apathy with school work, apathy with politics, etc.

It must start at home. People need to resolve to get along, to motivate thier children be realyy great learners, and then we can expect great things from everyone. Why is all the balme always on the school??

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looked at the Soth Shore Record and could not believe Andrew Leveys remarks. The failed candidate, who failed to apologize for the bigoted ads and whose wife is an LTA teacher challenged Sussman and the Board to "whitewash" the deplorable showing of scores on the last state test. More interesting than his reasoning is his "chutzpah." Of course he wants the Bd to calm down the community. Afterall, how else will people not call for a critical review of the money we spend for the product our children get. I am told there are teachers who choose to work a .8 day and continue to get full time benefits including Dental and Medical and pension. Obviously this costs the BD more money than if a full time teacher got the same benefits.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of taxes, why is it that we have yet to discuss all of the private homes that have come off the tax rolls that have become shuls? At least one per every other block? Would that be in any way affecting the rising cost of living in the 5 Towns????

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:28"I am told there are teachers who choose to work a.8day and continue to get full time benefits..etc. Sign us all up for that job, I guess contracts mean nothing.
How about the teachers (some who are just starting out, no tenture), not sure if the building they are working in will be there come Sept.
(#1 school was there in June 05 gone Sept 05)
who work extra hours, bring in supplies for children, who deal with meltdowns, and go beyond what there "job" calls for, I don't here you talking about them, and they are in every school. Look at how many teachers, administrators have retired, left for other jobs, in the past 4 years. Not many old timers are left.
There is FEAR in the air, not only for teachers, parents feel it, not knowing what will be on the chopping block next.
My job, your job, which program, my child's, your child's.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with above blogger that tenure and the pension system need to be changed. Can you imagine a 25 year old getting a job for life. The tenure system is the root cause of our educational problems. That is why I agree it needs to be changed. I am not sure if the above blogger meant to say that teacher should not work the extra hours. Certainly working a 3 hour teachi9ng day for 184 days a year is not too onerous, i guess unless you are a teacher. I only wish that the teachers would be paid commensurate with the achievement of their students. We are at the bottom. If a teachers students are at the bottom and he or she is not giving "extra hours" every week then they should be fired but tenure will not lewt us do this. The teachers attitude is "I do not care how the students do I want my raise anyway." Now they got Kopilow, Greenbaum,Barry and parise, whose daughter is a teacher in the system ,to agree. Rather than complain about a few houses that have become shuls why not focus on all the homes in Inwood who have multifamilies and are not zoned for it. Why not lobby the Board to clamp down on students who are coming from Far Rockaway.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still people want to talk about homes that have become schuls to claim that is a reason for increased taxes. Either the person is a fool or is biased. The fact is that when a person that does not use the school system enters the district there is a huge boon to the school system. Even if the family that moves in has children in the Yeshivas they use at least 88 percent less tax money than their public school equivalents. The more 'privates" the less strain on the system. Of course, when the public school advocates keep giving raises and decreased class sizes they attempt to keep squeezing the tax dollars out of the public. Thank goodness that the tax and spend candidates lost. The problem is that Greenbaum and associates dropped a 5 year atom bomb on our tax payers called the teachers contract.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough. Everyone knows that the "public school advocates" want to spend as much of everyones money as they can, but afterall who doesn't. let us move on. We know that this community can not afford another display of bigotry like the one we had during the last election. In Ramapo they hired a man who obtained millions of dollars in grants for both the public and private school community. He defused the anger and I believe there was so much good will that a "public school" slate ran unopposed and won this year. Instead of all the rhetoric lets look for a solution like that. At the same time let us rebuild the schools that need it, cut the excess, streamline the system and pour whatever money it takes to rescue the system from it s failures. No one can be happy with the scores or student achievement in an obvious bifurcated system. Everyone wants to invest in education, but not waste money on excess.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean by bifurcated? No reason for sparing the truth in a blog. We have a segragated system where Number Two School bears the burden of segregation. maybe this is not on the basis of white/black but it is clearly on a poverty basis versus Number Five or the COUNTRY CLUB SCHOOL. Now when is the new Board going to tackle the problem? Do we keep ignoring it? By the way, I noticed that on the previous blog it was stated that Parise voted for the teachers contract and he had a child who was a teacher. If he was the fourth and deciding vote was this legal? Also, if his son or daughter is still in the system where do they teach?

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Parise, each time a board member is elected/re-elected, they must disclose all conflicts of interests, which is then reviewed by the board attorney. Apparently, there was no conflict of interest apparent for Parise's position. The State Education Department would have been called to step in if that were the case. Yes, the daughter does work in the school system, as does Parise's wife (the wife is not a teacher).

#6 School does take Inwood children - there was re-districting years ago which drew a line through Inwood - some went to # 1 School, # 2 School and # 6 School. # 5 School is the only school that did not have any Inwood children bussed to them.

Tenure is something that has to be dealt with on a state level - not on a local level, since there are state laws that govern this area. I do agree that teachers receive a "coat of armor" once they are tenured, and they really shouldn't. I will never forget how a tenured teacher, who was the head of a school's teacher's union verbally abused my child. This teacher got away unscathed, whereas my child suffered emotionally for many years because of this. Luckily, the teacher has since retired.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, our worst fears about the busing issue is true: $300,000 more to be spent on busing. The board lied to us. This is the majority board with the vote of 5 to 2 NOT to do a cost analysis and to put this referendum on the ballot.

I see the writing on the wall now: Next year, we will be faced with a double digit budget. So be prepared for higher taxes and higher home foreclosures in the area!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I have never agreed with Penny Schuster before....until now.

The fact that orthomom needs to respond to each paragraph in the article with her own spin is evidence that the article is right on target.

Or, as orthomom's philosophy can best be stated: "keep stating a lie often enough and you and the people will believe it."

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12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worth taking a look: http://orthonomics.blogspot.com/2007/07/guest-post-virtual-public-schooling.html

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for Andrew Levey's "chutzpah". At least someone isnt afraid to tell it like it is!!

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does Othomom feel the need to comment on every comment made by Penny Schuster? I know Penny, shes a good woman, and her main objective is to take care of the kids. Back off. She has a right to her opinion just as you do.

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Why do you allow a blogger to use the term "Goyim". That is a disparaging term for non-jews. It has also been defined as the jewish term for cattle. I find that insulting. If you are going to have a website and a blog, you should monitor it and see to it that people are not insulted.

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