BoE Recap – 11/13/2007

11/16/2007 Recap:

The Board of Education met for a special session Tuesday evening. Board members Carmelo Garcia and Frank Raia were absent. The meeting was the first to be videotaped by the BOE for viewing on Cablevision Channel 77.


Report of the Superintendent of Schools

jack-raslowsky-hoboken-board-of-education2.jpgJack Raslowsky began the special session with an explanation of the findings of the District Performance Reviews for the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC).

QSAC is the state’s new monitoring and evaluation system for public school districts, created to determine the extent to which districts are providing a thorough and efficient education. The state will look at the Hoboken school district’s fiscal management, governance, instruction and programs, operations, and personnel for the last three years. The state provides a series of questions, benchmarks and best practices that the Hoboken schools must use for self-assessment. Results will be sent to Bob Osak, the county superintendent of education, who will review the assessment, visit the schools, and perform a number of spot-checks. Recommendations will then be forwarded to the state commissioner of education who will report back to the school district with recommendations by the end of January. Target scores of less than 80% will require remediation plans.

Read the rest of the recap after the jump

Raslowsky stated that the process will assist the district in taking stock of its current status, showing which areas the schools are doing well in, and where improvement is needed. He noted that most sections of the self-assessment did not allow for partial credit, so that one missed target at any time during the last three years could result in the loss of all points for a section, thereby making for lower scores than would be expected. Raslowsky also suggested that many areas had been improved on in the past few months and that the current status of the district would garner higher scores.

Results (Target of 80%):

  • Fiscal Management: 43%
  • Governance: 33%
  • Instruction and Program: 45%
  • Operations: 88%
  • Personnel: 80%

Further explanation of the scores can be found in a letter from Jack Raslowsky to the Hoboken community.

Report of the Board President

theresa-minutillo-hoboken-board-of-education.jpgBoard President Theresa Minutillo reviewed the timeline of the QSAC process with Raslowsky, and stated her hope that the district to strive for 100% compliance, rather than merely meeting the 80% targets. Raslowsky agreed, repeating his earlier statements that the district would look to improve on its strengths as well as its weaknesses.

Superintendent’s Agenda

Having already discussed QSAC, Raslowsky moved on to the second item, the review and approval of the Early Childhood Program Operational Plan and Budget for the 2008-9 school year and Two-Year Instructional Priorities Report. Raslowsky informed the Board that they would not be voting on the budget portion until the next meeting. He stated that the new director of the Early Childhood Program, Jessica Peters, has been working to increase enrollment as well exploring possible changes in the curriculum and in professional development. The program is also looked at to determine how best to transition children from the pre-K to kindergarten program, and is considering mixed-age groups (three and four-year-olds together).

The Board voted 7-0 to approve the submission of the QSAC performance reviews to the NJDOE via the County Superintendent of Schools, and voted 6-0-1 on the Early Childhood Program Operational Plan, with Tricia Snyder abstaining as her child is in the program.

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Here’s an interesting article on the state’s school districts and all the waste:

It’s not just Hoboken, but the entire state, that needs a housecleaning.


[quote comment=”54216″]A new superintendent, a new reformer council president, Dawn Zimmer, Peter Cunningham and Beth Mason elected to the city council and now realistic reviews in the Reporter of the poorly managed school system. Anyone else beginning to think things have hit a tipping point in Hoboken and we are moving in the right direction?![/quote]

Raslowsky seems to be doing a very good job. I think he’s being relatively thoughtful & fair, considering all the options & making decisions based on long term goals & what’s best for the students / district. It’s not an easy job, especially w/ the current political situation, and he had A LOT of catching up to do & mistakes to correct. Taking all those factors into consideration, I would say he deserves at least a “B plus” at this point in his term.

One of the things I like best is that it seems like he’s being honest about the deficiencies & challenges that have plagued the district and not trying to hide the truth. He definitely has ideas that he believes strongly in & just need support & cooperation to turn those dreams into reality.

Westsider II
Westsider II

At tonight’s BOE meeting (7pm between 11 and 12 on Clinton) the BOE will face the music for allowing a fair evaluation of the district to be released. They need, deserve, and would love to have our support.


[quote comment=”54204″] From a tax perspective, this is where the action is. If you’re concerned about kids or property values. it’s where the action is too.[/quote]

i’m glad someone else is keen to this fact. bad schools are the main reason people pack up and move to the suburbs. that’s the only reason supply is ahead of demand in the real estate market. fix the schools and property values would skyrocket, because no one would ever want to leave. incidentally, the kids would become better educated, the town would become more of a unified community, beter quality of life, etc.

Westsider II
Westsider II

[quote comment=”54257″]Where else was the SWAT team going to put the kegerator?[/quote]

On a horse drawn carriage.