Board of Education Meeting 11/17/2014
By Monica Lavosky
During your visit to the high school, Dr. McCormack, at our November faculty meeting, you mentioned that we should prepare for cuts in the budget. As a teacher, Montclair resident and mother of a senior student, I would like to know what programs and/or faculty this would affect. You also said that there is no longer a surplus and I would like to know what happened to those funds.
The bonus you received above your salary of $177, 500 is almost equal to the salary of a paraprofessional. I believe there are better ways to appropriate our funds to avoid the aforementioned budget cuts.
For the salary of your Public Relations Officer, Matt Frankel, who was recently hired, we could hire another teacher. In the World Language Department, for example, many of our classes are bulging at the seams, especially in Spanish. We have to work to decrease class size across all grades and disciplines for the benefit of our students.
Although I love coming to school every day to teach my students and meet with my colleagues to create engaging lessons, I do not enjoy my time in the restroom facilities. The ratio of stalls to staff members at the high school, is about 300 to 8. We must appropriate the necessary funds to building better bathroom facilities for the staff, that have enough stalls and that meet a healthy level of cleanliness with proper ventilation.
Finally, concerning the PAARC standardized exams and the Core Curriculum Standards, I would like to quote Dr. Chris Tienken, Assoc. Prof. at Seton Hall University and co-author of ‘The School Reform Landscape: Fraud, Myth and Lies’, who spoke recently at a Montclair Cares for Schools forum and said: “All these standardized reforms… rest on pillars of sand.” He further added that ‘one-size-fits-all curriculum standards’ seeks to homogenize education. “Local school boards have been reduced to state adopted polices.” And he added, “Testing is not learning. Test preparation is not teaching.”
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