Graduation nightmare in Lakewood

May 17, 2012 3:18:33 PM PDT
Teddy Mack will be wearing a cap and gown in a few weeks, but his mother gives the district a failing grade after news that more than half his class may not be walking with him

"Teachers don't care, administration changes all the time, kids not dealt with one on one, parents not being talked to," Rose Mack said.

Published reports say 248 seniors at Lakewood Senior High School took the state's high school proficiency test, but only 120 passed. 128 failed. The Macks say part of the problem is too many kids missing class, either skipping or being punished. They fall behind and nothing is done to help them catch up.

Students say high school principal Albert Gilson was recently fired. We went to speak to Superintendent Lydia Silva, but we were told she wasn't available. The district's attorney did speak, but said he couldn't say much.

"Can't comment," Alan Schniman said. In response to a question about the low graduation rate, he said, "I didn't hear that. I don't know the numbers."

Graduating senior Brandon Wittmann says students and parents have to shoulder some blame.

"It's not the district's fault. Some kids try. Some don't," Wittmann said.

Teddy Mack sent a letter to New Jersey Govenor Chris Christie last November, complaining about problems here. The governor wrote back, saying the education commissioner would look into his concerns.

So far, the Macks say they've heard from no one.

"It doesn't look good. That's why I'm moving," Rosa Mack said.

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