Friday, October 17, 2014

October 2014 LWV Consensus on Charter Schools Update Concluded

October 15, 2014
League of Women Voters--Teaneck
League of Women Voters of Teaneck Concludes Study of Charter Schools
Teaneck, NJ.  The League of Women Voters (LWV) may be best known for its work registering voters and sponsoring candidate debates, but its actual mission is much broader, extending to educating and informing voters on a wide range of timely—and often controversial—topics. LWV issues range from climate change and gun safety to campaign finance reform and global democracy. Like other state leagues, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey (LWVNJ) plays an active role advocating for state legislation after careful study and consensus of its members.
In that spirit, the Teaneck LWV chapter elected to participate in a state-wide consensus study to update the LWVNJ’s current position on charter schools.  The original LWVNJ position statement, adopted in 2000, supports the intent of the 1995 legislation that established charter schools as a means to encourage innovation within local public schools. However, that support came with qualifications; furthermore, the educational landscape has changed substantially over the past 15 years.
After extensive background study and discussion, members of the Teaneck LWV convened on October 5th to develop consensus regarding several critical areas of charter school operations. These concerns spanned 5 broad categories: 1) accountability, including school governance, student achievement, and communication of innovative practices and curricula to the district public schools; 2) the role of district residents in charter approval; 3) what organizations should be allowed to authorize charter schools; 4) full-time virtual charter schools; and 5) oversight of educational management organizations in the operation of charter schools.
The group’s conclusions have been submitted to LWVNJ, which will be considering input from leagues all over New Jersey in updating its position statement.  This statement will be published on the state's website ( in early 2015.
For further information about the charter school study, or to join the LWV and get involved in its advocacy work, please email Membership is open to both women and men at least 18 years of age.
For further information, contact Margot Embree Fisher, director, LWVT Education,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Candidates' Forums: Listen and Learn

TWO events worth exploring

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES LWV Teaneck Calendar

League Lines   Online edition   September-October  2014

A Note about the New League Lines  - Member's .pdf Available Sept. 17
League Lines is being distributed  in two formats: the members-only League Lines, in .pdf and replete with addresses and phone numbers, and the blog version for the general public. The blog LWVTeaneck, features announcements and links to general information about the Teaneck League, ILO, and the State.   -
--Patricia O’Brien Libutti, Editor, League Lines & LWVTeaneck Blog 


Sept.  18 Voter Registration at Back-to-School Nights.  

September  24 Citizen Swearing-In Historic Newbridge Landing 

October 2 Charter School Consensus Meeting 

October 11 LWV NJ Engaged and Empowered:
A New Generation of Leaders 

October 15  Charter School Consensus 
/Board Meeting 

Nov. 5: LWV sponsored film aduring  TIFF

September 2014 The Year Ahead


Your League had many accomplishments this past year, including a successful voter registration drive, a very well-attended public forum for the Town Council candidates, education, discussion and consensus on agriculture issues, including genetically modified foods, co-sponsorship of a public presentation and discussion on the integration of Little Rock, Arkansas schools in the movie Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock; and a celebration of Women's History Month.

Our fall activities are in already in full swing with our involvement in a very important update to the LWVNJ Charter School consensus  (with our consensus meetings planned for October 2 and 15).  We've already held several "back-to school" voter registrations drives and a few more are scheduled. Parents at the school are always so appreciative of our reminders to register to vote or to change registration addresses. 

Once again, we will be registering newly sworn-in voters - a particularly gratifying experience for both the new registrants and for League members. In early November, in support of the LWV mission and consistent with the Teaneck International Film Festival topic, Activism: Making Change, we are sponsoring the movie Wajda at the festival.We are also actively monitoring Town Council and Board of Education meetings and actions .

