CQE is an independent, nonpartisan group representing a cross-section of the Metuchen community. We directly promote public education to better prepare our children for today and for the future. We are parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors who joined CQE with the belief that every child attending a Metuchen school deserves to receive the best possible education to achieve his or her own level of excellence. We also believe that time spent supporting our schools will be repaid many times over in the quality of our town. Our goals are to:
  • Ensure high-quality schools in Metuchen through the electoral process
  • Foster and facilitate communication and partnerships between the school system and the community
  • Strengthen the academic quality of Metuchen schools

Citizens for Quality Education Scholarship for MHS Class of 2014

April 11th, 2014

Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) is offering $1,000 in scholarships for Metuchen High School seniors who have challenged themselves with a rigorous high school curriculum. At least one award will be for $500. All eligible students are encouraged to apply.

The criteria for determining the winners include following a challenging curriculum and appreciating its benefits.

Eligibility:  Any Metuchen High School senior who has a GPA of 3.6 or higher and who has followed a rigorous curriculum, which includes some honors classes and at least one Advanced Placement course in 11th or 12th grade.

To download an application for the scholarship, go to: http://metuchencqe.org/cqe-scholarship/
Completed applications should be returned to MHS Guidance Counselor Mrs. Leigh Handbridge by May 12, 2014.

Seeking Adult Volunteers for the CQE-MHS Alumni College Day, Monday May 20

May 14th, 2013

Would you like to attend the 7th annual CQE-MHS Alumni College Day at Metuchen High School as an adult volunteer on next Monday May 20, 2013? If you’d like to help, we begin at 8:00 AM. The event will run through the end of 3rd period, some time around 11 AM.  We think you will enjoy the presentations by the guidance counselors as well as the alumni panel discussions.  This year we have 30 alumni returning from the Classes of 2011 and 2012 to share their diverse experiences with their former schoolmates.

Volunteers greet the alumni and give out name tags and final instructions. During the event, we mingle with the alumni at breakfast, usher in the classes at each period and generally are responsive to the needs of the counselors.  Please let us know if you are interested in attending the event as a volunteer by writing us at correspondence@metuchencqe.org.  Thank you!

Now Is the Time

April 25th, 2013

Now is the time to join or renew your membership with Citizens for Quality Education.  Dues are currently $25 for the year and if you pay now, your membership will be extended through June 2014.

Some of the organization’s expenses for this past year included:

  • Maintaining our Website
  • Buying the rights to the documentary film In 500 Words or Less which was screened at MHS in February, free to the community
  • Funding a $250 CQE Scholarship for three Metuchen High School seniors
  • Purchasing 100 “Vote Yes” lawn signs that were distributed throughout town during the recent School Board Election.

Your dues and donations go a long way in allowing us to do these things.

In addition, CQE sponsors Story Time at Campbell School, which completed its 14th season, and co-sponsors (along with the MHS Guidance Department) the CQE/MHS Alumni College Day.  Currently we are planning with Guidance for our 7th annual Alumni Day, which will be held on Monday May 20.

We invite you to learn more about our programs and efforts by reading through our webpages. We hope you appreciate the organization for our advocacy, so that all students should have the opportunity to achieve academic excellence; for our efforts to engage the community in important school issues; and for our work to pass school budgets over our more than 25 year history.  You can find a membership form at http://metuchencqe.org/membership-form/ Thank you for your support!

Thank you, Metuchen! The school budget passed by a wide margin tonight. Congratulations to re-elected Board members Jonathan Lifton and Rose deVries and newly elected Michael Stern.

April 16th, 2013
UPDATED (April 18) Unofficial Board of Ed Election Results from Borough Council
Jonathan Lifton 720
Erica Doyle 376
Michael Stern 532
Rosemary Schifano 626
Budget Yes 715 No 344

Today (Tuesday April 16, 2013) is Election Day! Polls are open from 2 pm until 9 pm. Please support our schools by voting YES for the budget. In addition vote for up to 3 candidates: Jonathan Lifton (Ballot position #1), Michael Stern (Ballot position #3) and Rose deVries (Ballot position #4)

April 16th, 2013

Please note that Erica Doyle (Ballot position #2) has withdrawn her candidacy.

For more information about the school budget or the candidates to the Board of Education, see our newsletter in the post below.

Have You Read the CQE Annual Newsletter for April 2013?

April 14th, 2013

Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) publishes an annual newsletter that focuses on the School Board Elections because we believe that good schools are strengthened with the active participation and support of a community that is engaged in school issues.

Click here: CQE 2013 Newsletter

Vote YES for the School Budget

April 9th, 2013

Dear Citizens of Metuchen,

Now more than ever a YES vote for the school budget will ensure a competitive school system and increased property values for Metuchen.

