CQE Letter from Jim Jaques - Presentation at BoE Meeting Tomorrow

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In February of 2009, Metuchen School Superintendent Terri Sinatra held two public forums, which focused on the rigor of the school curriculum and its effect on Metuchen students' ability to succeed beyond high school. The school district's website provided a temporary opportunity for feedback from members of the community interested but unable to attend the forum.

Here are some of the issues distilled from those 2009 Superintendent Forums:

·  Is our curriculum developmentally appropriate and does it address core skills?

·  Does our curriculum provide for effective transitioning between grade levels?

·  Is there balance between in-school and at-home work and instruction?

·  How are our teachers hired and evaluated?

·  With what criteria should we judge Metuchen School District's performance?

·  Are we appropriately challenging students in the "middle 80%"?

·  Is ability tracking appropriate in 3rd grade?

Well-attended by the public, both Superintendent's Forums raised many questions, in addition to the conclusion that the curriculum used in Metuchen is not sufficiently challenging to the average Metuchen student. This appraisal was echoed in the most recent Middle States Accreditation findings: Metuchen's curriculum needs increased rigor across the grade levels and across all levels (regular, honors, and AP classes).

Metuchen's strength of community--from devoted teachers and principals to involved families to supportive public--is an accepted fact and a lucky reality. It has now been two years since the two Superintendent Forums of 2009 - have changes been implemented in the classrooms? And if so, how will the outcomes be measured?

Citizens for Quality Education invites the public to attend the next Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, February 23 in the Metuchen High School auditorium at 8 PM to show your support for academics in the schools as the Board wrestles with difficult budgetary decisions, and to voice your opinions regarding the topics discussed at the 2009 Forums.  Even if you do not intend to speak at the meeting, your presence will express your priorities.

Jim Jaques, CQE President

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