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Reader asks , ” Why hasn’t Ridgewood done enough to keep up and stay competitive?”

gay flag

“The Ivy’s received almost 70,000 more applicants in 2017 than in 2012, and overall acceptance rates dropped to 9.3% from 12.6%.”
Why hasn’t Ridgewood done enough to keep up and stay competitive?
Answer: Because the school values all of the BS (sleep in days, pet therapist for exams, student walkouts against perceieved – but not real – trangressions, etc. etc. etc.) rather than innovative programs and solutions to make the students successful and competitive in an ever more competitive and changing world.
The attitude that life (in this case getting into college) is getting harder so it is OK that we do not do as well is EXACTLY why we are failing the students and falling behind.
Making excuses for failure is so much easier than finding solutions for success.

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Rutherford Voters Reject Proposed $53M Vanity Schools Referendum

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Rutherford NJ, according to Matthew Gibson,  this referendum was not to “fix schools” it was to make superficial changes like a taxpayer funded turf field for lacrosse and do things which would not affect education at all.

Gibson commented ,”They wanted to spend $53 million, of which about approximately $0 was for education. $5 million to literally bulldoze the high school poll, another $5 million to replace it with a new cafeteria. $2.5 million to turf some open space behind the HS, $3+ million to remove a playground and my personal favorite building new chemistry labs without windows which is totally safe”

Referendum Rejected

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The Rutherford community has voted to reject the proposed $53M referendum to improve our school facilities. While this is a disappointing result, we still need to provide adequate space for our growing enrollment and create environments to support our students academically. We will examine our plan to determine if there is a less encompassing alternative that could still give us more classroom space and make the district compliant with federal and state mandates, even if it does not fulfill all of our needs.

Thank you to all of the voters who became informed and supported the proposal.


Jack Hurley, Superintendent of Schools

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Out-of-town family must pay school district $38K, state says


Updated on July 9, 2017 at 8:14 PMPosted on July 9, 2017 at 2:37 PM


NJ Advance Media for

BRIDGEWATER — A family was ordered to pay a school district more than $38,000 after it was discovered that a student was living outside of the district’s lines, the Commissioner of Education recently determined.

The parents, identified only in state documents as “M.K.,” were ordered to pay a full year’s tuition, or $38,329.20 to the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.

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What will Trump’s push for ‘school choice’ mean for N.J. students?

School Choice by ArtChick

file photo by ArtChick

Updated March 06, 2017
Posted March 06, 2017

By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for

Calling education the “civil rights issue of our time,” President Donald Trump used his address before Congress last week to highlight one of his top issues – school choice.

Echoing a campaign promise, Trump vowed to push for students in poor school districts to be able to use public funds to attend a charter, private or religious school.

“I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children,” Trump said. “These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.”

Trump did not say what form his school choice program would take. But he did give a few hints of what a federal push for school choice might look like in New Jersey and around the country.


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The 20 N.J. school districts most dependent on state funding


By Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for
on February 28, 2017 at 7:15 AM, updated February 28, 2017 at 7:53 AM

TRENTON — When Gov. Chris Christie delivers his 2018 budget address on Tuesday, New Jersey school officials will be listening especially closely.

How Christie will address education funding is the biggest question about his final budget, leaving administrators bracing for the possibility of funding cuts.

There’s some concern Christie could follow through with the “Fairness Formula,” a plan he unveiled last summer to give every district $6,599 per student regardless of income or other needs. Though many education groups are convinced Christie won’t do that, they still don’t have high hopes for increases in school funding.

“I’m not expecting any good news in the budget,” said Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators.

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N.J.’s top pensions adviser: 5 ways to cut property taxes


Updated February 27, 2017
Posted February 27, 2017

Property taxes in New Jersey are the highest in the nation. Since 2000, they have doubled and have risen at over twice the rate of inflation. No wonder people are forced to move; no wonder we have the highest foreclosure rate in the nation.

Property taxpayers suffer because raising this tax is the path of least resistance. When the income tax goes up, people blame politicians in the Statehouse. For property taxes, it’s not clear who’s to blame: the state blames local governments. The towns who collect the taxes for school districts and counties blame those entities for not controlling costs. The towns, school districts and counties all blame the state for cutting state aid.

Everyone is to blame. No one is responsible.

The obvious way to control property taxes is to hold the line on expenses, but this is fraught with political consequences, especially for Democrats. Public-sector unions like the NJEA and the two police unions, whose members’ salaries and benefits are largely paid by property taxes, wield enormous influence in both general elections and, particularly, Democratic primaries.

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Oops! NJ elementary school assignment asks kids to honor convicted cop killer

Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal

By Sergio Bichao February 4, 2017 6:44 PM

WEST DEPTFORD — A South Jersey elementary school principal got a lesson on checking her work after assigning students as young as 6 a project that honored a convicted cop killer.

The school-wide assignment at Red Bank Elementary School was actually supposed to honor famous black Americans for Black History Month.

But the list of notable black figures included Mumia Abu-Jamal and Angela Davis alongside Louis Armstrong, Mohammad Ali, Crispus Attucks and George Washington Carver.

