By A. Lang. This summer the people of Lakewood may forever lose the opportunity to provide young adults with free vocational training. The Board of Education has resolved to move its Central Office into the D building of Lakewood High School (LHS). They will convert our auto shop, photography shop, print shop, and possibly our wood shop, art room and metal shop into administrative offices.
My vision is for the district to serve the people. If given the chance, we will solve the tuition crisis, educational opportunity problem, and state funding conundrum. We will not give up on the cause of bringing access to education to our kids. It is the great civil rights issue of the day.
I propose an alternative space in the A building closest to Somerset Avenue for the central office. Classrooms A-106, A-107, A-108 and A-109 were mostly vacant for four years. They form a whole wing on the left side of the auditorium and have a separate entrance on Somerset Avenue. This left wing is 6,273 square feet and is perfect for the new board offices. It will be far less expensive to convert into office space than the shops in the D building with their high ceilings, inadequate insulation, plumbing and other utilities. Additionally, the Board of Education can use the left back quarter of the auditorium for meetings just as we use the right back quarter for faculty meetings. There is no need to take away our shops. LHS students need vocation education. Our own young people need opportunity for free vocational and professional courses.
One day, and hopefully soon, Lakewood High School will be central to providing free English education to all our children in the place of their choice, secure jobs for our townspeople, free professional development and training for all our teachers in our over 77 schools, and opportunity for our young adults. If we lose our high school, we lose an institution that might have a private industry value of $200 million to a billion dollars, with the possibility of gaining hundreds of millions in state funding each year through the innovation of bringing the school to the child rather than the child to school. This will bring commensurate tax relief, and more importantly, justice and education to tens of thousands of our kids, ending the tuition crisis and bringing a livelihood to our people.
are you running for any sort of office Mr. Lang?
great ideas! hopefully the board looks into them
I agree. Vocational programs help those that do not do well in typical classroom settings. It helps keeps teens at risk off the streets.
The BOE will listen to Mr. Lang like I listen to my significant other!
Lang for BOE!
To #1: No. Teachers cannot run for school related office.
To #2: I do not know if the Board has ever looked into my ideas or read my papers.
“This will bring commensurate tax relief, and more importantly, justice and education to tens of thousands of our kids, ending the tuition crisis and bringing a livelihood to our people ”
Not sure I understand what seems to be a very mixed message here.
First of all there is no tuition for attending public lakewood Hight school so can you explain what that has to do with “This summer the people of Lakewood may forever lose the opportunity to provide young adults with free vocational training. The Board of Education has resolved to move its Central Office into the D building of Lakewood High School (LHS). They will convert our auto shop, photography shop, print shop, and possibly our wood shop, art room and metal shop into – ”
“Our own young people need opportunity for free vocational and professional courses. – Our own young people” what does that mean?
Vocational education is a much needed resource for many people from diverse backgrounds. It’s their solution for helping them find a path for financial stability. If we did lose, it may result in a loss.
I was at the board meeting
these concerns were addressed and they said that there will be the above programs in other parts of the building.
1 BOE should have never never mov ed those class from the A wing now student are cold and have to share a classroon
2 it would be nice to get them back for our students.
3 Also the BOE of Lakewood should never have sold the building that Lakewood already owned to pay rent, not a very Busieness nor educational move. NOW! they know why. Moving is not cheap and Lakewood’s residents are the ones flipping the $$$ Bills and paying higher Taxes. Attending more BOE meetings that do not make sense., When most the of times is to announce something that is being change or taken away from our students.
There is a treasure in Ocean County called The Ocean County Vocational Scool. This is a School funded primarily by Ocean County and FREE to all residents. If only Lakewood would recognize this asset and work together to try to make this accessible and acceptable to all the residents of Lakewood, this would be a HUGE breakthrough. They even offered to set up afternoon classes for those in Lakewood. They did it for two years. They are willing to work with us. We have to be ready to work with them.
I think Rabbi Lang means that the public schools will fail until all the people have a stake in their success. Auto shop, for example, was very popular with high school students. That was not enough to prevent it from closing down. If the Board of Education would have made an affirmative decision to accommodate “our kids,” then all the shops in the D building would still be available to the high school students.
You conveniently omitted some basic facts
The rooms that housed the mechanical shop wood working shops and print lab haven’t been used in many years. Those rooms are now filled with piles of junk and antiquated equipment.
Where were you or anyone else when these once expensive pcs of equipment was still valuable and could been sold and replaced with newer more efficient ones. Its sad to see how the district allowed these things to remain and rot away. Finally the board decided to make use of this long forgotten space and you seem to have an issue with that. If you would actually attend the BOE meetings you would know that the vocational classes idea was not abandoned, it was just the space of the old defunct classes that are being put to use again. The new classes will be housed in other unoccupied space of the building, possibly some of the classroom you’ve mentioned. Please don’t use the media to spew venom at the BOE. They are trying very hard to turn around this district and are being very successful at doing just that. Not everything the BOE or the Administration does, needs approval from Mr Lang.
Does not Lakewood participate in the Ocean County Vocational School program?
BTW, OCTVS is only free to current high school students. Those that have graduated high school must pay a tuition to attend. I know this from experience. However, considering what you get, it’s rather inexpensive.
the title is misleading. no one wants to dismantle the entire high school.
(also the entire article is misleading as BOE pointed out)
agree with BOE
“If we lose our high school, we lose an institution that might have a private industry value of $200 million to a billion dollars, with the possibility of gaining hundreds of millions in state funding each year through the innovation of bringing the school to the child rather than the child to school. This will bring commensurate tax relief, and more importantly, justice and education to tens of thousands of our kids, ending the tuition crisis and bringing a livelihood to our people”.
This sure sounds like to me close the High School and have the children learn at home from online courses.THATS JUST INSANE !!!!!
VERY SCARY road to go down if it comes to that there will be OUTRAGE !!!!
Mr. Lang, You are obviously very familiar with (& employed by?) the school system & seem to have excellent ideas. Why do you present them to TLS readership instead if to the BOE at a public or private meeting? You state that you have no idea if they’ve read your papers. Have you tried engaging with them in a sincere way so that your criticism is taken constructively? There must be a better way to share & hopefully implement good ideas rather than pointing fingers. Thank you.
Thank you BOE for your attention. Please answer for the following that transpired while seven of you were on the Board of Education:
1) In summer of 2011, our auto shop teacher was asked not to return and our car lifts were sold for pennies on the dollar. The classroom you are taking for the central office has a garage entrance, concrete floors, proper ventilation for auto fumes and a high ceiling for lifting cars and cannot be relocated. There was nothing wrong with the equipment.
2) August 2011, I was given the authority to make our APEX online program available to all residents of Lakewood. This was discontinued this past summer when we lost the SIG grant.
2) In November 2011, I reported that we can legally provide LHS students with a full course load at home under Option Two of the administrative code and count them as present for attendance and state funding. The superintendent asked me to provide several LHS students a full course load at home. By allowing only some of the tens of thousands of youngsters who cannot otherwise attend our brick-and-mortar public school access our curriculum, we will bring in tens of millions in state aid each year forever solving our budgetary issues.
3) In December 2011, I recruited business teachers for free professional courses to serve Lakewood young women during the evening hours at the district rate of $40 an hour for three hours per week. This was never authorized.
4) In February 2012, I received a $50,000 proposal from Aventa Inc. to provide both online and server-based courses to provide free English without the Internet. This was the same price we paid for APEX online only courses. Together with one or two hour a week of live instruction per student per week, we can provide a blended program to our children in the place of their choice in a way acceptable to our leaders and parents. We finally have the jurisdictional hook to provide a full and free English education that will relieve the tuition burden of so many of Lakewood families.
5) In April 2012, I proposed a program to connect LHS students with the businesses of Lakewood so that their work can be integrated into their studies providing aa bridge between the school and the rest of Lakewood.
There will not be excellence until there is equity. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to turn around a failing school. Too many people have too little vision.
If anyone can set up a meeting, please do so. They do not answer my emails or respond to my reports.
“Not everything the BOE or the Administration does, needs approval from Mr Lang.”
Thats a very childish remark. If someone in the public has valid points to improve the education of ALL our citizens , then you, as elected officials of the public should give the person a fair shot. You were elected BY the public FOR the public so that you can SERVE the public. Please don’t put your pride and political career in front of the public’s interests.
Option Two, allowing students alternative means of education, is the choice of the student not of the administration. We will never close or sell LHS if I can prevent. I do not have to spend money on lawyers. With that said, I believe that LHS students should have as much a right as others to take their courses at home or wherever they so choose.
If we are successful, and LHS belongs to all the people, our own LHS students will be able to hold their heads high because they will be part of an institution important to the people of town. This will bring a renaissance to LHS that will enhance morale and achievement and make it an attractive place to work. Once all the people of Lakewood have a part in our school, former teachers, current teachers after school, and gifted students will utilize our connection to the citizens of Lakewood and provide them with a workforce, either full-time or after school, that will make Lakewood businesses and employers internationally competitive.
A teacher can run for the BOE, as long as they are not currently employed buy the BOE…
Did u mean BUY the BOE or by.. Its a huge diffrence..
Quote”If we are successful, and LHS belongs to all the people, our own LHS students will be able to hold their heads high because they will be part of an institution important to the people of town. ”
I’m sorry but can you explain exactly what this means , I’m a fairly simple person and when i have something to say it does not need an explanation as this paragraph does ,this quote can be taken many ways and I’m not quite sure what the point of it is ,sounds like in my eyes a very political answer that we get from politicians when they want to “eye wash” something without actually coming out with the intent of there message
A blind man can see what’s going to happen. It’s been coming for years .Read between the lines it’s not hard to figure out.
my teacher is a very smart man . Good job MR LANG !
Going to ocean voc can be hard for students who want shop class and to try to go to collage prep classes. Voc is half a day away from the high school while having shop in school is a 45 min class. Shop can be important to learn valuable skills that can help even the collage bound kids. Don’t continue the gutting of our high schools.
Taking an elective woodshop or autoshop class at Lakewood High School does not prepare students for a career path, when offered to students many years ago, it was only a class, not a certified program. Participating in a progrram such as automechanics at a Vocational School allows students to graduate with certifications to actually begin a trade, a high school class cannot do this!
I will quote from the conclusion of my April 25, 2012 report on Union City High School submitted to the BOE:
“The model of Union City High School should be examined to enhance the success of Lakewood High School [with its similar demography]. ‘More than 90 percent of Union City’s 11,600 students are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch.’1 However, Union City is made up of a community of residents and business of the same demography as the public schools. This is important because the ‘districts where Latino students preformed best tended to be those where Latinos has significant political influence. . . . Newark, Elizabeth, and have visible Latino leadership at the school board and city level and have the highest levels of English-language learner proficiency (55 percent, 48 percent, and 58 percent respectively.)’2 Lakewood, of course, has a completely different community than Union City. Although 80% of Lakewood students are Hispanic, their parents make up a small minority of the Lakewood community and have almost no political, economic or social power or influence. Public school students in general make up only 18.5% of school children in town. . . .With the right leadership and a change in the political climate of ‘us-against-them,’ we can achieve for all of our children.”
The problem with LHS is not money but apathy. Nobody cares, just like nobody but the teachers are care that our students will not longer be able to have industrial arts class. The solution is really simple. Open up our vocational programs to the vast majority of citizens in the afternoon and evening. Offer the 80% of students who have no stake in the public schools and are effectively denied education, a chance to take some of our courses. When every family in Lakewood see LHS as their own asset, the we will have a turnaround more remarkable than Union City.
As for the county, the county site is hard to get into and you have to be enrolled in their full program. Our student took our shops as elective. Why can we not have both. Has anyone answered why the A building is not good for the BOE offices? And does anyone think it is going to end with the auto shop and the print shop? We have the asset here and now and it can be expanded to cover all 30,000 youngster in town. The county will not have more room or open a Lakewood site for years.
1. Report of the Education Law Center found on their site “Abbott Indicators Technical UnionCity”
2. MacInnes, Gordon (2009) In Plain Sight: Simple Difficult Lessons from New Jersey’s Expensive Effort to Close the Achievement Gap. New York: The Century Foundation Press, p. 91
actually if you read the remarks regarding this issue you should take away the following:
1- people would rather have the district pay 3 million in rent every 5 years then put the money saved back into the public schools.
2- people would like to either shut down or purchase the highschool to make it into a vocational school for children attending private school.
3- the highschool is open to all children, all you have to do is sign up to attend.
4- I do agree the schools do belong to all the children so please sign up to take classes.
The industrial arts are not just about getting a job. Eric Booth wrote in the February 2013 issue of Educational Leadership focusing on Creativity, that the arts, such as taught in our shops that were closed, makes kids want to come to school. The arts are not just a “side dish” but through the use of their hands in wood shop and other creative work, students begin to relate to mathematical concepts such as proportion and fractions, and language arts skills such as brainstorming. They become flexible thinkers, more empathetic, build their perception, and become more curious learners, facilitating inquiry based learning in their core classes.
We were taken by surprise when our popular shops were closed. We all were taken by greater surprise last week when we found out that we were going to lose a part of our building. Nobody asked us. As for the vision to make LHS open to all the people, it is the only solution. The citizens will not support us unless we give them all a stake in our success.
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