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Reader defends , “Dr. Fishbein, has presided over a period during which the corrosive influence of constructivist teaching methods has waned”


“Dr. Fishbein, whatever some may say of him, has presided over a period during which the corrosive influence of constructivist teaching methods has waned somewhat and may now be losing its mojo. At the time Dr. Fishbein was hired, a huge push had been underway for years in the Ridgewood district in favor of denuding K-12 curricula of content and emphasizing process instead. As part of that push, the Trustees of our Board of Education put us on the brink of hiring for our superintendent the then-high priest of Constructivism and Reform Math (late of a Long Island district he conveniently abandoned rather than face the unmitigated displeasure of a growing army of pitchfork-bearing parents and taxpayers) together with his “man behind the curtain” wife as a kind of Bill and Hillary “two for one” deal. Like Hillary, who put her husband to shame in terms of her determination to promote the marxist/socialist agenda, the dedication our incoming supe’s wife had to the cause (as demonstrated by her history of hoovering up large amounts constructivism-promoting grant money and writing books on the subject), to say nothing of her radical street cred, probably exceeded that of her husband. We dodged a huge bullet when that zealot thankfully quit a couple of weeks before his scheduled start date and took his egghead wife with him to parts unknown. Within a few months, Superintendent Fishbein was hired. Within a year or so after that, we witnessed with enormous relief the resignation and apparent professional disappearance of long-time Assistant Superintendent in Charge of Curriculum Regina Botsford, whose radicalism and utter devotion to constructivist teaching methods was itself the stuff of legend among her K-12 curriculum development industry colleagues (Bill Ayers eventually went into that line of work, if that tells you anything). So the constructivist storm seems to have passed, at least for the time being, and Ridgewood was not established as the Mecca for constructivist teaching methods among U.S. K-12 public school districts. Your mileage may vary, but we might want to pause and at least thank Dr. Fishbein for what he isn’t!”