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Ridgewood Schools : the "good old days" ain’t comin’ back


Ridgewood Schools : the “good old days”  ain’t comin’ back

Your references (Carin Cone, Doug Cook, Jeff Yearing, etc…) puts you at RHS in the 60’s an interesting time in our country’s history and much, much different than today. A couple of questions in regards to your comments about class sizes, turf, size of administration, etc….

How many classes were offered at RHS in 1965? How many electives? How many Honors classes? How many languages? There is no more wood shop or auto shop at RHS which had large class enrollments. Just the sheer size of varied class offerings at RHS requires more class rooms and teachers and leads directly to overall lower class sizes. In regards to turf and lights. How did the RHS Boys and Girls Soccer teams do back then? What about the girls softball team? Were the boys and girls lacrosse teams state and national powers in the 60’s? How many All-American girls track stars were there back then? Since the boys basketball program was so strong I would assume the girls team was pretty good as well? Did the girls cross country team run for State titles year in and year out in the 60’s? None of those teams even existed back then. Yet the size and number of our fields is almost exactly the same. That’s why we have turf.

You mention some legendary Principal’s and Administrators. How did they deal with the Federal Gov’t mandated “No Child Left Behind? Wiring the schools for internet and high speed telecommunications must have been much easier back then. I’m sure the NJ mandated “No Bullying” rules took up a lot of their time. What about the HESPA exams and all the other mandated testing that goes on, how did they deal with those responsibilities? With all of those sports teams, multiple bands, New Players, Clubs, activities, over involved parents and the such they must have been swamped.

Look, we all long for the “good old days” whatever they may be for each of us but we all have to realize they ain’t comin’ back. We can be as nostalgic as we want but it is impossible to turn the clock back. The taxes we pay in this town are ridiculous, we all know that. Yet we all choose to live here. The Ridgewood School system when compared against similar districts in similar towns of similar size and when compared against State averages has a cost per pupil far below our peers and the state averages. It is hard to believe that we pay the taxes we do and in some respects we’re getting decent value. There is not a lot of “administrative bloat.” Name some if you can. The problem we have is that with a $90 million dollar budget approx. 85% of it is salaries and benefits. That’s over $75 million bucks right there. $385,000 for a new science curriculum doesn’t really sound like a big deal to me when you look at it like that. If you want to try and roll back the clock then start eliminating electives and teachers and before you do that, freeze their salaries on the contract being negotiated.

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