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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.

62 thoughts on “Brooks Declines Ridgewood Superintendency

  1. >The Board of Education’s statement on the reason for Brooks’ withdrawal is an outrage. In typical fashion they now blame the parents who spoke in the best interests of their children, and not themselves.

    This is a time for us to unify, and not divide, and make sure they get it right next time around. The Board, however, has elected to use the language of division in their announcement.

    The public discussion of Brooks’ appointment is “reflective of Ridgewood’s supportive community and its values.”

    When we speak on behalf of our children we are not “undermin[ing] the process.”

    Call the Board of Ed now. Demand that they retract their public statement and that they publicly apologize for their unfortunate choice of words.

  2. >Dr. Brooks cited “personal reasons” as HIS reason for not assuming the superintendency position. This is not surprising, considering he has lived in New York for so many years, his wife works there, and presumably they both have many years invested in personal and work relationships, there.

    Evidently Dr. Brooks is not citing phone calls, blogs and web postings as his reason for declining the position. Therefore, the BOE’s stated position (evidently designed to suppress dissent in our community) needlessly embarasses him.

    I just hope the BOE’s comments haven’t opened our District up to an HR lawsuit.

  3. >The BOE made a mistake when they hired him. Thankfully, he has corrected that.

  4. >Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  5. >If you review Sheila’s comments about him it was all boilerplate nonsense and marketing jargon…enough crap to make a river reverse its flow to the opposite direction.

    Don’t they know that we DON’T BELIEVE them when they talk like that?

    Most BOEs shoot themselves in the foot…ours shoots itself in the head.

    What’s up with that?

  6. >So even daring to QUESTION a superintendent’s educational philosophy is “not reflective of Ridgewood’s supportive community and its values”?? Let me get this straight, the BOE says that QUESTIONS are not supportive? Then what “values” is the BOE referring to…would those be Nazi-like mindless acceptance of the decisions of the powers that be??

  7. >If they were focusing on the education of the 5,600 students they wouldn’t have let the district buy that stupid math program or hire a guy who put it in his whole district.

    Where were POB old test scores? 45 or 53 in the Nassau County…Nice track record to hire a guy on.

    People respect when you admit your mistakes not deny them.

  8. >The audacity of a lot of people in this blog is amazing. Go back to many postings and how some refered to the superintendent in many derrogatory terms. Yes, he does read this and if he didn’t some community member made it their mission to make sure exactly how they felt about him by postings, emails and YES anonymous phone calls. That is a fact. I read the release from the board and nowhere does it say “parents”. No one is blaming parents in general. That is a shrewed tactic by whoever posted this statement to deflect blame away. Some people in this town have decided to go the guerrilla warfare tactic way and now they are “offended” when the truth comes out? I applaud the BOE for making the decision to let the rest of us know what gutter tactics are being used behind the scene.
    To whoever posted:
    .”When we speak on behalf of our children we are not “undermin[ing] the process.”Call the Board of Ed now. Demand that they retract their public statement and that they publicly apologize for “

    Everyone is entitled to speak on behalf of their children and many people have, in the open via BOE meeting comments, letters to the editor, petitions etc etc. What I find inexcusable is hidding in a cloak of anonimity to do a hitman job. Folks, unfortunately you succeeded.
    Do not confuse this issue with the legitimate right of many caring parents to voice their opposition to curriculum and even appointments.

  9. >If people really did make anonymous phone calls to his home or his work, that is not right.
    I am against the TERC program and want it removed,but if you have something to say, then say it publically.

  10. >I think he had to be embarrassed that he and his wife have taken money to promote reformed math.

    How could he come to Ridgewood and not promote it?

    How could he come to Ridgewood and promote it?

    It’s a no win situation for him. But it’s a situation of his own making. He knew this long ago…why did he take the job in the first place?

  11. >Give me a break.

    You cannot really believe that Brooks is out because someone said something nasty in an anonymous posting, e-mail, or phone call.

    Bottom line is he happened to get the nod at the same time parents were questioning a pre-Brooks educational philosophy, that happens to match the philosphy he has pushed throughout his career. The same battle was already roaring in his old district.

    He is on the brink of retirement. Why go from the fire to the frying pan? You can’t blame him for deciding to steer clear of a controversy which has yet to come to a head.

    Why does the Board have to decide “a position” on why he is not coming? Why not let the man speak for himself.

    I am pleased he is not coming, but I wish him well.

    Rather than hurl accusations the Board should look carefully at what has happened and make sure it does not happen again.

    I do not question that the Board thinks it is acting in the best interests of the children. Why do they always seem defensive and suspect when parents are also acting in the best interests of their children.

