School Report Cards: Data Fields Compared

| 23 Comments

Local coverage of the NJ Department of Education 2007-08 School Report Cards has begun reviewing administrative expenses and school performance.  We aren't sure anyone has sufficiently interpreted the raw data to determine what makes a successful district.  But, that is part of what Metuchen's Superintendent's Forums have been established to help decide. (Next session scheduled for April 2nd at 7:30).

We've pulled a few data fields, some recently published and some not, for both Metuchen and three districts we are often compared to due to size, proximity, or demographics.

Administrative Expenses

School Performance

23 Comments

I could not agree more! Who's benefit is the contract for certainly not the borough's?

Hi all,
I think Metuchen’s school district is small like Cranford’s, and if you compare the numbers, Metuchen students out perform Cranford’s and you pay your administrator’s less. You get the extra bonus of well performing third graders even with a 1/2-day kindergarten. Edison is large, like Woodbridge and Piscataway and overcrowded schools are what you get. What I do not understand is how a superintendent (or any employee who is paid by the state, county, whatever) could get such a lock down contract that they can not be removed from their post and at least placed in another position if need be. Who comes up with contracts that allow people to sit home and get paid? The superintendent of Keansburg (an Abbott district-we all pay) had this insane contract that she gets paid all unused sick leave, even if it is hundred’s of thousands of dollars. I work for the man and worry about leaving work five minutes early. I believe people should be paid what they are worth and education is top priority. I think we should reconsider all county contracts that cannot be undone and do not seem to give a hoot about work performance, especially when the salary is paid by the taxpayer.

Thank you! Makes sense to me now. But I still think the superintendent is over paid though.

I teach in Edison and live in Metuchen. Many North Edison middle and high school students attend multiple outside tutoring/enrichment centers. For example, I teach 7th and 8th grade and many of my students have already taken the SAT (several times) and attend Kumon or Huntington or similar for enrichment in math and writing. These students also attend full time summer programs at area colleges and do not have free time. They are a part of the factory; push the kid, do the Ivy League, make tons of money. It doesn't matter whether you are a decent person; you will be wealthy. Learning is unimportant; testing and placing well is everything. It's tragic---we want that?

Just one lowly teacher's (hired help) opinion.

Sorry, didn't mean that they went to extra classes only in Metuchen. When I said around town I was actually thinking of Edison, which must have a dozen of those places. JEI, Sylvan, Kumon, Whizard, to name a few.

Sounds like someone is trying to hide something. I think there is a lot of pork in the school system budget. JP Stevens scores are artificially high because they go to extra classes in Metuchen? Come on. Judging by what what said then the new superintendent of Edison will recieve a salary of $712,000/year. They have 4x's the number of schools and students as our town. I think the teacher's should get some of the super's salary.

What does Sgt York have to do with the Metuchen rumor mill?

Good to know Terry. We look forward to seeing the BOE meetings on the web. It is my understanding that METV is working on a special web site that will enable them to post all of their programming.

Thank you Terry. You are spot on. By the way make that Verizon not Vernon. My eyes are almost as old as Sgt York.

Thanks for the prompt feedback. Metuchen is one of a small number of districts that broadcast on the local access stations. I am proud of that fact and I completely understand the concept of open government and espouse it. The current goal of the Board is to establish better communications with the public with an emphasis on the role of board members. I, personally, am in favor of putting our meetings on the web. I, like many of the residents, have Direct TV so if I miss a meeting, I can't even watch until the tape is available.

Edison has also voted down several bond referendums and their schools are overcrowded. Metuchen has voted in favor of their recent bond referendums, most recently for the high school by a margin of 3-1.

Talk to some parents of J.P. Stevens students. They'll tell you the high scores are because of students attending supplemental classes at all those learning centers around town after school, not because of anything happening at JPS itself.

Good to hear. Now let's solve the Sgt. York rumor mill.

Edison? You mean the place that is paying their former superintendent to sit home until 2010? That's why they can't give the new guy a raise. Wait and see how much he makes after they stop paying Carol Toth $180 grand a year to do nothing.

