WEST ORANGE, NJ - My name is Adam Kraemer: I am a father, a husband, a taxpayer and a long term resident of West Orange. My children were recently in public school, and are now in a faith based school. I have taught in an independent urban school and a suburban public school.
I went to public school from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
I earned my undergraduate degrees from Colgate University and two masters degrees from Teachers College – Columbia University. I have been working in the fields of accounting and credit for well over a decade so I understand the business world and economics. This background makes me uniquely qualified to serve on the board of education.
We have many successful things going on within the West Orange schools. Our advance placement programs are doing well and we serve the needs of a diverse student body.
However, we have problems that need to be addressed in our schools in an honest way. We have areas of academic under performance as noted by certain schools not obtaining the standards as set by the federal No Child Left Behind Law. Also, we are running our schools in a way that is not economically sustainable for the years to come causing West Orange homeowners and businesses to face some of the highest property taxes in the state and nation. As per the New Jersey Department of Education the West Orange Board of Education, was noted as having a cost of over $21,000 per student per year. This is significantly above state and national norms. It is not an easy task but we can do better for our students and structure things for lower costs to the taxpayer at the same time.
If elected here are the main objectives I will work towards:
(1) Focusing our tax dollars on the classroom and keeping administrative and other non-classroom costs as low as is reasonably possible.
(2) Treating our teachers as professionals and avoiding the temptation to micro manage them so they have the flexibility and freedom to get the job done in terms of educating our children.
(3) Better implementation of technology in the classrooms as tools to help each student learn at the best individualized pace.
(4) Making sure we clear have communication from teachers and the administration to our parents so that our parents are truly part of the educational process.
(5) Making sure our Board of Education is transparent so citizens can know what is going on in our schools and are truly part of the process.
(6) Looking for creative partnerships with other schools districts and other educational entities to improve education and reduce cost for taxpayers.
Deciding who represents you on the school board is an important decision for the citizen of West Orange to make. I hope to earn one of your two votes on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
Thank you - Adam Kraemer