Harsh Criticism Toward Lakewood School District

By Bill Hobday. There is much harsh criticism about the Lakewood School District, and some of it is the result of the battle between BOE members, the embattled Board Attorney, and the Administration. When I look at the extremely high dropout rates, the relatively low achievement rate, and the overall composition of ethnic and sometimes poverty-stricken student body, I am left to wonder how anything positive of measurable proportions is possible. Many students that come to the District do not speak the English language. They come, sometimes without any prior formal education. They come from homes where English is not spoken, and they are often under the radar because of immigration issues. These issues compound all of the natural and normal issues that a School District must deal with. We must devise a plan, whereby language arts proceed emersion into the educational system. It must be difficult at best for newly arrived students, to try to take on education when they are not fluent, or in some cases familiar with the English language.

The School District did not cause these issues, but is merely trying to hold the line, address the issues and best they can, and hope for the best. How can a School District stay on track to produce a thorough and efficient education, add to or improve its accomplishments, maintain stability, while dealing with and trying to overcome these issues? The district is dealing with security issues, and weather the professional security force composed of retired Police Officers should, or should not be armed in the schools. A new system of metal detectors is ready to be installed in the middle and high school. There have been riots, fights, and other major infractions of the ruled of conduct.

Budget issues are again the key issue. Should the district hold the line on budget increase to satisfy the taxpayers, and just how might that be accomplished? Well the BOE elected to not make any retroactive payments to teachers, who have been working for the last 2 years without a contract. The BOE approved raises for this year only. This did not endear themselves with the teachers, who believe that they have been cheated.

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  1. It is time for the boe to stop the bully pulpit and work with the teachers to bring the district into line with state guidelines. Why the state has not seen fit to take over the district is a major political question. The feds will not deal with the immigration issues is another major political problem.

  2. The way you put it, the Lakewood Public School system has become a “containment” process of immigrants at the expense of the Taxpayer, akin to our prison system. When these students are ” released” they will be an even bigger burden on society.
    Without being involved at all in the BOE, I would guess that MOST of the teachers are not specialized or focused on dealing with immigrants and minorities . As drastic as it may sounds, a complete overhaul of teachers, staff and curriculum is probably what is needed to be fair to the Taxpayer. Trying to fit a square into a circle just does not work.

  3. I think that a review of teaching staff at the school would show the signs of overhaul. The retirements are striking as is the number of new teachers to the district lack of survival to tenure. The Lakewood School district is a battle on many fronts. All of this contributes to the continued failure of its students

  4. The BOE should have dealt with the union and negotiated the pay with them and not try a union busting tactic like this. They went about it the wrong way! There are right ways and wrong ways to do things and this was the WRONG way to do it.

  5. I have a solution, but it would never be implemented. This idea is for ALL PARENTS, no matter what color, race, creed, religion, etc. they may be. One parent, either mother or father (not grandparent, uncle, aunt, etc.), must show documents worth certain “points” to yearly enroll their children in school. It would be done similar to the Motor Vehicle Commission for getting a driver’s license renewed. A USA birth certificate of the parent would be worth “so many” points, a parent’s naturalization card “so many” points, a USA birth certificate for the child “so many” points, etc. The first two being absolutely required. If people need all the “6 point” paperwork to get their driver’s license renewed, why not the same for enrolling a child in school?

  6. The only common sense solution to the problem is for the state to come in and take over the district. The BOE (moderated) are not there for the good of the entire student population. The TLS hasn’t got the guts lately to publish comments that are uncomplementry to the one sided BOE.

  7. The BOE has mishandled all aspects of this district for too long. Union busti ng, bullying, underhanded decisions and closed door meetings have left it at this point. Let the state handle the district. Not people who don’t have a vested interest in districts children and the future for them. Resign and
    Get it over with! Do us all a

  8. I agree with #7 as I wrote a comment about the board not working with the teachers of public schools and also said if the Attorney is so proud of being an Alumni of class of ’83’ why doesn’t he do something for the students now? Of course it was cut.

  9. Yes. You are sooo right about tls cutting uncomplimentary comments. Mine have been cut several times because they were straight forward and the truth does hurt! Freedom of the press after all this is the United States of America you know! Not the self serving/centered states!!

  10. The teachers work in a difficult environment which I think everyone can agree on. No matter what the outcome, their contract should have been settled a long time ago.

  11. 1 .if someone is an illegal resident in this country , wouldn’t that make then an illegal resident in this township ?

    2 .i know federal law mandates that every child must get a free public education , but why is it our districts problem?

    3.why don’t we just make a law in this township that it is illegal for illegals to be residents in this township ?
    we wouldn’t enforce they only at all , with the exception that when enrolling in the Lakewood school district you wouldn’t be considered and resident of Lakewood, so you would have to go somewhere else to get your free education ( maybe to the state , federal gov)
    doing this would cut our BOE budget at least 50-60 %

  12. This comes from the top! How do you penalize teachers for teaching programs that are mandated by the Superintendent’s office and BOE?? They do not address the needs of our students. This has been made perfectly clear. The top administration makes poor decisions and the teachers get to take the blame. Nice…

  13. I guess when the truth speaks its cut. No wonder why the district is the way it is…comments cut here, I can only imagine. transparent gov’t? ha!

  14. Instead of complaining about the teachers why don’t anyone of you with the negative comments about the district,actually show up at a school and sit in a class for an hour and watch how good these teachers really are, oh wait that wont happen cause you’d rather just complain and that includes the boe who don’t show either

  15. Just curious which school district does the State run? How are they doing? And what is the Tax rate? Are all the complainers ready to pay A LOT is property taxes?

  16. The teachers are dedicated and caring individuals who put it on the line every day and despite being kicked down, they continue to do what they wrote hired to do and then some!! Give them a contract and their retro pay. They have so earned it!! They deal with negativity and poor conditions each day which is more than I can say for the private schools!

  17. At least,if you didn’t want to post my comment about the spelling mistakes in this article, you should at least correct the mistakes. THere is no shame anymore about writing like this!

  18. Would you go to work each day nowing you are not being paid for what you do,but you still do your job in good faith. That is what the teachers of this district do, lets give them a raise and the back pay they deserve. IT would have been cheaper to do it when the contract first expired.

  19. My 5th. comment that won’t get posted….. complaining about the teachers and staff is a JOKE. And sam is dead wrong. The teachers and staff a fully capable of dealing with their clientele but the BOE just won’t help. Keep it up, all of the good teachers and staff are leaving as quick as they can.
    You people are sad and lost.
    Enuff about taxes it’s about the KIDS.

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