    The anonymity provided by a blog is good, not bad. It allows parents, residents, etc… to say things they can’t say in public due to a record (actual or perceived) of retaliation and retribution.

    Maybe the next selection process needs to be more transparent, like it is in many other districts.

  12. >The audacity of a lot of people …folks dont by this bull TERC is crap ..it Time to Start Raising Standards Again …and if the means getting rid of that lame bunch on the BOE then lets make it happen …you know they are going to try something else ,..so keep a sharp eye

  13. >Anyone who makes phone calls anonymously does so because they are afraid to do so openly.

    Why would anyone be afraid of a coward?

    If Brooks is painted by the BOE like he’s “scared” because he got such calls (if he even did) then shame on the BOE.

    A superintendent’s job is to deal with parents; the board’s comments make it seem like he can’t.

    They just made this man un-hireable.

  14. >To 11:46:

    Kudos to you! Finally someone who sees the big picture. I am tired of seeing people twist the truth on this and other blogs. Stick to the facts it will get you further.

    Again, the personal attacks have really shown the ugliness of some people.

    This whole thing has really made us an embarrassment to other towns in the area. Try looking from the outside in.

  15. >”Why would anyone be afraid of a coward?”

    Or, put another way, “Why would anyone be afraid of someone who has so little power and is so fearful of retribution that s/he acts in secret?”

    Agreed that the BOE did NOT do Brooks a favor by painting him as a victim.

  16. >At 10:56 “anonymous” said: “good riddance to bad rubbish”. Where are the voices of reason in Ridgewood? Whether you like the math program or hate it, is this the way to resolve anything? Is this the example to set for your children?! If you don’t like something don’t ask for a discussion, demand that it be your way and everyone with a different opinion be damn. Why teach children about Open Circle if their parents, who are supposed to be role models, teach their children that you get what you want by refusing to talk things through, be as loud and demanding as you can, and, when all else fails, smear those who think otherwise. I am old enough to remember the days of the “silent majority”. Well, Ridgewood Silent Majority, if you do exist, you’d better open your mouths or the bullies, yes, bullies, will ride roughshod over everyone.

  17. >This whole thing has really made us an embarrassment to other towns in the area. Try looking from the outside in.

    Your right TERC is an embarrassment ,so is the village hall, the wells situations ,should I go on?

  18. >The Board of Ed believes that because people spoke up, Dr. Brooks was made to feel unwelcome. It also seems that they are upset because people challenged them over their decision to hire Dr. Brooks. Well Board Members, you are elected to represent the interests of the public. If you don’t like it when people disagree with your decisions then resign from the board or don’t run for re-election when your term is up.

  19. >Well, Ridgewood Silent Majority, if you do exist, you’d better open your mouths or the bullies, yes, bullies, will ride roughshod over everyone.

    we just did ,and we are not going to let you and your buddies wreck our schools with that dumb dumb math or any other STUPID ways you want to lower standards,Ridewood used to have a the best schools we want them back!

  20. >For those of you who don’t like the vitriol and anonymous comments you find here, you might like to visit The Eclectic Educator.

    The Eclectic Educator is written by a licensed math educator and resident of Ridgewood who afterschools her kids at home in math, using Singapore and Saxon Math.

    The Eclectic Educator (yours truly) tries her best to offer reasoned, measured, thoughts on education, especially trends and fads in education, but also about afterschooling.

    Yes, she has opinions, but she also can see the shades of gray, and tries to look for truth wherever she finds it.

    Not as exciting as getting into heated debates, but if you want to read an intellectual approach, from a parent’s point of view (and dare to consider that the issues are nuanced), she’s happy to have readers and commenters there.

    While she does print comments that disagree with her, she doesn’t publish comments that are rude, personal, or unkind.

    Also, it is easy to find out who the Eclectic Educator is. She has nothing to hide.

    You can even subscribe to receive her blog entries by email if you want to.

  21. >To 1:39 pm
    Where are the people that support this Board of Ed. They don’t exist. They are all ashamed of them. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t know that the “silent majority” is with us!

    This board is ruining our schools. Look at the High School….they can’t even bare to make it a safe environment for our children. What with mold and peeling paint…disgusting.

    Instead, they hire consultants and more consultants…and more consultants. Are they so inept that they need so much extra help?

    That’s real money. Hello, is anyone there?

  22. >Here is a wake-up call for the individuals who took it upon themselves to interfer with a decision which was made by a properly elected body! (the BOE)

    You do not represent me, my wife my childern or many of my neighbors.

    You were neither elected, nor were you requested to act on my behalf, even if you believed it was for the benefit of my children!

    Take my advise….don’t wake up the sleeping lion, I assure you you will not like the results!