Actually the board members are not entitled to their own view. Read the Code of Ethics for School Board members. They are restricted in what they are allowed to say.

Terry--Sgt York still applies in my view. Someone else made the Obama remarks to be clear. I know who Fran is she gets my vote and I think you, her and the previous writers are correct on the data and make sense. The word is still not getting out. Why? A lot of people no longer have cable. They use satellite. I did not have cable in six years. Just went back to cable for HD and will be off it as fast as Vernon comes to town. When there is Web casting no one can be saying otherwise that they did not hear it. I have no reason to doubt you or Fran but I when it comes from the Board as a body politic and not individual members which are entitled thank God to their own view. There can be no doubt. I would strongly urge the board to Web Cast and cease the Sgt York rumor mill.

Maybe we should take a look at what Edison is doing? They have 4x's the enrollment and 4x's the number of schools and the superintendant makes the same salary...plus JP Stevens is kicking our butts academically. They must be doing something right! Worth a look?

Thanks Terry. If people are going to talk about the school board they should at least know who is on it! Many kids start out at Middlesex and then transfer to Rutgers. Saves money and now they are required to take all the Middlesex credits.

Actually Mrs. Brennan is on the school board and her answer is correct. We have continually stated those percentages at board meetings and, in particular, when a number of parents asked us to consider hiring another guidance counselor. Unfortunately,as was previously stated, many focus on the % pursuing 4 year colleges not the total number of students prsuing a college education which remains in the 90 percentile.

The Metuchen Board of Ed should listen to Obama's new Secretary of Education and extend the school day and year. Forget the new guidance counselor and save the dough to pay for the increase cost of teachers and/or busing. This is the perfect time to be negotiating an extended day with the teachers since the financial terms to be expected should be low. In exchange for any pay increase at all, go for a 90 minute longer day. You want our kids to compete and excel than everyone is going to need to work harder.

Well said, both of the preceding answers make sense to me. But,unless we get the school board to put forth the word. I am afraid the Kaiser is going to be captured again by the rumor mill.

The information reported in the last post is correct. The graduating class of 2008 had 74% of students going on to a 4 year college and 20.8% going to a 2 year college. NJ Monthly Magazine puts out a report every two years. The last one reported the class of 2007. We didn't have as many students that year going to a four year college.

The 62% was a one year anomaly in 2007 that some folks are using to justify the hiring of a new guidance counselor. If you look at the data over a 5 to 10 year period it is almost consistently always at or around 70-75% going to a 4 year college. When you add in the kids that go to a 2 year college, you arrive at a number around 95%. So to answer your question, all the numbers are right but as usual people pick the one's they like the best to justify a cause.

Teri nice job. I am going to parse even a little farther here to say "I am not sure anyone has sufficiently interpreted the raw data to determine anything". Recently on this site, I read responses from participants that indicated only 62% of the kids were attending college in Metuchen(shocking); the Star Ledger this week indicating that Metuchen is in the high 90% of kids going to college and the one you just linked to saying that 74% of the kids planned to attend college. That's a lot of variable information. I would love to hear from our school board what they make of it. The sooner the better before people are arguing over maybe nothing. Kind of reminds me of the old movie about Sgt York and the rumor mill. York went from capturing 100 plus Germans to capturing a division to capturing the Kaiser.

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  • Anonymous: I could not agree more! Who's benefit is the contract read more
  • CinC: Hi all, I think Metuchen’s school district is small like read more
  • Anonymous: Thank you! Makes sense to me now. But I still read more
  • Anonymous: I teach in Edison and live in Metuchen. Many North read more
  • Anonymous: Sorry, didn't mean that they went to extra classes only read more
  • Anonymous: Sounds like someone is trying to hide something. I think read more
  • Anonymous: What does Sgt York have to do with the Metuchen read more
  • Anonymous: Good to know Terry. We look forward to seeing the read more
  • Anonymous: Thank you Terry. You are spot on. By the way read more
  • Terry Kohl: Thanks for the prompt feedback. Metuchen is one of a read more

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