We encourage you to join in these and other efforts as described in greater detail elsewhere in League Lines. Of course, we welcome your suggestions for additional initiatives as well.---Arlene Gartenberg , 1st Vice President, Program

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES Voter Registration Events

LWV Teaneck Voter Registration Events 

LWV members volunteered to staff registration tables at the Teaneck Public Schools’ Back-To-School Nights this September.  Arlene Gartenberg went to Bryant School on Sept. 9th, Barbara Ostroth was at Teaneck High School on Sept. 16th, and Naomi Cramer, Margot Fisher and Doris Thurber covered the elementary school nights at Whittier, Lowell and Hawthorne Schools on Thursday Sept. 18th. 

 We are still looking for volunteers to man a registration table at the two middle school nights on Tuesday, Sept. 23rd 

Teaneck LWV volunteers will also  participate in National Voter Service Day by attending an event at the Von Steuben House at New Bridge Landing on Wednesday, Sept. 24th at 10AM, where we will celebrate a large number of new US citizens from many countries around the world, being sworn in by local elected officials.  All are welcome to attend this meaningful ceremony.

 There will be no Candidates Forum this fall for the upcoming Teaneck Board of Education candidates included on November 4th’s ballot, as only the three incumbents -- Ardie Walser, Clara Williams and David Gruber -- registered their candidacy by the deadline.  However, they still need to be elected, so don’t forget to look for their names on the ballot.

---Barbara Ostroth, Shirley Sosland, Co-VPs, Voter Services

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES Current Advocacy Agenda


===>League Supports Continuing Office of Congressional Ethics in 114th Session of Congress 

===>League Calls on U.S. Senate to Fully Staff the United States Election Assistance Commission.

===>LWV US has advocated with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to set the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants.

Carried out in hearings in a number of cities, League members presented their comments.  In the time remaining before October 16, 2014, we are invited to comment directly via LWV US site or the EPA site / via the Federal eRulemaking portal.

When you go to: you will have all the information you need to make informed comments.

Comments on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule must be received by October 16, 2014

League to Participate in the People’s Climate March:  The League joins with myriad organizations for this event of this coming Sunday!

Voting Rights Act Turns 49: LWV US and Leagues in the various states affected by attempts to undermine the franchise of numerous citizens, have tirelessly attempted to counteract these assaults on people's rights to vote.

---Doris Thurber, Advocacy Chair 

September 2014 LEAGUE LINES Women's Equality Day Report

Women’s Equality Day

Did you know there was a Women's Equality Day?  I didn't.   But then I got an invitation to an event sponsored by the Northern Valley League commemorating that day.   Since the event was also to commemorate Bella Abzug who  as a  pioneering Congresswoman  (1971-1977)  had Aug 26 designated Women's Equality Day by the U.S. Congress, I contacted my Women Strike for Peace "sisters" and 4 of us went to the event.  August 26 was the day that the 19th amendment was passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote. Bella Abzug was a leader and founder of Women Strike for Peace (1961) - an organization in the 60's - 70's that educated  about  and protested against the Vietnam War.  

Many women's organizations had representatives  at the event  giving out  literature.   
The program included many women who had important elected positions in Bergen County, including Kathy Donovan and Joan Voss and our own Mayor Lizette Parker.  It was too bad that most of the people there were only the  representatives from the organizations giving out literature.  A local girl scout troop was there to meet with the women in government and to learn about the issues surrounding the day.  

The highlight of the event was a talk by Liz Abzug, Bella Abzug's daughter. The best way for women's equality to have meaning is if we elect more women to positions of power in government.  Ms Abzug has for years been the director of Bella Abzug Leadership Institute at Hunter College  mentoring and training H.S. and College women to become future leaders in their community.  

I questioned Liz about Bella's run for Senate in 1976 since I thought she should have stayed in the House (forever) - especially since she lost the Senate election and had to give up her House seat.   Liz explained that Bella only lost by 1% of the vote and should have had the Times endorsement.   At the NY Times the entire editorial board voted to give Bella the endorsement but the then owner,  Sulzbeger,  refused to allow it,  so they endorsed Daniel Moynahan instead.   

The Director from  the Alice Paul Institute (  spoke and showed a film about Alice Paul  and her sacrifices for the cause as a leading suffragette from New Jersey.

--Naomi Cramer, Observer Corps Chair