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Brooks Declines Ridgewood Superintendency


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.

62 thoughts on “Brooks Declines Ridgewood Superintendency

  1. >Regardless of the inflammatory nature of the comments on this blog, the Board of Ed clearly made a mistake in hiring such a controversial figure. When making decisions for 5,600 students – an individual with an extreme educational philosophy is an inappropriate choice. One should expect public outcry. Add to that this individuals’ poor record, the fact that he was going to work only 4 days a week, and that he comes from out of town and had no intention of making this his home. Members of the Board of Education we can do better and I hope we will.

    Members of the Board of Education we are your partners in this effort. We deserve your respect. We are the volunteers and the coaches. We attend the concerts and the art shows. We are the taxpayers and we pay a high bill. We deserve better than sloppy seconds.

    It is time for those in leadership positions to be leaders. It is time to move on. It is time for the Board of Ed to speak with a voice that they hope will be mirrored in the tone of their constituents. – Inflammatory remarks will most certainly illicit inflammatory responses. Stop criticizing the very behavior you are modeling. The Board of Education and the school administrators need to fix this mess. Pointing fingers at parents is very, very wrong. If an angry individual made a foolish mistake and placed an intimidating phone call, this move is clearly the exception. The parents I have watched are intelligent, measured and respectful in their discourse with the Board of Ed. If the Board of Ed hasn’t erred enough, it has been reported that a Middle School administrator pointed the finger of blame at the decent parents that spoke on their children’s behalf at recent Board of Ed meetings. The suggestion was made that these parents’ behavior was appalling. Furthermore, in an emotional presentation he indicated that no candidate could compare to Mr. Brooks – I’d have to agree with that – but this blogger is relieved that he is not coming to Ridgewood. Our problems are simpler today than they were yesterday. Everyone should be glad that we will not be fighting over Mr. Brooks’ philosophy for the next five years. Let’s make some peace and make Ridgewood better for the pain of this experience.

  2. >Regardless of the inflammatory nature of the comments on this blog, the Board of Ed clearly made a mistake …its only inflammatory when certain people dont get there way

  3. >6:03 pm – you have a right to be “pissed” about what has happened. But then again, you could have actively been defending your position on this blog and elsewhere, building up a group of others with similar ideas and speaking out at the BOE meetings.

    Just because people don’t sign a petition doesn’t mean that they don’t agree with the petition, either. Not everyone is aware of the petition.

    Same as voting. Only a minority of the community votes. That doesn’t mean it’s a majority rule, either.

    There is no formula to make everybody happy. A community that cares enough to debate what’s going on regarding their kid’s education is a community worth living in.

    There seems to be a decent number of parents concerned about math and something needs to be done about that in a positive manner. Shame on the BOE and any one else for making people feel uncomfortable for questioning the status quo and future direction. For the BOE to ignore the obvious about Brooks’ past while they are in the midst of a similar situation and hoping everyone would look the other way was clearly a poor decision. That’s not a good start in being respectful and only promoted the anger and wrath on the blogs.

    Media like the Bergen County record and NY Times have been looking at what’s going on in Ridgewood- after all, it’s unusual: a parent sponsored petition, web sites, blogs talking about a math program that is controversial nationwide. Add to that a controversial superintendent and what do you expect?

    Unless this was handled by a professional PR firm, it was destined to become chaos.

    The BOE is accountable for what is going on. They need to put a superintendent in place to be the chief educational officer. One whose ideology will be in agreement with what how the taxpayers want their children educated.

    Math needs to be examined and discussed. And math IS the superintendent’s business. As is English, social studies, sports, the budget and everything else that goes on in the schools.

    The inconsistencies between schools in the same community needs to be addressed. Open minded and respectful discussion needs to happen and parents input is of utmost importance.

    BOE should be thankful parents are interested, whether they agree or not, and not take dissension as a negative thing but learn from it. To do otherwise is a huge disservice to the community that voted them in.

  4. >Less than 2,000 Ridgewood voters decided to cast a vote for the Board of Ed members this year. I am willing to bet that most of the petition signers did vote.

    On the budget 2,669 voters participated. 947 were NOs, mostly seniors who tend to vote no.

    5,600 students probably equals 5,000 voters.

    6:03: Did you vote?

    I didn’t think so.

  5. >Anonymous said…
    1.4% of the registered voters……hardly a majority. Yet these people have used their minority opinion to intimidate,…

    another math wiz or BOE flunky ? many people voted in the last BOE election? maybe 2000 and how many have kids in school?

    Ok, wise guy lets use your number. So if 2,000 residents voted representing the community and there were 400 who effectively used their influence to get what they wanted the STILL only represent less than 20% of the voters. So the question is are you stupid enough to try to defend that as being proper?

  6. >Anonymous said…

    9:04 PM

    Did you vote?

    How much money would you like to bet on that, I will be happy to take your money.

  7. >Did the BOE really call people who signed the petition to ask why? In the context to learn why people are upset about TERC.

    A more interesting comparision of the numbers would be to see how many people at Travell voted and how many people at Travell signed the petition.

  8. >I do not like what I have read and seen about TERC math. When my 4th grade son brought home a worksheet of TERC math a couple of months back…I was dumbfounded.
    I could not believe this was what he was being taught. I could not make heads or tails out of it. By the way, I have my BS and MBA in Finance.

    I do not like what I have read about the background Dr Brooks and his educational philosophy. It is unfortunate if he was threatened or attacked personally via phone or email. That is not right….but I am glad that he is not coming here.

    I just started reading this blog last week. There are many people that I have spoken to informally over the past week that are just now being made aware of of this program and all of these issues. I am aware of the petition but I am frankly scared to sign it as I fear retaliation….I believe many people in this town feel the same way. I for one will be in attendance at the BOE meeting on Monday for the first time. I am guilty of not voting in the BOE election as I was traveling on business…but frankly don’t know if I would have done so even if I was home. I was just not aware of all this contoversy. It is clear to me that something needs to be done about the math program. I hope that the BOE wakes up and hears what is being said….I believe it is a small minority that is being vocal…..but many more people agree that are not being vocal. Perhaps Mondays meeting will be a wake up call….I hope that everyone that reads and or posts on this blog will be there….I look forward to a spirited and civil debate.

  9. >”Spirited and civil debate”? What debate? How can there be a debate of any kind if the math discussion is permitted only to continue behind closed doors and not at BOE meetings? The BOE has already moved to take the discussion behind closed doors, in the form of a committee.

    The Ridgewood News reports that Joan O’Keefe, one of the anti-fuzzy math voices, was picked by the BOE to join such a committee to evaluate the district’s math programs. It also reports that she “hope[s]” they pick someone from Travell.

    What it doesn’t make clear is whether she accepted the BOE’s offer join the committee.

  10. >Correction, it seems Mrs. O’Keefe was asked to join a “focus group,” whatever that means.

  11. >Wow, I just read through this blog and I’m surprised by all the different viewpoints.

    The Math Moms who were asked have accepted, but we are wary that this is a “conflict resolution” group, not a “curriculum discussion”.

    We only have a conflict with the Math Program and maybe that extends to the folks in the district who continue to advocate for it.

    Here’s a simple example of what’s not taught in 2nd grade.


    It’s called a “fact family”. It not only teaches kids Math facts, but it teaches them the “inverse relationship” between addition and subtraction.

    It’s important for checking your answers when you take tests. It’s important for algebra, since you can start to leave some of the numbers out and get an equation like this 10-X=7.

    Hopefully, this brings us back to the real issue…Math curriculum.

  12. >I still cant believe no one on the BOE google searched this boozo

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