LV Middle School - NJAsk scores low

The NJAsk scores were low enough to put them on the State's watch list for No Child Left Behind! Math especially was low. Is the Everyday Math and Connected Math really working as the administration has touted in years past? They always pointed to the NJAsk scores as proof! I had attended the BOE meeting at the end of last year when the numbers were presented and this time they dismissed the low scores.

They introduced MAP tests for another look at how our students are doing, but there has not been any presentation to the BOE on how our students did on a Nationaly normed test! Why? The parent advisory committee wanted such a test, we got it, but besides knowing how our own children did on the test, it would nice to see the results by grade and by school (elementary). Wasn't that the purpose of the test?

I am brand new to the forum and wanted to create some awareness out there regarding our schools and what is going on.

Advocate
Feb '10


I was also there at the board meeting when they spoke about the results and it sure was funny how quickly the middle school results were gone over. And yes, there wasn't much concern expressed and of course there were no questions (but I could be wrong) asked by the BOE members. I would also like to clear some things up when it comes to the parent committees - only recommendations were allowed to be made but when it came down to the final decisions well, I'm sure you know how that one goes. It's funny how in the board meeting it's always "the recommendations of the parent committees". However, I do know that from their end that they are using the MAP test as a way to see how the students are doing. Hopefully, they take the middle school students scores and see that something is not working. I do believe that they would be willing to show the results by schools and grade if there is enough interest but I still think that all of this once again needs to be brought to the forefront.

Julesmomof5 Julesmomof5 Message Julesmomof5
Feb '10

The BOE needs to be held accountable for the low test scores! We have been sold a bill of goods on the Everyday and Connected math programs. Your child IS NOT being taught the fundamental skills they need to learn to get into HS! The reason the test scores are low is because the students do not finish all of the work books designated for that school year. EM and CM, DOES NOT teach the fundamentals of math, parents have been cut out of the process--it is a bad program that has been rejected by many schools.

WMCHS is currently teaching remedial math classes called Algebra 1. There are no EM and CM programs for HS! There is help, check out Jill Galdstone's website NJ coalition for world Class Math, http://njworldclassmath.webs.com/

As parents we need to band together and demand that the BOE raise math standards to the Singapore levels in our K-8 schools district. We can make a difference in our children's education.

Billy Smith Billy Smith Message Billy Smith
Mar '10

Be careful what you ask for.
Washington Twp is no different than any other district in NJ.
If you want a change or proven improvement, 2 things need to happen:

1) The district will hire a consultant (generally a coworker or former associate of the school system) to conduct a feasibility study (good work if you can get it).

2) Upon acceptance of the recommendation of the feasibility study (along with the requisite "recommendations of the parent committees"), a new administrative position will be created with a salary well into the six-figure range.

Additionally, don't forget that when voice your frustration by voting down the school budget , the administration is absolutely unaffected. They have great salaries and benefits, and prove their own worth to you because, if reducing money is a requirement, it will always be a teacher or your kids favorite program that gets the ax. I have yet to see a school advisory panel recommend that maybe we don't need so many administrators and support staff.

But then again, it is "for the children".

Enjoy your taxes! They are.


For the money the boe members make and the teachers make, the kids in this town should all have above par grades and test scores. maybe thay all should all take a pay cut and start paying into there owne health care like the rest of us have to do.if all the members of the NJEA were told this was going to become a true reality for them, the test scores would more than likely go up, and maybe our taxes would go down

MR REAL DEAL
Mar '10

Cut it out Steve Carter, with enrollment down 251 students from 2004 the time has come for the BOE to make some tough decisions and reduce spending levels. We are currently spending ten million dollars more to educate 251 less students.

When the budget fails the Township committee will cut it down to size. The BOE is spoon fed lie after lie after lie by Leslie Schwarz. Hiring another six figure administrator IS NOT an option.

Getting rid of EM & CM will save the taxpayer money. The new Superintendent, Jeff Mohre comes from a district ( Oradel ) where their budget was constantly cut. The Oradel BOE is dissolving, Mohre's job is going away, Bergen county is getting smart they are consolidating BOE administrations--some we need to do here in LV.

Billy Smith Billy Smith Message Billy Smith
Mar '10

I want to know when everyone is going to show up to the BOE meetings and start voicing their opinions. It seems that most have given up and that it is the same people at every meeting. We have to band together and have numbers if we would like to see a change. I am so disappointed with the process that we have seen between the administrators and the BOE. Isn't the BOE supposed to be a checks and balance to the administrators? Instead it has become a closed door clique where you are not allowed to voice your opinions. And when you do you are curtly dismissed - trust me I've been there.

Julesmomof5 Julesmomof5 Message Julesmomof5
Mar '10

Jules Mom of 5, there is no leader ship at the BOE. What happened to you is typical of the response you get when you challenge the BOE. The only way the BOE will listen is to get a large group of parents to go to a meeting and voice our concerns. I want to start a group of parents who want to improve math standards.

