Friday, May 23, 2008

When Taxpayers Attack: Superintendent Edition

Well, the LBA doesn't want to take credit for sparking the current outrage over the abuse of School Superintendent salary and benefits being expressed by Governor Corzine, Legislators far and wide, and newspapers everywhere but we would like to point out that we addressed Long Branch's own version of his very topic this past Sunday when we pointed out that Long Branch Superintendent of Schools Joseph M. Ferraina not only has bellied up to the trough of publicly financed personal fortune he also has built a temple to his own arrogance on the spot.

Since we have watched the Asbury Park Press lead the charge trying to put the Keansburg Superintendent's golden parachute back into the box it came in, the LBA has hoped that the fourth estate would find their way clear to do a comprehensive investigative report into the worst kept secret in Long Branch, the salary, benefits and total compensation of Mr. Ferraina and his ethically dubious impact on both our tax bills and, more importantly, on the education of the youth of our community.

When last confronted publically about his unbelievably high compensation, Mr. Ferraina responded with the following bombastic and self-promoting diatribe:

"Had I been in private industry, I'd be a multimillionaire. I'd be making $150 million. . . I'm a visionary. . ."

That is right folks, you heard it here first folks, Mr. Visionary could make a $150 million a year in private industry. So, I guess Keansburg should be thankful they don't have to feed that ego every day. But for those of us in Long Branch who DO have to feed that ego everyday, the LBA once again asks, "What are we getting for that $150 million a year visionary?

Well, here are a few things we get:
  • Schools that consistently fail to meet even the minimum state and federal educational standards for student achievement.
  • ZERO schools that met the Annual Yearly Progress requirements for the Federal No Child Left Behind standards. (The Long Branch High School alone has not made this standard in more than three consecutive years.)
  • Graduation rates are consistently below 90%.
  • Drop out rates are consistently higher than state averages.
  • A fleet of new schools that will all become obsolete at the same time.
  • Teachers who are terrified to speak up on behalf of their students
  • Reporters who are hired as Board of Education employees to stifle negative (but honest) reports about the schools.

Isn't it time for Long Branch to start asking the difficult questions of our Board of Education? Shouldn't we be addressing these concerns before Mr. Visionary retires and wants a similar deal? Shouldn't we know that his ego will not tolerate being anything less than the top dog in Monmouth County?

Anyone want to offer advice as to which Board of Education Members are rubber stamps and which are fighting for improvements? Leave us a comment and some proof!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow....I am very impressed. I once served a term on the Long Branch Board of Education and it was VERY frustrating. There was little restraint or debate; much less analysis of anything this Superintendent requested. I won't get into it here because of length. I would say, being objective, that Mr. Ferraina does do some things quite well; but does not fulfill the primary mission of seeing all students getting a great education. To be fair, much of what is necessary for student success happens in the home, not the schools.