I would like to thank all the West New York residents who went out to vote. I understand it was a record number of voters in West New York. The issue of the elected vs. appointed Board of Education surprised a lot of West New Yorkers as to how close the vote was.
In my heart, I feel an elected board is the best way to go because it's the best way to get the mayor's political influence out of schools. I always felt the Board of Education is the biggest Pay to Play scam in our town, and many teachers agree with this but don't want to come out publicly for fear of retribution. This is sad. One teacher, who stood by his beliefs and didn't fear any retribution, Jorge Moreno, put his neck out on the line because he believes educating in fear is wrong and doesn't help the students in any way. He should be commended by his fellow teachers for his courage and his convictions. I never stated I was against the teachers in any way. I'm pro education, and teachers should be judged by merit and merit alone.
Our mayor mailed a flyer stating how our schools match up and are better proficiency wise by our 8th grade scores than towns like Leonia, Tenafly, Cresskill. I believe No Child should be left behind but he left 25 percent of the children who took the test behind. Why do we ignore the scores of the Special Education students? We should be finding ways and spending more money and time for these students to integrate in the general education. Seventy-eight students took the same test and 76 were not proficient in language arts and 77 were not proficient in math. Why don't we want to count these students, Mayor? Instead of giving out rewards in jobs in the Board of Education, get the appointed board to budget money to improve these scores and help these children flourish! Fudging numbers is not progress, it's deception! No Child Left Behind! I will continue to follow my heart and fight to make education the best in the state in West New York. If we have failures in areas, don't hide them, but make the work on them a priority! Allow teachers to teach without the pressure of working on political campaigns. For no politics to be in the schools, how come the appointed members of the Board were out politicking to keep the power in your hands. Be up front and think that if the schools were politically free, how many more great educators would run to work for West New York. Let West New York be a pioneer in education! The only reason our Mayor put the question on the ballot was to crush me and the opposition but he had to be shocked 40 percent of West New Yorkers weren't scared to oppose him and try to limit his power! If it wasn't about power, why would he be so opposed to let the people decide who is on the Board of Education!