Each year Metuchen citizens are asked to go to the polls in April to approve an operating budget for our schools. The school administration and the Board of Education have proposed a fiscally responsible budget that keeps the education of our students as its key objective. But knowing that our schools are in good hands should not make us complacent.

It is each citizen’s responsibility to vote to approve the budget on Election Day, Tuesday April 16. Polls will be open from 2 pm until 9 pm. Metuchen is one of only 41 districts in New Jersey that has chosen to keep its election in April, and not to forfeit its citizens’ right to vote for the budget by moving school elections to November. For residents of districts like Metuchen and neighboring Edison, voting for the budget is not only a responsibility, it has also become a privilege.

Why vote YES? The $32,733,655 budget will maintain all current educational programs, athletic teams, co-curricular activities and courtesy bussing.  It includes necessities like the maintenance of our facilities and grounds, e.g. the replacement of a boiler at Moss School. The budget includes needed technology infrastructure upgrades and replacement computers.

Why else should we vote YES? Read the rest of this entry »

The 2013 Candidates Answer Questions 4 and 5

April 6th, 2013

Here are the candidates’ answers to Questions 4 and 5

Question #4: Many would say, “The fork in the road to college can be found in the middle school.” How can we optimize success for college and careers by focusing on the middle school curriculum, programming, etc.?

CQE believes that the middle school years are crucial transitional years in the academic and social lives of students. For information about the middle school, see : Breakthrough Collaborative.  Middle School: The Fork in the Road to College. January 2010.http://btresearch.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/middle-grades-the-fork-in-the-road-to-college/

Question #5: How important to you is the community’s interest, knowledge and participation in school issues? How would you go about increasing public input, if at all?

Click: The Candidates Reply to Questions 4 and 5

Do It Today! Absentee Ballot Applications Are Due in New Brunswick on Tuesday April 9

April 6th, 2013

CQE encourages all voters to consider absentee ballots as a sure and easy way to cast your vote.   You no longer need a reason to vote absentee; now anyone may vote with an absentee ballot.  This is a good practice especially for someone who may not be able to get to the polls on Election Day for whatever reason—be it because of bad weather or an unexpected business trip. Why chance it? Apply for an absentee ballot and be sure that your vote will count.

If you mail an absentee ballot application today, it will reach New Brunswick in time. If you have college students who are away but registered to vote in Metuchen, please send them a link to the absentee ballot application below.

Click below for a form and mail it to: The Middlesex County Clerk; 75 Bayard Street (4th Floor); New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1110.

Click: Absentee Ballot Application

The 2013 Candidates Answer Questions 2 and 3

April 5th, 2013

Today we have the candidates’ answers to CQE’s Questions 2 and 3.

Question #2: What do you believe are the Metuchen School District’s strengths? Are there areas in our schools where you’d like to see growth? CQE asked this question because although the organization is pleased with the progress our District has made in academic and co-curricular opportunities for all students over the last few years, we know there is always room for growth.  CQE is curious to learn about the interests and concerns that each of the candidates may bring to our schools.

Question #3: Balanced Literacy and Differentiated Learning are now part of the District’s curriculum at the elementary school level. How can we ensure success for all students at every level? CQE asked this question because although many parents have embraced the new balanced literacy and differentiated learning practices in our elementary school, some are concerned with how optimal learning can happen in heterogeneous classrooms where students are no longer grouped by ability.  For a better understanding of Balanced Literacy and Differentiated Learning in Metuchen, click HERE to see the slide presentation made at the April 2 Board of Education meeting.

Click  HERE to read the candidates’ answers.

CQE: Bringing School and Community together for over 25 years!

School Board Elections are on Tuesday April 16, 2013.  Polls are open from 2 pm until 9 pm.

Important BOE Meeting–December 11, 2012

December 11th, 2012

On Tuesday December 11 at 8 PM in the Metuchen High School cafeteria, the Board of Education will meet and will cover two important topics. Up for discussion are a language arts curriculum which will inform the way instruction is delivered in grades 3-5, as well as changes to the grade point differential for AP classes at the high school. This meetings bring to a vote the two items which were first on the agenda of the November 13 meeting.

Happy New Year! News and Upcoming CQE Events

January 3rd, 2013

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! As 2013 begins, the Metuchen School District is well on its way towards academic excellence for all students.  Under the leadership of Superintendent Vincent Caputo and our Board of Education, a culture of academics is being fostered in our schools, where administrators, faculty members and students are being recognized for their scholarly achievements at Board of Education meetings and in the media.

In November, for the very first time Metuchen became one of 539 school districts across the United States and Canada to be named to the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll for increasing participation in the Advanced Placement program, while increasing the percentage of students earning passing scores on exams.  Our district’s increased participation in the program can be explained by the unprecedented number of students who were encouraged to take AP exams last May.   Of course, the credit for the passing scores must go directly to our teachers and students!

