To the Editor:
I am a frustrated and agitated Irvington school taxpayer. The school tax bill recently arrived and I thought what a huge price I pay to educate the children in Irvington.
I have no children in the system, but that does not mean I have no interest in wanting them to have the best education that my money can pay for. We all benefit; the children and their core knowledge and home owner’s property values. As a former Realtor, I know that one of the main reasons a family chooses to move into a community is the quality of the schools. Their first judgment is based on SAT scores. This economic downturn will not resolve itself for some time, so buyers will be even more vigilant in evaluating their tax burden in relation to how well we teach our students in comparison to other schools.
Irvington pays the second highest cost per pupil in the county, but many schools have scores much higher than ours. Irvington is a relatively homogeneous community, with few of the issues that complicate larger school systems, so there is no excuse for mediocre SAT scores.
However, there is a systemic problem throughout the nation regarding how poorly the public school system educates our children. I feel hopeful that a movement is underway that finally recognizes that our country must do a better job educating our students.
A documentary was released in movie theaters on September 24. It is called “Waiting for Superman.” It paints a troubling portrait of how the public schools and union demands deprive our children of a good education. It follows five children and their plight. I’ve read that it is heartbreaking. It is written and directed by Davis Guggenheim who also directed “An Inconvenient Truth.”
I attended the recent Irvington School Board meeting to express to them my thoughts and concerns. I passed out to the Board and the Superintendent a movie review of “Waiting for Superman” written by Thomas Friedman in the NY Times on August 24. I asked all of them to see the movie, because they are in the business of running our schools whether they were elected or get paid a hefty salary. I ask and urge all of you in Irvington and everyone who cares about our public schools to see this movie. It is time to rise up, no longer be complacent, but demand better for the students in our little Village or another village and for the entire country.
You can see the trailer at www.waitingforsuperman.com.
Linda Leary, Irvington, NY