I am writing this letter as a Paterson activist and parent. I am deeply concerned with what’s happening in our school system. It’s disconcerting to know that one of the only board members who relentlessly fights for our children is being vilified by his colleagues for fighting for our children.
Dr. Jonathan Hodges and I may not see eye to eye on certain issues such as PARCC testing however, I respect his unwavering commitment to be a voice for the children of Paterson. At the most recent school board meeting, majority of the school board took aim at Dr. Hodges in what appeared to be a scripted lambasting in an attempt to discredit him for standing up for our children.
The organized attack was squarely directed at Dr. Hodges with the expressed intent of trying paint him as being a subversive board member as well as to make the community think that Dr. Hodges somehow mislead them by covertly organizing a recent city council resolution urging the state commissioner of education to consider moving the school board elections from November back to April. Here’s the thing, Dr. Hodges did not draft that letter. Secondly, Dr. Hodges never attempted to speak for the board, although some of his accusers have in the past.
Look, I’m here to say that Dr. Hodges’ goal has always been and remains clear. That goal is to keep the public abreast of the issues at hand as it relates to what is occurring in the school system and especially on the board. In all the years that he has served on the school board not once has he sought to run for higher office. Like him or not, the fact is that Dr. Hodges is a genuine advocate for the children of Paterson. The comments rendered by the school board were unwarranted, unnecessary, and ill-timed — nothing more than a political ploy to appease the powers that be.
Let that man keep fighting for our kids!
Activist and former school board member