News Alert
Top 20 High Schools In New Jersey: Middlesex…

Too Much to Hope For?

Saving our schools.

Those who attended the Woodbridge School District’s Board of Education meeting on the evening of September 21, 2012, know there was a large turnout of people from the community and from the SEIU32BJ, which is the union that represents the district’s cafeteria workers.  Also present were an unusually high number of Woodbridge police.  Apparently, the BOE was ensuring they had support, should the meeting attendees become too outspoken. 


There were many hot topic on the agenda that evening.  Perhaps, the most important was the announce by Dr. John Crowe, Superintendent of the Woodbridge School District, that he would not seek renewal of his contract and that he had advised the Board to begin the process of selecting his replacement.  Let us hope the Board can do that in a very timely and highly productive manner.


It should be noted that Dr. Crowe’s announcement to leave his current position and return to that of a tenured  Principal was, apparently too many, well received.  Clearly, Dr. Crowe in making his announcement, demonstrated his strength of character, a commitment to the community in which he was raised, and his love of teaching.  Let us hope his calling and passion will serve the educational needs of children in this community for many years to come.


The topic of test cheating and those accused of it also loomed large on the BOE’s agenda.  As required by law, the BOE’s attorney read aloud  the findings of the State Department of Education’s Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance (OFAC) yearlong investigation.  The names of two principals and three teachers currently on suspension for the alleged cheating were named.  Let us hope those accused of cheating, especially the teachers, are given a fair hearing by the Trier of Fact, and not by administrators and elected officials looking to quickly affix blame.   Let us hope those accused will have their teaching record look at in totality, and not just in one or two instances of alleged wrongdoing.  Let us hope  if they are guilty of wrongdoing, their punishment fits the crime; not the heavy retribution that those with higher political ambitions might seek to extract.


While much of the meeting was dedicated to matters concerning the feeding of young minds, it was made very clear by the union employees of Chartwell, the school district’s contracted cafeteria food service operation, that they, the workers, handle the nutritional needs of the children.  Let us hope the Board heard and heeds the impassioned pleas of those workers, who are asking for a fair wage and benefits.  Let us hope a Board that can find money for consultants, the lighting of school stadiums, and various extracurricular activities, can find money for those who help to nourish the bodies of the school district’s children.


Let us hope the residents of the school district have learned they must remain ever vigilant as to what is happening in the schools, that they must be active participants in that process,  and that they must use their voting power wisely.


So, is all this too much to hope for?  Let us hope not, for without such hope what will the morrow bring!    




This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

NotInKansasAnymore September 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Hey Tom did someone open the pot farm early and let you in? I really don't even know where to begin addressing some of the things you said. His "strength of character? a commitment to the community?" Are you for real? If he had that he would have stepped down awhile ago. Before Rotella was even asked to. He is leaving now cuz he knows the jig is up. If he could have weaseled his way into staying on I'm sure he would have. I think his calling may really be acting. Perhaps he should give that a try. As for your input on giving the teachers a fair shake and looking at their records in totality how much cheating do you think is acceptable? Perhaps if they only helped students cheat in 2010 they should just get a slap on the hand, but maybe if they did it again in 2011 we ought to just give them an extra little vaca and suspend them with pay for a few weeks? What would you suggest? I as a parent of a student that was "helped" during testing don't find even a "little bit" of cheating acceptable. I'm also really angry that I am forced to send my children to school by law, then they are there for 6 1/2 hours having this NJ ASK Prep shoved at them for about 8 months, then someone that is in a position of authority over my children has them cheat to make the teacher look better. That is appaling behavior.
Al McDorman September 22, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Well put Mr.Maras. Let us hope and strive for the well being of the children and our collective future. The LAST thing this process should be about is power and getting the upper hand, which was expected of some (hence the large police presence). May the community learn from this, learn what CAUSED this to come about (not just whom), and may no one use this sad state of affairs as a stepping stone without our children's welfare of first and foremost concern.
NotInKansasAnymore September 22, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Also, these teachers must know what cheating is because I'm sure if a student cheated on say a little weekly spelling test or math exam, whatever, that only had bearing on the students grade they would be punished immediately. The higher ups would probably stress to them how bad cheating is. Just another case of do as I say, not as I do, right? I have raised my children to have a set of values. We don't tolerate lying or cheating and I am sickened that it goes on in our schools by teachers, principals and administrators.
Al McDorman September 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I hope the community agrees that all lying, cheating, nepotism, favoritism, and chronyism are only BAD for our community and, WHEREVER FOUND, must be thoroughly investigated by outside agencies and stopped forever. Children follow examples and, lacking mature judgement expected of their elders, all too often follow the wrong path for short term gains at the expense of others. Corruption MUST be rooted out wherever it is found.
Can't shut me up September 23, 2012 at 04:39 AM
" I as a parent of a student that was "helped" during testing " That's called CHEATING. Did anyone else get "help" Cheating is cheating and obviously is it not cheating when it's your child... Home school your kid if you you like the way it is.
Tom Maras September 23, 2012 at 02:15 PM
@NotInKansasAnymore. You may wish to read page one (1) of the Middlesex Edition of Sunday’s Star-Ledger, specifically the article entitled: The mob boss’ son and the pot clinic: a feud grows in Jersey. After reading it, call John McCormac and asked him (apparently he is ‘well connected’ to the pending Woodbridge “Retail” marijuana store) when the shop will open. If you will re-read what I wrote, you may notice I never said the “guilty” should not be punished or that cheating was acceptable. In fact, I specifically stated that if they are found guilty under applicable laws (we are a nation of laws), they should be punished as prescribed by those laws. Suggesting that any punishments given to them take into account their entire teaching record is not an unreasonable suggestion. If the records show they are “bad” teachers, let them lose their teaching certifications. If, however, the records show they are “good” teacher, who have made an egregious error in judgment, can they not be punished in a manner that is not career ending. People, and teacher are people too, learn and can grow from their mistakes, given the chance to do so. At what point in time did you become aware that your child was “helped”? And upon learning of such “help”, what actions did you take? Did you notify any state agency, the news papers or your state Senator or Assemblyman? If not, are you not also somewhat complicit, by your silence, in the test cheating!
NotInKansasAnymore September 24, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Oh yes Mr. Maras sir I did take action. I went to what seems to be your new best friend Dr. Crowe and apparently the person who they are now acting was the big bulldog of the operation aka Mrs. Rotella and voiced my concerns. That was about 2 years ago. I also had other issues to discuss and when the "helping" was brought up it was just met with SILENCE! Not even a question to me as to who exactly, when exactly, NOTHING! So maybe you should run down to Crowe's office again like you did with your buddy Pete's letter and ask him about it. When it fell on deaf ears I also tried the county office and was told if I thought a crime was commited I could always go to the prosecutor's office! LOL. But maybe they are like you and thought if it was just a little it was okay. Also, since you seem to love expressions so much here's one for you..... I am starting to believe your "an educated fool!"
NotInKansasAnymore September 24, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Can't shut me up......What!? I can't even make sense of what you wrote
Tom Maras September 25, 2012 at 02:08 PM
@NotInKansasAnymore. Having no reason to doubt the actions you state you had taken regarding notifying those you did about the cheating, I commend you for you efforts. Certainly, it must have been a very frustrating endeavor. One that perhaps, in part, because of your efforts and those of several others, has made this matter a cause célèbre within the community. There are many lessens to be learned from all this, not the least of which is people must be vigilant and must fight dishonesty when and where they find it


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something