We can start by voting down the budget, and not pulling the lever for the Daily, Koop, and Rec. They will still get elected, they are unopposed. Let's send them a message by driving down their numbers. Please contact me if you are interested in taking action.

I have a new website with school news, www.wtschools.net
Your opinion is important, let your voice be heard.

Today I spoke to John Winsted about the low NJASk test scores and he gave me this website, http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc09 The Map scores are not on the website.

Make sure you check out, http://njworldclassmath.webs.com/
Other parents across the state are fed up with EM & CM and are doing something about it.

Thank you Tom Lotito thomaslotito@verizon.net

Tom Lotito Tom Lotito Message Tom Lotito
Mar '10

Hi Tom.

I don't know if you have had any experience working with John Winstead or not but myself and a few others were on a parent committee - invited by the administration - about a year and a half ago. When we first started working with John he seemed to have a good voice of reason but it seemed to change as the process went on (probably pressure put on him by the admin). I am curious as to what you think about what he said to you regarding the NJASK scores and what he is trying to prove by going to this website. I always feel that they are trying to defend themselves instead of taking responsibility for things that have not worked. Instead they should be looking at different options. But what Long Valley elected resident wants to admit that they made a mistake? But first and foremost, the decisions that they make are made by the BOE and administration without any input from the public. We are all highly educated members of this society and it has ultimately come down to politics and egos. I am so disappointed as I know many other people are as well - especially those who moved here for the "wonderful education system". And as for working with principals, literacy instructors, administrators and BOE members - well you can forget any kind of compromise or welcoming of ideas. I have seen them shoot down so many ideas without even giving them a thought and leaving the person who brought it up embarrassed and not ever wanting to ever say anything again - thus the lack of numbers at the BOE meetings.

As for the Math, please don't get me going. I have a son who should be a few grades ahead in math but has not been allowed ANY acceleration nor has it been allowed to ever be spoken about. Something has to be done before they get into high school. But once again, we the taxpayers, had no say when Everyday Math was being considered - and then bought without our knowledge. I am all for getting together a group of parents to bring the serious issue of our Math program upfront but I'm sure you're aware that there was a Parent Committe formed by the Administration this past year as well. Ultimately, it came down to Communication, Differntiated Learning (where?), Assessments, some traditional math and Professional Development and a Math Master Teacher (??). I am not saying the committee did not do a good job but I think their hands were tied as were ours.

I know that the BOE members will remain the same (when is someone going to run that will win and someone who will stand up to them????) but there has to be a way to repress them. And yes, this will have to be done through numbers. I was asking my friend how we could get together a group of people to begin the process. Unfortunately, I do not have the resources of people. However, I will do anything else that needs to be done to make a meeting happen. This MUST be done. Please let me know how and I am in 100%. I have been saying this for over a year now. This small group of BOE members and the administration must be changed and stood up to. I am not an overt voice but I feel a democratic voice where I will stand up for what I believe in and I will say what I need to say - especially when it comes to my children. I have had it and you bet I will be voting NO!!! at the election. Can't wait for tonight and the Budget Proposal!! Thanks for the passion. Whether I agree with everything you say or not, I am with you all the way on this one. Please let's get a group together for this cause as well before it is too late.

P.S. I wrote a letter this morning to Dr. Mohr explaining more thoughts and feelings on all of these issues. We'll see what happen :).

Julesmomof5 Julesmomof5 Message Julesmomof5
Mar '10

Julesmomof 5, I hear everything you are saying, and you are 100% right about the BOE members. Other parents have expressed similar concerns, they are frustrated and don't know what to do. Let's start an e-mail chain newsletter. I have two other parents interested in putting together a group. Drop me an e-mail and I will share my plans on how we can get started.

Thank you Tom Lotito thomaslotito@verizon.net.

Tom Lotito Tom Lotito Message Tom Lotito
Mar '10

Have you considered going to the Morris County Executive Superintendent?
I know of a problem in another town and she got involved and gave the Superintendent of that town some feedback on what needs to change. This was part of the QSAC process - is Long Valley due for QSAC in 2010-11? Definitely use that process to effect change. Good luck!'

PS FYI we considered a move to LV but ruled it out because of the curriculum controversy there.

morriscountyparent morriscountyparent Message morriscountyparent
Jul '10

I believe they just went through QSAC...what kind of information should we be looking or asking for from the results etc. ?

LDavis LDavis Message LDavis
Jul '10

This is a very interesting article about test scorers. It's long but very insightful. http://www.truth-out.org/the-loneliness-long-distance-test-scorer65845


everyday math caused alot of problems chicago got rid of it and it also failed NYC students it dosent teach the fundamentals correctly and our children will suffer

caryn caryn Message caryn
Jan '11

EM & CM is an issue that is buried beneath the surface. What get's me is; Why are the college educated parents in this town putting up with it in our schools???

