Building Open Opportunity Structures

BOOST is a creative community solutions organization that develops and utilizes innovative and customized strategies to build structured relationships between residents, businesses, organizations, and government agencies that lead to beneficial economic, social, and educational opportunities and outcomes in underserved and emerging urban neighborhoods.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Abbott: Pro or Con? Blog with BOOST

TrentonAbbott-school parents must become involved

July 5th Times of Trenton Letter to the Editor from -- DANIEL M. DiLEO, Bordentown

TrentonAbbott-school parents must become involved The letter "Abbott success de pends on parents, community" (June 26) is a bit self-serving as its author David Sciarra attempts to defend the court ruling that throws money at poorly performing urban school districts.

Abbott funding has come under fire from select members of the New Jersey Legislature who, in their attempts to close budget gaps, should be asking, "Why are we rewarding failure and bad business practices?"

Mr. Sciarra's group, the Education Law Center, would have bet ter served New Jersey taxpayers by researching schools in districts such as Hamilton, Bordentown and West Windsor to determine their recipe for success, outside of funding: Why do these districts produce positive results without the need for a coalition to tell parents what is needed and expected from them?
Trenton schools fail to produce results for many reasons, and Mr. Sciarra and the New Jersey Supreme Court need to acknowledge that funding alone does not create success. Maybe Mr. Sciarra's team should become more involved in how our money is being spent and demand measurable, sustained progress in those school districts that receive Abbott funding. It is an abomination to continue handing taxpayer dollars to school districts that exhibit little or no improvement in exchange for the special funding they are given.

As a Bordentown resident and parent of two graduates, I think that direct parental involvement in the schools is a factor in the success of our school district. Mr. Sciarra, what percentage of the city school parents are attending back-to-school nights and parent- teacher conferences? In Borden town, it has been a packed house for every grade level.