Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas in Edison - 2012

Twas’ two weeks before Christmas and those sly little elves,
Edison’s Board of Mythomania again labors to isolate themselves.
Not caring a wit what the people might think,
they lead from behind Super ‘Build the Trust’ O’Malley in spite of the stink.

And putting his thumb to the tip of his nose,
Maeroff said ‘O’Malley’s my guy and he tells me what goes.’
He thought O’Malley’s PHD would make for an easy sell,
but didn’t count on his inexperience bringing out a concerning yell.

He wasn’t concerned about misinforming the public per se,
dubious presentations and misleading arithmetic is the O’Malley way.
His Repurposed but still Out-of-Control Spending tour,
is sadly Not borne out by a single NJ ASK score.

So while we all scratch our heads and say What the Hey!,
 oversight and accountability is something he’s long tossed away.
You can bet that Maeroff is working hard on 2013-14’s Taxpayer Levy,
 using up last year’s taxpayer relief money leaves them nervous & a tad bit queasy.

He thinks we forgot about $80 budgets & that Staffing Shell Game,
and refusing to report out budgeted staffing changes shadows them all in shame.
A $212.2 million bucket of money without any controls or public scrutiny,
you wonder why their lack of monthly reporting comes with such Mytho-unity?

In this season of giving, Maeroff is again up to his Spending way,
this time, a $5 million gift to EHS where you don’t get to have a say.
While it seems he never sees Oversight as an anytime priority,
that Smarter than Us thingie brings them all up to a disappointing mediocrity.

If in this feeling I’m not alone,
take up your pen or pick up the phone.
Let Maeroff know that true leaders pave the way,
not hide behind others and claim they have no say.

With a Bond Referendum soon to be full with Super O’Malley quirks,
taking away the Board’s IPads should help wipe away all their big smirks.
And I heard them exclaim with all that taxpayer money in hand,
Merry Christmas to Edison, and let the uninformed taxpayers be damned!?!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Big Kudos to the Board of Mythomania!?!

To all my friends over there on Mythomania Lane - really appreciate the heads-up on the important things. But hey, guess what I got on Friday, December 7, 2012? The Collective Bargaining Agreements for the Certified, Non-Certified and Principal unions. You remember the teacher's contract, which was ratified by the ETEA on May 14, 2012, the Board on May 21, 2012 and Maeroff's take on these contracts in his "From the Desk of Gene Maeroff" on May 22, 2012 (here).

So, they finally made the contracts available to the public. Depending on how you look at it, it only took them 6.6 Months or 28 Weeks, or 199 Days or 4,776 Hours or 286,560 Minutes or 17,193,600 Seconds from the time Maeroff had his say on the contracts. But who's counting?

Good thing these contracts weren't important for the public to see in a timely manner. After all, we have Maeroff's take on how wonderful these contracts are for the people of Edison. They saved us millions according to him.

Now that I have the contracts. I'll take some time to go through them and I'm sure I'll have something to add to Maeroff's May 22, 2012 take on them - and don't think it will take me 6.6 Months or 28 Weeks, or 199 Days or 4,776 Hours or 286,560 Minutes or 17,193,600 Seconds depending on how you look at it - to do it.

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that sharing information and keeping the public informed in a timely manner is a priority over there on Mythomania Lane.

From the Desk of...Really - you Kidding me?!?

You know, I don't have a problem when politicians take the facts and put them in a light most favorable to themselves (seems to be one of those contagious things here in Downtown Edison) but Maeroff's latest offering has so much spin on it that he makes himself dizzy. It's a tad bit disappointing to see Board of Mythomania President Gene Maeroff take the plunge with his take on the NJ ASK scores, which you can read here.

Now, never was much of a fan of his From the Desk of Gene Maeroff - look at what I did love letters, which usually are a one-sided version of what's going on over there on Mythomania Lane - his version. More often than not, there's always another side of things that never seems to make it in. 

Such is the case with his latest offering on November 26, 2012 regarding the NJ ASK Scores for the elementary schools (grades 3 through 5). This thing is so convoluted and misdirected that it's hard to see how anyone could get to the truth of the matter with these explanations of the test score results and corrective action plans. 

Seriously, does he really want to suggest that something may be wrong with the test since everyone state-wide did not score well - and the reasons have not yet been explained to his satisfaction? If so, then maybe he shouldn't of been so quick to pay out a bonus to Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley for these test results. Continuing on, he jumps all around to find positive things to say and glosses over any detail of the not so good things. In fact, some of his numbers don't even agree with the test score sheets they gave me.

So, let's cut to the chase here. These 2012 test results show an unacceptable level of students scoring at less than proficient. Across the district for grades 3 - 5, 16.3% of the students scored less than proficient with 12.5%, 20.6% and 16.1% for grades 3, 4 & 5, respectively. And when you look at the individual breakdown between language and math, partially proficient ranges from 7.3% to 27%. Further, when you look at the individual schools, some have score results of partially proficient in the high 40 percentile. So, Maeroff's claim that district-wide proficient and advanced proficient scores are 91.6%, 85.7% and 92.7% for grades 3, 4 & 5, respectively - is simply not true. According to his own numbers, it's really 87.5%, 79.4% and 83.9% for grades 3, 4 & 5, respectively. 

In addition to the high partially proficient scores, there's the change over last year's scores that make it worse. For grades 3 through 5 - some 54% of the scores were Worse than last year's scores. Not an admirable trend.

Finally, I'm sure it's worth noticing how comparable districts and the rest of the state did on these tests, but really - don't see how that relates to what they're responsible for right here in Downtown Edison.

Moral of this story, these test results need some serious improvement - not blah..blah explanations from the Board President that don't really tell you the seriousness or magnitude of the problem or the real size of the numbers. Further, you should take the time to check the data for each school for yourself and check out the Board Goal for this school year that Maeroff touts to cap the third grade language arts partially proficient at 15%. In a prior post, I showed you the Board Goals they came up with for this year - and there's nothing in there about any 15%.

These scores need a real plan of action to correct and all of us need to make sure they do it.

All the numbers referred to above are in past posts on NJ ASK but here's a couple of things to keep in mind: