The individuals who have been members of our school board for part or all of the last three years have good reason to pause and reflect.
They have spent the bulk of their time studying projects which would have increased the "eye" appeal of our educational system. They studied St. Paul's as a high school, a $50,000,000 bond issue and more computers in many of our classrooms. These items are only a few of the concepts that have been on the front burner of this hapless board.
Mrs. Morano continues to say in her letters to the public that we are the number one school. Are we? For two years in a row we have not produced a Westinghouse semifinalist in science projects.
There were 144 semifinalists in New York State, of which 71 were from Long Island. One of our Long Island high schools produced as many as ten, two others seven each. Several schools had three or four. We didn't even produce one.
Obviously something is wrong. Why not follow the leads of what the successful schools did. Some started working on the projects two years ago, others used university professors as mentors. It takes time and effort to coordinate these approaches. Obviously there is no will.
It is time for our school board to start looking at our academics in science, mathematics, English, social studies and foreign language with a different approach.
As I recall, about three years ago, statistics showed that we were weak in social studies. Have we improved? Respecting foreign languages we keep putting off starting to teach them in the earliest grades.
As the new state standards gradually "kick in" over the next five years our report card will become more revealing.
Our board must verify what our administrators and teachers are doing or not doing.
The one academic thing that several board members are pushing is to get more students into advanced classes. Luckily Mr. Wilson has not bought that approach. It would be a step in the wrong direction.
Objectivity and vision are lacking. What we need are school board members who know something about economic restraint, educational excellence and how to achieve it, the proper balance between academics and sports and how to review what our teachers are doing in the classroom and whether too much time is spent out of the classroom on bus trips.
PS: How can our PTA stand by and watch our schools deteriorate academically. Instead of being involved in the "telephone banks" it should be monitoring our children's education, the original purpose of the PTA. There is a lot to monitor. If they are monitoring and not making public their findings they are doing our children a disservice.
PPS: What did our school advisory board recommend in relation to the Westinghouse competition over the last two years? Is it doing its job?