‘Give Mr. Walker a chance’

Dear Editor:
I’ve had the extreme pleasure of working for Mr. Franklin Walker for the past 10 years at the Jersey City Public Schools, and have seen how he puts the students and parents first. He not only talks the talk; he walks the walk.
He has the support of many of the parents and employees in the district because of the fact that he takes the time to stop whatever he’s doing to speak with them. He empathizes with frustrated parents and gives them hope and the tools that are needed to help with the problems concerning our students.
I’ve seen many people come into his office, no matter who they are, he meets with them. Parents, students, principals, teachers, clerks, security guards or custodians, no matter what their problem, he will find the time to sit down with them. All leave with a feeling of satisfaction that someone of Mr. Walker’s caliber took the time out of his busy day and give them hope for the future. That’s not an easy task, but one that he takes pride in.
He doesn’t associate himself with any political party or have any aspirations other than to be a conduit between the district and its people.
The district was failing long before he stepped up to accept the interim superintendent position, to fill the spot that was vacated by the previous superintendent. For 6 months, he took time to listen as people spoke. Just ask our current President Obama, no matter how much change you would like to see take place, it may seem as if nothing was done. Given the chance to continue, he can and will change our district.
Parents call every day who want their children out of charter schools and back into the public schools. Disenchanted with their methods of teaching.
Teachers must spend much of the school year preparing for the NJASK, a test that is mandated by the government. Instead of instilling the love of reading and learning; a child should be taught to find an area of interest and become lifetime learners. We would have happier and more confident students with a vision for a career.
Countries such as Singapore are teaching this way and it’s working!
No child likes a long, tedious test and not all students are good test takers. So why do we focus much of the school year preparing for them?
Charter Schools are not the answer, neither is an out-of-state superintendent who promotes them.
Let’s work on improving what we have already in place since the 1600’s; free public schools.
Give Mr. Walker a chance, without pressure from the politicians, to continue the job as superintendent of the Jersey City Public Schools. Take our city back and prove we will do it with enthusiasm. Give parents and students the power to make the choice they truly want. There is no magic bullet, it will not happen overnight or in six months.

Respectfully submitted,
Bonnie J. Serra
Life-long Jersey City resident

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