Archive for April, 2013

Now Is the Time

Thursday, 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 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.

Tuesday, 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)

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Please note that Erica Doyle (Ballot position #2) has withdrawn her candidacy.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

Sunday, 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

Tuesday, 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? (more…)

The 2013 Candidates Answer Questions 4 and 5

Saturday, 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.

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

Saturday, 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

Friday, 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.

Candidates Reply to CQE Question #1

Thursday, 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

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

Monday, 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 and we’ll get you a lawn sign too, just like the one you see right here!  Thanks!