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>New posters or readers here should keep in mind that …

>New posters or readers here should keep in mind that there is a small but dedicated cadre of reform math supporters from places far from Ridgewood who take pleasure in masquerading as ‘stakeholders’ in local debates.

True ‘gadflies’, motivated by politics above all else, they are more than willing to interrupt conversations between local debate participants with stink-bomb posts designed to elicit an emotional reaction from you, for which you are then criticized as having somehow demonstrated hypocrisy (read: “check mate”).

I for one find this behavior pathetic. But to each his own. Looking on the bright side, if this is the sum total of all the support the Reform Math movement can muster on a Ridgewood-centric website, it’s probably a good thing. It tends to show that truly local supporters of that curriculum have exhausted their store of potentially persuasive arguments in support of their position, and are now running on fumes, hoping and praying that the tincture of time will relieve them of their current troubles.


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>a complete retooling of these six search criteria for superintendent

>The Board of Education has re-hired School Leadership LLC to find another new superintendent. They are using the following criteria, which they say was developed with the help of the community. We need a serious intervention or we will end up with another Brooks — cagey, duplicitous, ideologically extreme and smooth as silk. I suggest a complete retooling of these six criteria (listed below) as they are outlined in jargon, education platitudes and gobbledygook. Some suggestions might include the following:

*1. An educator with significant leadership experience, preferably as a superintendent, in a high-expectation school community–
How about: A CEO type individual with experience in business and education (not being a life-long educrat is a big plus) whom others in diverse constituencies have been willing to follow and respect, and who is resilient in the face of diminished expectations emanating from our present school board and curriculum head. A person whose services remain in demand, and for whom we must compete rather than someone who was “let go” by his or her former employer.

*2. An exceptional listener and communicator, with outstanding speaking, writing and interpersonal skills, who has built trust among all members of a school community–
How about: A person for whom honesty is the best policy. One who values forthrightness and frank discussions with parents, students, staff, consultants and the school board. The ability to be a “smooth talker” is not a requirement.

*3. A visible instructional leader, willing to first become intimately acquainted with the Ridgewood schools and community and then share a compelling vision and plan for continued growth–
How about: A person already knowledgeable of the tenets that constituted Ridgewood’s past tradition of excellence, and one for whom that goal would be at the heart of the district’s continued growth.

*4. An administrator who empowers others to carry out the district’s goals but remains accountable for all areas of leadership, including finance and facilities–
Sorry, but an administrator is just another word for a bureaucrat. Administrators do not empower people, rather they employ the leadership survival tools of CYA. No administrator bureaucrat type need apply (see 1).

*5. A strong leader, with demonstrated success in contributing to an effective approach to governance involving the Board, the staff and the school community–
Interesting that parents and taxpayers are notably absent from this particular sentence. How about: Someone who expects to be accountable to parents and taxpayers for the direction of Ridgewood’s schools.

*6. A proven educator, flexible and caring, who will passionately advocate for the learning needs of all (their emphasis) students in the Ridgewood Public Schools–
To whom exactly must this flexible and caring person advocate? How about: A person able to display powerful knowledge of the nation’s education system, including its strengths but, more importantly, its weaknesses so that efforts can be undertaken to limit the system’s harmful byproduct to the education process. Such byproducts include efforts promoted by schools of education to implement more non-academic programs in the classroom; efforts by education publishers to advocate, promote and sell dubious and controversial product; efforts by the teachers union and its supporters to lessen instructional time and add perks to compensation agreements; and efforts to gear curriculum and assessments to merely address statewide standards for proficient student performance.

Adding a 7th:
Someone able to clean up the present inequity and overall weakness of our math program and set our curriculum selections on course to be challenging while ensuring that all students receive the proper support in school to achieve at the standards of a Ridgewood education.


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>Proposed Sewer Use Surcharge – Names of Commercial Property Owners & Amounts

As previously reported on the Ridgewood Blog, Village Council members will soon introduce a “sewer use surcharge” ordinance, targeted at 183 high volume commercial water users in Ridgewood. Adoption of the ordinance is expected to generate approximately $119K of revenue in 2008.

Here’s the complete list of business that will be impacted, along with the proposed annual “sewer use surcharge” fee. Schools, churches, Village owned & operated facilities, and Valley Hospital’s main campus will all be exempted. (the list we be posted shortly sorry for the delay)

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>I went through high school with straight A’s in everything, and C’s and D’s in algebra I and algebra II.

>You are forgetting the kids for whom the “reform” math actually helps make math accessible to them. My daughter (RHS grad) would have benefited greatly from this. In fact, I would have benefited from it! Instead, both she and I struggled continuously and eventually just gave up, with little opportunity for alternative ways to learn math concepts. I went through high school with straight A’s in everything, and C’s and D’s in algebra I and algebra II, and that’s it — no geometry, nothing else. Took a basic math class in college to fulfill the requirement. But never really learned. I tried, but teachers simply did not know how to explain it in a way I could actually learn. Now when I read some of the TERC or Everyday Math solutions, they make sense to me! They sound an awful lot like the methods I have figured out for myself! If I had this kind of teaching 30 years ago, I might not have been a “math-hater” all my life.

I know you all are the majority and you obviously have kids who can handle the structure of “old-school” math, but just don’t forget that there ARE kids out there who benefit from a more verbal and conceptual approach. That’s why this stuff was developed in the first place. I guess those kids, like my daughter and I, are expendable?


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>Ancient History of Halloween


Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.

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>Reader submits questions for the Ridgewood Blog Political Poll

How many politicians from the state of New Jersey will be indicted in the next 90 days?

a) 1
b) 10
c) all of them
d) Its Bush’s fault

How many residents will move out of the state of New Jersey in the next 12 months?

a) 50,000
b) 1,000,000
c) all of them
d) No other state wants them

How long will it take to raise your state taxes after the November election?

a) 1 minute
b) 1 day
c) 30 days
d) Its Bush’s fault

How large will the state budget deficit be this year?

a) 1 billion
b) 3 billion
c) 10 billion
d) What deficit?

How many dead people will vote in the next election in New Jersey?

a) 10,000
b) 15,000
c) all of them
d) Even dead people won’t vote for these idiots

How much money will Jon Corzine pay off to his next Mistress?

a) $500,000
b) $1,000,000
c) $10,000,000
d) He wont he’ll cheat her out of it also

The next governor of New Jersey will be?

a) Hugo Chaves
b) Raul Castro
c) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
d) A player to be named later

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>the fly has heard…….

>….. that there was to be a safety meeting set up by the principal of Travell to include parents and valley hospital. Last minute Valley canceled stating that they would not go before an open mike. Do you think that the parents of Travell need to know what is going on at Valley?

The fly asks , Is this expansion possibly a done deal and they need not answer to the public?

3balls Golf