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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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Who is funding the campaign of the PFP slate?

Posted on: 2012/3/15 16:12
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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Hello my name is Vidya Gangadin, I have lived in Ward A of Jersey City for the past 20 years. I am pleased to have been selected by a group of parents and community members to be a candidate in this upcoming election.

My experience as a parent leader with four children in Jersey City Public Schools gives me a unique perspective on what is and is not working in our schools. I serve the parents and students at Academy 1 Middle School as the Vice President of our Parent Teacher Organization. I am a member of the PTA at PS38. I plan and set goals with my principal and lead teachers on Academy 1’s School Leadership Committee. I advocate for our schools as a member of the Citywide Parent Advisory Council. And I collaborate with parent leaders across Jersey City’s 39 public schools as a leading member of the Jersey City Coalition of Parent Teacher Organizations.

One key area I would like to focus on is our district’s budget. Our district is rich, with a budget of over $630 million, yet we have unchecked spending, waste and inefficiencies. As an operations manager and financial analyst at a private brokerage firm, I analyze my company’s budget, implement checks and balances, and cut costs. I will use this experience to ensure that our dollars are getting to the students and the classrooms.

I look forward to answering your questions in the weeks ahead. I know that working together we can make Jersey City Public Schools a shining example of a successful urban school district.

Posted on: 2012/3/15 0:14
Parents for Progress

Sangeeta Ranade, Vidya Gangadin, Marilyn Roman

Candidates for Board of Education

http://www.facebook.com/Jersey.City.Board.of.Education?sk=wall
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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Quote:
borisp wrote: I am all ready to. However, the problem is, - I have no idea what exactly Councilman did.

Is there some description, - I mean, something to the point, not the usual political "was fighting for education".


Good question! And here is the answer: rather than just pluck names out of a hat or dish out board seats as political favors, or cynically use the system, here is what Steve did:

* he created an autonomous committe to accept nominations of potential candidates (note: Fulop has NO SAY on the committe's decisions or nominations)

* the committee sifts through the lengthy applications to find dedicated community individuals

* the committee interviews the top candidates

* of these top candidates, the committee recommends the candidates for support (again, other than setting up the framework, Steve does not decide who the candidates will be. This is decided by the committee).

So, how does one get on the committee? Well, basically by being involved. If you are passionate about education, you can get your voice heard.

Here is a description of how this worked last year:


http://stevenfulop.com/news/steve-ful ... y-city-board-of-education

Hope this helps.

-M

Posted on: 2012/3/13 21:54
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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Three Candidates Have Steve Fulop’s Endorsement in April Board of Education Elections

By Chris Neidenberg • Mar 12th, 2012

This year’s Board of Education contest will see eight candidates vying for three three-year seats in a field devoid of incumbents. It will also involve a new organization looking to flex its muscle with Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop in endorsing three candidates.

Running in the April 17 contest, in order of ballot position, are: Gerald M. Lyons, Vidya Gangadin, De Jon Morris, former mayor Marilyn Roman, Sangeeta Ranade, Amanda Khan, Jayson H. Burg and Frank Lorenzo.

Four-term incumbent William DeRosa, who served nine years as school board president before he was replaced last year, declined to seek re-election, as did one-term incumbent Patricia Sebron. Sean Connors resigned in January upon joining the state assembly and was not replaced.

Burg, Gangadin and Khan ran last year, and Lyons ran in 2010. Gangadin, Ranade and Roman have been endorsed by Parents for Progress (PFP), a new committee Fulop says he approached about joining forces this year. Fulop is an announced 2013 mayoral candidate expected to challenge Mayor Jerramiah Healy. Gangadin and Ranade have children enrolled in the school system.

The last six candidates gaining Fulop’s support have won. Those results provided the board the five-member majority needed in forcing the retirement of longtime superintendent Charles Epps last December. It was a move Fulop viewed as essential to ultimately bringing positive changes to the school system over the long term.

Epps’ retirement triggered an ongoing nationwide search to find a permanent replacement. This year’s eventual winners will have a key stake in that process, as they will get to vote for Epps’ successor. Coincidentally, two of Epps’ most vociferous supporters, DeRosa and Sebron, opted not to run again.

