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2007 – The year of embattled Superintendents

>It’s only June and four public school superintendents in our area have already gone down for the count. What’s the rest of 2007 likely to bring?

Here’s the scorecard thus far:

Brooks, Marty – Ridgewood; parental dissatisfaction with TERC – declined to accept position

Calabro, Joanne – Fort Lee; plagiarized speech to National Honor Society students – contract not renewed

Dime, Janis – Paramus; tainted soil cover up – out on paid administrative leave

Nuccetelli, Maria – Wayne; clash over management style with BOE – contract not renewed

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Who were the other candidates for Superintendent?

>The Fly is curious. Has anyone filed an OPRA yet to determine the names of candidates #2 & #3? Were any internal candidates being considered? Reportedly, there were over 30 applicants.

It’s difficult to believe that BOE members are going to appoint another interim Super instead of just tapping the next person on their list. Could it be that Marty Brooks was the only candidate they ever looked at?

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Brooks Declines Ridgewood Superintendency

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From the Village Website!!!

Brooks Declines Ridgewood Superintendency

Dr. Martin Brooks has informed the Ridgewood Board of Education that because of personal reasons he will not accept the Superintendency in Ridgewood. It is the position of the Board that before Dr. Brooks’ arrival he was made to feel unwelcome. Anonymous phone calls, emails, blogs, and web postings by some community members questioned his integrity, ethics and educational philosophy. The Board considers this to be a most unfortunate situation for the Village and schools. It is not reflective of Ridgewood’s supportive community and its values.After an extensive nine-month process, using criteria and specifications developed in collaboration with the community, the Board selected Dr. Brooks to be the next superintendent. Some in the community took exception to the Board’s decision and have undermined the process.At its June 18, 2007, meeting, the Board will discuss the hiring of an interim superintendent and the initiation of a second superintendent search. As always, the Board will continue to focus on the education of more than 5,600 students in the Ridgewood Public School system.

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the fly hears the N.Y. Times checks out the districts fuzzy math…

>The fly heard Dr. Arilotta and Bob Muller got their hair blown out yesterday.
It must have been that the New York Times was coming to visit Travell and Orchard school and interview the district about their fuzzy Math. Hmmmh, the NY Times, why didn’t Marty Brooks want to come and speak with the Times about how he implemented TERC in his last district?

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Welcome Reception for Marty Brooks Postponed

>Because of scheduling conflicts, the Board of Education is postponing the public welcome reception for Dr. Martin Brooks, the incoming Superintendent of Schools at the Ed Center, originally scheduled for Monday, June 11, 2007.

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Meet Dr. Marty Brooks – June 11, 2007 @ 7:30pm Ed. Center

>The Board of Education is inviting the public to a welcome reception for Dr. Martin Brooks, the incoming Superintendent of Schools at the Ed Center, third floor, 49 Cottage Place, on Monday, June 11, 2007, from 7:30-8:30 PM. The informal occasion is the first opportunity for residents to meet Dr. Brooks who was appointed to the position at the May 14, 2007, Board meeting. He takes over the Ridgewood post on July 1, 2007.

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Marty Brooks responds to readers Inquiry

>Dear Ms. Edwards:

Thanks for this note. I’d like to make a few comments about the link you attached. The math wars, like the whole language wars of the past decade, are based on a false dichotomy: traditional education v. progressive education. Good instruction focuses on the needs of the child – every child, one by one – and no one approach meets the needs of all children.

The math issue is interesting in that the battle seems to be pitched around algorithmic fluency v. conceptual understanding. They are not mutually exclusive. Both are essential for mathematical literacy. Students who learn algorithms procedurally without conceptual understanding aren’t truly fluent because although they are able to answer questions correctly on tests (when the questions are posed in the precise format the students are used to seeing), they often have difficulty knowing whether to (and how to) apply that algorithm to new and different situations. Teaching for conceptual understanding helps children develop efficient strategies for computing. Understanding the concept that underlies the algorithm helps students know how and when to apply it, helping them to become more proficient in solving new, differently presented problems and/or more complex problems.

Programs don’t teach children, teachers do. Good teachers vary their instruction – and their materials – based on student response.

Respectfully,

Marty Brooks

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

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ABOUT SAINT PATRICKSaint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.

Saint Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the “Holy Wells” that still bear this name.

There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin city

Why Saint Patrick’s Day?
Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.

In American cities with a large Irish population, St. Patrick’s Day is a very big deal. Big cities and small towns alike celebrate with parades, “wearing of the green,” music and songs, Irish food and drink, and activities for kids such as crafts, coloring and games. Some communities even go so far as to dye rivers or streams green! ( http://www.st-patricks-day.com/about_saintpatrick.asp )

photo’s by ArtChick Photo’s shot at Irish Eyes on Ridgewood Ave