Vote Ellen Simon for Jersey City Board of Education
Nov 03, 2013 | 2683 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

My name is Ellen Simon and I am a public school mom. I’m running for a seat on the Jersey City Board of Education because I believe every child in this city should have access to an excellent education.

With other activists, I have fought for a national superintendent search, safe drinking water for every child and moving breakfast to the first fifteen minutes of the school day so no child starts the day hungry.

I’m happy to say that our efforts are bearing fruit.

Under a new superintendent, our schools are seeing unprecedented progress.

Last year, the superintendent, Dr. Marcia Lyles, asked school administrators to seek students at risk of dropping out and get them the help they needed to stay in school. Our staff and administrators, most of whom are superb and dedicated, rose to the challenge.

The total dropouts for the district fell to 178 last school year, the lowest on record, down from a high of 568 in 2005-2006. Now the district plans to follow up with those students and find a way to ensure they get a high school degree or its equivalent.

Building on work begun earlier by Susan Curry at SEOC, I filed a public record request last year for the district’s latest lead results. Then I shared them with a Virginia Tech professor who won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his work on this topic.

Our worst fountain, at Bright Street Academy, had so much lead that the water sampled could be classified as toxic waste. My report was picked up by NBC in New York. The district then tested every water source, including sinks where PreK children brushed their teeth, some of which were shut because of high lead levels.

The district had known about this problem for seven years, but it took new leadership before it tested every water outlet and developed a district-wide plan to fix our children’s water.

I’ve advocated, along with the Jersey City NAACP and Advocates for Children of New Jersey, for moving federally subsidized free breakfast to the first 15 minutes of the school day.

Half our children were in danger of starting the day hungry last year. Thanks to our new leadership, schools like PS 12 have moved breakfast to the start of the day. The number of children eating breakfast in school at PS 12 grew from 40 in January to 370 of the 390 total students by the end of last school year. I hope more district schools will do the same this year.

I have worked already on behalf of every child in the district and I ask you to give me the opportunity to continue this work. We will never be a nation of opportunity for all if our schools fail our poorest children. I went every public school in Jersey City to succeed and every child to have a chance to achieve his or her own success.

I hope you will vote for me, Ellen Simon (1P), along with my running mates Jessica (Rosero) Daye (1I), Micheline Amy (3I) and Carol Lester (6J) on Nov. 5. Our children – all our children – deserve excellent schools.

Thank you very much
Ellen Simon
Board of Education candidate
Co-founder, Parents for Progress

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November 03, 2013
1) Marvin Adames - resigned midterm

2) Mack- Ran for higher office within one year after being elected and told will resign

3) Overlooked a $2 million error and never worked to return those dollars to tax payers

4) Excluded other members of the school board and the public when they held a meeting in "confidence" with the State Education Commissioner Cerf

4) Waterman - Resigned now

5) Lester - shared closed session meeting information with lobbyists and special interest groups

6) The board members take Laptops/iPads instead of keeping it in the classrooms

7) Ellen Simon and Carol Lester both attended a secret meeting

8) Steven Fulop's candidates voted for outsourcing substitute teachers contract at an extra expense of $5000,000 to tax payers to employ the same subs.

Didn't Two Board Members (Steven Fulop's Candidates) change the rule to award the contract to Fairview, one of campaign donors who came in #2.

Fairview LIED that they didn't make any campaign contribution in their disclosure bid form.

Ellen Simon/PFP took money from wall street hedge fund billionaire and What did Ellen Simon say:

We are not “closely allied with school choice advocates.”

- Ellen Simon(Source JCI: Jan 30th 2013)

Drop-out rate is low because they changed the policy not to count as drop-out if the kid joins charters or transfers to other school districts.

Are Steve Fulop's candidates really working for the children of JC?

Write-in John Hanussak (6K) for ONE year term, if you do NOT like the choices!
November 03, 2013
From JCPAC...

Breakfast Program

October 27, 2013

Is “Breakfast after the Bell” really about the children?

The “Breakfast after the Bell” program allows public schools to be eligible to receive federal funding if schools can show an 80% participation rate in the breakfast program.

“Breakfast after the Bell” works by serving breakfasts in classrooms during class time. Having a classroom with children contributes to increasing the participation rate of breakfast programs and a chance for schools to receive federal tax dollars.

Schools in Jersey City are beginning to roll out the “Breakfast after the Bell” program. Breakfasts served before class time are eliminated and substituted with “Breakfast after the Bell”.

Some say this is a win-win.

JCPAC agrees with Education Commissioner Chris Cerf’s statement, "One thing that isn't hard to do is to use common sense to make sure that every child starts the day with enough food and sustenance to be ready to learn”, which is why we question a program that eliminates hot, wholesome breakfasts and substitutes them with a program that serves cold, quick foods such as muffins and Fruit Loops*.

The “Breakfast after the Bell” program will be begin this year in all of Jersey City’s 40 public schools and was decided on without input from parents and teachers.

Serving breakfast during class time gives the school district the ability to achieve the 80% participation rate of qualified low income students to generate the millions of dollars in federal funding. Low income students are given breakfast, whether hungry or not causing the participation rate to shoot upward toward the 80% in districts.

Although 15 minutes of the school day is set aside for this program, we do not believe that is a realistic number. A 175 day school year that uses ½ hour each day for the “Breakfast after the Bell” program consumes 87.5 hours of classroom teaching time a year. Urban school districts have fallen behind their suburban counterparts and taking class time away from schools that need it the most adds to the problem.

JCPAC believes the driving force behind this program is money and that this method of bringing federal tax dollars to the school system comes at the expense and well being of children.

JCPAC feels the hot breakfast program before school should remain in force.

Children deserve a wholesome breakfast.