Letters to the Editor

Can We Talk About Education?

cbef2fd471b8d828e18b_Bader-Qarmout-portrait-pic.jpg
cbef2fd471b8d828e18b_Bader-Qarmout-portrait-pic.jpg

Out of the educational systems of 50 countries, The U.S. was ranked 17th  in the most recent international studies.  Asian and Scandinavian nations claimed the top spots ahead of the U.S.  Top spot went to Finland and South Korea came in second place. According to the education firm Pearson, a study carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), combination of international test results and varies forms of data including literacy rates and graduation rates between 2006 and 2010, results showed that Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, while the United States was 17th out 50 nations.

Compared to other nations, including the top ranked countries, the U.S. pays more for education per student per year than any other.  Some believe the answer to this problem is to throw more money towards education, I believe that is a futile endeavor. More important than money, “is the level of support for education within the surrounding culture. Although cultural change is inevitably complex, it can be brought about in order to promote better educational outcomes,” say most EIU experts.

The answer has in part to do with the breakdown of the American family and society’s diminishing respect for education and educators. Children today, on average, have less supervision, due to both parents working, divorce and/or single parent households. It’s not about poverty; it’s about responsibility and respect for parents, teachers and the institutions. In some cases, parents are trying to be best friends with their kids, the kids have friends, and they need parents. In countries that outperform the United States, the parents and students take school much more seriously and education is viewed as a privilege

Sign Up for E-News

The international study conducted by the education firm Pearson suggested that countries with a greater choice of schools provided better educational outcomes than those that offered fewer choices of schools. “For-profit private education is providing students in some of the least-developed areas of the world an alternative to poor state provision and showing the potential benefits of choice and accountability,” the Pearson study said, adding that “parental pressure on educational institutes for better performance should not be seen as impediments.”

With this in mind, I support a legislative bill in Trenton by assemblyman Bucco of the 25th District titled “New Jersey Parental Rights and Property Tax Reduction Act.” Assemblyman Bucco’s bill gives parents the freedom to place their child in any public or non-public school and the cost of educating the child fallows the student to a school of the parent’s choice up to a caped amount. The district would experience a savings from the capped amount to the current cost of seventeen thousand dollars per student per year. The district would credit a portion of the savings back to property tax reduction. In education as in everything else, competition improves the product and lowers the price.  It is no secret that the largest portion of property taxes in New Jersey is school taxes, due to the unfair redistribution of school tax dollars to other parts of the state. As an example, 59% Vernon’s property taxes are school taxes, while Hopatcong is 53%, Blairstown is 63% and Mount Olive is 68%. While other parts of the state have a much lower burden as Newark is 31% and Camden is only 19% of their property taxes is school taxes. Assemblyman Bucco’s bill helps to reduce our taxes by cutting the largest portion of our property taxes. The reason our property taxes are so high in the first place, is because we are sending our taxes dollars out of our district.

I urge readers to contact their state legislators to co-sponsor Assemblyman Bucco’s Bill “New Jersey Parental Rights and Property Tax Reduction Act.”  Education reform is not a Republican verses Democrat, or union verse non-union issue. Education reform is a realistic view that the system is not only expensive but is also very broken. We deserve better.

 

Bader George Qarmout

Newton, NJ

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: Wanted Man Gets Additional Charges

July 18, 2018

SPARTA, NJ -  A man from Hackettstown with an active warrant faces additional charges when officers stopped him because the registered owner of the car had a suspended license.  On July 2 around 2 a.m. Police Officer Ericks Finley stopped a car registered to Shanicqui Nelson on Route 15 police said.

The driver Shaun Reid, 36 was also found to have a suspended license and an ...

Sparta Police: Road Rage and Racing on Route 15 End in Arrest

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Plainfield was stopped for racing on Route 15, going 93 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.  Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley was able to stop one of  two cars racing on July 6 around 11:45 p.m. police said.

Driving a four door Chevy, Santos Vides-Guardado, 21, told Finley that he and the other driver had gotten into an argument that led to the two men racing each ...

Sparta Police: Two Injured in Car Versus Motorcycle Accident

SPARTA, NJ — An accident on Route 15 with a motorcycle and a car sent two people to the hospital. On July 12 Sparta police responded to the crash at the intersection of Route 15 and Wilson Drive around 6:37 p.m. police report.

According to police, while turning left on to Wilson Drive from Route 15 north, Carmen Emery of Highland Lakes cut in front of Richard Keim on a Harley-Davidson ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_50e2ca549a0aca1616bd_nj_blood_services

Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_bdb5745746764dec42d1_sparta_historical_society

Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_42776b9cbb4ed47ca5de_paintbrush-pallet-

Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon

Northern NJ Libertarian Party Monthly Meeting

Government

Carousel_image_43e01e4e18a7a89ca0c9_paintbrush-pallet-

Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_4795040bf6b6301f766b_adoptionevent2

Sat, July 28, 2:00 PM

Montville Animal Shelter, Montville

Summer Adoption Event at the Montville Animal ...

Home & Garden Other

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

US Junior Amateur: Chinn Earns Medalist and Top-seed honors, Misses Rain Delay, after Second Day of Stroke Play

July 18, 2018

Tuesday’s Second Round Scores, playoff participants (8 for 3 spots)

Wednesday’s Round of 64 matchups

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Va., continued his stellar play Tuesday morning and missed an afternoon four plus hour rain delay on arguably Baltusrol Golf Club’s toughest layout, the Lower Course.

After shooting a five under 66 on the Upper Course Monday, ...

What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process

Highlights:


Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.


You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.


Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.  This means call Team Nest Builder’s Lynn Garafola at 973-222-3777 ...

You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what’s required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show the main reason non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them.

This brings us to ...

Get Rid of Your E-Waste This Saturday in Sussex County

Team Nest Builder knows it’s easy for e-waste---tv sets, printers, laptops, etc.--to pile up. Here’s your opportunity to rid yourself of it in Sussex County! It’s the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority E-Waste Collection Event! The scoop:

DATE:

Saturday, July 21st

TIME:

7 am - 2 pm

LIMIT:

Up to 5 Units per vehicle at no charge.  Scale charges for ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

 

Teen Pianist Raises Funds for Project Self-Sufficiency

July 20, 2018

Pianist Olivia Coyle, 18, recently created a CD of her performances and made it available for sale to raise funds for local non-profit agency Project Self-Sufficiency.  The CD is a compilation of works.  “I wanted a mix of different types of music, but I also wanted it to be slower-paced and soothing,” explained Coyle, who ultimately selected some favorite pieces by Chopin ...