Abu-Jamal, a black nationalist, was convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. He has maintained his innocence even though he was found wounded from a gunshot at the scene alongside his fired gun.

Davis, meanwhile, is a social justice activist and communist who was a one-time fugitive after being charged as an accessory in a violent and deadly 1970 takeover of a California courtroom. Prosecutors tried to tie her to the incident because the guns had belonged to her, but an all-white federal jury acquitted her.

What the principal failed to notice, many parents did — including Bryan Klugh, who alerted his friends on the police force.

Read More: Oops! NJ elementary school assignment asks kids to honor convicted cop killer |

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Prof: Today’s Students and Professors ‘Know Hardly Anything about Anything at All’


Daniel Lattier | August 8, 2016

Six months ago we shared a frightening observation from Patrick Deneen, a political science professor at Notre Dame who has also taught at Princeton and Georgetown. He described his students as “know-nothings… devoid of any substantial knowledge.”

More recently, a respected author and English professor at Providence College in Rhode Island has echoed Deneen’s concerns.

In an essay titled “Exercises in Unreality: The Decline of Teaching Western Civilization,” Anthony Esolen describes a university climate today in which many students and professors no longer possess the knowledge and skills that their peers of previous generations took for granted:

“But what if you know hardly anything about anything at all? That is an exaggeration, but it does capture much of what I must confront as a professor of English right now, even at our school, which accepts only a small fraction of students who apply for admission. Nor, I’m afraid, does it apply only to freshmen. It applies also to professors.”

He explains:

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Family income levels can play a major role in the quality of a child’s education

Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the Department of Education

January 25,2017

compiled by the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, According to Sterling Lloyd, assistant director at the Education Week Research Center and coauthor of the Quality Counts report, the grading framework rewards states with a “well-rounded approach to education.” Broadly speaking, in states at the top end of the ranking, parents have the resources to support their children’s learning in well-funded schools; students report high academic achievement in the classroom; and graduates are able to pursue careers in an economy where opportunities are available to them.

Family income levels can play a major role in the quality of a child’s education. As Lloyd explained, “it certainly helps for parents to be able to provide stability and resources.” A child from a high-income family may enjoy greater access to books and a personal computer, as well as access to extracurricular activities that require some monetary investment. These educational tools and learning experiences are generally less available to poorer children. (

The Education Week Research Center rated New Jersey Schools second best in the USA:

2. New Jersey
> Overall grade: B
> Per pupil spending: $15,946 (6th highest)
> High school graduation rate: 89.7% (2nd highest)
> Pct. 3 & 4 yr. olds enrolled in preschool: 63.7% (2nd highest)

Only three states report a higher median annual household income than New Jersey’s $72,222. Partially because of its strong tax base, New Jersey invests heavily in its public school system. The Garden State spends the equivalent of 4.8% of its taxable resources on its schools, second in the country only to Vermont. Each year, nearly $16,000 per student are spent on New Jersey schools — more than all but five other states.

While the connection between school spending and educational outcomes is complex, in New Jersey, high spending accompanies strong academic performance. The state has some of the largest shares both of math and english-proficient eighth graders, and about 38% of 11th and 12th grade advanced placement test scores in New Jersey are 3 or better — high enough to qualify for college credits — the sixth largest share of all states.

States With the Best (and Worst) Schools

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Donald Trump Vows to be an Advocate for School Choice

Trump #AmplifyChoice

September 22,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, On September 8th GOP Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump unveiled four proposals to increase School Choice, and increase student performance.To achieve this long-term goal of school choice, Mr. Trump plans to make this a shared national mission; to bring hope to every child in every city in this land.

Trump said ,”As your president I will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice,” , speaking from the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy charter school. “I understand many stale old politicians will resist, but it’s time for our country to start thinking big and correct once again.Trump went on to say that expanding school choice would help minority students who are currently trapped in “failing government schools.”

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, weighed in on the proposal, giving it a big thumbs-up.

“The school choice proposals unveiled today by Mr. Trump are a bold set of policies that will increase accountability and lead to better results for our nation’s children,” he said. “These policies prove once again that Mr. Trump is the only person running for president who has the leadership required to make America great again.”

According to Trump ,the Trump team’s first budget will immediately add an additional federal investment of $20 billion towards school choice. This will be done by reprioritizing existing federal dollars. Specifically, Mr. Trump’s plan will use $20 billion of existing federal dollars to establish a block grant for the 11 million school age kids living in poverty. Individual states will be given the option as to how these funds will be used.

Trump’s proposal included as President,he would establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty. That means that we want every disadvantaged child to be able to choose the local public, private, charter or magnet school that is best for them and their family. Each state will develop its own formula, but the dollars should follow the student.

Going even further by saying Trump would use his presidency to be an advocate for school choice, using the pulpit of the presidency to campaign for choice in all 50 states and will call upon the American people to elect officials at the city, state and federal level who support school choice.

Then Trump challenged the status quo even more by supporting merit-pay for teachers, so that great teachers are rewarded instead of the failed tenure system that currently exists, which rewards bad teachers and punishes good ones.