Fulop tells JCI his efforts in this year’s election differ substantially from the prior two, by deciding to embrace the new group’s candidates rather than using his own political organization.

He says PFP is a grassroots organization “developed by and for parents” with an eye towards remaining a force in the district well into the future.

He cites two key differences to the prior endorsement process: the use of a 15-member independent selection committee which was more parent-intensive, and his not meeting any of the candidates until after PFP selected the three finalists.

“Most importantly, my desire is to see the development of a strong parental committee which will stay focused on bringing important changes to the school district for the long haul, regardless of whether I win or lose the mayoral election,” Fulop explains. “And the organization includes members who previously supported other school board candidates I didn’t endorse.”

“This new organization is much bigger than any one elected official or political entity,” Fulop adds. “And I am very happy to be working on behalf of the three highly qualified and dedicated candidates it chooses to support.”

While he has come under fire by some of his critics for heavily involving himself in public education policy, Fulop says, “The city’s future is tied to the success of our public school system, since it can positively impact on areas including deterring crime and creating job opportunities.”

The joining of Roman and Fulop marks a partnership of two city officials past and present, though Fulop notes the two never personally met until after Roman earned PFP’s endorsement.

Roman, a retired educator and former longtime school district employee, served as acting mayor for six months in 1992. That year, as city council president, she moved into the chief executive’s position on an interim basis after the resignation of Gerald McCann upon his conviction on federal fraud charges. She became Jersey City’s first female mayor.

“The fact that I served previously as mayor is not the reason I am running for the school board this year,” Roman says. “I want to be of service because our schools are failing and in need of reform. I’ve been in education for 40 years, including 20 years where I served as a supervisor, so I’m well-prepared to serve.

“And I am happy to be working with an excellent group of people (PFP), including many parents very devoted to making our schools better.”

Roman, who has been retired for about a year, notes that she served as director of the district’s Education-Business Alliance for about six years, requiring her to seek joint partnerships between the school system and Jersey City’s business community

Gangadin is active in the district’s Coalition of Parent Teacher Organizations, speaking on its behalf at some board meetings related to the superintendnet’s search, and is vice president of the Academy 1 Middle School PTA.

Ellen Simon, PFP chairwoman, says that while her group is made up primarily of parents, it is advised by one professional educator. She adds it is also helped by “several community activists,” who, while not parents, share her organization’s primary objectives for improving the school system.

“Our initial goal was forming a committee devoted to finding three highly qualified candidates who we feel will serve as good stewards for our schools,” Simon points out. “We look forward to continuing in that role in future years, and are in the early stages of forming a political action committee.”

And while that committee will have “political” in its title, Simon says it will be devoted solely to furthering the interests of schoolchildren served by the district – by supporting candidates it feels best represent such interests, while also partnering with concerned educators and others wishing to make the schools a better place.

Burg, a retired school librarian with 28 years of service in the Newark public schools, expressed disappointment in Fulop’s and the PFP’s decision not to have all candidates personally interviewed by the committee before endorsing candidates.

He says the initial field of aspirants was whittled down significantly once the PFP’s decisions were reached.

On his Facebook page, he posts, “It’s a shame that ‘Steven Fulop’s Selection for Board of Education Committee’ did not practice true democracy and equality to interview all 15 candidates who spent hours answering the committee’s questions. Jayson Burg was one of the eight not given an interview.”

Fulop says he had no role in how the PFP committee opted to make its decisions. But Burg wasn’t buying it.

“The screening committee has Councilman Fulop’s stamp all over it,” Burg claims. “It would have been nice to have their support, and while not having it will make the task much more difficult, I will work very hard in again stating my case to the community.”

Though he did not win last year, Burg describes himself as “a pathfinder” whose activism in regularly attending board and council meetings has helped bring about changes. He took credit for helping encourage the city to establish an environmental commission, as well as encouraging the school board to promote “green schools” in taking measures to promote energy efficiency while saving tax dollars.

Burg insists that he would have better accepted the PFP’s committee’s final decision, if only he had an opportunity, with some others, to appear personally before it.