If I had a wish list for this town, our state and nation it would be this; Our schools would be #1 in education in the world. Why aren't we teaching American exceptionalism in our schools?

Long Valley schools needs to remove EM & CM and upgrade to Singapore Math. The highest Math standards.

Raising the education standards for our town will make Long Valley property value increase exponentially.The schools are where the money is at and where the taxes are growing the fastest.

Is anyone interested in forming a coalition to discuss reforming the Math program in our K-8 schools?

Don't forget to visit my website www.wtschools.net for information about the up coming budget and school board elections.

For more information on raising math standards in our schools check out; http://njworldclassmath.webs.com/

Thomas Lotito Thomas Lotito Message Thomas Lotito
Jan '11

Most parents dislike Everyday Math and Connected Math, but it is the same few parents that show up to BOE meetings. Until parents become advocates for their children's education and demand academic excellence nothing will change. Parents seem more concerned that their child gets equal 'play' time in sporting events, then making sure they are getting a competitive education.

Advocate
Feb '11

Billy Smith~could you tell me more about the Algebra 1 class and why it's considered remedial? My child was assigned this class for his first year in WMHS next year and I was given the impression that, although it's not the top Math class, it's one step below and considered "Advanced Algebra". There are also two other Math classes that are below that.

I don't understand how EM and CM were ever approved in this town. Boggles my mind. But what happens to those students who are already in MS or HS? How do we undo what they've learned?


As a student who takes Connected Math, I can honestly say it stresses me out, confuses me, and more importantly, likely contributed to my low math NJASK score. Because of my age, my influence will probably be minimal. However, please consider that I am the one taking this course, so my side might be worth listening to.

Please explain to me how drawing hubcaps with lines in them is going to help me get a job? Or how I can take a book called "Frogs, Fleas, and Painted Cubes" seriously?

I find myself going for math help just about everyday, and know many other students who also do not understand the connected math program.

I am unable to do simple multiplication problems regularly, and have to use the "lattice" method, as I was never taught the regular method and now, when I try to learn it, I get completely lost.

Also, I am unable to divide well, and when I do, this also takes a long time.

Despite this, I have been recommended for Advance Algebra 1 for HS. Needless to say, I will be taking a lower class to review.

Please do not mistake me for a student who simply does not care about their grades. I get A's and B's, but I have to work very hard to maintain them in math class.

What never ceases to amaze me is that Long Valley Middle School's Board of Education and West Morris Central's Board of Education DO NOT work together. How are students going into HS going to understand anything?

Yet, we can still have classes such as Service and Community with Mrs. Dickinson as teacher, or may I say preacher? This is just a student's opinion, but please consider that this is my education, and I'm the one who is there 5 days a week. Students like me just might know something, and want to change it.

FeelingFlyLikeAG6 FeelingFlyLikeAG6 Message FeelingFlyLikeAG6
Mar '11

I hear you Feelingfly, If your parents can afford it, you will need math tutoring before HS. I would investigate the Algebra 1 class you mentioned. I wrote an article 18 months ago that explains that the WMCHS was giving remedial math classes called Algebra 1. This information came directly from then Vice Principal, Gil Moscatello. There is no EM & CM in HS.

The biggest frustration about CM & EM was that it cut my wife and me of the process of helping our children with their homework. I brought this issue up with Mr. Ryan at the time, we were told it's not the results, it' the process that matters. It was then I became concerned about the math program and began to investigate.

I would like to form a committee with other parents that would advocate removing EM & CM math from our schools. I would like to see Singpore Math (highest math standards) replace EM & CM. Anyone interested?

For more information checkout.

www.wtschols.net In the far right column under Blog roll click on NJ coalition for World class Math.

Thomas Lotito Thomas Lotito Message Thomas Lotito
Mar '11

I would seriously be interested in forming the group as well.

NJmom NJmom Message NJmom
Mar '11

NJ mom, we can start with e-mails and my website. wtschools.net I will write a story asking parents if they are struggling with helping their children with math, parents can air their their views and sign up.

After we get a core group together we can meet with Jill Gladstone of NJ world class math, Jill is also on the BOE of Bridgewater schools. Jill was successful removing EM & CM from her district.

At some point we can make a presentation to WTBOE, to start the ball rolling.Do I think the BOE will listen and change the program right away? No.

But, if we chip away at it week after week we should be able to get the programs removed.

Once we get enough parents supporting us the BOE will listen.

Thomas Lotito Thomas Lotito Message Thomas Lotito
Mar '11

We will email you over the weekend..let get this going!

NJmom NJmom Message NJmom
Mar '11

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