By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Sun Sentinel has reported that recently elected Broward County School Board member Abby Freedman has withdrawn her youngest son from public school and enrolled him into private. In an article on Monday, the Sun Sentinel writes that, Freedman, who was elected last November, now pays $23,900 to send her 12-year-old son Harrison to Fort Lauderdale-based Pine Crest School, where he’s in the seventh grade.
“No school board member should send her child to a private school for any reason,” said former Broward County School Board Member Jack Shifrel.
Freedman, who was elected last November to oversee District Four which covers Coral Springs, Parkland, Tamarac and parts of Margate and North Lauderdale after a competitive election where she spend over $100,000 of her own money told the Sentinel her concern isn’t with her son’s former school, Westglades Middle in Coral Springs, or the county school district. Instead, she said she’s fed up with state-mandated testing, especially the standardized end-of-course test given when students finish algebra, geometry, biology, U.S. history and civics.
“It is not surprising Abby Freedman would jump a sinking ship,” said Coral Springs Resident Cindy Bolger. “If our own School Board District Four Representative does not have confidence in the public school system she represents, then the public should not have confidence in her. Substandard education is acceptable for our children, just not for hers. This is an elected representative that fails to lead by example.”
Tamarac resident Jennifer Vigliano who’s child attends private schools was surprised. “So, she has such little faith in our public school system that she is sending her child to a private school? What sort of message is this?” “What exactly is her problem with standardized testing? My child attends private school and they take standardized tests, albeit, the tests are national and thusly compared to nationally and not only to students in the state of Florida.”
But former school board candidate Andrew Ladanowski sees it differently. “Abby has to wear two hats, one as a parent, and one as school board member. Good parents always put their kids first. I sympathize with that.”