Thursday, February 26, 2015

Public testimony on proposed academy

Len Zalauskas, EAW: largest local of the NEA in New England
"I haven't made up my mind, and I'm not speaking in that regard."
When the meeting was held at Doherty with the staff? "I find that troubling."
"then the money piece...I don't know if it's me that's naive"
"to think that the City Council, which has had no interest in funding the schools for years"
"to think that all of a sudden that the money is going to come falling out of the sky"
"it might be the greatest thing in the world, but we need to have more funding"
"if we can get a firm commitment from the City Council that they're going to do something"
"let's get back to reality here; either we're going to get back and do something for the schools"
"to think that Jesus is going to come tomorrow and bring the money, well, good luck my friends"

Donna Colorio: "opposition to" plan
not opposed to an exam school, opposed to IB
IB will increase college costs for seniors compared to AP in college
wow, making some big assumptions on acceptances there
"No emerical evidence that it will improve achievement"
check our footnotes
inquire based program....
concerned about expense
"many schools drop IB...costs, less flexible, lack of participation"
disputes handled "under Swiss law" not actually the case

Chris Comeaux: three kids in WPS
fully support anything that offers more opportunities to kids in WPS

Deb Steigman: applaud efforts in trying to improve our school system
don't believe a costly academy is the right effort at this time
"can't stand here with a clear conscience to say go forward"
less labs in 9th grade than in the middle school
"and for a city that reads we hardly bring home any novels" because we don't have enough
Nelson Place busting at the seams
"why are we looking at the select few?"
"budget isn't going to be any better, it's probably going to be worse"
"something to put on mantle"
"where the heck are you going to put it in Doherty; it's already crowded"
"if that money is found, it should go into trying to fix what we do and make it better"
"let's fix the rigor for everybody, not just 250 students"

Thao Tran: multiple hats: teacher, mother of a future dual student, researcher in language
given the proposal: could be a formula that this could be very profitable
no better time than now to look at getting our students ready for the globalized
perfect time to clarify that dual language is a rigorous
"IB is not a prescriptive program"
doesn't have to be for a select few, implementation process for children in neighborhoods
asking that we revisit how we would implement this
revisit the curriculm behind
prepare our students for a multilingual globalized world

Monica Campbell: parent of students at Doherty, teacher at a private school
topic at our dinner table: her children were the first to say that this can't happen, "Where is it going to go?"
"they love education, they are well-rounded, and well-balanced"
won't raise the bar for everyone
won't allow everyone to have an equal opportunity
"my 9th grader comes home with hardly any homework on a daily basis"
senior had to do dual enrollment, in addition to AP and honors
a lot of questions on how to make IB work for everyone and "not just the 250 we're talking about"

Catherine Whalen: English teacher at Doherty, EAW vice-president
"my dad was head of secondary education in the city of Worcester...dedicated the key to the the city of Worcester"
robocall went out to parents, but "not to us"
proud to each very wonderful kids in AP classes "and we invited everyone"
"you want to be challenged in a certain area...okay"
"we give everyone an we're going to take 250 kids and take them from across the city...scores rely heavily on bright children"
now hit the underperforming button on the other schools
"I know that the teachers try to do that" (teach with rigor and confidence every day)
"disconnect between the people who actual educate and the administrators is an abyss"
"agendas here that are driven by politics and not by the community"

Angela Plante: educator, parent of students, parent of current Doherty student
"always encouraged to look at various points of view"
"with these 250 students...what will it do to class rank of students at Doherty?"
see the question above about their enrollment

Peter Bowler, assistant principal at Doherty: to discuss logistics
"We are challenged for space at Doherty; we have been for years"
appreciate the thought of a rehabbed school or new school
"I think that any time you can offer other opportunities it's terrific"
"if there is an academy for advanced learners, we'd welcome the challenge"

And Steve Foskett's article is now posted

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