Politics should not stop people from admiring strides in schools

Dear Editor:

Public service is a privilege experienced by few, envied by some and scorned by many, yet in Hoboken there is never a shortage of those seeking an opportunity to serve. We are among those chosen by the people of our community to serve.

As elected stewards to the Hoboken Board of Education, we take our responsibilities very seriously. We put in long hours and work hard to ensure that the children of Hoboken receive the best possible education and that we maintain a system that is financially efficient and educationally thorough.

A few of us were fortunate to serve on the Board when the transition was made to welcome our new Superintendent last year. We foresaw an opportunity to foster change, not for the sake of change, but for the continued growth of opportunity for the students of the District. We followed the direction and guidance of the New Jersey School Boards Association and, with their assistance, conducted a transparent search for a new educational leader for our District.

It is disheartening when a former colleague tries to muddy the outcome with her irresponsible claims of political favoritism and all of the regular buzz words used by someone who is either bitter over losing an election or upset over not getting her own way!

Personally, we find it offensive that that former board member chooses to disregard the certification issued by the State of New Jersey to the Superintendent. Mr. Raslowsky was selected to be our Superintendent after a lengthy and deliberate process which included input from numerous citizen groups. Mr. Raslowsky laid out a clear vision for the District and received the support of the majority of the Board. Collectively we seized the opportunity to attract an educator of Mr. Raslowsky’s caliber to lead our students on a road to success.

Today, our schools are showing significant, measurable signs of improvement. Hard decisions have been made and we see changes being made that will have a lasting, positive impact on our students. We may find ourselves engrossed in spirited discourse at times with the Superintendent, but never should anyone doubt that ultimately the children of Hoboken are the winners of such debate. We can disagree without being disagreeable. For the first time in decades, a new curriculum is being developed that outlines a path of educational growth for all students. This unprecedented effort will set our students on a course toward educational, developmental and personal success.

A newly renovated Calabro School and the completion of our pre-k through eight reconfiguration are offering exciting opportunities for the District as we move toward smaller learning environments with explicit goals and clear expectations. We look forward to the newly funded Connors School renovations that will bring a modem learning center to a part of town that has historically suffered from years of neglect. We all love Hoboken and we know that politics is a favorite past-time, but when someone questions the trustworthiness of the person we so consciously and deliberately selected to lead our District it would be irresponsible for us to remain silent. Mr. Raslowsky is a fine, honest, hardworking educator with a proven track record of success. It is our goal to give the Superintendent the tools he needs to continue to improve our schools and to work with him in providing exceptional learning opportunities in a financially sound environment. It’s unfortunate that during the former Board member’s short tenure on the Board she choose to ignore the progress being made and instead acted as an agent for obstruction. It is unfortunate that she has chosen to be remembered by her parting shots. It is even more unfortunate that she continues to yell at the rain in her search for someone to blame for failing to be re-elected.

We ask all parents, teachers, students and taxpayers to join with us as we move our District forward.

Frances Rhodes Kearns
Carmelo G. Garcia
Frank Raia
James J. Farina
Anthony L. Romano
Hoboken Board of Education members


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group