Because according to the blog, Hoboken parents would be better off moving their kids to a school in Tennessee's Smoky Hill Mountains, inner-city Washington D.C. or anywhere in Mississippi (the lowest education ranking state in America).
Now folks, what do YOU think? Does this boggle your mind, too?
For those who like color-coded maps, here are the TOP TEN 'most educated' states in America in GREEN, the BOTTOM TEN are in RED.
See New Jersey? It's GREEN.
According to The Huffington Post, New Jersey is in the TOP THREE.
So how does Hoboken fare out of New Jersey's 559 Districts?
The Hoboken School District is in the top 65% of the TOP THREE states in America.
So, how the hell did Hoboken end up at the top of America's trash heap (and in the WSJ)?
GA has NO idea, but here are a couple of observations.
- The Kids First coalition's majority on Hoboken's School Board hangs in the balance with the upcoming election cycle.
- GA hears a new city-wide phone poll throws buckets of mud on Kids First, Mayor Zimmer and other Reformers. GA is still looking for audio or a transcript of this poll- anyone?
- Then- WSJ education reporter wrote the following letter to The Hoboken Reporter:
Look at the actions and words of Kids First school board slateThe same WSJ education reporter wrote this letter which was posted on Hoboken411:
A look at how Kids First handled the Hola program shows why they should not be leading our school district.
To re-cap, dual-language programs exist across the country. NYC, at the forefront of one of the most successful school-district turnarounds in history, has been growing their dual-language offerings. Most dual-language programs have huge waiting lists. Why? Because research shows children in such programs tend to perform as well as or better than their monolingual counterparts. And we all know what an attractive school program could do for property values.
When Hoboken had a chance this year to implement – at virtually no extra cost – this innovative, proven program that could have benefited children and taxpayers alike, what did Kids First do? They fought against it. Hola would have cost $30k a year for only the first eight years and would be open to all children entering certain grades. By contrast, the Johns Hopkins program costs taxpayers over $300k a year and benefits only the 50 or so elite students with high scores.
Here are the relevant facts:
Incumbent Theresa Minutillo had a responsibility to bring thoughtful contribution to the internal BOE Hola meetings she attended. If she had concerns, she had a duty to voice them and constructively help shape the program. Instead, she sat silently at those non-public meetings. (This was revealed during the February 10 meeting in which she and Frank Raia sparred about this.) Only when she had an audience at public meetings did she raise issues.
Maureen Sullivan, also on the Kids First slate, was opposed to Hola because, as she stated publicly, she traveled the world as a journalist and never needed to speak anything but English. This from a woman who flipped the bird during a public meeting (as reported in this newspaper).
And Kids First candidate Ruth McAllister filed a complaint with the ACLU over Hola. She thought a program that would embrace cultural and socio-economic diversity would be discriminatory. She ignored the fact that dual-language programs lift the test scores of otherwise disenfranchised children. Who exactly she was trying to protect? Certainly not the 65 percent of our public-school children who are Hispanic.
Kids First calls themselves reformers. Their actions over Hola show they are anything but. With Hola they didn’t “reform” anything – they simply hurt the city and its children. And taxpayers lost, too.
Every year hundreds of parents line up for a small number of spots at the charter and private schools. Clearly, they are looking for more than what the district offers. Instead of embracing a low-cost way to bring in more kids (and lower the per-pupil costs) and increase test scores (which should be a major goal), Kids First destroyed a fabulous, value-generating opportunity. That’s nothing to be proud of.
I leave Kids First and its supporters with one of President Obama's apt inaugural messages: In the end, you will be judged on what you can build, not on what you destroy.
“I’ve taken the past two days off of work (I’m a reporter at the WSJ) because the Hola program is so important to my family. Today I spent a lot of time outside Conners and Wallace – getting signatures of people who would be thrilled to send their kids to a dual-language immersion program.
I met many Hispanic and African-American moms this morning whose faces lit up when I told them their children could be fully literate in two languages by the time they are in third grade. Many are planning to attend our information session this Sunday at Jubilee Center.
BUT I AM SO VERY CONCERNED THAT YOU ARE DECIDING TO TABLE THIS PROGRAM FOR THE TIME BEING.
The private school my daughter attends needs to know in early February whether she will be returning in September 2009 for first grade. What am I supposed to tell them?
By the way, they want me to give them $1,000 if I want them to hold her spot. Several weeks after that, I have to commit to a full-year’s tuition. What am I supposed to do?
Parents in Hoboken are making their decisions for next year NOW. If you put this off again you may lose people like me. My stomach has been in a knot for the past two months as the entire city debates this valuable program.
How much more talk is needed?
Jen and Camille have told me they are willing to walk away from the money, the contract, etc. They are stripping away all the non-essentials from their budget. There won’t be a need for an RFQ. They won’t be getting a cent.
Why can’t we put this to bed already?
PLEASE. Take action on this so we can get our school started. Or if the action is negative, at least we can move on with our lives and make other plans. But to make us wait like this, for no apparently good reason, is quite unnerving and cruel.
Sorry to sound so dramatic – but this is really something that will affect my daughter’s future.
- This person who stated in 2009 "A look at how Kids First handled the Hola program shows why they should not be leading our school district. " is an HoLa Trustee. So are Frank Raia (supporting Kids-First opponents) and Anthony Petrosino (unsuccessfully sued the Hoboken Board of Education). Petrosino posted the WSJ piece on his blog yesterday.
- Anti-administration operatives were all over Patch yesterday trumpeting the WSJ article and pointing the finger at Kids First. Politics anyone?
Today GA is marveling how the WSJ published this report without the kind of due diligence that would have them questioning the FALSE conclusion that has disparaged our school district and all the kids enrolled.
How did it happen?