Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A few Worcester notes

A few things from this past week...

CPPAC, the Citywide Parent Planning and Advisory Council, is meeting September 14 at 7 at Chandler Magnet. As is customary, the superintendent will be at this meeting.

Class size made the T&G this weekend, with Scott O'Connell quoting my tweet from last Monday. It's worth noting that (as Melissa Brady pointed out) this is both a secondary and elementary issue, and it has yet to make it into anything that has been discussed at School Committee. When I spoke with Deb Daigle from WGBH about this over the weekend, I pointed out that (you guessed it!) Worcester is at least 660 teachers short under the failure of the state to reconsider the foundation budget. This isn't just a Worcester issue, and it isn't going to go away until the state fixes the formula.

Did you catch the contradiction between the implementation of the cell phone policy and the intent? At least some of the schools are emphasizing the draconian crackdown consequences under the revised cell phone policy, whereas the technological intent was in the article from earlier in the week: "is allowing high school students to have greater access to their smartphones during the school day this upcoming year," in other words, a Bring Your Own Device policy. How much the fearful response to the cell phones of kids is out of step with other districts is illustrated by this blog post on in-school use of social media by students by the Assistant Superintendent of Burlington, though the examples are myriad. These are the kids that our kids are going to "compete" with (that's what we're supposed to worry about, right?) once they've left the Worcester Public Schools. It's a shame that the policy implementation is so far out of step with best practice. Instead, it appears, the School Committee is going to spend time of the discredited conspiracy theory of the dangers of wifi.

Scheduled Know Your School Nights have been posted on the district calendar.

And while this post from me went up before I heard the suggestion about how Worcester should pay for summer school: yes, it's entirely relevant.

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