“If you’re going to have a screening committee, I think it’s only fair to ask the committee to personally screen all interested candidates by interviewing us,” he says.

Simon says she would not respond personally to any rejected candidate, but explains, “The screening process we employed involved initially evaluating written applications, so not every candidate was personally interviewed.”

Spokespersons for the Jersey City Education Association (JCEA) and Healy could not be reached for comment on potential school board endorsements. Healy endorsed three candidates last year, and only senior incumbent Suzanne Mack won. Fulop, who directly teamed with the JCEA last year, described this year’s effort as “independent” of any endorsements the teachers’ union might make.

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... d-of-education-elections/

Posted on: 2012/3/13 20:47
Parents for Progress

Sangeeta Ranade, Vidya Gangadin, Marilyn Roman

Candidates for Board of Education

http://www.facebook.com/Jersey.City.Board.of.Education?sk=wall
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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Post on behalf of Sangeeta Ranade: I am
running for the Jersey City Board of
Education!

This election is so important
because this Board will select our new
superintendent who along with our
progressive board members, will manage an
over $630,000,000 school budget. How this
budget is managed affects the lives of
thousands of students education, jobs, and
Jersey City property taxes.

I have two young girls that will grow up in
the Jersey City public school system. My
oldest daughter is at PS3 where I am the
Vice President of the Parent Teacher
Association and an adviser to the Dual
Language Committee.

As a parent, I understand the frustration
and anxiety that other parents feel about
our public school system. As a Board
member, I want to be their voice. My aim
is to represent the interests of parents.

I would love to field your questions and
find out more about your concerns and how
we can improve the Jersey City public
school system for our children and young
adults.

As a reminder- this is the last week to
register to vote for the April 17 election
so it's not too late to get involved!

Posted on: 2012/3/13 18:58
Parents for Progress

Sangeeta Ranade, Vidya Gangadin, Marilyn Roman

Candidates for Board of Education

http://www.facebook.com/Jersey.City.Board.of.Education?sk=wall
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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We are the Parents for Progress slate of candidates for the Jersey City Board of Education.

We have been endorsed by Councilman Steven Fulop.

Please feel free to ask us any questions here, or to visit our Facebook page. Help us continue the efforts to reform our schools and build a better future for Jersey City.

We will post here from time to time to respond to any questions or suggestions and to notify JC List readers of upcoming events

P.S. If you support us, please "like" our Facebook page. It helps keep us visible. Thanks.




Parents for Progress

Sangeeta Ranade, Vidya Gangadin, Maryilan Roman

Candidates for Board of Education

http://www.facebook.com/Jersey.City.Board.of.Education?sk=wall

Posted on: 2012/3/8 22:45
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_s ... ndary_stories_left_column

Eight running for school board
Election for three seats to be held April 17
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter staff writer
Mar 04, 2012

Eight candidates have filed petitions to run in next month’s Board of Education election, an election that will feature much debate about the current search for a new school superintendent and local control of the school system.

Voters will have the opportunity to select three board representatives on Tuesday, April 17 to replace Pat Sebron, William DeRosa, and Sean Connors. Sebron and DeRosa have decided not to run for reelection. Connors was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly last year and took his seat in January.

The eight candidates running this year are Vidya Gangadin, Jayson Burg, Amanda Khan, Marilyn Roman, Frank Lorenzo, Gerald Lyons, Sangeeta Ranade, and DeJon Morris.

The three candidates who receive the most votes will each serve three-year terms on the school board, which has a total of nine members.

Next month, voters will also have the opportunity to approve the tax portion of the school board’s proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year, a budget that will be introduced later this month. Depending on the results of a ballot referendum this fall, April 17 could be the last time voters are given the opportunity to automatically approve or reject the annual school budget. This fall, voters may decide to move school elections to November, and would only vote on the budget if it includes a tax increase of more than 2 percent.

Big issues

The Jersey City schools were taken over by the state in 1989 due to poor performance, but are gradually returning to local control. Still, some believe that test scores need to improve further.

At present, the district is conducting a national search for a new school superintendent to replace Charles Epps, who was appointed by the state and who served for more than 10 years. He left the position at the end of 2011 and Assistant Superintendent Franklin Walker was given a six-month contract to serve as interim superintendent, through the end of June.

