Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June 11, 2013 Hoboken Board of Education Meeting

Half-Staff- June, 2013
The Hoboken Board of Education will meet on Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 7PM. The meeting will take place at 1115 Clinton Street. There is a full 48 page agenda for this evening's meeting.  Included on the agenda are fairly extensive temporary summer appointments for summer curriculum writing. Nice to see that many people involved with the original Hoboken Curriculum Project are still engaged in curriculum development and revision. This is an indication of the professional development that took place during the Hoboken Curriculum Project and not simply "curriculum writing."

Another interesting part of the agenda is Resolution No. GP-0018-12-13 No. 21 which is the announcing and approval of the Cella Family Award targeted for a graduating senior who is pursuing a career in education or a field that advocates for children.

Regular readers of this blog will recall that Dr. Lorraine Cella was the principal of Hoboken High School from 2007-20010 when the school received back to back Bronze Medal Awards from US News and World Report and was recognized as the 2nd Most Improved High School in the State of New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly. Unfortunately, this was not up to the standards of Kids First and then interim Superintendent Peter Carter. Dr. Cella was abruptly removed from her position in a very controversial manner which eventually led to a lawsuit based on harassment that was recently settled out of court. Dr. Cella was approaching her tenure year in Hoboken at the time of the incident which led to the lawsuit. Since Dr. Cella's departure from the Hoboken School District, Hoboken High School has dropped to the bottom 50 high schools in the State of New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly.

But, according to Hoboken Board of Education President Leon Gold in 2011, he's "proud of the district's success" (CLICK HERE) and in 2013 insists that the Hoboken Schools are improving (CLICK HERE). Unfortunately, the Department of Education for the State of New Jersey doesn't see things the same way and in 2011 declared the Hoboken School District a "District in Need of Improvement" for the first time in its history.

Furthermore under Leon Gold and Kids First the Hoboken School District was designated the "least attractive school district" in the United States of America as reported and vetted in the Wall Street Journal in August of 2012,  

Mr. Gold's assurances of "success" and "improvement" can be objectively and independently examined by a simple review of the New Jersey Performance Reports released in April of 2013:

Hoboken High School- Click here
Calabro- Click here
Connors- Click here
Wallace- Click here 

In a recent letter to the Hoboken Reporter, former Hoboken Board of Education member Maureen Sullivan summarizes the Department of Education's description of Hoboken's high school where things appear to be a little different than the picture Mr. Gold paints:
“This school's (Hoboken High School) academic performance significantly lags in comparison to schools across the state. Additionally, its academic performance lags in comparison to its peers,” which include high schools in Camden, Newark and Paterson
Well, congratulations to Dr. Cella for concentrating on the positive aspects of her time here in Hoboken and for being so generous in the creation of her scholarship fund.

And to be clear-- any critique should not be seen as anything negative concerning the students, families, or teachers of the Hoboken School District. I know first hand of their quality and their dedication. Rather, it is directed at the administrative and leadership decisions made over the last 4 years by the political group known as Kids First and the unfortunate consequences of their stewardship of the Hoboken Public Schools.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Hoboken schools outspend comparable districts

  June 11, 2013 Agenda for Public Meeting