Perhaps our school board leaders could take a lesson from the mayor of New York. This quote was run in the OpinionJounal from the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
"The fact is, our education system looks a lot like the U.S. auto industry in the 1970s -- stuck in a flabby, inefficient, outdated production model driven by the needs of employees rather than consumers...
...We can continue to invest enormous sums of money in this failing system -- and remain like Detroit in the 1970s, slipping further and further behind our international competitors. Or, we can put our famous American ingenuity to work and build a better system -- and become like Silicon Valley today, which is leading the world in innovation and technology" -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The fact is that our school board is catering to the needs of the employees and parents, rather than students, by choosing:
- administration over academics, as evidenced by the decision to employ only one math specialist between two high schools; an inadequate number of specialists to help the increasing number of students that are not meeting math proficiency standards, while they continue to employ two principals and eight vice principals in those same two high schools at a cost estimated in the 2004 CAC report of approximately $1,365,000 per year (est. salaries plus benefits at 30% per page 45) Click Here for The CAC Report [Current salary costs are not made available by the Board.]
- politics over performance, as evidenced by the board's propensity to vote along political party lines, its crafting of a proposed budget that projected a 15.1% budget increase last year followed by a 4.5% budget increase in this election year (see the expenditures section of the district's 2006-07 budget projection model), and its hiring of a lobbying firm to make itself look good in this election year (click here for that story!).
- extravagance over education, as evidenced by the board's willingness to spend $238,000,000 on construction at the risk of having to cut education programs due to the budget limitations that are inevitable as a result of the new Act 1 legislation.
If you believe that the recent actions of this board signal the need for change; if you believe that Board President Lawrence Rosenwald, Vice President Marcia Taylor, and board members Jonathan (Joss) Gelfand, Lisa Fair Pliskin, and Diane DiBonaventuro should be replaced with citizens that can bring fresh talent, drive, and initiative to serve our children’s needs; if you believe that four more years of out-of-control spending on the wrong things will destroy our township, then you must cast a knowledgeable vote this spring. Don't pull the party lever in this spring's primary election. And this November, cast a vote for new members that understand what really matters. Student Learning Matters!