Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visiting NJ tomorrow

I received a press release that said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is visiting New Jersey tomorrow following the release of new statistics showing that New Jersey's public schools are among the best in the nation. That's cool. Unfortunately, he's only visiting a charter school -- the North Star Academy Charter School in Newark. There is some talk of trying to get him to visit a traditional public school as well, considering that the vast majority of NJ students are in regular public schools -- I vote for Ridgewood!

(FYI -- A recent study by the Rand Corporation showed that charter schools do not perform better than traditional public schools. The report found that in the school systems studied, charter attendance had either no significant impact on students' reading and math performance, or actually had a small negative effect. That being said, the point of this post was not to bash charter schools -- if you want to read the full study, click here -- but since the Education Secretary is visiting one, I thought I'd point it out.)

Hey, Mr. Duncam, come to Ridgewood! We'll show you some great NJ public schools!


Anonymous said...


Sorry to go off topic here, but what is the Board's position on the Valley expansion? At the planning board meeting the other night it was revealed that 20 trucks and 40 buses an hour are expected to travel through the local streets during the 6 year construction time frame. That, and the noise, dust, and distraction are going to inevitably hurt the learning environments at BF and Travell, not to mention potential safety issues for the students. Has the BOE been involved in any of these discussions?

Laurie said...

I cannot speak for the Board, but I can report that we have not publicly taken a position on the issue before the planning board. The Board has not been involved in the planning bard discussions, but the administration has had discussions with Valley, and some individual Board members have attended information sessions and planning board meetings and hearings.

With that being said, I can report that Dr. Fishbein has stated that should a project be approved, the District will work with the Village and the hospital to ensure that our students are safe, and their learning is not compromised, at all times.

As for my personal opinion, I can say that I will look for the establishment of any and all necessary practices, policies, plans and procedures to keep our students safe. If the project goes forward, I will expect full and thorough input from the district and especially the closest schools, to create a very clear and detailed developer's agreement (I think that's what it's called). I've seen past agreements with Valley and they were quite specific as to testing, monitoring, acceptable levels, corrections required, timeframes, etc.