Archive for April, 2012

CQE April Update

Monday, April 30th, 2012

CQE will award a $250 scholarship for academic rigor to at least two Metuchen High students in the Class of 2012. All students who meet minimum eligibility requirements, who have challenged themselves with a rigorous curriculum, and who can demonstrate in an essay an understanding of the benefits of having taken one particular, challenging class, are encouraged to apply.  The deadline is May 16, 2012.  Please see the application at Or ask for an application at the Guidance Office.

Calling all MHS Alumni from the Classes of 2010 and 2011! CQE and the MHS Guidance Department will co-sponsor the 6th Annual Metuchen High School Alumni College Day on the morning of Wednesday, May 30. If you know someone from 2010 or 2011 who may be interested in returning to Metuchen High School to sit on a panel and to speak to their former schoolmates about the college planning process, as well as the joys and challenges of college life, please have them contact Kathy Liss at We are also looking for adult volunteers to help on that morning.  Please contact Kathy if you are interested.

CQE meets on the third Wednesday of the month in Borough Hall on the second floor. Our next meeting is on Wednesday, May 16th at 8 PM.  Everyone who is interested in education and in the Metuchen Schools is invited to attend.

Also of interest to CQE members: Superintendent Vincent Caputo will hold an Open Agenda Session for the community, tomorrow evening, Tuesday May 1 at 7 PM, at Campbell School. Come meet our new superintendent and hear his plans for the district. Light refreshments will be served.

CQE Meeting Tonight

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

On Wednesday, April 18 at 8 PM, Citizens for Quality Education will hold its regular monthly meeting in Borough Hall (2nd floor). Please join us when, among other business, we discuss the CQE scholarship and form a scholarship committee to select the winners, plan for the upcoming CQE/MHS Alumni College Day at Metuchen High School, and seek ideas for upcoming events that would be of interest to parents and students (K-12) .  We hope to see you then!

Thank you, Metuchen!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Thank you, Metuchen, for passing the school budget by an overwhelming majority!

Congratulations to new Board of Education members: Lea Lanton, Aileen Mc Guire, and Tara Matise!

CQE Newsletter: Spring 2012

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Election Day is Tuesday, April 17, 2012.  The polls are open from 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  Please vote YES for the school budget!

Please click HERE to  download important information about the upcoming  elections by clicking on CQE Newsletter: Spring 2012.

Vote YES for the Budget on Tuesday April 17

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Dear Friend of CQE:

A YES vote for the budget is the single most important vote that a Metuchen resident can cast in the upcoming school board elections on Tuesday April 17.  The Metuchen Board of Education has proposed a $30 million tax levy, which represents an increase that is below the state-mandated 2% cap. And this year, because of some restored state aid as well as careful planning on the part of our Business Administrator and our Superintendent, that budget buys us a lot!

Beyond maintaining essential programs and services, by passing the budget, the Metuchen Schools will also be able to maintain all the middle school and high school athletic teams, as well as restore sixteen co-curricular activities and clubs. Also written into this budget is a much-needed Assistant Principal position for Campbell School, our largest school with over 700 students in grades 1-4. The budget also allows for a Guidance Supervisor (K-12), a key position in many districts, to oversee the social/emotional and academic needs of all our students, to ensure progress and articulation between the grades and across the schools, and to work towards excellence for each individual student.

Everyone in town has a vested interest in the Metuchen Schools.  Voting YES is not only an investment in our children’s future but a vote to ensure our town’s desirability because of its quality public school system.

Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) encourages all Metuchenites to vote YES on Tuesday, April 17 when polls open at 2 PM and close at 9PM.

Best regards,

JoAnn Sabatino-Falkenstein, President

The Candidates Reply to Question #5

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The fifth and final question that CQE asked was,

How should we prepare our students for their lives in the future? What should we be teaching them now so that they can be prepared for life beyond high school?

When we asked this question, we were looking for thoughtful discussion. Citizens for Quality Education realizes that in a 21st century economy, more people will need a 4 year college degree to succeed. We believe that the careers our children will embrace will be changing and perhaps may not even exist today.

To read the candidates’ answers to Question #5, please click HERE.

The Candidates Reply to Question #4

Monday, April 9th, 2012

The fourth question that CQE asked was,

More and more colleges make clear in their admissions criteria that they want students who have taken AP classes and AP exams.  In response, some districts maintain open enrollment for AP classes for all students who want to challenge themselves. Some districts encourage all students to take at least one AP course in their high school career. What is your position on open enrollment in AP classes? How would you encourage more participation in AP courses?

CQE asked this question because we would like to see more AP participation at Metuchen High School. The Common Application, which is used in admissions for most colleges across the country, has a space to enter AP scores alongside other exams like the SAT, ACT and SAT II.  CQE is in favor of open enrollment in AP classes and in increasing opportunities with more AP offerings for more students to challenge themselves.  The organization believes that all students who take an AP class should take the course test in May.

The following links were provided to the candidates along with Question #4:

Please click HERE to see the candidates’ answers to Question #4.

To see a list of school districts in New Jersey and across the country that have been honored by the College Board for increasing access to AP classes among their students while maintaining or increasing scores, please click on AP HONOR ROLL

The Candidates Reply to Question #3

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The third question that CQE asked was,

Many would say “that the fork in the road to college” can be found in Middle School.  How can we improve college expectations for all students by focusing on the Middle School curriculum, programming, etc.?

We asked this question to learn the candidates’ thoughts on the subject. CQE would like to see college planning for parents and students begin in the middle school. Below are links to literature that helped to inform the CQE position:

Breakthrough Collaborative.  Middle School: The Fork in the Road to College. January 2010.

Wimberly, George L. and Richard J. Noeth.  College Readiness Begins in Middle School.  ACT Policy Report.  2005.

To see the candidates’ answers, please click HERE.

The Candidates Reply to Question #2

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The second question that CQE asked was,

In many school districts, subject classes are not based on ability group until 5th grade.  In Metuchen, Reading and Math classes are grouped by ability level beginning in 3rd grade.  Please state your opinion.

CQE asked this question to hear some thoughtful discussion on an issue on which the members of the next Board of Education may be asked to give an opinion or to vote.  In recent years, there has been discussion at Board meetings and among parents about the benefits of ability grouping vs. the benefits of differentiated learning in the classroom.  As of this time, CQE does not hold a position on this issue.

Click HERE to read the candidates’ answers to question #2.

Candidates Reply to Question #1

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Dear Friend of CQE:

This year, Citizens for Quality Education asked five questions concerning education and academics to the candidates who are running for the Board of Education.  The candidates are, in ballot number order: Lea Lanton, Aileen McGuire, Tara Matise and Fran Brennan.

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 was not our expectation that the candidates would agree with every position held by our organization.  Instead, 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, April 17.

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 her interest in education and her motivation for joining the Metuchen Board of Ed.  Click on  THE CANDIDATES’ ANSWERS TO QUESTION #1 .