For Sale: Nine classrooms. Will build to suit. Central Levittown location. Purchase price negotiable. Possible use: charter school. Call your Levittown Board of Education for further information...
Well, it appears that the Levittown Board of Education has once again shot itself in the foot with its highly controversial Secondary Attendance Zones proposal. Following two months of verbal criticism, primarily from residents of the Abbey Lane School community, the board waffled and failed to approve its own proposal. Abbey Lane students will continue their middle school education at either Jonas Salk or Wisdom Lane Middle Schools rather than just Wisdom Lane. Thus, there appears to be no need for the nine-classroom addition to the Wisdom Lane Middle School.
The real losers in this ill-advised proposal, aside from all Levittown taxpayers, were the students and residents of the Division Avenue High School community. Vocal criticism relative to the quality of education at Division Avenue, not the transfer to Wisdom Lane, was clearly the underlying motivation behind much of the community opposition. Tragically, not a single member of the school board, especially those from the Division Avenue High School community, rose to defend the quality of education at this much maligned institution. The Levittown PTA Council, so-called advocates for children, was also notably absent from the debate.
In 1977, as a candidate for the Levittown School Board, I was shocked when informed by district and school board officials that the Division Avenue community was considered a low class, blue collar, and socioeconomic wasteland. Division Avenue High School, due primarily to years of serious neglect, poor staffing, and under-funding was clearly the worst performing of Levittown's three high schools. Fortunately, with a subsequent change of administration and defeat of these "pseudo" intellectuals, we embarked on a bold long-range plan to provide our children with a comparable education, regardless of their address. These long-range goals, together with adequate funding and building resources, were clearly enunciated and published in our News of the Schools.
I left the school board in June, 1983 and estimate that the Levittown School District has subsequently spent close to a billion dollars, that's $1,000,000,000, on the education of our children. Four generations of students have gone through our high schools and the same stigma hovers over Division Avenue High School. As one parent, a two-year resident, demanded to know: "If true, why?"
This deplorable situation and the school board's handling of the entire matter should be a wake up call to all Levittown residents. Their defeat of this proposal, using sophomoric logic, clearly reinforces the stigma associated with Division Avenue High School. It is also clear that the current Levittown School Board does not have the ability to lead our children, as they face tougher graduation requirements, into the new millennium.