In January the state Dept. of Education appointed Cathy Coyle, a former district administrator, to oversee personnel and curriculum matters, a move some parents fear is an attempt by the state to ease her into the superintendent position. However, members of the current school board and the two firms conducting the superintendent search have insisted that Epps’ replacement will be made by school trustees, not the state.

At various public meetings over the last four months a number of parents have expressed their support for Walker and have stated they would like for him to be given the superintendent position permanently.

___________

Voters will have the opportunity to select three board representatives on Tuesday, April 17.

__________

Rededicate schools to students, parents

Calling herself an “active parent,” Gangadin, who ran for the school board last year, said she is running again because the schools have lost their focus.

“There is no communication with the parents,” she said. “Parents do not feel engaged in the school district, even when they try to be active, many feel like their input is not welcomed. The priorities of the district are not what they should be.”

A parent of four children in the school district, Gangadin last year received the endorsement of the Jersey City Coalition of Parent Teacher Organizations.

Morris, a detective with the Jersey City Police Department, said he is running be cause he was “frustrated seeing the end results of a weak education system as a police officer. A lot of times, kids are having trouble in school and are creating problems there before those problems appear in the community on the streets. We need to find better ways to channel their energies and skills so that they are productive in their lives. We need more internships, training programs, summer jobs, so that our kids aren’t just hanging out on the streets after school.”

Unlike Gangadin, who supports the national search for a new school superintendent, Morris said he does not. He believes the district has enough experienced, well qualified candidates from which to select Epps’ replacement.

When asked what the school district and school board could do to improve failing schools, Burg, who also ran and lost last year, said, “We need to figure out, what are they doing well? What are they doing right? That needs to be duplicated throughout the district.”

No ‘reform slate’

The 2011 and 2010 school board elections each included candidates who ran together on a slate and who received the backing of City Councilman Steven Fulop. Interestingly, this year’s race does not include a Fulop-backed slate, although the councilman and 2013 mayoral candidate said he would support three candidates.

“I will be very involved in the election, as the schools are the key to fixing the city. Education is tied to crime, jobs, taxes,” Fulop said. “They are all rooted in what type of school system we have. The teams we have supported [in the past] have made real headway over the last few years, but there is more work to be done with a new super coming in. I don't know how one cannot be involved in the schools and have a goal of improving the city, as the two are intertwined.”

He added that he will be supporting Roman, Ranade, and Gangadin in this year’s race.

Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, Fulop’s opponent in next year’s mayoral race, has yet to publicly endorse any candidates for the board of education.

Voters to weigh in on budget

In addition to selecting three board trustees, voters will also have the opportunity on April 17 to approve or reject the portion of the proposed 2012-2013 school budget that is to be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The board will introduce its budget later this month, on March 26. The school budget for the 2011-2012 school year was $630 million and included a tax increase that added $32 to the annual tax bill for the average homeowner.

Last month the City Council approved a measure that will ask voters in November whether they want to keep school board elections in April, or move them to November, when other elections are typically held.

Posted on: 2012/3/6 4:57
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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jaspernoone wrote:
We all should applaude Councilman Steven Fulop for his efforts to make our school system a better place.


I am all ready to. However, the problem is, - I have no idea what exactly Councilman did.

Is there some description, - I mean, something to the point, not the usual political "was fighting for education".

Posted on: 2012/3/6 4:44
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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jaspernoone wrote:
We all should applaude Councilman Steven Fulop for his efforts to make our school system a better place. The current board as it sits has 5 supported and backed candidates Sue Mack, Marvin Adames, Sterling Waterman, Carol Lester and Carol Harris Arnold and after this election he will most likely have another three putting the board vote to atleast 8-1 if not 9-0.


We should do more than applaud. We should get out to vote and get our friends to vote.

For those who don't know, the following three candidates are backed by Steve Fulop: Sangeeta Ranade, Vidya Gangadin and Mayrilan Roman.

