Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Questions from City Council: elementary education and school closings

Councilor Palmeri appreciates the superintendent meeting with him and answering his questions.

"All of the councilors are more than passionate about the Worcester Public School system...as passionate as Councilor Rosen..we also have to find a way to get there...have a vision and a plan that will follow those monies...a real foundation to secure those funds...$5 million (lost) from the federal government..still no reform (on chapter 70) All of us would like to see the Worcester Public School system in a place it hasn't been in quite some time."

Urging everyone to meet with the legislators. He continues to think that the problems seem to lie with the state: "separate those that will from those that will not"

Ah! A question!

Elementary education. Palmeri thinks the teachers' pay should be doubled (you heard it here first!). Any sort of pilot program for K-8 configuration?
From Superintendent Caradonio:
ALL school has K-8 and pre-K -12.
7-12 at Burncoat
Sullivan and South share a campus.
"Some of the schools we closed in the past" are mentioned.
K-3 and 4-6 was "a very hard sell" in Rhode Island (East Greenwich) where he worked at one point. Palmeri takes issue with that; he seems to believe that times have changed.

Ouch. Pameri address the crowd: "you need to have accurate data...not just one person's feelings" He's lost three of his five schools in his district.
"$1.3 million for 38 students at Harlow Street School"
He wants a gifted program or school in Worcester.

1 comment:

Joe C said...

I was watching it on TV.

I think Palmieri was specifically referring to Middle School teachers (grades 7-8)when he said their pay should be doubled.

I also think the point Caradonio was trying to make when he was talking about his experience with the splitting of the elementary schools was that Parents disapproved of the smaller schools because their kids were split up. (harder to drop off and pick up, maybe? My speculation) so he would expect that larger schools (more grades) would be better accepted by parents.

The population of our 6th grade classes drops off dramatically at my local school, the generally accepted reason is that parents are pulling their kids out early (5th grade)to give them an advantage in getting placed at other schools (private or charter or other public) rather than sending the kids to Worcester East Middle. Seems to me that a K-8 school would stabilize the school population, because people wouldn't have to leave to avoid East Middle, and with the possibility of a new North High in 4-5 years (hopefully) head directly there.

Sounds good to me!