Mary Fox-Alter

New York names former Pleasantville superintendent to East Ramapo schools monitor post

Fox Alter’s appointment was met with disappointment by a former East Ramapo board member, who said the district needed someone with experience dealing with a diverse community.–The Journal News

Recently retired Pleasantville schools Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter has been named to the monitor team that oversees East Ramapo Central School District for New York state.

Fox-Alter will serve as the state’s academic monitor, joining fiscal monitor Bruce Singer. The academic monitor position was vacated last month by Denise Lowe, a Howell, New Jersey, school board member and longtime educational consultant. “I’m just really honored to do this work on behalf of the East Ramapo Central School District students,” Fox-Alter said Tuesday.

Mary Fox-Alter

East Ramapo first had a state-appointed monitor team installed about five years ago, as fiscal and social turmoil continued to embroil the diverse district. Via state legislation, East Ramapo’s monitor team gained more power last year, including the ability to veto board decisions.

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The appointment of Fox-Alter was met with disappointment by former educator and East Ramapo school board member Carole Anderson.

“I don’t have anything against her, but I am upset because she doesn’t have what we need,” said Anderson, who serves on the East Ramapo Community Advisory Board, a 10-member panel mandated by legislation that established the current monitor system.

Anderson also said the state should have met with various groups before the appointment.

“We need someone with experience dealing with a diverse community such as this, a community that’s having the problems we’ve been having,” she said.

East Ramapo’s four-year public school graduation is 65% with a student population that is 68% Latino or Hispanic; 24% Black or African American; and 4% white. Pleasantville boasts a 93% four-year graduation rate with a student population that is 74% white; 14% Latino or Hispanic; and 2% Black or African American. “I understand my role is to provide academic oversight, feedback and support,” Fox-Alter said. “There are challenges here but I am confident we can work together on behalf of the students to ensure their academic success.”

Read the complete Journal News story here.