Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dr. Boone

posting as we go
(and incidently, the T&G coverage is here)
Petty: would like to wish you well
judge a person with how you leave a position and how you make the schools better for the students
believe students are better off
graduation rates up , drop off rates down
building new Nelson Place
real changes in Claremont
improvement of Level 4 schools
most innovation schools in the state
known for the fairness of the allocation of resources in the city of Worcester
make sure every school got fair resources
presenting key to the City and a chair

Biancheria: would like to wish you the best
even though we disagreed always in the arena of having our students and the schools as the priority
having a learning environment that increased what we offered for our students
examples of our success
I am sure that the chair will not only bring fond memories of our city but that you will be back to visit Worcester

O'Connell: what stands out to me most is a simple afternoon meeting a few weeks after she had arrived in Worcester of Monfredo and O'Connell
variety of issues discussed
focus here: real interest in curriculum
willness to take on a variety of challenging areas
experience and acknowledge of urban schools and meet students at all levels has been very beneficial to have
wall of accomplishments in school headquarters in Norfolk will continue
has been a fan of basketball all her life "probably looking forward to basketball in the South where many would say they really play basketball"

Monfredo: designee driver that picked Melinda up at the Beechwood
came to Tech for first public hearing
believing all students need access to the same high standards
despite some of the bumps along the way, you've been professional along the way and moved the system forward
how we've moved the budget: zero based budget

then I spoke...posting notes after the jump at the end

Ramirez: We started together, I was part of the search committee, was glad to be part of that process
city that needs diversity
innovation model and what that can really do
appreciate being part of some of that work
look forward to learning more
pay attention to your leadership team, and amazing reports, especially from finance, sound decision based on real reports
commend you for developing that team
thank you for your work
sure that Norfolk is thrilled to have you back

Foley: certainly a challenge to relocate to a different area
don't think we appreciate enough what that is like
thank you for making that jump
remarkable statement
Worcester has been your home for the past six years
arrived here in the midst of the finance crisis: how expertly you navigated through that
maintained our system during very difficult times
"it was what do we have to cut and what do we have to maintain"
if you're judging the performance, you're looking at where we are as a district
system of great accomplishments
real success with scores as our population grew and so did needs
"system with great integrity and we shouldn't dismiss that lightly"
urban systems struggling with lack of leadership at the top
"we are a model urban district in the way that we are run"
how we are developing our budget, very open, very transparent
"the system is above reproach...great integrity, both on your
"better drafting record than Bill Belichick"
have brought some great people to the district but have also promoted from within
commitment to every student in the district
"commitment to all students is real and have changed the lives of our students"
"understand that you didn't want to stay on for a third year of record breaking snowfall...I hope you get a big ice storm"
thank you for your true commitment and love

Boone: youth coalition: stay strong. do your best. acknowledge what's wrong and fix it to the best of your ability. work with the youth...
"hope I took heed of their advice"
in some small way their education improved
hope infrastructure created will continue to serve
share "And how are the children" (as she has in the past)
It is still the traditional greeting of the Masai, acknowledging the high value the Masai placed on the children’s well being. Even warriors with no children of their own would always give the traditional answer, “All the children are well.” This meant, of course, that peace and safety prevail; the priorities of protecting the young and the powerless are in place; that the Masai people had not forgotten their reason for being, their proper function, and their responsibilities... I wonder what it would be like if every adult among us—parent and nonparent alike—felt an equal weight of responsibility for the daily care and protection of all the children in our town, in our state, and in our country. I wonder whether we could truly say without hesitation, “The children are well. Yes, all the children are well.”
"it has been my honor to serve the children of the city of Worcester"

from me. Paraphrased from notes:We came in nearly together, and it appears we will go out nearly together.
We--obviously and publicly--have had our differences, and in some cases, I would say we still do.
But principled reasoned differences thoughtfully presented are supposed to be part of what we're about.
There is no doubt of the differences in the school system these past six years.
In the issue that brought me onto the Committee: we are now going before Council with a complete budget document that accounts for every dollar we spend--and it has made a difference, both in perception, and in actual spending.
(not enough of one, but still)
This morning on the Cape, the Worcester Public Schools were held up as an example of school nutrition, and looked to as an example of educating children in poverty.
Yesterday, the Worcester Public Schools were being consulted on fiscal operations.
Monday, the Worcester Public Schools were the only district named in the Foundation Budget Review Commission report. Our turnaround efforts were cited, because they not only were documented and complete, they were, above all, successful.
Lawrence and then Holyoke fell to state control-they're looking at Southbridge and Springfield. Which is district are they not looking at? Worcester. We fix it ourselves.
From the Level 4 schools turned around to the high school graduation rate to the number of APs being taken and passed to the continued expansion of Ch 74 programs to the Meritorious Budget Awards to the enormous number of repaired buildings--
More kids
are learning more things
in cleaner and safer buildings
with more and better trained teachers
in more ways
with better access to technology
and with more and better support.
We are doing a better job at educating kids, simply put.

There is another difference that I had not thought about until this summer. I was at a cookout and I overheard a conversation. They said, "I had always heard that you had to know someone to get a job in the Worcester Public Schools, but I guess that isn't true anymore."
And that's true.
I grew up locally, two towns over. I came back from graduate school to get a teaching job locally, and what was always said about Worcester was "don't bother applying unless you know someone."
That was said not only of hiring but of advancement.
That is no longer the case.
Hiring is based on merit not on connections.
That may be the single most important management change. To my colleagues who will remain on the committee, I ask you, from the bottom of my heart, not to go back.

Dr. Boone, you have left us a better, stronger system. The talents you yourself brought to the system and those you found to work with here have, to reference the parable, been wisely invested. And I know you know what was said to the wise investor: well done.
May you, as the motto of the city of Norfolk has it, "Crescas"--"Thou shalt grow."
And thank you for your service here.

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