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Hempstead’s mission to educate kids

After a week of tumult in the 8,000-student

After a week of tumult in the 8,000-student Hempstead schools system, the school board voted Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, to place Superintendent Shimon Waronker on administrative leave and bar him from district property. 

When I was appointed by the New York State commissioner of education as the fiscal administrator for the Roosevelt school district in 2010, I was often asked by residents and some staff, “Why are you here?”

I thought my original appointment was to help the district monitor its finances, so that is what I told them.

After a year of touring the schools, I could not remain passive. As an advocate for children, I was forced to challenge the state and the district to look at the fact that, after the state had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on building construction, very little had gone to look at the quality of instruction.

One board member and her associates in the political world chastised me about publicizing the dismal learning conditions that I reported to the commissioner. The reality was that without board training, a focus on positive outcomes for children and pressure from the state, the children in the district always would receive a lower level of instruction than surrounding districts. Because of an enlightened board, Roosevelt now has stability in its schools and hope for its children.

The same script is being replayed in Hempstead. Board politics and agendas that focus on maintaining power, cronyism and jobs for friends must change [“Report faults Hempstead school leaders,” News, Jan. 9].

Advocates for children must take a stand and sanction the board for suspending the superintendent, who was hired to bring a better standard of learning.

Gerald Lauber, Muttontown

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