Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A letter from the HoLa Board president (Hoboken Reporter- Feb 21, 2016)

Aeriel view of Maxwell House and Lipton Tea area (1950's)
The following is a letter to the editor of the Hoboken Reporter dated February 21, 2015. It concerns the ongoing litigation by the Hoboken School District against the Hola Dual Language School in Hoboken, New Jersey as well as the New Jersey Department of Education. I have provided annotation when appropriate in order to provide more information for those new readers who may not know all the details surrounding this situation. -Dr. Petrosino 

Dear Editor: On behalf of the over 300 families of Hoboken Dual Language Charter School, I would like to thank Peter Biancamano, John Madigan and Britney Montgomery, for their courageous vote this week to end the expensive and divisive lawsuit against our beloved public charter school. This lawsuit seeks to undo the school’s expansion to 8th grade, which was approved two years ago, and is already underway.

All three of those members voted to end a lawsuit that has cost taxpayers over one-quarter of a million dollars, and counting. Unfortunately, the six-member majority on the board voted to continue a lawsuit that is unlikely to prevail on the facts.

The district has lost its arguments at every legal interval so far. We are now at the Appellate Court level (which has rejected the district’s request for an emergency stay) and we are facing expensive oral arguments by all three parties—the Hoboken district, HoLa, and the NJ Department of Education.

The Hoboken district has vowed not to use any more taxpayer money on their portion of the lawsuit—and at least two of the newest board members also committed to that when they were elected—but taxpayer money will still be spent by HoLa and by the state, and since only $11,000 has been raised to support the legal fund so far (much of it from among board members themselves), it is unclear how these mounting legal fees will be paid for. The board members promoting this lawsuit said that they have spent the $11,000 that has been raised, and only owe the district’s attorneys $9,000 more at this point. Residents should ask how that bill will be paid if the board members vowed not to spend any more taxpayer money, and how the district will pay for the oral arguments that are coming next and are likely to cost the district thousands of dollars. Further, if it has cost HoLa well over $100,000 just over the past year to defend itself, it seems incredible that it has only cost the district $20,000 over the same period, since they are using outside counsel to create their legal briefs, just as HoLa is.

It’s time to end this divisive lawsuit. HoLa has proven, over and over again, its commitment to equity in our city—for example, becoming the first charter in the state to offer a low income preference in its lottery. In addition, the data all show that HoLa is as beautifully diverse as this city and that the district’s students have not in any way suffered from HoLa’s creation or expansion. In contrast, this city is stronger for its full range of educational options for families.

It’s time to ensure that Hoboken families continue to have all of the educational options their children deserve.

Barbara Martinez
President of the Board, Hoboken Dual Language Charter School

Friday, February 12, 2016

Video: Hoboken Board of Education Votes 6-3 NOT to Drop Hola/NJDOE Lawsuit--

A number of interesting observations as we watch a Board trustee (Peter Biancamano) make a motion to stop the Hola lawsuit. This is followed by a second to the motion by Trustee John Madigan. Next we see Trustee Montgomery call for a vote. What follows is part frustration, exasperation, sarcasm, and accusations of "poor Boardsmanship" as the Board members associated with the Kids First/Reach Higher, Hoboken political group are forced to publicly vote on a motion to stop the expensive, multi-year lawsuit against the Hola Dual Language Charter School. Best to watch it for yourself. The final vote was 6-3 with all 'Kids First/Reach Higher, Hoboken' board members voting to NOT stop the lawsuit...

Motion by Peter Biancamano, second by John Madigan.
Final Resolution: Motion Fails
Yes: Peter Biancamano, John Madigan, Britney Montgomery
No: Sharyn Angley, Jennifer Evans, Leon Gold, Irene Sobolov, Monica Stromwall, Thomas Kluepfel

Click to enlarge

Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Kids First/Reach Higher, Hoboken" Trustees Vote Not to Drop Lawsuit Against Hola and NJDOE at February 9, 2016 Board Meeting (INCLUDES VIDEO)

Ferguson Propeller Co. Hoboken NJ 1888-1990
At the Hoboken Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 a motion (see Figure 1) was made to drop the district lawsuit against the Hola Dual Language School (see Figure 2). The motion was made by Trustee Peter Biancamano (longest serving member of the current Board) and was seconded by trustee John Madigan (highest vote getter in the most recent Board of Education city wide election in November, 2015). The motion failed by a vote of 6-3. All members of the political group known as "Kids First/Reach Higher, Hoboken" voted against the motion. New trustee and former teacher Britney Montgomery voted to drop the lawsuit along with Biancamano and Madigan. 

Hola recently scored well above the state average in Math and English Language on the NJ PARCC for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades

Under the leadership of "Kids First/Reach Higher, Hoboken" the Hoboken Public Schools have the highest rate of violence,  vandalism, and bullying in Hudson County, New Jersey and have failed the NJ State monitoring QSAC DPR in Instruction and Program for four straight years. In addition, despite former Board President and current trustee Leon Gold's claim that Hola is "bankrupting the district" (see also this retort), the Hoboken School district had a surplus of $1.1 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014 and over a $5,400,000 dollar surplus for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 (see 14:30-15:00 mark in this video). 

Figure 1:Click to Enlarge 

Motion by Peter Biancamano, second by John Madigan.
Final Resolution: Motion Fails
Yes: Peter Biancamano, John Madigan, Britney Montgomery
No: Sharyn Angley, Jennifer Evans, Leon Gold, Irene Sobolov, Monica Stromwall, Thomas Kluepfel

Figure 2: Hoboken Lawsuit asking the Renewal and
Expansion of Hola should be reassessed

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hoboken Board of Education Detailed Agenda- February 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016- AGENDA

Full agenda: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Teachers Use of Data, Measurement, and Data Modeling in Quantitative Reasoning (Petrosino, 2016)

Parade on Washington St 1938
This chapter was inspired and motivated by participation in the Quantitative Reasoning session of the Waterbury Summit on “Reforming STEM Education – The Central Role ofPractices” held in University Park, PA in Summer 2013. The broad goals of the Summit were to discuss the redesign of K-12 education for alignment of curriculum-instruction-assessment; STEM teacher education; post-secondary STEM education and informal education on the publics’ engagement. Presentations and discussions centered on opportunities and challenges the Next Generation Science Standards present for (1) initial preparation of and continuing professional development of STEM educators and (2) the general education of the publics’ understandings about science and engineering practices. Overall, the summit stimulated a reconceptualization of STEM education with a focus on systems thinking, model-based reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. 

To organize this chapter, I articulate the role of data modeling including an emphasis on variability as a means of pursuing meaningful investigative activities in STEM classrooms. I continue by addressing some key components of an instructional sequence for scaffolding measurement, variability, and modeling in the pursuit of experiment in K-12 settings. Next, I discuss the role of pre-service teacher education and professional development in attempting to take some of these reform pedagogies to a larger scale than simple single classroom implementations. I conclude by discussing how quantification and measurement could forge links between integrating science and mathematics education.

Petrosino, A. J. (2016). Teachers Use of Data, Measurement, and Data Modeling in Quantitative Reasoning. In R. Duschl and A. Bismarck (Eds), Reconceptualizing STEM Education: The Central Role ofPractices (pp.167-180). New York: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.