Sangeeta Ranade is an engineer specializing in energy efficiency at TRC Solutions, an energy services firm. She is the mother of 2 girls the eldest of whom attends PS3. Sangeeta serves as Vice President of the PS3 Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and is an advisor to the Dual Language Committee. Her leadership and community organizing in the dual language area have resulted in the expansion of the program at PS3. In her position at TRC she acts in a supervisory capacity working with large budgets and complex projects. For example, she is currently working with the New York City Department of Education to implement $10,000,000 of facility improvements to 65 schools.

Vidya Gangadin is a financial analyst and operations manager at Wall Street Financial. She is the mother of four children all of whom attend Jersey City Public Schools. She currently serves as Vice President of the PTA at Academy 1 Middle School where she advocated for, and received bus service for the students. Vidya is also a leading member of the Jersey City Coalition of Parent Teacher Organizations. In that capacity, she successfully lobbied the BOE trustees and the Superintendent to reduce class sizes in overcrowded classrooms throughout the city and to avoid teacher layoffs. She also sits on the Academy 1 Middle School Leadership Committee and is a member of the PS38 PTA. Recently, Viday was named a 2012 Woman of Action by the Jersey City, City Council.

Mayrilan Roman has held a number of leadership positions in Hudson County and Jersey City but if asked which best defines her, she would respond teacher. She has thirty-one years of experience in the Jersey City Public Schools during which time she spear headed cooperative education and innovative approaches to education. Mayrilan has worked tirelessly to improve Jersey City’s civic institutions including the administrative offices of our schools. For her years of outstanding service to the Jersey City Community, Mayrilan is being honored at this year’s Hudson County Women’s Month Ceremony.

Posted on: 2012/3/6 2:49
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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The local control is ebbing away as the state is exerting more and more control. The Board, even if fully stocked with reasonable, intelligent people, does not have 100% autonomy.

Posted on: 2012/2/28 17:06
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Re: Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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We all should applaude Councilman Steven Fulop for his efforts to make our school system a better place. The current board as it sits has 5 supported and backed candidates Sue Mack, Marvin Adames, Sterling Waterman, Carol Lester and Carol Harris Arnold and after this election he will most likely have another three putting the board vote to atleast 8-1 if not 9-0.

With this type of control I think it is time we see real change. Getting rid of Dr. Epps was just a start not mission accomplished. Franklin Walker as the interim was not the boost the district needed. Now is the time for bold change that could change the face of our City.

We need a real super and now that Fulop has clear control or will of this board it is time to step up. One cannot take the credit in advertisement and articles about being the face of change but not exact it.

Control and support of 5 members in 2011, control and support with 8 members in 2012 control and support with 9 members by 2013 should give us enough time to see if change comes before we cast our vote in the mayors election.

Posted on: 2012/2/28 4:29
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Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education
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Eight candidates vying for three open seats on Jersey City Board of Education; race will be incumbent-free

February 27, 2012, 5:29 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Board of Education will have some new faces come April, as neither of the two incumbents up for reelection filed paperwork today to seek new terms.

Eight candidates filed petitions today to run for three open spots on the nine-member body, and neither Bill DeRosa nor Patricia Sebron, both incumbents, are on the list. Sebron would have been seeking her second term, and DeRosa his fifth.

The third seat up for grabs once belonged to Assemblyman Sean Connors, who stepped down from the BOE after becoming a member of the state Assembly in January.

Former acting mayor Marilyn Roman, a longtime educator, has thrown her hat in the ring, because, she said, “our schools are failing.”

Roman, 75, was acting mayor for about six months in 1992 after former mayor Gerald McCann was removed from office. She said it was difficult to decide to re-enter the public arena.

“I wasn’t happy about running for office when I did it, I just wanted to do the work,” Roman said. “I thought perhaps I could help the district.”

Other candidates running in Jersey City’s BOE race this year include Jayson H. Burg, Vidya Gangadin, Amanda Khan, Frank Lorenzo, Gerald M. Lyons, De Jon Morris and Sangeeta Ranade. Burg, Gangadin and Khan ran unsuccessfully last year.

Asked to comment, DeRosa said he is having “health issues,” and doesn’t believe he could campaign this year the way he’d like to. DeRosa has been on the board of 12 years, nine as president.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... idates_vying_for_thr.html

Posted on: 2012/2/28 4:08
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