And the future looks even brighter with Mr. Caputo’s vision of increasing access to the Advanced Placement program for more students, which includes offering classes in subjects like Psychology and Government, which have no prerequisites.  In another step to encourage more students to challenge themselves, at their December 11 meeting, the Board of Education voted on the recommendation of the Superintendent to increase the grade point differential for AP classes.  Citizens for Quality Education is pleased with these initiatives and feels confident that we will see more students better prepared for the challenges of college and the world of work.

As Citizens for Quality Education begins the New Year, we invite you to join us in our upcoming activities:

  • CQE Story Time at Campbell School:  Are you interested in reading to a 1st or 2nd grade class?  Or would you like to get involved in planning for our program that brings members of the community into our schools? You can read more about this longstanding CQE event at http://metuchencqe.org/cqe-programs/story-time/.  Our first Story Time of the year will be held on the morning of Friday January 11.  Write Shannon Osborn-Jones at cqemetuchen@gmail.com for more information.
  • In 500 Words or Less:  On Sunday February 10 at 1 PM in the Metuchen High School auditorium, CQE and the Metuchen Guidance Department will co-sponsor a free screening of In 500 Words or Less, an important documentary film about the college admissions process. The film is open to the entire community—parents, students, grandparents, etc. To learn more about the documentary, visit: http://www.in500wordsorless.com/.
  • CQE/MHS Alumni College Day:  On Monday May 20, alumni from the MHS Classes of 2011 and 2012 will return to their alma mater to speak to their former schoolmates about the challenges, rewards and realities of college life.  More information will follow on how the alumni can get involved and how adults can volunteer to help at our 7th annual Alumni College Day.
  • CQE Scholarship:  Over the last two years, CQE has awarded over $1500 in scholarships to Metuchen High School graduates at Senior Convocation in June.  For more information about the scholarship, please see: http://metuchencqe.org/cqe-scholarship-application/

To learn more about Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) and the benefits of membership, please review our Website.  Click on “Join CQE” on the right sidebar to get a membership form and instructions.

Possibility of moving the BOE elections in April to the political elections in November

January 15th, 2013

On Tuesday January 8, 2013, the Metuchen Board of Education met to preliminarily discuss the pros and cons of moving the Board of Education Elections, which are traditionally held in April, to the November political elections.

Please follow this important issue by going to: http://metuchennj.org/METV/METV-VOD.html and selecting the “Board of Education Meeting 010813.” You can set the video at 10:55  (minutes) when Board President Jonathan Lifton opens the discussion.

It is worth viewing the public discussion with members of the Board from about 54:00 (minutes) to about 69:00(minutes).

You can read a description of the law that allows a district to move its elections to November and frequently asked questions at: http://www.njsba.org/PI/commissionermemo.pdf?w=411.

Metuchen BOE meeting on Weds., January 23: Moving the April school elections to November has far-reaching implications

January 22nd, 2013

There’s an important item on the agenda of the Metuchen Board of Education meeting for Wednesday, January 23: a discussion of the pros and cons of moving the April school elections to the November political elections. Among other  changes, this will eliminate the public’s vote on the budget.  Please plan to attend the meeting in the Metuchen High School cafeteria at 8 PM, in order to understand the many far-reaching implications of this decision on our schools.

CQE urges the Metuchen community to write Board of Education members asking them to keep the School Board elections out of the November political arena

January 28th, 2013

Citizens for Quality Education strongly supports keeping the school board election in April, rather than moving it to November. The organization believes that Metuchen residents should not have to give up their right to vote for the school budget. In addition, if the date of the election is moved to November, our local education issues would vie with political issues for the public’s attention and would appear to be less important.

Last year, the State gave school districts the option to move the traditional April election date to the November political election date, and thereby eliminate the public’s vote for the budget. However, Read the rest of this entry »

In 500 Words or Less: An Award-winning Documentary at MHS on Sunday February 10 at 1 PM (FREE!)

February 8th, 2013

On Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 1 PM, the public is invited to a free screening of the award-winning film In 500 Words or Less in the auditorium of the Metuchen High School, 400 Grove Avenue. Parents, students and others who are interested in learning about the intricacies of preparing for and applying to college nowadays should attend.

In 500 Words or Less derives its title from the sometimes dreaded 500 word essay that all high school students are asked to write as part of the “common app” to colleges, in their attempt to define themselves as standout candidates. The 95 minute documentary follows just four of the 1.5 million students who navigate the application process each year. Family dynamics and parental support are seen as helpful tools among the students in the film, who come from varied backgrounds and across economic levels. Viewers will find themselves rooting for the featured families as they work their way through the common stresses, rejections, acceptances and joys of the final years of high school and this universal rite of passage.

