Sorry record of schools cries out for change on board

Dear Editor:
I moved to Hoboken in 1985, and fell in love with this town. I married, had a child, bought a home and got divorced, and through it all never considered leaving, because there is no place like Hoboken. I am a proud mother of a Wallace first grader, who can proudly proclaim that he is Hoboken born and raised.
I want 2009 to be the year that the residents of Hoboken say we have had enough by voting for change on the Board of Education. It is time we tell the status quo, business-as-usual Hoboken politicians that we are tired of watching our hard-earned tax dollars wasted instead of improving our schools. It is time for a new majority on the school board.
With the support of my friends and neighbors, I am taking action by running for the board to ensure that the 30 percent of our taxes that goes to the schools is spent prudently. I am running to represent all of the citizens of this community – not just a select few. It is time that we have a board majority that puts academic achievement first. It is time that we demand accountable management of our school district, instead of a hodgepodge of poorly implemented programs serving small pockets of the community without an overall strategy.
These statistics should alarm you as much as they alarm me:

Last year only 9 percent of Connors sixth graders and only 15 percent of fifth graders passed the language test under No Child Left Behind.
As many as 34 percent of our high school graduates receive their diplomas without passing the high school proficiency exam.
Our SAT scores average a mere 1196 points out of 2400. The national average is 1511. Shockingly, only 19 out of 316 NJ high schools score lower.

Given our $57 million budget and 535 staff for 1,892 students, there is no acceptable reason for this performance. Our students and taxpayers deserve far better. I am proud to be running on the Kids First slate with two strong women who share the same values as I do. On April 21, vote to install a new majority on the board. Vote 1, 4, 5—Theresa Minutillo, Maureen Sullivan and Ruthy McAllister.

Ruth McAllister

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