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

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 (Erica Doyle, whose name will appear on the ballot, has withdrawn her candidacy.)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

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!



March 27th, 2013

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 »

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!

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 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 »

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.

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.

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.