The free screening is co-sponsored by the Metuchen Citizens for Quality Education and the Metuchen High School Guidance and Counseling Department. Doors open at 12:45 PM.

Click here to see the trailer of the film.

CQE Update for March

March 1st, 2013

Happy Read Across America Day, the National Education Association’s celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday!

And today Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) held its 3rd and final Story Time event at Campbell School for this academic year. This morning, 26 readers (volunteer parents and invited community leaders) visited the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms to share a picture book or two with the students. CQE appreciates the opportunity to bring school and community together and the warm welcome from Campbell School principal, Mrs. Carter, her teachers and staff.  Many thanks to all who read, and especially to Shannon Osborne-Jones, whose leadership and enthusiasm, brought about another successful season of this longstanding program for CQE.

In other news, CQE will soon launch its annual Voter Registration Drive and Absentee Ballot Campaign. For 25 years, Citizens for Quality Education has worked to pass school budgets in Metuchen.  During the month of March, the organization runs both a Voter Registration Drive and an Absentee Ballot Campaign. CQE encourages all Metuchen citizens to vote in the School Board Elections, which will be held this year on Tuesday April 16.

Please see our Webpage “Important Dates,” under “BOE Elections” on the right sidebar  for important dates, information and forms to fill out to register to vote and to apply for an absentee ballot application.

Best regards,

The Officers of Citizens for Quality Education

CQE: Supporting school budgets that support strong academics for 25 years!

School Board Elections: Vote YES for the Budget! Tuesday April 16, 2013: 2 pm – 9 pm

March 26th, 2013

School Board Election Season is upon us, and CQE has begun its annual mission to engage all Metuchen citizens in the electoral process.  Each April, voters are asked to elect three candidates for the School Board, and most importantly, to vote for the budget which ensures the high quality of our schools. Polls at your regular voting place will be open on Tuesday April 16, 2013 from 2 PM until 9 PM.

Casting your vote is imperative in protecting both the quality of our schools and the value of our real estate properties. Earlier this month, our organization was at the Metuchen High School where thirty-five eligible and interested students were registered to vote.  If you know someone who is eligible but not yet registered to vote in Middlesex County, please alert them to our webpage below.

If getting to the polls may be difficult, CQE urges all voters to consider absentee ballots as a sure and easy way to cast your vote. You no longer need a reason to vote absentee; now anyone may vote by mail with an absentee ballot.  For information and application forms for both voter registration or absentee ballots, please see http://metuchencqe.org/boe-elections/important-dates/

In addition to the school budget, Metuchen citizens will be asked to vote for up to three candidates for three open seats.  This year the candidates are incumbents Jonathan Lifton and Rose deVries and newcomers Michael Stern and Erica Doyle.  (Although her name will appear on the ballot, Ms. Doyle has withdrawn her candidacy.)

As in the past, CQE has posed 5 questions to the candidates. Within the next few weeks, we will be sending out our questions with each candidate’s answers so that you can get to know the candidates and their thoughts about education and the schools.  The questions are: Read the rest of this entry »


March 27th, 2013

Help CQE Get Out the Word to VOTE YES for the School Budget

April 1st, 2013
Please help get out the word that there’s an election on April 16 and that it’s extremely important to vote YES for the budget! Especially, while our town still has the privilege of voting for a school budget.
Other NJ districts have given up their vote for the budget by moving their school board elections to November, but our Board of Education has chosen to keep the school election separate from the November political election and to preserve our right to vote.

Please write correspondence@metuchencqe.org and we’ll get you a lawn sign too, just like the one you see right here!  Thanks!


Candidates Reply to CQE Question #1

April 4th, 2013

Dear Friend of Citizens for Quality Education:

To encourage the public to get to know who may be their representatives on the Board of Education, CQE  posed five questions concerning education and academics to the candidates who are running for a seat on the Board.  The candidates are, in alphabetical order: incumbent Rose deVries, incumbent Jonathan Lifton and newcomer Michael Stern. (Erica Doyle, whose name will appear on the ballot, has withdrawn her candidacy.)

CQE’s questions were designed to be open-ended and to engender thoughtful discussion. The topics were chosen because we believe that these are some of the issues on which the next Board of Education may be asked to give their opinion or to vote. It is our hope that hearing from the candidates in their own words will prove helpful to the Metuchen community in making their choices on Election Day, Tuesday April 16, when polls are open from 2 pm until 9 pm.

The first question we asked was:    Why are you running for the Metuchen Board of Education?
We chose this question so that each candidate would have the opportunity to speak about his/her interest in education and motivation for joining the Board of Ed.

Click Candidates.answer#1.2013

Best regards,
JoAnn Sabatino-Falkenstein, President
Jim Jaques, Vice President
Kathy Liss, Vice President