    One very angry resident

  23. >Take my advise….don’t wake up the sleeping lion, I assure you you will not like the results!

    you already did thats why brooks got the boot!

    TERC is a fraud stop defending it and you or anyone else is going to lie you way out of

  24. >threats will get you no were ,

    we have saved this school system from you total fiasco ,…hire a super whos on the payroll of TERC only in nj could that even beconsidered ,what a joke!

  25. >listen bud over 5000 people look at this blog and almost no one except the village idiot stood up for brooks ,I dont agree with her but at lest she isnt and “after the fact coward “

  26. >You do not represent me, my wife my childern or many of my neighbors.

    and you dont either !!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. >The audacity of a lot of people in this blog is amazing

    yes especialy the posters that are BOE lacky’s

  28. >Retaliation and retribution.

    I hear via quadruple hearsay that:

    Apparently one of our middle school principals was in a meeting with a group of parents this morning and discussed the Brooks situation.

    The principal described the parents who have spoken at Board of Ed meetings as having engaged in inappropriate conduct.

    He apparently linked the alleged anonymous phone calls to Brooks to these people who have chosen to speak out publicly.

    I was not at the meeting and find this hard to believe.

    If you were at the meeting can you verify what was said.

  29. >To One very angry resident,

    Well stated, I could not have said it better myself, Thank you!

  30. >Ridgewood Silent Majority we did speak thats why brooks is out and that was why he was run out of town at his last gig ..”as for the phoney phone call” sounds very desperate to try to silence people in the future ,but dont fear we are sick of you people destroying our school system ,if the schools go this town goes down the drain

  31. >As a Village resident I am embarrased at the amount of rubbish that is posted in this blog. Do not pretend that you are being anonymous because of fear or retaliation, you are remaining anonymous because of fear of a lawsuit! When you resort to attacks and inuendos you have to remain in the shadows, are you proud? If you are then start stating your name! Will your children be proud of all the mud slinging you are doing? I think not! You may be proud of yourself but that’s where it stops.

    Eclectic Educator- I have visited your website. Thanks for providing a civil (heck, sane!) alternative. I also came accross another blog -Ridgewood Views -where the author claims to discuss issues related to the village in a civilized forum- so far, it looks that way.

    Why do you think people are starting their own places? Because
    they have conceded this place to gutter dwellers.

  32. >yes this ..”as for the phoney phone call” sounds a bit desperate

  33. >The Board is not ruining our town, that task is already taken by a few nuts living among us…

  34. >it is easy enough to get the number of the call ,lets see it BOE produce your evidence ..if there is any?

  35. >Will your children be proud of all the mud slinging you are doing…yes because they will know how to add

  36. >To 2:04pm:

    “The Board of Ed believes that because people spoke up, Dr. Brooks was made to feel unwelcome. It also seems that they are upset because people challenged them over their decision to hire Dr. Brooks. Well Board Members, you are elected to represent the interests of the public.”

    EXACTLY- they were elected to represent EVERYONE. I for one I’m glad they had the guts to expose the few bad apples in this community. Dr. Brooks was not feel unwelcomed because parents spoke up, grow up! He is a 25+ year veteran and use to discent and disagreements.
    He did not want to deal with you nut jobs on a daily basis. Can you blame the man???
    The Board could have gone with the company line and sweep everything under the rug for the sake of harmony but you know what? Enough is enough! I may not always agree with the Board’s decision but this one took courage and I applaud it!!! Now, let’s get back to evaluating our math program

  37. >Will your children be proud of all the mud slinging you are doing…yes because they will know how to add

    3:51 PM

    Really? Congratulations! TOO BAD THEY WON’T HAVE A CONSCIENCE!!!

  38. >My children are learning a valuable, hands-on, authentic lesson in how the democratic process works.

    My children see that we as citizens and taxpayers have a voice, and this means they will too, as adults.

    Just as Bob Hutton said in a recent BOE meeting, we have a democracy of those who participate.

    I see nothing negative here.

  39. >For those of you who think this is a Ridgewood-only thing, see the Plainview-Old Bethpage web site, (that’s where Brooks worked last) which says:

    “We still have a lot of hard work ahead of us. With three new members on the BOE and Dr. Brooks leaving the time is here to create a new math program that will benefit all our children and return P-OB as one of the best performing districts on Long Island.”

  40. >Boy oh boy, are there a lot of unhappy folks out there or what?

    Chalk one up for the good guys. They beat back an institutional move to cement reform math in the district by getting Brooks to resign.

    In this struggle, for all you defenders and sycophants of the BoE, all is fair.

    Just like it is fair to have BoE administrators call parents to ask why they signed the petition to remove fuzzy math from our schools.

    Gee, they get to intimadate parents but parents can’t intimidate back?

