I’m writing with good news: Jersey City’s schools are changing for the better, and you have the opportunity to help. We are seeking four (4) energetic and dedicated candidates to endorse for the Board of Education next fall.
With our new Superintendent, Dr. Marcia Lyles on the job since September, drop-out rates are trending down. More eligible students get a free school breakfast, rather than going hungry. That’s progress. But there is much work yet to be done. Dr. Lyles and her team have put together a clear-eyed assessment of critical benchmarks – including graduation rates and college readiness – and the need for a comprehensive plan to move forward and tackle these very significant challenges. You can read her report here: http://www.jcboe.org/boe2013/images/pdf/admin/20121026_JCPS_Board_Presentation_Nov_v13.pdf I’m a public school parent and I believe that under the right leadership, working cooperatively with teachers, parents and students, the district schools can improve – and even transform. That’s why I joined Parents for Progress, a group of parents who advocate on behalf of our children to improve the JC public schools. This year I am chairing the Parents for Progress Selection Committee, which seeks out qualified candidates to endorse for the Board of Education. The Board of Education election is Nov. 5. However, the statewide deadline for candidate petitions is June 4. What does the Board do? Board members are in a governance role over the district’s $660 million budget, charged with acting in the best interest of the 28,000 children who depend on our schools. They oversee the running of the schools and planning long term for achieving excellent schools. We are seeing candidates who have the skills, experience, courage, intelligence, and perhaps most important, follow-through – to best serve our students for three years. It’s a volunteer position, with lots of drudgery, ups and downs, and not nearly enough recognition. But we know how important it is. The chance to oversee a budget of $660 million (!) and the education of 28,000 school children – these are profound responsibilities. To succeed in those goals would be a tremendous achievement, for anyone. If you are interested in running for the School Board to help our district schools be the best they can, I urge you to fill out the online Parents for Progress questionnaire, available here: http://www.parentsforprogress.com/2013-boe-endorsement-questionn/.
Because of the early statewide deadline, we ask candidates to submit their questionnaires by April 19th, with earlier submission strongly encouraged. We will conduct rolling interviews of selected candidates, beginning around April 9th. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don Mankoff Chair, Selection Committee, Parents for Progress