RANDOLPH, NJ - Although the Board of Education results were not shared during their scheduled work session meeting, board member Sheldon Epstein shared his thoughts on specific comments made during the campaign season.
“There’s been some community feedback on school rankings that have been in print, and I just wanted to comment with regard to those,” Epstein began. Specifically, Epstein addressed rankings in U.S. News & World Report and SchoolDigger.com.
Epstein explained that SchoolDigger.com is a comparison of standardized testing scores with no distinction based on the type or size of the school, such as K-12, vocational or charter school. “What SchoolDigger.com is, is not a school district rating in any way shape or form,” Epstein said. “All [SchoolDigger.com] is, is a ranking of the latest standardized test scores. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Epstein commented that U.S. News also includes vocational, charter or magnet schools in their rankings, and when those dissimilar schools are removed Randolph is in the top 10% of the country.
Board President Al Matos also commented that the New Jersey Monthly rankings which place Randolph at #16 in the state are used by real estate agents across NJ for describing the school district. “I want to say thank you once again to Jenn. I want to say thank you to the administration, staff, teachers, parents and especially our students who are doing a fantastic job as reflected in New Jersey Monthly,” Epstein concluded.
Matos and Epstein were reelected to serve on the Board of Education in 2017. Susan DeVito will also be joining the board for her first term.
DeVito expressed after hearing the results, "This election season was an excellent opportunity to listen to the residents of Randolph, to hear their concerns and hopes for change. I want to thank all those who supported me through this process and especially those who voted for me, entrusting me with their children's future. I am honored to represent the residents of Randolph on the Board of Education. I look forward to working with the entire board in order to increase efficiencies within the district and continue Randolph's tradition of a positive learning environment for all students."
Epstein stated " Thank you Randolph, for re-electing me to your Board of Education. The outpouring of support I received from family, friends, and neighbors was truly appreciated. I will continue to work diligently to support the best for our students, teachers, administrators, staff, and community. Also, congratulations to Al Matos on his re-election, and Susan DeVito on her successful campaign. I look forward to making positive steps forward with both of you and the entire Board of Education. In addition, I want to thank Jeff Braverman for his years of service. Jeff's tireless efforts as a board member, and as a resident, truly exemplify what an upstander can contribute to Randolph's students."
Matos said, “I am humbled with the results of the local election where the residents of Randolph sent me over 4800 votes, most for any BoE candidate, and thank Randolph for that. I was always confident that current member Sheldon Epstein, who was also re-elected, and I would be rewarded by residents as they recognize the excellent work the BoE has achieved in the past 12 months – stabilizing the District, mending relationships, focus on technology and embedding technology into classrooms, our ranking as an excellent District and our successful lowest tax increases in past two years. We have a great team on the BoE. The addition of Ms. DeVito to take the third seat is a welcomed addition. She will start her orientation as a new board member once she is sworn into the office in January. Typically, a new BoE member has a 12 to 18 month learning curve to understand the role of a BoE member. School board members are state officials. They are empowered by state law to perform a state function – governing the public schools – at a local level. Our powers are derived from the Legislature and thus we must fulfill our fiduciary duty for all students, staff and taxpayers. As an extra bonus, I was glad to be part of a historic election and will save my ballot.”