    Give me e break. If the advocates for real math played nice, they would be ignored.

    Boards of Ed don’t like to loose no matter how wrong they are. They will fight to their last breath. So, you have to go for the jugular. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

  41. >To One very angry resident and Tired of this mess….

    I agree with your opinion and views. To those that would try to shout down or stop someone from presenting an opposing view I suggest you consider becoming a MUSLUM and you move to IRAQ or IRAN I hear that they have as much tollerance as you people!
    You should fit right in there…..

    One more resident who thinks this has gotten way out of hand.

  42. >A “MUSLUM”

    So an open dialogue about education is not OK, but it is OK for you to engage in religious bigotry?

    In fact it is OK, you can say whatever you want, but look in the mirror before you type.

  43. >ec said…
    My children are learning a valuable, hands-on, authentic lesson in how the democratic process works.

    My children see that we as citizens and taxpayers have a voice, and this means they will too, as adults.

    Just as Bob Hutton said in a recent BOE meeting, we have a democracy of those who participate.

    I see nothing negative here.

    ec, it’s too bad you don’t see anything negative. You talk about democracy, but that means free speech and exchange of ideas. You don’t want that, you just want to be the judge and jury of a kangaroo court. You’re teaching your children a twisted form of democracy.

  44. >free speech ,sorry bud but free speech means it is free for everyone not just you and all the BOE’s lying about Marty brooks

  45. >and enough with this phoney phone call nonsense what would he do if he got the job?

  46. >Religious bigotry?

    Are you kidding? I stated well known fact that MUSLEMS have no tolerance for other views….and you call that religious bigotry. Exactly what drugs are you on?

    I have no problem looking in the mirror, I don’t see a jackass when I do like some people do! I suggest you consider going to go to rehab.

  47. >Brooks pulled out a job offer in Roslyn Long Island last year because the vote of the BOE to hire him was not going to be unanimous. There was controversy surrounding the salary.

    Brooks believes in constructivism, the method of learning by discovery. Parents in Ridgewood are challenging this approach in the math curriculum. They feel it’s not working and don’t want it to continue.

    You can’t expect Brooks to want to be a superintendent where his ideology isn’t accepted. Why would he want to? He wrote a book about it so it would be two-faced to be a superintendent where its methodology is not being employed.

    It’s true that some comments on this blog have been out of control. Bringing Mrs. Brooks into the conversation really wasn’t fair neither was accusing him of taking money to promote TERC in his district.

    Brooks’ current and soon to be prior district Plainview never accused him any fincial impropriety and they didn’t bring his wife into the discussion either. They focused on the deficiencies of what was going on in the classroom and discrepancies among their schools. They changed their BOE to get new members that will be more responsive to their concerns. Things are far from being fixed but they are heading in the right direction.

    The BOE should not deny people the freedom of opinion. However, knowing that there was a growing contingency of parents concerned about constructivism and reform math and STILL going ahead hiring someone who strongly stood for these ideas was probably not the wisest choice, either. That’s not good representation.

    Ridgewood is lucky – Brooks was a gentleman to pull out. He could have started,and if if didn’t work out the 5 year contract would still have to be honored.

    Maybe that’s another lesson for the BOE – don’t give a long term contract until you are sure of the new hire. And also, listen to what parents are saying.

  48. >We have a group of organized citizens who disagree with a program in the school system, not really in and of it’s self unusual.

    These citizens have a petition, which has been online for about two months, which has 189 signatures on it.

    Currently there are 14,000 registered voters (I have used a low ball number so I am not accused of skewing the numbers)

    Ok, let’s use some math to examine what is going on here. If there are, as I stated earlier, 14,000 registered voters and we to know the percentage of voters who have signed this petition and we were to calculate that the % number would be……drum roll please

    1.4% of the registered voters……hardly a majority. Yet these people have used their minority opinion to intimidate, make accusations, and yes even go so far as to contact Mr. Brooks to voice their venom. So even doubling the numbers given 189 X 2 = 378 citizens or 2.8 % of the registered voters took it upon themselves to decide what would be best for the Village School system! This is an outrage!

    Make no mistake about it…..if anybody was taught questionable math you, who are a very tiny minority, really need to go back to math class to learn what a MAJORITY is…… I will make my own decisions I don’t need you to make it for me!

    If You don’t believe I am pissed your sadly mistaken!

  49. >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 ?..how many people voted in the last BOE election? maybe 2000 and how many have kids in school?

  50. >We have a group of organized citizens who disagree ….Brooks believes in constructivism, the method of learning by discovery. ….looks like BOE spin machine in full force…face it I want my kid to learn to add its that simple ,the rest is just crap

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